Various artists album review
King Jammy's The Rhythm King
May 01 - 2003
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Frenchie and Pete Holdsworth's imprint "Maxime Pressure" follows up their excellent Bobby Digital and Phillip "Fatis" Burrell compilation sets with a collection of tunes from one of the key figures in the development of reggae music, Lloyd James aka King Jammy. Subtitled "18 Dancehall Classics" this entertaining cd brings us peerless stuff from the most successful of the digital age producers upon whose label the legendary seminal digital track "Under Mi Sleng Teng" by Wayne Smith appeared in 1985 changing the way reggae music sounded overnight. The basis for "Under Mi Sleng Teng" was a preset rock & roll riddim from a Casio music box that was adapted and slowed down to become a reggae riddim. The shockwaves were scarcely believable and before long there were over two hundred different versions of the riddim available, as every producer and artist jumped on the bandwagon. More than anything else, it opened the music to young independent producers and artists, since expensive studio time and "real" musicians were no longer a prerequisite for recording: digital reggae ruled, and King Jammy, the originator, rode the crest of the wave. His records and sound system dominated and controlled reggae music for the remainder of the decade and on into the 90s.|
For whatever reason the compilers haven't included "Under Mi Sleng Teng" on this well worth collection. However much thought has been put into this selection with big hits nestling alongside more obscure but equally great tracks. Best tracks are Dean Fraser's instrumental tune "Dean In Chinatown", Johnny Osbourne's killer "Chain Grabber", Eccleton Jarrett's very enjoyable "Rock Them One By One", Admiral Tibet's "Running From Reality, Chuck Turner's "We Rule", Wailing Souls' "Move On", Frankie Paul's wicked "Leave It To Me", Eek A Mouse's demented "Taller Than King Kong"If The Rockers Don't Groove You". Furthermore we're treated to two previously unreleased dub plate specials; "Nuff A Dem A Gwan" by Little John and "King Jammy You Hit Me" by Brian & Tony Gold.
Great compilation set!