Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: "Reggae Dynamite, Volume 2" EP w/Melbourne Douglas, The Regulators, and King Deadly

A collage of pictures features male and female anti-racist skinheads, as well as Black, Jamaican sound system operators and deejays.
Original Gravity
7" vinyl picture sleeve EP/digital

(Review by Steve Shafer)

Anyone looking to satisfy a craving for late '60s/early '70s skinhead reggae sounds--Symarip/Pyramids, Harry J Allstars, Dave and Ansel Collins, The Upsetters, and countless others--need look no further than Original Gravity's brilliant Reggae Dynamite, Volume 2. Written, performed, and produced by Neil Anderson plus an ace collective of musicians and singers, this EP sports two fantastic vocal cuts by JA-based Melbourne Douglas, as well as killer instrumentals by The Regulators and King Deadly. At the start of "Rudy Skankin' on the Moon" (shades of "Moon Hop"/"Moonstomp" in theme and sound), Douglas exclaims, "Kingston, we have a problem!" and recounts the hilarious tale of a rude boy accidentally left behind after a moon landing who just has to "keep on moon stompin'' until the next scheduled moon shot can collect him (in three years!). As its title suggests, Douglas' "Rude Boy Don't Fight Tonight" is a mid-tempo, anti-violence plea "to be cool when you go downtown tonight" and features soothing hammond and trombone solos. The Regulators "Caymanas Park Rocket" (Caymanas Park is a racetrack in Portmore, JA, just outside of Kingston) is a spirited instrumental keyboard tribute to a (hopefully) speedy steed, while King Deadly's extraordinary "Joshua A Mek Riddim Run" could be a long-lost Sound Dimension cut--it's one of the best new instrumentals in this vein that I've heard in recent memory. 

(Keep close tabs on the Original Gravity label--they're releasing all sorts of great new ska, soul, funk, and R&B singles as of late. Ska fans should definitely check out Prince Alphonso & The Fever's "Tune Up Ska" single, as well as the other sides available from The Regulators!)

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