The Aggrovators

Instrumental Reggae

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The Aggrovators were one of the crack Jamaican session bands in the mid-'70s, working mainly out of Channel One with producer Bunny Lee. Essentially a spin-off of the Soul Syndicate, the Aggrovators were an extremely loose and flexible (not to mention versatile) confederation, sharing much of the personnel of the Revolutionaries, with Tommy McCook, Lester Sterling, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Ansel Collins, Bernard Harvey, Bobby Ellis, Roland Alphonso, and the Barrett Brothers, among others, tracking under the Aggrovators banner. The group invented and perfected the so-called "flying cymbals" sound, spiking rhythms with a distinctive open and closed hi-hat effect that became omnipresent in the reggae productions of the time. Bunny Lee was one of the first Jamaican producers to recognize the possibilities present in reusing backing tracks over and over, and the cuts included here on Instrumental Reggae are recycled and remixed into a sort of light dub jazz, with veteran horn men Bobby Ellis and Tommy McCook each taking turns soloing over the rhythms. The effect is both soothing and subliminally trippy, with sax and trumpet lines echoing forever over dubbed-out drum and bass tracks, sort of MOR dub, if there is such a thing. The album has a consistent, unified tone, and would be perfect to listen to while doing light housework on a lazy, hazy summer afternoon.

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