Drum Sound: More Gems from Channel One Dub Room -- 1974 to 1980

Drum Sound: More Gems from Channel One Dub Room -- 1974 to 1980

by The Revolutionaries


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Drum Sound: More Gems from Channel One Dub Room -- 1974 to 1980

The subtitle for this compilation, More Gems from the Channel One Dub Room -- 1974 to 1980, really tells the story here. This is round four of the Pressure Sounds rarities romp through the vaults of the Channel One studio and the second devoted to the Revolutionaries, the floating studio group so crucial to dub development and really establishing Jamaican music on the '70s international scene. Confirmed Channel One/Revolutionaries dub heads will not be disappointed, and newcomers to the classic dub mentality will find a first-rate representative introduction to the label on Drum Sound. The chief difference between this batch of Revolutionaries tracks and the earlier Channel One: Maxfield Avenue Breakdown is that the latter used more fully developed vocal parts than the introductory snippets that dominate here. Familiar voices and riddims do pop up -- "Rootes Dub" works off Junior Byles' "Fade Away" and Mighty Diamonds tracks form the foundation for "Hotter Fire Version" and "Back Weh Version," while "Ride on Marcus Version" could have been cloned from one. That aside, there are simply more prime examples of the Channel One method of channeling one element at a time, be it the massive echo big snare shot ("War Version"), isolated snapshot of clattering percussion ("Kunta Kinte Version One"), or reverbed rhythm guitar ("Girl a Love You Version"). Variety is provided by nods to dub's B-side instrumental roots ("Thinking Version," "Swell Headed," the largely bass and drums "Tivoli Skank") and pieces driven by horn section riffing ("Dunkirk," "Catonine Version," "Plantation Heights Version"). "Jah Creation Version" is very skeletal, making the occasional eruption of triumphal horns that much more effective; "Ride on Marcus Version" rides a fuller, nonstop bassline with percussion playing around it and the occasional melody instrument drop-in; and "Girl a Love You Version" more actively engages in undermining song structure with the dubwise arsenal of studio techniques. "Kunta Kinte Version One" apparently is a genuine rarity, a sound system special dub plate that was never officially released before on any vinyl format (and hence CD) until now. It is one of the more intricate pieces here, seasoned by a lonesome Morricone-flavored flute (or synthesizer flute, the liner notes say), and one example of the dub transition to a genuinely creative form in its own right. And "A Who Say Version Two" is just incredibly catchy, with a skittering keyboard line alternating with Althea & Donna's vocal chant of "A who say" (big sound system audience participation grabber, that one, apparently) and Herman Marquis' solo alto saxophone adding another distinctly offbeat flavor to the mix. The liner notes (no more light purple text on black background, please) are thorough on the song release history details and very informative in detailing the Hookim clan's focus on getting the highest tech equipment (mikes, mixing board, etc.) of the day for their studio. Anecdotes like Sly Dunbar relating how he would spend a full day with engineer Ernest Hookim getting the right drum sound reveal a lot about Channel One's inner workings and are also antidotes to any notions that dub sound science is exclusively Lee Perry madcap mania or King Tubby-inspired innovation. Well, maybe not so much antidotes as acknowledgements that all kinds of different approaches to dub sound science, including more orthodox high-tech gear, played their parts when Jamaican musicians, engineers, and producers began turning the world of recorded sound around during the '70s.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/17/2007
Label: Pressure Sounds
UPC: 0689492065829
catalogNumber: 55

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Revolutionaries   Primary Artist
Ansel Collins   Keyboards
Radcliffe Bryan   Guitar
Tony Chin   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Carlton "Santa" Davis   Drums
Santa Davis   Drums
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Bernard Touter Harvey   Keyboards
Ossie Hibbert   Keyboards
Herman Marquis   Alto Saxophone
Tommy McCook   Tenor Saxophone
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass,Bass Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Noel "Scully" Simms   Percussion
Earl "Chinna" Smith   Guitar
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Vincent Don D Junior Gordon   Trombone
Bertram "Ranchie" McLean   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ansel 'Pinkie' Collins   Keyboards
Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan   Guitar
Lowell "Sly" Dunbar   Drums

Technical Credits

Benny Bailey   Artwork
Barnabas   Engineer
Roy Cousins   Author
Sly Dunbar   Author
Ernest Hoo Kim   Engineer
Harry Hawke   Liner Notes
Joseph "Jo Jo" Hookim   Producer,Author,Audio Production

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