Various Artists

Don't Give Up Your Culture

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Moll-Selekta continued its run of excellent reissue compilations with Don't Give Up Your Culture, the German label's first various-artists collection and its ninth release overall. The album culls together several prominent roots reggae figures -- Flick Wilson, Jacob Miller, Johnny Clarke, Rod Taylor, Wayne Jarrett, Horace Andy, the Mighty Diamonds, and Linval Thompson, all of whom make two contributions -- for a stylistically uniform release with impressive credentials to go along with its ever increasingly appealing Rastafarian ideology. All of the tracks were recorded between 1972 and 1984 at one of three famous studios -- Mr. Tipsy, King Tubby's, and Channel One -- and were backed by one of three (mostly) famous groups: the Ring Craft Posse, Roots Radics, and Aggrovators, the latter of whom contributes an album-ending version of Clarke's "Don't Know Who to Trust." Furthermore, all of the tracks were produced by either Rodguel Blackbeard Sinclair or King Tubby, adding yet more continuity to this rock-solid collection of golden age roots reggae. Moll-Selekta's releases have been generally flawless up to this point, and Don't Give Up Your Culture is yet another wonderful release, one that was put together with exceptional care and planning. Granted, it's not a definitive collection by any measure, but that doesn't mean it's anything less than wonderful. You really can't go wrong with Moll-Selekta, especially if you're into golden age roots reggae. You just can't.

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