Here is my contribution to this week’s big news.
45 minutes of prime reggae, rocksteady and dancehall – on varied (but all excellent) cuts of the Answer Riddim.
A one take live mix, with a few exclusive contributions from Hackney’s best female MC.
1 Slim Smith – Never Let Go (Studio One)
2 Lone Ranger – The Answer (Soul Jazz)
Starting out with a foundation selection because building a mix without a foundation is like building a house on sand.
3 Brigadier Jerry – Pain (Roots Tradition)
4 Little John – What is Katty (Roots Tradition)
“Pain” is dedicated to my wrists. “What is Katty” is dedicated to Paul’s wrists.
5 Sister Nancy – Transport Connection (Techniques)
Moving nicely with Sister Nancy while other selectors stand still.
6 Carlton Livingstone – Rub a Dub Session (Roots)
7 Early B – History of Jamaica (Roots)
Carlton’s off to dance the night away while Early B educates certain people who are new to all this and perhaps don’t know the full story beyond tunes and warring.
8 Tippa Irie & The Colonel – Just A Speak (UK Bubblers)
9 Daddy Rusty – No No Way (UK Bubblers)
10 Daddy Sandy – Riddle Bubble (UK Bubblers)
11 Tannoi – Gunshot Salute (UK Bubblers)
Bringing it back to mid 80s London with the cream of Saxon Studio International in full swing. Meanwhile the enigmatic Tannoi has had enough of the macho warring in the dance ‘cos it’s ruined his date.
12 Peter Metro – Police In Jamaica (Jah Life Time)
Peter Metro also did Police Inna England for Jammys. On this tune he ends up in the nick with Nicodemus and is concerned that his sparring partner is cracking under the pressure whilst he remains calm and righteous. No further comment needed!
13 Paul Blake and The Bloodfire Posse – Rub a Dub Solider (Revue)
Paul Blake brings the digital vibe pre-sleng teng. Goes out to the all the 9 to 5 soldiers!
14 Dennis Brown – I Can’t Stand It (Joe Gibbs Music)
15 Junior Vibes – The Man In Me (Joe Gibbs Music)
16 Little U Brown – Locomotion (Joe Gibbs Music)
17 U Mike – Loving Galore (Joe Gibbs Music)
Everyone raves about Junjo in the 80s but Joe Gibbs’ stuff is just as good in my opinion. Proper! Little U Brown may or not be related to U Brown, but he is right about being “Big Inna London”. Surprisingly I haven’t been able to find any tunes about MCs being “big inna Sheffield” but I guess Paul has cornered the market on those with his mix.
18 Earl Sixteen – Batman + Robin (S.C.O.M.)
19 Jah Screechy – Walk & Skank (Blacker Dread / S.C.O.M.)
20 version (S.C.O.M.)
>> Stephen Marley feat Damian Marley + buju banton – The Traffic Jam (Tuff Gong)
21 Eek A Mouse – A Wah Do Dem (Blacker Dread)
22 Capleton – Punchline (Blacker Dread)
23 Super Cat – Vineyard Party (Wild Apache)
Possibly the definitive post- Studio One version of the riddim – and it was recorded in London! Credited to Blacker Dread at Easy Street studios with a line up including Jackie Mittoo, Horsemouth and Peter Chemist. Nice bit of rave crossover with Earl 16 going on to work with Leftfield and Jah Screechy forming the basis of SL2’s “On A Ragga Tip”.
At some point Blacker seems to have recorded a mentalist cross-fader dominator version which seriously does the business anywhere. I first heard the Capleton cut on the Still Blazing LP and, well, blimey.
Traffic Jam is dedicated to Droid. Shout out to all the pedantic posse!
24 Smiley Culture – Police Officer (Fashion)
Classics? I hate to belabour the point, but it’s a London/JA thing. Failsafe party stormer which still gets hands in the air when dropped by The Bug.
25 Marcia Griffiths – I Shall Sing (Penthouse)
Marcia’s singing and so am I. Because I only sing when I’m winning.
You can check out Paul’s absurd attempt to outdo me here .
Once you have listened to both you can vote for which mix is the best (i.e. for me) over at Dissensus. (You will have to register if you are not a poster there already. It’s easy to do and you should check out Dissensus if you like this blog in any case.)