Jamaican pop music is unlike the pop music anywhere else in the world, and per capita, no place on earth issues more music, with tracks appearing in original vocal versions, then remixed, dubbed, reconstituted, then used again, with the same backing track showing up behind a dozen other songs, which in turn show up in dub versions, dancehall versions, countless other versions, until the whole thread of Jamaican music is an entangled mare's nest of associations and cross-references, and who has the legal right to use what when often gets lost in the noise and smoke. And behind all this are Jamaica's maverick producers, many of whom, like Lee "Scratch" Perry, Niney, and others, have styles so unique and distinct that they become the stars of the whole thing, even if they don't sing or play a note on the recording. This double-disc set celebrates Jamaica's producers, and if it's really just a nice excuse for dipping into and recycling the vast Trojan Records catalog once again, it's so fascinating and fun a listen that it doesn't matter a whole lot. Mixing the well-known with the more obscure (26 of these tracks are making their CD debut), this set shows once again that Jamaica's music, which has always run from the street upwards (rather than from record executives downward), is a thing apart, and endlessly wonderful, no matter how often it's recycled, repackaged, and reissued.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2