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Slave Call

Slave Call

19 Apr 1977

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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3:14
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 19 April 1977
  • Release Date: 19 April 1977
  • Label: Observer Music
  • Copyright: (C) 1977 Observer Music
  • Total Length: 34:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00IVBCS1O
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Kelly on 5 May 2011
Format: Audio CD
The Ethiopians were the first Jamaican group to bear an overtly rastafarian name, aligning themselves directly with the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie whom rastafarians worship as the incarnation of god. Though probably best remembered for trivial rocksteady tracks about trains ("Train To Skaville", "Engine 54", et al), The Ethiopians also wrote some stunning cultural and spiritual songs in the late sixties at a time when such themes were far from common in Jamaican music. This spiritual essence is brought directly to the fore on 'Slave Call'; the LP sole original member Leonard Dillon recorded for producer Winston "Niney" Holness in 1977. The album is a remarkable masterpiece - a sublime blend of different musical textures mixing exuberant gospel, soul and incisive reggae grooves; all deeply informed by Dillon's profound rastafarian beliefs.

Each track is built on a solid foundation of nyahbinghi beats - the ritual rhythms played in "dreadlocks' hill-camps" based on the traditional hand-drumming of the African Kumina religion. Opener "ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM" features little more than a minimal electric bass accompaniment alongside the hypnotic, meditational beats and chanted congregational chorus; but each successive track on the album has different layers of instrumentation added.

"SLAVE CALL" and "CULTURE" both have a languorous pastoral feel with bluesy wah-wah guitar licks mixed with plaintive, wistful trumpet lines. There is a strong "work song" element to "SLAVE CALL", which has a hot and hazy ambience that is highly evocative of a Jamaican plantation.
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By Aarno Laitila on 8 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An early roots reggae treasure, with a Beatles-cover song.
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