Saturday, December 24, 2011

Duff Review: Lighta Secret "Elinor All Night Long" b/w "Gaz Dangerous"

Gaz's Rockin' Records
7" vinyl

(Review by Steve Shafer)

This single marks the first release on Gaz's beloved label since the early 2000s (with The Dreamlets' "My Boy Lollipop" in 2003), which is a pretty momentous occasion in my humble opinion. (If you're unfamiliar with Gaz's Rockin' Records, since the mid-1980s, the label has issued essential ska recordings from his stellar band The Trojans, Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Potato 5, The Ska Flames, and The Forest Hillbillies.) While Gaz has been focusing his energies of late in the UK on his terrific book (Gaz's Rockin' Blues: The First 30 Years--read our review here), his sound system at the Notting Hill Festival each year, and his epically long-running night club night--Gaz's Rockin' Blues, of course--it's fantastic to see him return to yet another of his great strengths as a producer and label head with the debut single from the formidable Jamaican singer/toaster Lighta Secret, whom Gaz encountered on a recent trip to JA (read a bit about Lighta Secret's background from Gaz himself here).

Over spare, loping riddims ("Unmetered Taxi" and "Answer") highly reminiscent of those employed by Lone Ranger and Yellowman in the early 80s, Lighta Secret sings and toasts the praises of Gaz, his night club night, DJ Baby Soul (AKA Elinor Fahrman, Gaz's girlfriend/partner), and Natty Bo (of Ska Cubano and another DJ at Gaz's Rockin' Blues) amongst other topics densely packed in to the lyrics on both sides. "Elinor All Night Long" also doubles as a slightly rude reggae record ("Elinor come all night" doesn't just refer to her DJ prowess, I assume). One of the best rhymes appears on "Gaz Dangerous," which is about his deadly supremacy on the decks: "We bring dem/from de dance to the morgue/Six foot six all in the graveyard/all selectors/All him dead like dog/no jump up and talk to Gaz all..."

I've never heard of Lighta Secret before--but here's hoping that Gaz continues to share more tasty musical biscuits like this. It reminds me how much the international ska scene has desperately missed him, his music, and his label.

Welcome back, Gaz--and keep the new releases coming!

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The Lighta Secret single is available from Gaz through eBay--and from Rough Trade, Dub Vendor and Ernie B's Reggae in the US.

1 comment:

expanded ptfe said...

wow so very curious as his album tracks,
so want to look at the cd shop