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Umoja: 20th Century Debwise

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 20, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

21 TRACKS: 1) Cool Runnings 2) Sounds Almighty 3) Umoja 4) Guidance 5) The Truth 6) Cry Of The Destitute 7) Mercy For The Needy 8) Something Special 9) Sons Of Dust 10) Structure 11) Cop's Spy 12) Ting A Ling Style 13) Great Man Called Kenyatta 14) Thunder 15) Dancing In The Streets 16) Riot In The Streets 17) Open The Gate Of Rhodesia 18) Robbery In The City 19) Murder 20) Raggamuffin Style 21) General Version

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cool Runnings
  2. Sounds Almighty
  3. Umoja
  4. Guidance
  5. The Truth
  6. Cry Of The Destitute
  7. Mercy For The Needy
  8. Something Special
  9. Sons Of Dust
  10. Structure
  11. Cop's Spy
  12. Ting A Ling Style
  13. Great Man Called Kenyatta
  14. Thunder
  15. Dancing In The Streets
  16. Riot In The Streets
  17. Open The Gate Of Rhodesia
  18. Robbery In The City
  19. Murder
  20. Ragga Muffin Style
  21. General Version


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blood & Fire Records
  • ASIN: B0002GAAAC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,514 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
UMOJA/20th CENTURY DEBwise: Collecting two long-lost late 70s dubwise LPs from Dennis Brown and Prince Jammy, Blood & Fire's latest reissue offers just about everything you would expect from such a momentous meeting of minds: up-front drum and bass, spectral horn lines, and heavy showers of reverb. Dennis Brown's voice is almost completely excised, but with session superstars such as Sly and Robbie (drums and bass), Bingi Bunny, Chinna Smith (both guitar), Winston Wright (keyboards) and studio-dweller Sticky Thompson (percussion) working the rhythms, vocals aren't even a consideration. Heavy, heavy roots pressure throughout; this is a great addition to the Blood & Fire catalogue. The label also re-released Brown's JOSEPH'S COAT OF MANY COLOURS LP (as PROMISED LAND - with a nice haul of bonus tracks) in 2002.
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Format: Audio CD
The previous reviewer mostly said it all, but let me back him up; Do not hesitate to pick up this disc from the great Blood & Fire label (or pretty much anything else from them). This is 100% pure uncut dub, and 75 minutes of it too. Made up of two Dennis Brown albums, Prince Jammy dubs pure roots into pure dub magic, with skanking beats, spacious, textured soundscapes, grooving organ, deep bass, a touch of skanking guitar, and amazing echoing horn lines. "Sounds Almighty" is a slow wade into a dark lake on a summer night, with each ripple echoing into distant ghostly horn lines. "Great Man Called Kenyatta" is a baked trip down a sweltering Kingston sidewalk, amazing bongo sounds percolating in the humid air all around you. Well, yeah, that's kind of what this dub is like...it sends you on a trip. Check it out.
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Format: Audio CD
Two prime 70's Dub works featuring tremendous and ubiquitous Jamaican Reggae session musicians of the times: Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson, and Dennis Brown to mention only a few of the tremendously talented people behind the music of these two powerful, beautiful, complex and heavy Dub records, well restored and combined on one CD for those lucky ones who are still picking up and digging on this extraordinary and oft-overlooked genre of music.
Mixed with his usual genius touch and sound by Prince Jammy, this is a gift for posterity- Roots Reggae Dub!

'Umoja Love & Unity'

1.Cool runnings
2.Sounds almighty
3.Umoja
4.Guidance
5.The truth
6.Cry of the destitute
7.Mercy for the needy
8.Something special
9.Sons of dust
10.Structure

'20th Century DEBwise'

1.Cop's spy
2.Ting a ling style
3.Great man called kenyatta
4.Thunder
5.Dancing in the streets
6.Riot in the streets
7.Open the gate of rhodesia
8.Robbery in the city
9.Murder
10.Ragga muffin styke
11.Bonus Track: General version

Highly Recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
There has already been grumbling in some quarters of the "reggae fraternity", rumour that Blood and Fire have run out of ideas for re release, so I approached this album with some reservations. However, such assumptions appear to have little foundation in truth.

Admittedly, this album isn't an extraordinary and totally essential release, but what do people actually expect from Blood and Fire? Do jazz lovers believe that there is some bottomless vault somewhere, full of John Coltrane releases of the same standard as "A Love Supreme", or do Hendrix lovers expect to find record companies still digging up releases as intense as "Voodoo Child?" No, of course not. So why then, should some reggae fans expect a bottomless source of tunes such as "Heart of the Congos", with its heights of surreality and imagination, or tunes of such poetic insight such as "Children of Jah" to be released without end? It's just not possible to keep on digging up such gems, but BAF are still releasing high quality obscurities nonetheless, albeit of a lesser intensity than some earlier releases.

So whilst this album is arguably not as utterly compelling as some of Blood and Fire's previous releases, fret not : there can be little doubt that this is an inspired and aggressive record, and is most certainly a worthy addition to their catalogue. Remember that in the early 80's these were really rare tunes, and much sought after, so enjoy it now you have it freely available, and don't complain! There is the thunderous, hypnotic dub of Pablo/Delgado's "Storm is Coming", with it's massive two note bass overload. There is "Sons of Dust", a raucous version of "Listen to the Wise", a tune which saw numerous white label versions feverishly changing hands amongst private collectors in the early 80's.
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Format: Audio CD
The rhythms are tight, the guitar and synths are spacy, the snare is right on time, and the tunes are soulfully soulful. Especially with Dennis Brown's echoing vocals floating in and out right on time.
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