Even hardcore reggae aficionados tend to nod with only faint recognition when producer and label owner George Phang's name is mentioned. Early in his career he forged an alliance with the legendary bass-drums duo of Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar, and in the early '80s teamed up with them (and others, including the up-and-coming duo Steely & Clevie) to re-create some of the classic roots reggae rhythms of the 1970s in the then-emerging dancehall style, as well as cooking up some new beats of his own. This two-disc set is the first in a four-volume, eight-disc series that documents his work during this period fairly exhaustively. It's organized with reggae scholars in mind: the 40 tracks are grouped by rhythm, each one given several different voicings by the likes of Half Pint, Charlie Chaplin, Frankie Paul, and Barrington Levy. The range of singers is actually not very wide -- the 160 or so tracks that are spread out over these four volumes are performed by a core of ten or 11 DJs and singers, with a handful of others thrown in at the margins. Highlights on this volume include four brilliant takes on the "African Beat/Mission Impossible" rhythm by Johnny Osbourne, Frankie Paul, Peter Metro, and Freddie McGregor; an excellent DJ turn by Josey Wales on an updated version of the classic "Death in the Arena" rhythm; and a moment when Charlie Chaplin redeems a singularly anemic Little John performance with his DJ cut on "Answer." This volume gets a slightly lower grade than the others due to the presence of a couple of subpar rhythms and a series of really poor performances by Little John, who was not on his game during these sessions. But there's still plenty to love on this collection, and it's recommended overall.