Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Deliver Me From My Enemies
Genres: World Music, Pop
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PERFECT ANTIDOTE TO 2007 REGGAE
Red Eyes | 01/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Reggae in 2007 is increasingly becoming a pastiche, a dull travesty.
As a genre, reggae was always characterised by its willingness to tear up the plans, to destroy accepted conventions, with the intention of beating out new paths and rebel stances. This was particularly true of dub, a form so splintered and subtracted that it negated all cliché born out of the 12 bar blues format that had totally dominated and ossified music until the late 70's.
However -- in 2007, we have strictly clichéd, formulaic euro dub, which focuses on obsession with "weight", volume, cod and insincere mystical lyrics and dumb steppers fixations. Just like heavy metal really, in many respects. It's either that -- or JA one drops with a weak brittle snare sound, tired, cynically insincere reruns of old arrangements and in many cases, blatantly fake righteous lyrics.
That's why it's such a pleasure that BAF have at last re-issued this gem. For an album that has been as influential as this one, it is surprising we have had to wait this long for a definitive re-issue. And this one IS the definitive copy, replete with four rare 12" discomix rare cuts, and two dub plates, mixed by Jammy's.
The mastering is thunderous, clean and heavy -- reggae purists justifiably complain about thin sounds on CD -- and they are right to do so. Typically, there is something bland, sanitised in CD production values. But this mastering comes close to the warmth and depth of vinyl grooves replete with booming bass grooves and slashing, scything guitar highs. Then there is the sheer diversity of style showcased here -- thank God it isn't all tired, banal steppers -- because who would want more of that in 2007. ( Flogging an exhausted, uninspired dead horse, year in year out...)
"Blood A Go Run" has a sinewy funk bass groove and scouring percussion, with its "Emmanuel" D.Brown style vocal arrangement. "Love In A Zimba" has a country /Delta /Chicago blues fusion guitar groove, and a Blue Note Lou Donaldson style horns arrangement. Think Donaldson's "Pretty Things" album. Earl Chinna seems to take a leaf out of the Lightning Hopkins and Wes Montgomery's music book here. Then there are the church influenced tunes like "And Amlak" and the stunning "Pick The Beam". The album closes with two immaculate and inventive dub plate cuts to "Pick The Beam."
The sleeve notes too, are intriguing to reflect on -- all too often sleeve notes are poorly written and made up of dull second hand news -- but Steve Barrow knows the men he writes about, knows them as long term friends and colleagues -- and this shows in the quality and content of his narrative. Interestingly, the sleeve notes explain that "Deliver Me from My Enemies" was written to ward off the threat of Obeah magic.
Michael Prophet clearly has a good insight into Yabby Yu -- "Yabby Yu inna class by himself . That Ras there is a very strong Ras, and you have to be strong to deal with like Yabby Yu. : head strong, rootically strong, Biblically strong, and physically strong." ( Steve Barrow's sleeve notes, 2007 ).