Thursday, June 20, 2013

Big Youth – The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style (1982)

One of the most distinctive voices in roots reggae was that of iconoclastic deejay Big Youth. Before its deep submergence in Studio One material, Heartbeat Records drew on Big Youth for several of its first releases. Chanting Dread is the second, and like the others, it benefits from the participation of the cream of reggae musicians. The sometimes spare and always crucial rhythms are masterfully ridden by the vocal improviser.

This collection compiles singles recorded in the 1970s by Big Youth's Negusa Negast Records, but it was released at a time when his popularity had waned significantly in Jamaica. Thirty years later, it's great to step back into the "golden jubilee" of reggae.

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