‘Rockin live ruff and tuff’, this is the untrammelled counterpart to Dadawah, six years later in 1980, fresh from the Black Ark: free, rawly spiritual trance-music; a full-force nyabinghi freak-out.
The drummers are headlong and rollicking, thunderous and explosive. Even more so than Dadawah, the mix is ecstatically echoey; giddily dubwise without let-up. Ras Michael himself sings from the mountain-top, like he just don’t care — at the top of his lungs, in voices, screeching like a bird — with the delirious abandonment otherwise owned in reggae by Lee Perry. Amongst the uncredited performances swirled into proceedings, there are squiggles of flute straight from the Upsetters song-book, the minor-key organ stabs and abstraction of electric space-jazz, and sax-playing more attuned to the Headhunters than the Blazing Horns. (I Ya I in particular is a stunning fifteen minutes.)
This is the real thing, music without affectation. Pure reggae. Sun Ra fans should love it; anyone with ears to hear.
Prepared and manufactured at Abbey Road, D&M and Pallas; beautifully presented in rigid, old-school, tip-on sleeves, with matt-coated fronts and untreated-paper backs; 180g vinyl. ‘These sounds are sounds of inspiration and love and culture to the universal benefit of mankind… So therefore meditate and stop hate.’
Very hotly recommended.