Release Date: 21st May 2021
Johnny Clarke ruled the Dancehall in the mid 1970’s, using the cleaver 'Flyers Rhythms' that gave some of his tunes an edge with the Sound Systems. But his voice was always bigger than this and his versatility to sing a wide range of vocal styles, has seen him cut through the decades as one of Reggae’s best voices.
Johnny Clarke (b.1955.Jamaica) cut his musical teeth at the age of seventeen, recording his first song ‘God made the sea and sun’ for Producer Clancy Eccles. A low-key release but one that led to Johnny catching Producer Rupie Edwards eye, when he appeared at a talent contest at Bull Bay. Impressed by his voice both live and on disc, Rupie cut a few tunes with Johnny, ’Don’t Go Julie’ and ‘Everyday Wondering’ the latter of which had success not only in Jamaica, but also in the UK reggae market. The back bones of ‘Everyday Wandering’ now voiced by Rupie himself would lead onto an even bigger hit in the 70’s with the classic ‘Irie Feelings’.
Johnny Clarke’s decision to move on around this time coincided with producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee looking for a new singer to compete in the ever-moving Dancehall arena. Johnnie’s break came in a strange way, having provided backing vocals initially to a Bunny Lee produced cut, Earl Zero’s ‘None Shall Escape the Judgment’. The very same session the drummer on the track, Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis, when asked by Bunny to come up with some new sound and while working the High - Hat cymbals, hitting it when open, then when shut (based on the Philadelphia Disco Sound known as the Phili - Sound) gave what the reggae world would call a ‘Flyers Sound’. On transferring the tune to four tracks to mix down at King Tubby’s studio, Earl Zero’s vocal was mistakenly left off. Johnny Clarke being present at King Tubby’s and knowing the track already inside out, then sang the lead vocal. The track became a smash Sound System favourite and the rest as they say is history.
Johnny Clarke became one of Bunny’s main vocalists during the heyday that was the 1970’s. It’s from this vast cannon that we have selected some of the singer’s finest cuts. His soulful voice worked the musical field from Dread to Rockers to Lovers Rock.A great gift that on playing this album we hope you’ll agree carries through with the tests of time.
a1. Johnny Clarke - Nobodies Business
a2. Johnny Clarke - Play Play Girl
a3. Johnny Clarke - Jah Jah We Pray
a4. Johnny Clarke - Judge Not A Man
a5. Johnny Clarke - Give Me A Love
a6. Johnny Clarke - My Desire
a7. Johnny Clarke - You Pray
b1. Johnny Clarke - Stealing, Stealing
b2. Johnny Clarke - Rastaman
b3. Johnny Clarke - This Graceful Woman
b4. Johnny Clarke - This Old Heart Of Mine
b5. Johnny Clarke - Give The Right<
b6. Johnny Clarke - You Have Caught Me Baby
b7. Johnny Clarke - Built My World Around You
Release Date: 9th April 2021
If one band could be cited for the emergence of Ska music, that band would be the Skatalites.
Formed around June 1965 and built around the many musicians that had honed their craft at the Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica. The early line up consisted of Don Drummond (Trombone), Roland Alphonso (Tenor Saxophone), Tommy McCook (Tenor Saxophone), Johnny ’Dizzy’ Moore (Trumpet), Lester Sterling (Alto Saxophone), Jerome ’Jah Jerry’ Hines (Guitar), Jackie Mittoo (Piano), Llyod Brevett (Bass) and Llyod Knibbs (Drums).
Named originally The Satellites after the big news of the day, the Soviet space satellite. They became The Skatalites when band member Tommy McCook introduced a play on the characteristic ‘Ska’ sound, made by the guitar when following the’ after beat’ of the music.The group had already cut its musical teeth by playing under various guises around the Jamaican island in numerous ‘hotel bands’. When the big Sound System operators Sir Coxsane Dodd, Duke Reid and King Edwards needed new material to play out with and their usual source of the material, American R & B records were drying up. They turned to this pool of musicians to back up their main singers of the day. Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis and Lord Creator to name but a few. Also to cut the many instrumental tracks they needed usually under the tutor ledge of Don Drummond, official band leader and main musical director. Their knowledge of the old mento tunes and an understanding of Jazz and R&B music somehow blended to make this musical sound that was to dominate the island from the early 60’s up until around 1966 when the sound would slow down to what we now know as Rocksteady.
The time span of the Skatalites career considering their output of litually 100’s of sides of music, was a relatively short one of just over two years. We have delved into the vaults of Wirl Records and have selected some tunes that show the dexterity of the band and what great sounds this group of musicians were capable of producing and the high quality they maintained. They recorded before they were named as a collective The Skatalites, when personal and financial problems became an issue the band split into two halves. Jackie Mittoo and Roland Alfonso going on to form The Soul Brothers band for Coxsone Dodd. Tommy McCook moving over to work with Duke Reid as musical director. Sadly, Don Drummond suffering for years from depression would see his career cut short ending in Belle Vue hospital in 1969.
But while together they cut some of the finest Ska Sounds to be found on record. We hope you enjoy this set as much as we have in putting it
So, stand Up, Listen Hard and do the Ska……
a1. Wise Man
a3. Wild Man Street
a4. Cow Town Skank
a5. Northern Sound
a7. The Joker From La Boka
b1. Legs Man
b2. Greenwich Farm
b3. Girls Town
b4. Tip Toe
b5. Gold Coast
b6. Boys Town
Release Date: 22nd January 2021
Small Town Dubz bringing their dub sounds to vinyl featuring Razaman on vocals and Vale on trumpet. The B-side features a Frenk Dublin remix of 'Soundman a Play' with Rumble B on vocals.
a1. Small Town Dubz feat. Razaman & Vale - Lion Heights
b1. Small Town Dubz feat. Rumble - Soundman a Play (Frenk Dublin remix)
Release Date: 15th January 2021
A true hot stepper and one of the best of its kind, this 1984 masterpiece from Ini Kamoze is heavy, real and authentic. It was actually Jamaican born artist Cecil Campbell's debut album and features spacious, slow motion dubs that invite you deep within their cavernous drums. The chattery percussion, echoing hits and loose percussion all make a real mark. "World-A-Music" has a beat fans of Damien Marley will recognise, and "General" features some of Campbells more vulnerable vocal work. For fans old and new, this is a perfect roots album with a unique perspective.
a1. Ini Kamoze - Trouble You A Trouble Me
a2. Ini Kamoze - World-A-Music
a3. Ini Kamoze - Them Thing Deh
b1. Ini Kamoze - General
b2. Ini Kamoze - Wings With Me
b3. Ini Kamoze - Hail Me Idrin
Release Date: 15th January 2021
Here is a brand new single from the Radikal Guru's 4th studio album 'Beyond The Borders'. 'Do The Right Thing' features italian vocalist Marina P mainly known for her previous works with Mungo's Hi Fi. Her soulful lyrics are touching on social struggles that we are facing today in our communities. On the musical side Radikal Guru comes with meditative basslines, melodic patterns and arrays of echo chambers and 808's. Backed by two roots style vinyl exclusive remixes made by the Guru himself.
a1. Radikal Guru ft Marina P - Do The Right Thing
b1. Radikal Guru ft Marina P - Do The Right Thing (Roots)
b2. Radikal Guru ft Marina P - Do The Right Thing (Roots Dub)
Release Date: 18th December 2020
Our final release of 2020 will be a 6-track EP from Adam Prescott Music & Tenor Youthman. Out december 18th on vinyl & digital.
a1. Adam Prescott & Tenor Youthman - A Long Road
a2. Adam Prescott & Tenor Youthman - Put Down The Gun
a3. Adam Prescott & Tenor Youthman - Be Like Water
b1. Adam Prescott - A Long Dub
b2. Adam Prescott - Put Down The Dub
b3. Adam Prescott - Dub Like Water
Release Date: 29th January 2021
Rocksteady cover of the undoubtable Impressions' anthem. Out of many rocksteady tunes this one stands out with its splendid arrange and engineering genius. Backed with The Uniques legendary "Never Let Me Go".
a1. The Uniques - Gypsy Woman
b1. The Uniques - Never Let Me Go
Release Date: 29th January 2021
Highly sought after double A-sided female rocksteady vocals. Dawn Penn cut of The Uniques - Let Me Go Girl. On flip side is another popular female vocal tune by Diane Lawrence that was also covered by Norma Frazer for Studio One
a1. Dawn Penn - I'll Let You Go
b1. Diane Lawrence - Hound Dog
Repress Release Date: 26th February 2021
After over five years since we've released the first chapter, we are nearly ready to drop "Steppin' Forward" 2, which will be our final release of 2019. This time the compilation includes 16 previously unreleased tracks from 27 artists.
a1. Baodub ft. Jahvorem - Heavy
a2. D-Operation Drop - Lockdown
b1. Dubbing Sun & Blue Hill ft. Kali Green - Filtering Lies
b2. Halcyonic & G Roots Meets Digid ft. Vale - Enchanted Dub
b3. JahYu - Empowerment
c1. Lapo - Legalize VIP
c2. iSt3p - Steamroller
d1. Blind Prophet - Righteous Stepper
d2. WuduB!? & Irieginal Nutty Tree ft. Ras Tinny - Give Thanks
d3. Kandee ft. Pijule - Apu Taita Waira
e1. Professor Skank ft. Danman - Jah
e2. Adam Prescott - Outernational Dub
e3. 6blocc ft. General Jah Mikey - Too Rude
f1. Teffa - Coca
f2. Tetrad - Kiwi Dreams
f3. Frenk Dublin - Statement