NINEY THE OBSERVER (b. 1944 - )
MICROPHONE ATTACK - 1974-78
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1974-1978 - Blood and Fire - studio - discs:1
Considering the nature of this Blood & Fire release, a collection of tracks from various artists, it should have been more appropriate to file it under the "Various / Strictly Compilations" page. But I wanted to respect the label choice that titled it "Niney The Observer", so here we are. It presents eighteen tracks. To be more precise we have: one from U-Roy; four from Big Youth; one from Dillinger; nine from I-Roy (most of the material cut for Niney between 1976 - 1977); one from Leroy Smart and I-Roy; one from Ranking Trevor; and finally one from Dillinger and Trinity. What is in common whithin this compilation is the producer: Winston "Niney" Holness. Born in 1944, he practiced in the record business working for producers Bunny Lee, Mrs. E. Barnett, Clement Dodd and Joe Gibbs in 1970. In the same year he started his own label called Observer. He worked extensively with the late Dennis Brown, which can be heared on the background of most of the tracks presented here. Here follows the list of the tracks with the rhythm on which they are based on. U Roy: "Train From The West" from Dennis Brown's "Westbound Train"; Big Youth: "Ride On / Wild Goose Chase" from Dennis Brown's "Westbound Train"; Big Youth: "Whole Lot A Fire" from Niney's "Blood And Fire"; Big Youth: "Four Sevens" from the Mighty Diamonds "Right Time"; Big Youth: "Dead 19 Gone A Jail" from Dennis Brown's "My Time" over Bob Andy; Dillinger: "Flat Foot Hustling" from Dennis Brown's "Have No Fear"; I Roy: "Jah Come Here" from Dennis Brown's "Here I Come"; I Roy: "Fresh And Clean" from Dennis Brown's "Take A Trip" over the Drifters "On Broadway"; I Roy: "Step On The Dragon" from Dennis Brown's "Wolf And Leopard"; I Roy: "Sister Maggie Breast" again from Dennis Brown's "Wolf And Leopard"; I Roy: "Native Land" from Junior Byles "Weeping"; I Roy: "Water Rate" again from Junior Byles "Weeping"; I Roy: "Point Blank Observor Style" from the Heptones "Get In The Groove"; I Roy: "Camp Road Skanking" again from the Heptones "Get In The Groove"; I Roy : "Roots Man / Observor / Mix Version" from unidentified rhythm; Leroy Smart & I Roy: "Jah Is My Light / Wicked Eat Dirt" from the Abyssinians "Satta Massagana"; Ranking Trevor: "Whip Them Jah" from Augustus Pablo "555 Crown Street"; and finally Dillinger & Trinity: "So Long Rastafari" from Dennis Brown's "So Long". This collection is a tribute to Niney's contribution to the dancehall scene with the above mentioned tosters delivering some tough vibes over some classic rhythms. All these tracks were recorded between 1973 and 1977 at Randy's Studio 17 and Channel One Studio, both of course, in Kingston , Jamaica. Strong toasters singles. Great production efforts from The Observer. A very good compilation.
SLEDGEHAMMER - DUB IN THE STREETS OF JAMAICA
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1977 - Motion Records - studio - discs:1
"Sledgehammer - Dub In The Streets Of Jamaica" is basecally the Dub counterpart to Dennis Brown's "Deep Down With Dennis Brown". This album was released in 1976, with its content recorded between late 1974, early 1975 and recorded at Randy's (with Errol Thompson as engineer), voiced at Tubby's. A couple of tracks were cut at Chalk Farm (London). The Dub set was instead mixed by King Tubby at his premises. This set somehow follows Niney's previous Dub effort called "Dubbing With The Observer". "Sledgehammer" was played by The Soul Syndicate. Here follows the list of the tracks with their originals: "Dub Long Rastafari" (So Long Rastafari), "Travelling Version" (Travelling Man), "You're No Dub Baby" (You're No Good), "Burning Dub" (Voice Of My Father), "Kingsgate Version" (Open The Gate), "Dub Now" (Go Now), "God Bless My Dub" (God Bless I Soul), "Everyones Dubbing" (Why Must I) (taken from The Heptones), "Rich And Poor Dub" (Why Seek More) and "Tribulation Version" (Tribulation). This re-release offers four bonus tracks: "Head Line", "New Style", "Dub 51" and "Tenement Yard Version". The first track is a Dub version of Big Youth's "6 Dead 19 Gone A Jail", based on Dennis Brown's "My Time". The second reprises a single called "Give An Helping Hand". The third Dubs "Rock With Me Baby". The final bonus is a reprise by the Discipes of "Tenement Yard". The original set presents some quite heavy, with no vocals at all but only some deep treatment by the King. The bonus are great, further expanding the orignals. I wouldn't say unmissable, but indeed it presents a couple of interesting and heavy tracks.