* * * *mid 1970s - Pressure Sounds - studio - discs:1
"Aquarius Rock" is a collection of twentyfour tracks by different artists produced by Herman Chin Loy in the mid 70's. As happens with such collections, the Yardie-Reggae policy is that of fileing the release under the producer's name. So here we are trying to tell the story of how "Augustus Pablo" started a new sound with and by Augustus Pablo. Herman Chin Loy was born in 1948 in the Trelawny Parish. Once in Kingston in the early 60's he and his friend Neville Foo-Loy opened a record shop called "One Stop". In 1966 Derrick Harriott bought the shop and Herman Chin Loy moved to Half Way Tree area. In the meantime Herman started deejaying at the Lotus and Spring Wheel discotheques, and live for The Inner Circle and Now Generation bands. He also selled records at K.G.'s Record Shop. To be independent he opened his first Aquarius Record Shop next to the Rainbow in Half Way Tree. In 1969 Herman also started to produce some singles with Lloyd Chambers' "Shanghai" and "African Zulu" among the others. Around this time Herman Chin Loy also released some instrumentals under the name "Augustus Pablo". Legend has that, as stated by Horace Swaby, Herman took inspiration for this pseudonym reading a Mexican magazine. Mr. Swaby had already cut some instrumentals for "Coxsone" Dodd but these tracks were never released. In 1971 Swaby was inside of Herman's Aquarius Record Shop with his melodica and was asked to play something. As a result Chin Loy booked Randy's Studio immediately. They cut a track called "Iggy Iggy", a version of The Heptones' "Why Did You Leave". Swaby melodica, regarded as a mere child's toy, brought something never heared before. Mr. Horace Swaby became Augustus Pablo. In the following years Herman Chin Loy released quite edgy tracks with different artists, a quite few of them are collected here. In 1973 Herman Chin-Loy's "Aquarius Dub", (along with Prince Buster's "The Message", Clive Chin's "Java Java Java Java", Joe Gibbs' "Dub Serial" and Lee "Scratch" Perry' "Upsetters 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle") changed the Jamaican musical history radically. That sound was called Dub! An example of this innovative sound is a track taken from that set: the last song of this compilation. The track is "I Man". Obscure and misterious as all Dub should be, that track clearly demonstartes where Herman was moving with instrumentals. The present collection spreads as follows: "Aquarius Rock" (Augustus Pablo & Herman Chin Loy), "Darkest Night" (James Eastwood), "The Red Sea" (Augustus Pablo), "Alton's Official Daughter (Version 1)" (Alton Ellis), "Aquarius Dub" (Herman Chin Loy), "Alton's Official Daughter (Version 2)" (Alton Ellis), "Funky Aquarius" (The Aquarians), "Funky Strip" (Charlie Boy), "Iggy Iggy" (Augustus Pablo & Herman Chin Loy), "Road Runner" (Sounds Unlimited), "Pick Up The Pieces" (Archie McKay), "Song Of The East" (Augustus Pablo), "Middle East Skank" (Sounds Unlimited), "No More War" (Beres Hammond), "No More Version" (Herman Chin Loy), "Snowball And Pudding" (Augustus Pablo), "East Of The River Nile" (Augustus Pablo), "Soul Vibration" (The Teacher), "River Nile Version" (Herman Chin Loy), "Return Of Sabata" (Dennis Alcapone), "Sabata" (Herman Chin Loy), "Song My Mother Used To Sing" (Dennis Brown), "Groove With It" (Leroy Parker) and "I Man" (Herman Chin Loy). Versions, Dubs, vocal tracks and more make "Aquarius Rock" a must to appreciate the importance of Herman Chin Loy's efforts to develop and spread a unique musical vision on his own. Whatever was managed by Herman Chin Loy (Dubs, vocal tracks or instrumentals) is often extreme, edgy and innovative. Therefore these recordings deserve the status for being remembered as some highly important cuts that helped to changed the Jamaican music scene of the 70's. This is very good start to understand Herman Chin Loy's vision.