Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Jah Shaka Presents The Positive Message

In the world of reggae some things move slow while some things just don't move at all. This set, compiled by legendary roots reggae sound system operator and producer Jah Shaka falls into both categories. This was supposed to have surfaced in 2007 but only saw the light of day towards to end of last year. Some things are worth waiting for.

The concept behind this release is straight forward. Shaka selects his favourite tracks that have appeared on the Greensleeves label over the past 30 years and ones that are truly representative of the much championed Shaka sound.

Although all the tracks are bonafide roots classics, some of which are predictable but I felt that was to be inevitable, so there are no real surprises, but it's great to hear the full length versions of Johnny Clarke's "Jah Love Is With I" and "Bad Days Are Going". Tracks like Black Uhuru's "I Love King Selassie" and Ras Michael's "None A Jah Jah Children No Cry", I have heard so many times I could frankly live without ever hearing them again. Some tracks I never tire of: Norris Reid "Protect Them". Barrington Levy's "Look Youthman", Wailing Souls' "Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall", Johnny Osbourne's "Never Stop Fighting" and Dennis Brown's do-over of the Marley classic "Slave Driver".

Topped off with classics by Keith Hudson. Earl Sixteen, Eek-a-Mouse. Fred Locks and more, this is a crucial selection, even if you have these tracks, it's nice to have them all on one CD.

Twelve tracks are also available as a 7" box set, but I fear that it might already be difficult to get hold off.

Here are some clips of choice tracks culled from youtube:

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