sábado, 1 de maio de 2010

RANKING JOE - Zion High (With Black Uhuru & Dennis Brown)

Blood and Fire return to mash up the dance one more time with a subterranean collection of drum and bass selections, and a fine selection it is.
The album kicks off with the blistering echo chamber madness of "Zion High" with its pounding two note bass line, Zulu warrior style. This one comes lean and malevolent, like a lion stalking through the jungle undergrowth. Snare cracks duel with sparkling hi hat spirals, driving the rhythm forward relentlessly. Ranking Joe offers up his heartfelt spiritual supplication. Dennis Brown follows up with a soulful vocal version made complete by a beautiful horns refrain.
Kevin Metcalfe's mastering is immaculate: all his years on those ONU and Greensleeves records have shown us what a master of his craft he truly is. The bass sound is deeply resonant, pure and rough! Ghetto style.
"Fire" takes over next, with a soaring vocal section from Dennis Brown. This is deeply meditative and focussed music: no wonder that Dennis Brown was so highly revered as a roots artist of true excellence in the 70's. Snares thunder and explode in what sounds like a hail storm as Ranking Joe takes control.
Next up from the great Dennis Brown is the beautiful "Love Jah" with its impassioned lyric about the transience of man's physical form, and the emptiness of human arrogance. Stoicism and meditative vibes, pure and clean, the spiritual life as a vehicle to overcome life's struggles. The track is made all the more transcendent by a brief yet compelling jazz horns refrain: John Coltrane meets Shaka warrior style! "Love Jah if you want to get over" as the man Dennis Brown tells us---Powerful stuff.
Other highlights of this album are the utterly hypnotic anthem, "Rent Man" echoing a sentiment all poor men will understand: the sufferation of having no home to call one's own and being forced to pay all one's hard earned wages to a parasitic landlord.
To anyone who followed Shaka in the early 80's, Dennis Brown's "Slave Driver" will have special memories. "Every time I hear the crack of the whip my blood runs cold!" Dennis Brown chants with feeling, as Chinna echoes the vibes with an ethereal and understated guitar line. "I remember on that slave ship where they brutalised my very soul!" Dennis Emmanuel chants on, as the backing vocalists remind, exhort and threaten, "Catch a fiya!"
Absolutely unmissable fever pitch music: deep, pounding, surreal and spiritual echoes.
Blood and Fire return in style.(Fonte: http://www.reggaenews.co.uk/cd_reviews/archive.asp?type=reissues)
Reviewed by Greg Whitfield
Produced by: Dennis Brown
Mixed by: King Tubby
Recorded at: King Tubbys en 1980
01 - Zion High       
02 - Home Sweet Home Version (Feat. Dennis Brown)    
03 - Fire    
04 - Bubbling Fountain (Feat. Dennis Brown)    
05 - Love Jah    
06 - Round The World    
07 - Rent Man (Feat. Black Uhuru)    
08 - Rent Man Style    
09 - Carpenter    
10 - Wood For My Fire (Feat. Black Uhuru)    
11 - Wood For My Fire    
12 - A Cup Of Tea (Feat. Dennis Brown)    
13 - A Fish For You    
14 - Slave Driver (Feat. Dennis Brown)    
15 - Slave Driver
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