Various artists album review
Studio One Roots
Soul Jazz Records-Munich
03 - 06 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. More Scorcha - Count Machuki
  2. Rock Fort Shock - Prince Francis
  3. Power Version - Dennis Alcapone
  4. Natty Kung Fu - Dillinger
  5. Man Of Creation - Jah Scotchie
  6. Seen Him - Jim Brown
  7. Love In The Arena - Jah Buzz
  8. Street Doctor - Prince Francis
  9. The Answer - Lone Ranger
  10. Crime Don't Pay - Prince Jazzbo
  11. Every Man A Me Brethren - Brigadier Jerry
  12. Version Of Rights - Big Joe
  13. The Big Match - Lone Ranger
  14. Warning - Jah Jesco
  15. Natty Farmyard - Prince Far I
  16. Father And Dreadlocks - Charlie Ace And Scorcher
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5

Soul Jazz Records are releasing the fourth journey -"Studio One DJ's" - into the vaults of Studio One Records, the legendary foundation label of Reggae, owned and founded by Sir Coxsone Dodd. Soul Jazz Records is a record company and a shop based in the heart of London, making, releasing and selling music, old and new for the past ten years. They specialise in Dance music covering the last five decades including Jazz, Soul, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Disco and Hip Hop plus a wide range of contemporary music from around the world. In addition to this they also organise their own club nights and live events in and around London as well as performing at night clubs around the world. Their shop, located in London's Soho, is called Sounds of the Universe.
For this release Souljazz Records return to the roots of Reggae music-The Soundsystem. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s Soundsystems played throughout the city of Kingston, Jamaica. As well as Sir Coxsone's Downbeat Soundsystem other famous Soundsystem operators included Duke Reid (the Trojan), Prince Buster, Tom the Great and King Edwards. These Soundystems were the birthplace of much of Jamaica's musical culture Soundclashes, Dancehall and the idea of the Toaster who sang over records- the DJ. As ever Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd led the field and so for this release the focus is on DJ's at Studio One and features legendary toasters such as Denis Alcapone, Dillinger and Prince Far I as well as a host of rare material by lesser known artists. Also included is Count Machuki the original DJ- the first man ever to speak over the mic-at Sir Coxsone's Downbeat Sound System- from where it all began.
As Steve Barrow (author of The Rough Guide to Reggae/Blood and Fire Records) writes in the sleevenotes, "Jamaican deejay music is the source for all Rap music: From Count Machuki talking over records on Sir Coxsone's legendary Downbeat Sound System this style would eventually travel to America when the Jamaican-born Kool Herc began playing at Block parties (a version of the Kingston Soundsystem parties) in the Bronx. Cutting up rare-groove classics for the first B-Boys to rap over, Hip-Hop was born and the DJ music that had started on the early Soundsystems of Kingston would go on to conquer the world."
The album "Studio One DJ's" also comes as a CD-Rom with a taster from the Studio One Story, Soul Jazz Records forthcoming full-length documentary (DVD & Video) about Coxsone Dodd and Studio One. The album kicks off with Count Machuki's More Scorcha, a track from the second half of the sixties. The "Rockfort Rock" riddim comes next, brought by Prince Francis as Rockfort Shock. The same artist also brings Street Doctor. The mighty Dennis Alcapone follows with Power Version from 1972, who selects his homeboys The Clarendonians for the backing track -'You Can't Be Happy'.
Dillinger picks up Roy Richards' 'Freedom Blues' for his tune Natty Kung Fu. The obscure deejay Jah Scotchie delivers a rootical tune called Man Of Creation across the "Satta" riddim. Jim Brown aka Jim Nastic began recording for Studio One in the eighties. Here he rides the "Lecture" riddim on Seen Him. Jah Buzz cut 3 sides for Studio One and 'Love In The Arena' is a truly standout delivery ! Lone Ranger is probably one of the greatest deejays of the reggae business. For his tune The Answer he rides the much versioned "Never Let Go" riddim. Big Youth's epochal tune 'S-90 Skank' forms the foundation of Prince Jazzbo's roots tune Crime Don't Pay. From the eighties comes Brigadier Jerry with Every Man A Me Brethren, which is a reincarnation of the "Love Me Forever" riddim. Big Joe did very well in the first half of the 70s and Version Of Rights is a splendid rendition of the "Declaration Of Rights" riddim. The unknown Jah Jesco cut two sides for Studio One. Here he comes up with a version of the "College Rock (Ballistic Affair)" riddim called Warning. Larry Marshall's Mean Girl supports Prince Far I's boom tune Natty Farmyard. From the same vocalist comes the last riddim, "Throw Me Corn", as Charlie Ace and Scorcher put out an awesome tune called Father And Dreadlocks. What can we say? This one's is the ultimate Scorcha album!

Teacher & Mr. T.