Summer Records Anthology 1974-1988
Light In The Attic
August 21, 2007

Track list
  1. Johnny Osbourne feat. Bunny Brown - Love Makes The World Go Around
  2. Bobby Gaynair and Earth, Roots & Water - Come Together
  3. Earth, Roots & Water feat. Jerry Brown - Sufferer
  4. Johnny Osbourne and Earth,Roots & Water - Right,Right Time
  5. Earth, Roots & Water feat. John Forbes And Teach - Awakening
  6. Adrian "Homer" Miller and Earth, Roots & Water - Mankind
  7. Noel Ellis - Reach My Destiny
  8. Ranking - Thanks And Praise
  9. Adrian "Homer" Miller - One And Only One
  10. Ranking - Chatty Chatty People
  11. Johnny Osbourne - Jah Jah Live Forever
  12. Jerry Brown - Dreadlock Lady
  13. Johnny Osbourne - Warrior
  14. Willi Williams - Run Them A Run
  15. Unique Madoo (Ska Doo) - Call Me Nobody Else
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
When one thinks of the hardest roots music, spiritual music -- one inevitably thinks, of course, of Jamaica in the 1970's. Then one tends to think of London's sound system scene from the mid 70's onwards.

One doesn't think of Toronto.

But the new Light in the Attic compilation proves yet again how Toronto had -- albeit on a small scale -- its own emerging underground roots music scene, which deserves to be heard.

The sound is distinctive, but there are definite reference points -- much of it sounds like a fusion of Studio One combined with some of the ambient surreality of Wackies music. Also, some of the vocal sides have definite similarities to artists like Pat Kelly and Slim Smith, track one being emblematic of that style.

Earth and Roots evoke a clattering of taut percussion and a resentful pummelling bass aggression on "Sufferer". Johnny Osbourne's team up with Earth and Roots on "Right Time" is poignant, evocative of his ascetic stoicism on "Purify your Heart."

Earth and Roots' "Awakening" is almost avant garde, with a Wackies wash of sound clashing with aggressive Rocker's All Star's style snare/rim shot interplay. When the bass drum kicks in, it's mayhem.

Noel Ellis also steps forward with a Wackie's style spiritual composition, "Reach My Destiny", an exhortation to self knowledge and an encouragement to look beyond the material.

The album moves into the early digital style, with the booming "Run Them A Run" from Willi Williams, sounding very like Bill Withers over a Jammy's style beat.

It's a worthy, timely release, replete with careful sleeve design and intelligent, well written sleeve notes, giving us in depth insight into the Canadian reggae scene and its prime movers.