As much as I enjoy it, I’ve always found it hard to find reggae that isn’t either cheesey or Bob Marley, to the extent that as a genre I’ve pretty much overlooked it. All of this was changed though by the discovery of a single compilation album from one of Jamaica’s most renowned classic recording studio’s, Studio One. I’ve looked into the origins of some of the tracks on it but struggled to find much info on them so I’m not sure if they are old cult classics being bundled together or some unreleased gems, maybe even a combination of the two?
I think what I respected most about the compilation is that the tracks on it are generally not the happy go lucky tracks that usually spring to mind when people talk of reggae, but instead have a pretty haunting feel to them, one that I’m sure much more accurately portrays life in 60’s and 70’s Jamaica.
In this day and age where both commercial and underground music are produced to such high standards its refreshing to hear music that is still a bit rough around the edges, it adds so much character. Like listen to this next track, Full Time by Cedric Im Brooks, the horn that plays throughout is woefully out of tune at times but it works to great effect and is possibly my favourite off the album.