The Know Myself Chronicles
Digital release & 7" Singles.
October 18, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Since they emerged on the scene in 2001, the people behind the Paris based Heartical record label have been digging up worthwhile vintage riddims, in order to let Basque Dub Foundation aka BDF reconstruct them and bring them to life once again. This has led to the release of great riddims such as "Slaving", "Tonight aka Lots Of Sign", "Far East aka Jah Shakey", "Real Rock", "Dub Fire aka Promised Land", and "Fade Away".
For their brand new bunch of 7" vinyl singles and accompanying digital album release they have decided to come up with a new version of the "Something New aka I Know Myself" riddim. The original riddim was laid by Conscious Minds and appeared as an instrumental titled "Something New" on the 1974 BB Seaton produced dub album "Gun Court Dub Vol. 4". Then, in 1978, Sly & the Revolutionaries relicked the riddim for Channel One, which brought Ernest Wilson his major hit "I Know Myself". Sly Dunbar also produced his own instrumental cut -- hugely popular on the Soundsystems -- with Althea & Donna delivering the repetitive "A Who Say!".
The new version is played by the legendary Sly Dunbar (of Sly & Robbie fame) and the Basque Dub Foundation. The latter have proven to be specialists when it comes to reconstructing vintage riddims, and thus it isn't a real surprise that the riddim sounds so good. The group of artists that have come to deliver a cut for the riddim consists of veterans such as Ernest Wilson, Dawn Penn, Joseph Cotton, and Mykal Roze, as well as contemporary names like Rootsamala, Tiwony, and Original Uman.
Ernest Wilson himself opens the album in real fine style, singing over his original hit both solo and in combination with Papa Kojak (known from Kojak & Liza, the legendary rub a dub duo of the early 80s) on the "True Love", which we first heard on the earlier this year released "Heartical Story". Also the decent "Gone Clear" by Joseph Cotton (aka Jah Walton) is known from that same compilation set. Here Papa Kojak is also present with a solo cut, the great "Behold I Live". It seems that Dawn Penn simply can't get loose from her signature tune "No, No, No". Here she comes up with the counteraction lyrics to that tune, but all in all it ends up in being a rather weak effort. Zareb (formerly Mr. Flash) makes a far better impression with the powerful sung "Rise Up", and also Mykal Roze's 7th single for the Heartical label, "Universal Struggle", offers enough listening pleasure.
The brother & sister vocal duo from Malaga, Spain, called Rootsamala, are the first non-Jamaicans to appear on the riddim. Their English sung "Decisions" is a real nice conscious tune, with the female vocals playing a prominent role. From the French West Indies comes Tiwony, whose "Justice" makes a good impression, although those who aren't familiar with the French language won't get the point of his conscious lyrics. Exactly the same can be said about "Avance", a solid cut from Belgian chanter Original Uman. London-born General Levy, known from 90s hits like "Incredible", "Heat", and "The Wig", is in good shape and leaves a good impression with "Chant". The album is rounded off by DBF & Sly Dunbar's fine melodica cut and heavy dub version of the riddim.
You can buy the digitally released "The Know Myself Chronicles" compilation HERE.