on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 18 Mrz


von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment


For my time being in Domburg, in a holiday resort nicely filled with families, lovers and other strangers (in fact a heavy contrast to your idea of exotic far away places), I booked one of these tiny houses on the beach. Meeting two friends, well, good aquaintancies, reading a new Harlan Coben novel, and listening to a great reggae reissue from Michael Ras and Negus, makes up for a quite nice way to spend two days and three nights – with this awesome look at the blue sea. The  hours were crammed full with action-free spaces, apart from Harlan’s great novel „Don‘t Let Go“ (he‘s no Marcel Proust by any means, but always looking for a long and unreliable past). At nighttime, my eyes met an invisible horizon, calmed down, stretched out – closing time for the hunting grounds. Oh, the drums, outside of Kingston, Jamaica, 1967!


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1 Comment

  1. Jo-Anne Greene:

    Of all the many albums heralding the arrival of roots, and driving it to ascendency in the Jamaican and international reggae market, few were as uncompromising in vision as Ras Michael’s Dadawah — Peace & Love.

    The singing drummer had led aggregations of devout Rastafarian musicians for nearly a decade, releasing grounation flavored, nyahbinghi driven records on his own Zion Disc label. Dadawa now brought Ras Michael together with veteran studio hands — bassist Lloyd Parks, drummer Paul Williams, guitarist Willie Lindo, and pianist/organist Lloyd Charmers, who trebled as producer.

    The resulting album was a work of faith, but equally it was a leap of faith for the singles orientated Trojan label, whose full-length records had previously tended towards hits round-ups. Dadawa, in contrast, spread a mere four tracks across two sides of vinyl, and while certainly accessible to a wider audience, it was never going to appeal to pop fans. Although not a concept album in the strict sense of the term, it thematically evokes the Biblical final days. „Run Come Rally“ calls together the world’s righteous in preparation for the upcoming battle with evil.

    Having gathered together the brethren from „Seventy Two Nations,“ all bow before Jah in a celebration of His greatness, then give voice to their desire to return to „Zion Land.“ The set concludes with „Know How You Stand“’s call for freedom, and with it the ability to fulfill Jah’s plan.

    The extraordinary power of the set’s themes is echoed by the equally phenomenal backings, all conjuring up the most haunting of atmospheres. While the hand drums give the album a grounation feel, Parks and Williams simultaneously ground the numbers deep in roots.

    Intriguingly, though, there’s no reggae guitar, just Lindo’s sublime riffs and licks that flick into the rock realm, while constantly sliding back into blues. Charmers‘ piano and organ occasionally take over the reggae guitar role, but mostly his keys intertwine around Lindo’s leads, accentuating melodies, scattering elegant flourishes here and there, and subtly building up the atmospheres.

    Even during the most elongated tracks, there’s no sense of repetition or self-indulgent meanderings, every note and bar furthers the musical and thematic journey. Charmers‘ production is superb, the musicians inspired, and Ras Michael’s power undeniable. An astounding album that’s lost none of its potency over the years.

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