On the Springline

Here’s a mightily powerful triple download album from Springline Records/Springline Jamaica under the guiding hand of producer Gibsy Rhodes. All-in-all there are 35 tracks of fine musical quality featuring, amongst others, Ras Sis Highness, Steve Steppa and Yabass who have all been reviewed at reggaemusic.org.uk in the recent past. It is a showcase for the album and production team, linking to the new label website and, because the world can sometimes be kind and generous despite so many indications to the contrary, the first 200 downloads of the whole thing are entirely free.

As for the music, ‘Reel 1’ features several more than worthy tracks, including a ‘Ego Nah Rule I’ by the Manor, a great unmastered 2010 demo with a steady bass and melodica sounding instrumentation that in due course reaches its dub conclusion. This mood is followed up with ‘A Him Sah’ from Spliffington, a splendid 2009 unmastered dub, warranting loud repeated play. Steve Steppa contributes a couple of strong tracks including ‘Full Circle’, vocalising atop the ‘Bredfruit’ riddim, while ‘Channel One’ from Yabass – a 2009 unmastered demo – is a good skanking instrumental version that journeys happily along in its untroubled manner.

‘Reel 2’ digs a little deeper, featuring for instance ‘Seeds’ from Creation Rockers with its heavily restructered vocal channel from Manor, and a lot of activity in the instrumental tracks including something that sounds remarkably like phasing toward the end – this is actually the Yabass mixdown of the original track and well worth attending to. David Pablo is having ‘Donkey Trouble’ (well we can all understand) on the curiously retro 2013 single included here – a strong instrumental that finally resolves itself into another fine dub. ‘Mr Landlord’ from Breadwinners conjures up the feel of Mr Lee Perry on the production side, while ‘All That Glitters’ from Denja is a largely acoustic contemporary reggae tune, ending in some nice distortion and tape trickery. This reel concludes with ‘Got to Know’ from The Manor, a good roots tune with its spiritual feel and lyrics.

On the final virtual tape/CD/record we encounter Creation Rockers again with ‘Let’s Make Waves’, once more offering intriguing production and instrumentation over the top of a strong reggae song, originally released on a CD-only EP in 2012. ‘Makers of Africa’ from MLK is slow and serious reggae music, a 2013 promo. ‘Dustbowl Dub’ from El Bib is a dub that moves closer to dance rhythms than to the old-school dub sound, while ‘Dub Storm’ from Dub Alchemist is sparse sound deconstruction, old and contemporary at the same time. This side closes with ‘A Murdering Riddim’ from Flow Prod., one of 40 or so riddims Springline Jamaica have in their vaults from this source.

You’ll find something interesting within all this music and you can usefully check out the Springline site for yourself here.

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