EEK - A - MOUSE (b. 1957 - )
* * * * /1984 - Shanachie - studio - discs:1
Ripton Hilton (1957) started his career at the end of the 70's under the producer and Sound System operator Henry "Junjo" Lawes. Around 1979 Lawes basecally launched a new style: Dancehall. He was not the only one that was exploring new musical territories, but what he reached was in no one's map. "Mouseketeer" is the last set Eek-A-Mouse recorderd with Junjo. This is an incredible mix of singing and dj attitude conceived at the sunset of the original Dancehall era, and just before the digital revolution. Add to this the unique voice of Eek-A-Mouse and what he was able to do with it. Listen, for example, to "Anarexol" as the voice seems "sequenced" by some electronic device. None of this: this is pure vocal skills that Ripton was able to bring to the edge. Here the whole mood is straight Dancehall with deep and dark Roots atmospheres in mind, all filled with both reality lyrics and classic utterances. "Queen Elisabeth" and "Star, Daily News or Gleaner" are actually some sort of classics of the period. The album was recorded and mixed at Channel One with the Roots Radics backing Eek-A-Mouse. As I listened for the first time to this set I was caught off-guard and discovered some beautiful hard deep Dancehall Music. The cover is one the most puzzling in the history of Reggae. Who conceived it is a genius. This is a first class hard edge Dancehall set!
* * *1981 - Shanachie - studio - discs: 1
The innovative approach of the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes is clearly exposed in this set from Ripton Hilton, that represent the start of a musical collaboration between the two. With the Roots Radics to provide a quite hard Dancehall base for the unique mixture of singing, deejay style and utterances from Eek A Mouse, this album set a mood strarting from its title track "Wa Do Dem", a deep tune that became immediately a classic in the Dancehall era. The new musical sensibility of Lawes is perfectly captured by that of Scientist, Prince Jammy and Barnabas at the mixing desk, with the result of delivering something new and sometimes powerful as with "Ganja Smuggling" and "Slowly But Surely". The songs in the set are sometimes a little bit repetitive and they do not reach the high peaks of "Mousekeeter" (1984). In any case this is a set that represents the new Dancehall era. The set was recorded at Channel One and at King Tubby's.