Jah Tubbys repress


Well, I never thought I’d see the day, but here come:

JT7016 Dixie Peach – Tonight is the Night
JT7017 Dixie Peach – Pure Worries
JT7018 Dixie Peach – Slaughter

What’s the big deal, you may ask? Well, Jah Tubbys has been a bit of an obsession for ages – they’ve been going for 35 years as an east London soundsystem and been releasing wicked tunes since the eighties (originally from 1 Broadway Market, which just shows how much that part of Hackney has changed), but unlike Unity or Saxon or Shaka they’ve completely resisted any attempts at documenting their past, giving interviews – or anything really.


Which is obviously maddening – I mean, it’s fair enough that some of the people behind some of the best music ever made (and played) in London have to scrape a living doing other things and are amazed anybody is still interested in their bits of vinyl from 25 years ago. But people have been wanting to hear Jah Tubbys’ story (and own the tunes!) for an age…

Until now not a single Jah Tubbys tune has been repressed, ever. I had to scrape around and get someone to burn me a CD of them, because the early releases (from which the current crop are drawn) are awesomely full fat digi dancehall – UK style. I’ve gradually amassed a nice selection of late eighties vinyl on the Y&D label including Crucial Robbie’s “Proud to be Black” and Peter Bouncer’s “Roughneck Sound”. But the earlier stuff was stupid money on ebay… many times I nearly paid it…


By the time I got to check the sound they were getting back into the UK roots thing, but they were still tough as you like – standing up to Iration and Shanti after a few years out of circulation. Easy to forget that Abashanti himself started out as an MC for Tubbys. Errol Bellot (who has now done vocals for LV on Hyperdub) also cut his teeth there. Rumours abound of trips to Kingston to visit King Tubby himself and mix exclusives on his desk, back in London rival sounds rushing the set and dragging the needle across the killer dubplate because they couldn’t take the pressure. Strange diversions into Garage. And the vocalists still exhibiting that dancehall swagger whilst keeping it rootical, chanting “You might have the almighty, but we’ve got the electricity!” when the opposition has technical problems…

I even waged and little covert operation, trying to sneak mentions of a reissue campaign into pieces like this one for pitchfork and pestering the folks at Honest Jons to try and open the vaults up like they did with Unity. But man like Tubbys just seemed to shake his head and get on with building pre-amps. Chatting all that history with a soldering iron in hand, but going mute if anyone mentions interviews or tape recorders.

So this is great – 3 slices of niceness from the man Dixie Peach. Get them from the usual places. Some are on coloured vinyl, all are limited pressings as far as I know.

Hopefully there will be many more, and maybe, just maybe somebody will get the chance to document the tale of this hidden corner of soundsystem culture…


  1. “You might have the almighty, but we’ve got the electricity!”

    I remember this … in Bedford right? early “comeback” dance vs Iration Steppas. Classic. Aba took the mic at one point in that dance as well.


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