Various Artists

Riddim Please

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When it comes to American roots reggae labels, there are basically two tiers. The top is occupied by high-profile indies like Heartbeat and RAS. The second is populated with labels like San Francisco's Positive Sound Massive Recordings, which releases relatively few albums, but focuses more on nurturing young talent than on helping the previous generation maintain its profile and sustain its successes. It's an important niche, and, as Riddim Please nicely demonstrates, today's young reggae musicians do have a lot to offer. This collection of dub versions and instrumental tracks is taken from previous Positive Sound Massive releases; it includes selections from albums by Stand Out Selector, Rocker-T, Nicodemus, and even Ras Michael. The sound here leans a bit more towards the dancehall side of things, though the militant rockers beat of "Streets Dub" could have been laid down pre-1980, and the one-drop ambience of Rocker-T's "Minor Ex," though heavily synthesized, harks back explicitly to the same period. A must for fans of modern roots reggae.