Various Artists

12" Reggae Discomix Showcase, Vol. 5

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The VP label's fifth journey into the vaults of producers Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson is a reggae lover's delight. Featuring long lost 12”s from the years 1977-1982, the collection focuses on the format’s under-documented reggae discomix which was often the regular version of the tune with a DJ version or sometimes a dub tacked right on to the end. Don't expect massive remixes -- sometimes you don't even get a smooth transition -- but when it works, it works splendidly, extending the groove and presenting singers and DJs taking on the same tune, predating the R&B singer with rapper team-ups that would come over a decade later. Here the perfect example of an effective discomix is the extended “Su Su Pon Rasta” where Trinity kicks down the door of Naggo Morris' plaintive roots number, barging in with dubby tricks and laser sound effects. Other highlights include Carl Brown's uptempo and no nonsense “Let the Power Fall” which combines “May the wicked burn to ash” lyrics with a boisterous, joyful backing track. Also well worth a listen is the lesser-known Junior Murvin cut “Time Stiff” which sounds like a rework of his hit “Cool Out Son.” Check Carol Gonzales for Jamaica's answer to Chaka Khan and don't miss the always entertaining Tappa Zukie with his dancehall toasting. Then crinkle your nose at the lack of helpful liner notes as it goes against the great care put into the selecting and remastering.

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