Release Date: 24th June 2022
Just like Global Beats’ first installment of their Reggae, Roots & Culture series, Vol. 2 is a showcase album with each vocal track followed by matching dubs, some of which are exclusive to this collection.
All were produced by UK reggae duo Mafia & Fluxy - two brothers who’ve often been compared to Sly & Robbie, and have played on countless Jamaican and European hits over the years. Such high praise for this ace rhythm section is well deserved, as anyone listening to this album can tell you.
Each of these essential tracks has been chosen with DJs in mind, and are guaranteed to excite roots crowds, who’ll thrill to hear top drawer artists revisit some of their classic hits over powerful rhythms that follow the original blueprint, yet sound fresh and new. Mafia & Fluxy’s musical gifts stem from the love and respect they have for reggae music’s proud heritage, and that’s why the legends assembled here - most of whom they also backed on stage - were always happy to work with them and Gregory Isaacs, the Cool Ruler, in particular.
Johnny Osbourne’s Truth And Rights and this dubplate mix of Horace Andy’s Skylarking were initially hits for Studio One, whilst it was early Mafia & Fluxy mentor Bunny Lee who first took Barry Brown, Linval Thompson and Johnny Clarke into the studio for their tracks. The latter’s None Shall Escape The Judgment is accompanied here by a previously unreleased horns mix; Dennis Brown’s Want More is a rare steppers’ version and Max Romeo’s Reverend isn’t the album cut, but another unmissable dubplate mix, making Reggae, Roots & Culture Vol. 2 an indispensable addition to any selector’s record box.
1. Johnny Osbourne - Truth & Rights
2. Dub Of Rights
3. Gregory Isaacs - Wah Dee
4. Wah Dub
5. Dennis Brown - Want More (Steppas Mix)
6. Want More Dub Steppas Mix)
7. Johnny Clarke - None Shall Escape The Judgement
8. Dub Shall Escape (Horns Mix)
9. Barry Brown - Step It Up
10. Dub It Up
11. Max Romeo - Reverend (Dubplate Mix)
12. Reverend Dub (Dubplate Mix)
13. Linval Thompson - Jah Is The Conqueror
14. Dub The Conqueror
15. Horace Andy - Skylarking (Dubplate Mix)
16.Skylarking Dub (Dubplate Mix)
Release Date: 8th April 2022
The tracks on this latest Global Beats’ showcase album, produced by Mafia & Fluxy, have been chosen for their relevance and enduring ability to liven up any roots session. They’re timeless, but then we’re talking about profound message songs; vocal performances steeped in authenticity, and deep, heavy rhythms that effortlessly blur any distinctions between reggae’s old and new schools. The full force of such regal backdrops can be heard at its best in the dub mixes that accompany each track, making this album even more irresistible to selectors and serious collectors alike.
In terms of character, lifestyle and demeanour, there was a world of difference between these two Jamaican reggae legends. Gregory Isaacs’s arsenal of tender love songs, coupled with impeccable dress sense, earned him a fervent female following but there was darker side to the Cool Ruler’s talents, as featured here. Down The Line is about police harassment and Wah Dee a convict’s lament, whilst Motherless Children, which he first voiced for Sly & Robbie, is a stark and chilling account of the inequality that continues to divide us.
Max Romeo is strictly low-key by comparison but he has the same gift, and is no less outspoken when it comes to speaking truth to power. He’s a graduate of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark whose breakthrough hit was a bawdy ditty banned by the BBC, and nothing at all like the insightful roots songs and social commentaries that later came to define him. He’s advocating repatriation to Africa on The More The Merrier and No Peace, whilst Reverend is a scathing attack on organised religion, and voiced over another of Mafia & Fluxy’s thunderous rhythms.
1. Gregory Isaacs – Down The Line
2. Dub Down The Line
3. Gregory Isaacs – Motherless Children
4. Motherless Dub
5. Gregory Isaacs – Wah Dee
6. Wah Dub
1. Max Romeo – Reverant
2. Reverant Dub
3. Max Romeo – More The Merrier
4. Dub The Merrier
5. Max Romeo – No Peace
6. No Peace Dub
Release Date: 30th April 2021
If some of these titles look familiar, it’s because they’re among the most majestic roots and culture songs ever recorded, and by singers whose credentials are beyond question. All tracks feature the original artists and even the actual seventies’ vocal in some cases, but the rhythms have been recreated with today’s sound-systems in mind and are heard at their very best when roaring out of giant speaker boxes, greeted by a forest of raised hands and with a deejay at the mic.
Producers Mafia & Fluxy include reggae legends Bunny “Striker” Lee and Fat Man among their mentors, and their mastery both in the studio and on stage is unrivalled outside of Jamaica. The way these two brothers play dub will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up whilst the messages in songs like Every Tongue Shall Tell, Declaration Of Rights, No Peace and Fittest Of The Fittest are relevant as ever but then the music on this album isn’t dated, and is reggae, roots and culture for the ages.
*AUDIO TO FOLLOW*
a1. Horace Andy – Every Tongue Shall Tell
a2. Horace Andy – Every Tongue Shall Tell DUB
a3. Linval Thompson – Long, Long Dreadlocks
a4. Linval Thompson – Long, Long Dreadlocks DUB
b1. Johnny Clarke – Blood Dunza
b2. Johnny Clarke – Blood Dunza DUB
b3. Barry Brown – Fittest of The Fittest
b4. Barry Brown – Fittest of The Fittest DUB
c1. Johnny Clarke – Declaration of Rights (Steppas Remix)
c2. Johnny Clarke – Declaration of Rights (Steppas Remix) DUB
c3. Gregory Isaaccs – Motherless Children (Dubplate Mix)
c4. Gregory Isaaccs – Motherless Children (Dubplate Mix) DUB
d1. Max Romeo – No Peace (Steppas Remix)
d2. Max Romeo – No Peace (Steppas Remix) DUB
d3. Litte Roy – Falling Angels (Dubplate Mix)
d4. Litte Roy – Falling Angels (Dubplate Mix) DUB