October 31, 2010
A good friend of the family, Richard Robinson, created this map linking musical genres together and we thought we’d share. He’s a quality designer and there is a fair chance the man behind many of the sleeves currently sitting in your record collection if you own anything on Tirk or Nuphonic. Make a lovely wallpaper for your desktop if you need a new one.
Check Richard’s website to view more of his work.
October 30, 2010
We got in touch with Wally Badarou to find out how his contribution to the classic Gregory Isaacs ‘Night Nurse’ album came about. Here’s what he said.
What do you remember about the Night Nurse sessions?
Everything, because my involvement was brief and very simple: February 22nd 1982, I flew from Paris to Nassau, no specific project in mind. The very night I arrived, I left my suitcases still packed in my flat and went down the studio just to say hello before crashing back in my bed, so jetlagged I was. As I sneaked into Studio A, there was Godwin Loggie, whom I’ve known from the days of Countryman soundtrack recording (he had done Toots “Bam Bam” magnificent version for it), now sitting at the desk mixing some great music. “Hey Wally ! Glad you came by ! Here is the Prophet ready for you !”. The synthesizer was up and ready indeed, God knows who for, prior to my showing up. I had never heard of Gregory Isaacs before, and what came out of the speakers was irresistible already. So despite my near 20 hour trip exhaustion, I agreed to have a go at a couple songs. Less than a couple of hours later, I had overdubbed on the whole of the album, somehow reinvigorated by the “less than two takes or leave it” performance, hypercritical of what I did (as usual), and never realizing this unplanned last minute session would land me to be part of one of reggae’s indisputable classics.
That album is one of the very few I contributed to, that I can listen to from start to finish, skipping no song in the process, with absolutely no favourite in mind: from “Night Nurse” to “Sad To Know That You’re Leaving”, each of the songs bears special momentum, groove, grace and spirituality within.
I met Gregory only once, a few months later, still at Compass Point Studios. We just ran into each other one day, with a “Hi Prophet!” and a “Hi Gregory!” informal exchange, mutually respectful, yet quite brief since, as far as I can recall, each of us was busy doing something. So I never got to know the man really, nor any of the brilliant musicians who performed on that album: I did not attend the main sessions. My contribution was a during-mixing totally unplanned injection, with just Godwin, some assistant and myself in the studio.
October 28, 2010
It’s Claremont central today. Here’s another new one from the Claremont gang hitting the shops tomorrow. Sounding good this side.
The Popes: Bastards (Mudd’s Moule Frite Mix) (SAMPLE)
The Popes: Bastards (Idjut Boys Version) (SAMPLE)
October 28, 2010
Liking the look of these bags to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Claremont 56. Limited to a run of 50. You can get one here.
October 28, 2010
Andy M reports direct from Jamaica on the passing of Gregory Isaacs – The Cool Ruler.
I feared the worst when I woke up, turned on the radio and instead of the usual payola stuff it was wall-to-wall Gregory. I changed station and there he was again. His death is front page news here and has hit hard. He was a flawed character but he was honest about it and loved all the more as a result. As one caller to Irie FM, the nation’s favourite, put it “Last one, two years, Alton Ellis gone, Joe Gibbs gone, Sugar, now Gregory. We cyaan lose any more icons til the next generation step up.”
I was lucky enough to see Gregory live a few times. Two occasions stand out. The first time was at a council-sponsored event in the middle of a housing estate in Camberwell in about 1995. It was chucking it down with rain, falling from grey skies onto grey concrete. But when Gregory stepped on stage in a three piece powder blue suit and hat, he lit the place up. From being a miserable wash-out of an event, it turned into a magical moment. The contrast and union between the immaculate Cool Ruler on stage and the motley group of dreads, scallies, students, pensioners and kids in the crowd – skanking under our umbrellas, clutching our cans of Stella – will live long in the memory.
The most recent time was in July this year (see photo above) at what turned out to be his last show in Jamaica (his appearance at the Big Chill was apparently his last ever). I knew he was in bad shape by this point as a mate had seen him being carried off a flight into a wheelchair at Kingston airport a few weeks before. But the prospect of a double-bill of him and the Mighty Diamonds at Studio 38 wasn’t to be missed. The trademark suit, fedora and swagger were still there and he raced through the hits in front of an adoring audience. He wasn’t so pristine anymore, the jacket came off after one song, then the top button on his shirt was undone, half his shirt came out next, then the tie was off and finally the shirt open revealing a natty string vest. The drugs had taken a toll on his voice too but he still delivered an energetic and entertaining, if brief show. As he said before coming back for an encore, “dem still want more”.
TRACKS FROM ANDY’S HI FI
Gregory Isaacs – Cool Down The Pace 10” mix
This is one of my favourite Gregory tracks aided and abetted by the Roots Radics with Wally Badarou. Ride on Cool Ruler.
Buy it on iTunes here.
October 27, 2010
Loving the sound of this one already…
Here’s a taster…
You can pre-order the CD’s at the LN-CC store (fine work chaps) here. They’ll be shipping early November.
October 26, 2010
I try not to use Test Pressing to go on about our Apiento & Co. releases but we have finally sorted our Soundcloud page for Apiento & Co. so I thought I’d better mention it. There’s lots of free edits to download, a version of Steve Mason’s ‘Boy’s Outside’ and more.
If you are on Soundcloud click on us here and say hello.