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East of the River Nile

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

18 TRACKS: 1) Chant To King Selassie I 2) Natural Way 3) Nature Dub 4) Upfull Living 5) Unfinished Melody 6) Jah Light 7) Memories Of The Ghetto 8) Africa (1983) 9) East Of The River Nile 10) Sound From Levi 11) Chapter 2 12) Addis Ababa 13) East Africa 14) East Of The River Nile (Original) 15) Memories Of The Ghetto Dub 16) Jah Light Version 17) Islington Rock 18) Meditation Dub

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The late Horace Swaby, a.k.a. Augustus Pablo, was one of the canonical figures of Jamaican reggae and dub music. From the moment he emerged on the scene as a teenager with his hit single "Java" to the classics he cut with his influential Rockers band and label, Pablo made the melodica, an obscure mouth organ of European origin, an indispensable part of the reggae sound. That instrument's piercing and poetic strains made this memorable out-of-print-classic, originally released in 1977 and rereleased in honor of its 25th anniversary, a marvel of sound and soul. Recorded in Lee Perry's legendary Black Ark Studio and mixed by the Scientist of Sound King Tubby, Pablo--who also plays keyboards--is backed by a first-rate band that includes Robbie Shakespeare on bass, drummer Aston "Family Man" Barrett, and guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith. Pablo and company deliver a nondub instrumental album that serves as the syncopated soundtrack of the Rasta nation. Who could forget the minor-key Afro anthems "Chant to King Selassie I," "Natural Way," and "Jah-Light"? Along with shout outs from Perry, the Orb, and others, the CD also includes six bonus tracks and a never-before-heard version of the title cut. All told, Augustus Pablo's "Far East sound" is still with us. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Chant To King Selassie I
  2. Natural Way
  3. Nature Dub
  4. Upfull Living
  5. Unfinished Melody
  6. Jah Light
  7. Memories Of The Ghetto
  8. Africa (1983)
  9. East Of The River Nile
  10. Sounds From Levi
  11. Chapter 2
  12. Addis-A-Baba
  13. East Africa
  14. East Of The River Nile (original)
  15. Memories Of The Ghetto Dub
  16. Jah Light Version
  17. Islington Rock
  18. Meditation Dub


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B000066RMY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Establishing a career in the overcrowded market of 'Dub' music is never going to be an easy task....unless your name is "King Tubby", "Lee 'Scratch' Perry" or "Mad Professor", standing out from the multitude of artists that have produced various Dub tracks or Remixes, or reinterpretations, is harder than we probably imagine. And the fact that Dub music is largely considered to be the preserve of either the 'Dreadlocked' or 'Permanently Stoned', limits its crossover appeal. Yet Augustus Pablo was either wise enough, or indeed forward thinking enough, to realise that merely creating a Dub album that didn't differentiate itself from any other Dub album, was going to be a pointless exercise....so Augustus tapped into a market that was largely untouched. The 'Melodic' spectrum of Dub music, by completely sidestepping the bass heavy sounds, and reverb-ladened echo effects that largely dominate Dub music, he was able to bring something uniquely his to the table. And with even more of an angle, he used the 'Yazoo' (considered to be a Children's harmonic instrument) and more importantly & significantly....the 'Melodica' (a harmonica with a keyboard), which would make up his organ-orientated form of Dub music, with superb use of Piano, Synthesizer, producing a sound far more relaxed and Delicate edge, than Dub music is usually given credit for.

Those hoping for the deep thumping bass, that makes up a lot of Dub music, will be either shocked or surprised to hear that, this is a million miles away from those sorts of Dub tracks, instead what Augustus does is make simple, melody-driven tracks that focus on the earthy, reflective and organic use of his Yazoo & melodica.
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Format: Audio CD
East of the River Nile, arguably Augustus Pablo's greatest masterpiece, is without a doubt one of the great roots dub albums ever made. Nowhere else is Pablo's "far east style" exemplified better than on this disc. The vibe is one of ancient africa, and the music gets better on each listening; revealing layers of subtleties that are uncovered only after spending many hours with this disc. This album is a blessing and must be weighed in as an all time great. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first got this album on vinyl back in high school during the early 80s. I was so entraced by it, I got my parents to buy me a melodica! I still have my melodica and I still have the vinyl record and both are in great shape, but I got the CD for the convenience and clearity. I was thrilled with the bonus tracks and the sound quality.

I had the privelage of seeing Augustus Pablo perform at NYC's Beacon Theater on Broadway. A tiny, thin man with amazing power to captivate! He wasn't showy or flashy and all he wore was a simple shirt and jeans, but man, it was a powerful show!

For those with varied eclectic taste, I think this album is to Augustus Pablo what I feel Canyon Trilogy is to Carlos Nakkai (Native American flute music). Its a defining album. In each case, the music is hypnotic and hauntingly beautiful. Even people who aren't real reggae fans can appreciate this album. Its not "too mellow" at all. Its just right!

If you love roots reggae, this album is a MUST have in your collection. This is the sound that made me fall in love with roots reggae when I was a kid and why I still love it now. Its not the sound of rap style reggae you hear today. Its totally classic reggae.

I only wish Augustus Pablo were still with us to make more beautiful music.
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Format: Audio CD
This is simply a terrific record. Shanachie wins my admiration for reissuing it with such fine sound and excellent extra tracks.
There are too many outstanding tracks on this disc to go into detail on them. Some are straightforward melodica or keyboard versions, some are closer to dub but they all reveal more layers of depth with each listen. Plus all the music has that true inspiration that can't be faked. My personal favorite is "Unfinished Melody" which in unlike anything else I've ever heard. Close to Lee Perry in vibe without sounding like him.
One note: Tracks 13 and 14 are mis-titled. 13 should be called the original 1971 version of "East of the River Nile". Track 14 is a dub of the later version of the same song (which appears earlier in the CD). I guess its title is "East Africa", which is what the disc calls Track 13.
Along with "King Tubby's meets Rockers Uptown" this is essential Pablo and essential roots music.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been waiting for someone to reissue this classic album, and now it's here. Plus the label has included 6 tracks that weren't ever possible to get on CD before now...it's an incredible record that takes me back and reminds me how Pablo truly was and still is the king of original dub reggae. This record has influenced so many of todays artists and its about time Pablo got his due. I'm buying a 2nd copy right now so i have one in the car and one at home. I'm disapointed in so much music that i buy, but this CD doesn't have one track that needs to be skipped.
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