What a delightful surprise to find this 2cd compilation of a whopping 29 vintage Treasure Isle tracks by the first DJ master U-Roy complemented by the 29 original rock steady and early reggae tracks he delivers his cool and exciting commentary on. Congratulations to Trojan for yet another innovative compilation (check ie their recent Pioneers and Ethiopians compilations).
An absolutely superb compilation. If you are a U Roy fan you've probably already got a lot of these tracks - but what you probably won't have is the Rocksteady originals. With this collection you get both, and I can assure you that the superb rocksteady CD is going to be on your player for a long time after buying this - music at its smoothest and most melodious. At the least play "The Tide is High" to your kids and show Atomic Kitten the way home...
If you love music and have a thirst for brave, beautiful music written with passion, compassion and intelligence, then you should have every single thing Veda Hille's ever recorded. If you don't, then this is a good place to start. Veda fuses Americana with Kurt Weill effortlessly, and the result is a stunning album of different layers, textures and styles (not to mention a sly sense of humour) that beguiles and astounds with every track. This is, by far, the best album I've heard this year, and if it was in my power I'd buy everybody a copy, because everyone should have one. That would sort out those who really love music from the rest of the herd. Do your ears a favour, do your head a favour: Buy this album.
What a gem - so glad I chanced upon this. One of those dream-like albums that slips under the netting and lodges deep in your subconscious. Full of intelligence, imagination, wry humour. Comparisons can always mislead, of course, but I thought of Robin Holcomb (with whom she's duetted), maybe Hannah Marcus, Hanne Hukkelberg (on 'The Cats') and her compatriots the McGarrigle sisters (on the wonderfully stirring 'Liza Jane' and 'Oh, The Endless Fog!'). Instrumentation is all quite low-key, subtle and beautifully played strings, lots of different textures; little curios too like the shortwave ghost bulletins of 'Red Flowers' and 'White Flowers'. I love the unexplained quality - the disquieting menace of 'Queen of the May' with its jawharps and Enoid rhythm generator break, ending with a flight through the windscreen; the trading of female-vocals in 'Bedlam!' like someone morphing identity against hypnotic heartbeat drums, chimes, tremulous piano lines. This is not weirdness for weirdness sake, and not chilly or cerebral either - 'Where Am I From?' has a heartbreaking sweet beauty to it, for example, and 'Frank Mills' (weirdly from 'Hair') is a lovely unexpected surprise, another perfect miniature on this album. Enough gushing - try the samples above, let them sink in, and let Veda Hille into your dreamworld.
This double CD is fantastic value. The second CD is the best rocksteady compilation I have heard so far: lots of Paragons classics. The first CD is about the best intro to U-Roy you could buy and as he is the granddaddy of DJ toasting a good place to start. As there are nearly 30 tracks on each disc this adds to the value. The only doubt you might have is that it can sometimes be a bit wearing to listen to a whole disc of a single DJ's toasting. But hey! You could play the rocksteady disc all day long and never tire of it!
I love this and so will you. Proper Jamaican music that the media won't play. Ulnike musicians in this country, these guys didn't have to go to college to learn to play an instrument, they taught themselves and no one else can replicate (UB40) ha!