Roots Supplement: Nature At It's Best Part 1
Jah Youth/Gussie P
July 22, 2005

Track list
  1. Daweh Congo / Mafia & Fluxy, Winston Rose - So Happy / Roots Doctor (12" Discomix)
  2. Daweh Congo - Jah Disciple
  3. Sister Aisha - King Selassie I
  4. Sister Aisha - Warm Sun
  5. Peter Spence - They Keep Crying
  6. Peter Spence - Redemption
  7. Liv I Jah - Babylon Be Still
  8. Liv I Jah - Warrior Music
  9. Prince Alla - Only Love
  10. Prince Alla - Bucket Bottom
  11. Dawna Lee - Dry Land (12" Discomix)
  12. Dawna Lee - My Best Friend
  13. Robbie Valentine - Conditions
  14. Robbie Valentine - Why Are You Looking At Me?
  15. Tony Douglas - Unity Is Strength
  16. Tony Douglas - Living In The Ghetto
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"Roots Supplement: Nature At It's Best Part 1" is a marvellous, although probably hard-to-find compilation of Gussie P productions. Gussie Prento aka Gussie P started in the music business operating the dub plate cutting in Fashion Records' A-Class studio before he became the label's senior engineer. His next step was doing his own production work. "Bam Bam" by Barry Boom was the first official release on Gussie P's own Sip A Cup label in 1984.

Among the artists he's successfully produced have been singers and deejays such as General Levy, Earl Sixteen, Capleton, Roman Stewart, Daweh Congo, Fred Locks, and Leroy Mafia. Throughout the years he has developed a very distinctive, immediately recognizable mixing and production style and he surely would have been an international renowned producer if only his releases would have been available on a far wider scale. No doubt Gussie P has managed to become one of the best -- if not the best -- engineers and producers in England.

This sixteen track compilation features roots riddims laid by London's riddim aces Mafia & Fluxy, which have been given Gussie P's heavy, old-skool treatment. Modern Jamaican roots singer Daweh Congo kicks off with "So Happy", a track in showcase style i.e. vocal track followed by the version. This solid opener is a good foretaste of things to come... heavyweight roots sounds with strong vocal and lyrical deliveries. Daweh Congo's "Jah Disciple" is a great tune performed over a wicked steppers riddim.

The latter is also used for Sister Aisha's cultural "King Selassie I", a truly wicked effort from this female artist who's probably best known for her works with Ariwa's Mad Professor. This track is followed by "Warm Sun", expertly performed over a slow-paced riddim, and a tune of sheer beauty.

The next cut for the riddim comes from Peter Spence. "They Keep Crying" is a moving song, showing that this fine singer fully deserves a far wider recognition. The thunderous, nyahbinghi flavoured "Redemption" is further proof of Peter Spence's great skills and talent, one of the many highlights on this album.

Liv I Jah, known from London based Jah Youth sound system, delivers two awesome roots tunes, "Babylon Be Still", a great steppers tune, and the killer "Warrior Music".

Roots veteran Prince Alla comes up with notable reworkings of "Only Love" and "Bucket Bottom", two tunes he recorded in the 1970s.

The exceptional and versatile Dawna Lee has delivered two noteworthy albums, "Love" and "Rebel Souls", on which she showed to be a major talent. "Dry Land" is a blistering roots piece, which is rounded off with a mind-bending dub. Even though "My Best Friend" has a completely different mood, it is truly a track worth of hearing.

Another highlight is Robbie Valentine's "Conditions", again a cut across the wicked "Jah Disciple" riddim. "Why Are You Looking At Me?" -- over the refurnished "Billie Jean" riddim -- deals with racism and discrimination, and is a matching cut to the previous effort.

The lesser known singer Trevor Douglas also utilizes the "Billie Jean" riddim for "Unity Is Strength". The latter is a good tune, which is followed by the only weak track found on this cd, "Living in the ghetto".