Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes

Jamaica Super Dub Session

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As with many of the semi-anonymous dub sets that were recorded at the Bronx studio of producer Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes and released on his Wackies label, the music on this one was played primarily by members of the New York-based studio band Itopia, augmented by Jamaican legends Leroy Sibbles (former bassist and bandleader for the Heptones) and an uncredited Jackie Mittoo (king of the organ instrumental). As always with Wackies releases, the grooves are dark and mystical, the bass heavy but not overpowering, and the playing exquisite. The dub version of Sibbles' arrangement of the Lionel Richie classic "Truly" is worth the price of admission by itself, and the spare, nyahbinghi-flavored "Bag Man Dub" is another highlight. These CD reissues have been marred by shoddy packaging -- in each case, the digipack artwork consists entirely of photocopies of the front and back of the original LP jacket, with no additional notes or, in some cases, musician credits -- but it's such a relief to have these classic recordings back in circulation that it's hard to get too bent out of shape over the visual aesthetics.

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