Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley Presents Let's Go Back... Way Back, Vol. 1: Dancehall Originators

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An odd archival release geared toward the dancehall historian, Let's Go Back...Way Back, Vol. 1: Dancehall Originators kicks off Ziggy Marley and the Tuff Gong label’s salute to the originators of modern dancehall. Ziggy makes good use of his family’s Tuff Gong imprint with the set, bringing a set of forgotten tracks back into print and packaging them with informative liner notes plus a worthwhile essay. The odd bit is that what may look like a wide-ranging collection is basically a “riddim album” without the billing, as every cut in the set is built on the same backing track. Here the riddim is 1991’s “Hot This Year” riddim, a light, uptempo ragga riddim made famous by Dirtsman’s song of the same name. Vocalists Chaka Demus, Yellowman, General Trees, and Buju Banton all do very well on the track, and while dancehall regulars will flip over some of these lost performances, newcomers should be warned that riddim albums are often considered to be monotonous by those unfamiliar with the genre.

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