Release/catalogue number: DTB007
Release date: 6 May 2013
In 2011 veteran deejay and U-Roy disciple Huford Brown announced a forthcoming King Tubbys album.
That has yet to materialize but in the meantime he has recorded this collaboration with eccentric
French illegal-party-organiser-turned-experimental-reggae-producer Laurent “U-Man” Ugolini and his partner,
electro-Afrobeat enthusiast Chalice Cooper. The rhythms are played by Nico Gomez (bass),
Neil Angilley (keyboard), Christian Fernandez (guitar) and Seb Chaumont (sax).
Opener Gimme Some Reggae is a fairly generic 80s style major-key rubadub on the Throw Mi Corn rhythm.
U-Brown declares his love for the reggae beat and showcases some singing that’s a little adventurous.
So far, so conventional Euro-Jamaican collaboration. Then he shocks us awake by swearing suddenly at the end of the track and
you realize this is U-Man’s Down the Bush Records where anything can happen.
From there on, Mr Brown chants a mixture of Rastafari praise and dancehall jollification upon a variety of backings.
Mount Zion I is Jahtari-reminiscent digital dub; Rock ‘N’ Come Over mixes reggae with lounge room soul;
and closer Jah Jah Guide and Protect adapts the theme from the Western The Magnificent Seven.
Yet this is not as crazy as U-Man’s last compilation, 2011’s ‘Folk Riddims’.
It is very much a traditional reggae record with a few subtle production tweaks.
Familiar dub elements such as nature sfx, flexatone and laser guns are refashioned
in the manner of 90s ambient chill music like Future Sound of London or Nightmares on Wax.
The band sail close to a few well known rhythms and the drum roll to Come Rock Inna De Dance is remarkably similar
to the one from the Joe Gibbs and Nagoo Morris classic Su Su Pan Rasta.
There are no singers, however fellow veteran deejay Ranking Joe injects a little variation for Legalize De Herb,
and it’s fun to hear the two contemporaries vibe together.
While U-Brown’s voice and flow are hypnotic as always, he sounds in his comfort zone lyrically
– and where bubbling over propulsive basslines is all that’s needed to get the party Jammin’.
Even so, ‘Let’s Keep On Jammin” is a very enjoyable summery album – one that could well appeal as much to fans of wider dance music as to U-Brown devotees.
While they wait for the King Tubbys project to drop, this should keep most people entertained. By Angus Taylor. on sunday, May 5, 2013.