Yabby You / Brethren

Deeper Roots: Dub Plates and Rarities 1976-1978

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Yabby You, born Vivian Jackson, was among the bigger names in the deejay subset of Kingston, Jamaica's golden mid- to late-'70s roots reggae scene. Yabby You sat among contemporaries like Big Youth, I-Roy, Dillinger, and others, known for his casual and wizened toasts over bass-heavy instrumental rhythm tracks. He also hustled around many major studios in Kingston during the height of '70s Rasta culture and musical output, recording and guiding productions for many different acts of the time. Deeper Roots: Dub Plates and Rarities 1976-1978 collects alternate mixes, obscure singles, and never-before-released dub plates, one of a kind studio acetates made to test how a mix would translate to vinyl and often the only evidence left behind of certain lost tracks. The compilation starts with examples of Jackson's production work with obscure acts like Barrington Spence, Prince Pampidoo, and Smith & the Prophets. The majority of these artists pressed singles in incredibly limited editions, disappearing from sight before traveling too far out of Kingston. Perhaps because of the insular nature of these productions, there's a remarkable sense of tight-knit community and Rasta-centered topics through all of Deeper Roots. Barrington Spence's "Don't Touch I Dread" (and its blazing dub version, "Tutch Dub") is a serious gripe trying to separate true Rastas from the poseurs. "Forward on the Track" by King Miguel tells a tale of the residents of the Kingston ghettos -- living, playing, and surviving day to day -- over a deep and dubby backbeat. Jackson worked closely with dubmaster King Tubby in this time as well, and their mutual influence on each other resulted in some of the best work either of them did. "Deliver Dub" finds the pair collaborating on a Yabby You-sung track in a dub mix that incorporates the most recognizable signature touches of Tubby's best-known versions: scattershot drums, truncated washes of delayed horns, and rapidly shifting equalization clicks. The tracks here are alive with experimentation and the warm glow of some of the era's best reggae artists finding their voices. The scratchy quality of some of the dub plate recordings and the generally unpolished state of Jackson's production work might be a little too raw for the casual Bob Marley fan, but for dyed-in-the-wool dub enthusiasts, this type of stuff is the holy grail of dub. Unreleased tracks from the height of King Tubby's reign, blown-out and daring production choices, and Yabby You's own husky toasts make Deeper Roots just what it says it is: a deeper look into the corners of some of roots and dub reggae's brightest years.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Prophets / Smith
2:47
2
feat: Prophets / Smith
3:00
3
feat: King Tubby
3:01
4
2:26
5
2:30
6
4:02
7
2:55
8
feat: King Tubby
2:59
9
3:21
10
3:08
11
2:57
12
3:16
13
feat: King Miguel
3:00
14
3:02
15
4:09
16
3:04
17
3:31
18
3:18
19
3:05
blue highlight denotes track pick