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Woebot
02-12-2004, 05:06 PM
My favourite roots reggae producer is Glen Brown? Who's yours? And why.

I like Glen because no one else makes such bone-crushingly remorseless heavy drum and bass patterns...

Clubberlang
02-12-2004, 05:24 PM
I ain't gonna pretend to be all special and shit. The Heart of the Congos blew my mind and got me to completely immerse myself in non-ska Jamaican music. And Perry produced just an insane amount of great material in that era (I think I have 4 or 5 rich comps of that period in addition to 5?6?7? amazing LPs he produced.) So Perry. If I was gonna vote a second choice, it'd probably be Yabby You though.

Clubberlang
02-12-2004, 05:26 PM
Who isn't actually on the list so I guess it would be Augustus Pablo.

baboon2004
02-12-2004, 05:34 PM
Tough one. Lee Perry wins it for me by dint of the fact that I have so many of the man's recordings that I can appreciate the sheer range of his output, from lover's rock (Susan Cadogan) to otherwordly experimental dub (take your pick): not true for all the rest of those named, unfortunately.

But Keith Hudson is special (there's a moment in 'Shades of Hudson' where he pitch bends the beat in the middle of the song in such a funky way that it sends shivers up my spine every single time), not least for the sheer darkness of his style, and Bullwackie scores highly for anticipating Rhythm and Sound by nearly two decades.

And an RFI: Absolutely adore Shooter Dub by KT/Santic allstars, which I presume was produced by Leonard Chin. Can anyone recommend any other good stuff by him?

rewch
02-12-2004, 05:34 PM
can i have whichever rasta hero produced warrior dub? please?

failing that i think i'll have to have a mixture of mr. gibbs & mr. perry...a sort of lee gibbs...or joe perry?!?

Woebot
02-12-2004, 05:35 PM
Who isn't actually on the list so I guess it would be Augustus Pablo.

Yabby U. Now there's an omission. I'll see if i can put in the poll.

rewch
02-12-2004, 05:37 PM
But Keith Hudson is special (there's a moment in 'Shades of Hudson' where he pitch bends the beat in the middle of the song in such a funky way that it sends shivers up my spine every single time), not least for the sheer darkness of his style

aye...hudson...another god

baboon2004
02-12-2004, 05:38 PM
And I second Yabby You - is there any producer's style that is more immediately distinctive in the reggae canon?

Woebot
02-12-2004, 05:42 PM
can i have whichever rasta hero produced warrior dub? please?

sorry doobs. warrior dub is disqualified. lets put the latest date here at 1983.

rewch
02-12-2004, 05:45 PM
ok...sorry...but it is monumental...does that mean i have been moderated? or administered to?

redcrescent
02-12-2004, 07:55 PM
Oh, man. For sheer variety and mad musical genius, it'd have to be Black Ark-era Lee Perry, closely followed by Bunny Lee. I really rate Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, though, for his bone-dry, brutally minimalist production work with the Roots Radics/High Times Band. Same goes for Linval Thompson, who has done an amazing amount of amazing things (one of my all-time favorite tracks is Wayne Wade's "Poor and Humble", especially if followed by Scientist's dub, "Cloning Process", off Scientist meets the Space Invaders - top class). Lots more, obviously, to add to those already mentioned: Tommy Cowan, Joe Gibbs/Errol Thompson, Jammy (producing), Mikey Dread, George Phang... whoa! "World's loudest island", indeed.

matt b
03-12-2004, 10:11 AM
missing: tappa zukie, little roy, niney, prince jammy

chosen: glen brown- sylford walker's 'deuteronomy' is one of the greatest tunes ever

john eden
03-12-2004, 10:31 AM
Seems that the poll is mutliple choice so I voted for Gibbs, Brown and U

Forgot to vote for the Hoo Kim Bros tho - Channel One, mate!

Niney, Jammy and this obscure guy called Coxsone Dodd would also get a look in for me... :D

Lee Perry has worn off on me a bit, I think... that first flush of "oh wow! weird!" and all that...

matt b
03-12-2004, 10:37 AM
Coxsone Dodd would also get a look in for me

coxsone didn't really like roots though did he?- he tolerated it (sat on abysinnians, burning spear, the royals etc)


Lee Perry has worn off on me a bit, I think... that first flush of "oh wow! weird!" and all that...

quite often for 'classic underwater vibe', you could replace 'muddy mess'. however, you can't have a bad word to say for the man who produced 'down here in babylon'

john eden
03-12-2004, 12:33 PM
coxsone didn't really like roots though did he?- he tolerated it (sat on abysinnians, burning spear, the royals etc)

Doesn't matter whether he liked it or not - I love what he did! :)



quite often for 'classic underwater vibe', you could replace 'muddy mess'. however, you can't have a bad word to say for the man who produced 'down here in babylon'

That's one of my all-time favourite tunes, so you are right, but I'll often pass over listening to a Perry album in favour of something else these days. It means it will be all the better when I get back into it later...

droid
03-12-2004, 01:46 PM
Niney, Jammy and this obscure guy called Coxsone Dodd would also get a look in for me... :D

And Id add Derrick Harriot to the list as well..

owen
03-12-2004, 03:50 PM
this scratch dissing will not wash, for every ostentatiously wierd mooing cows fest there's something as light and sublime as that absurdly underrated george faith album.
i haven't really heard much glen brown, bar that one with tubbys on blood and fire, which didnt really floor me. what do people recommend?
oh and i would have hudson second as well, 'sinners' is possibly my favourite 70s roots reggae track- so amazingly tense and angry, i don't think i've ever heard a song with so much contained rage...

john eden
03-12-2004, 03:58 PM
Nobody's dissing Scratch! :D

Grievous Angel
03-12-2004, 04:16 PM
I still think any argument to leave out Tubby from this list is, given the comments made here, specious.

Nevertheless, in terms of producers , and limiting oneself strictly to roots, I'd probably go for Perry, simply for his work with the Wailers :eek: . It's all about tunes. I'm very definitely on an "up" curve with Perry; around the time of Open The Gate I'd got bored, but now I'm well into CD1 of Arkology, Congos etc.

If we're relaxing the boundaries of the question, then surely it's Coxsone?

Woebot
03-12-2004, 04:39 PM
I still think any argument to leave out Tubby from this list is, given the comments made here, specious.

Nevertheless, in terms of producers , and limiting oneself strictly to roots, I'd probably go for Perry, simply for his work with the Wailers :eek: . It's all about tunes. I'm very definitely on an "up" curve with Perry; around the time of Open The Gate I'd got bored, but now I'm well into CD1 of Arkology, Congos etc.

If we're relaxing the boundaries of the question, then surely it's Coxsone?

Strictly speaking Tubby isn't a producer though is he. He's a mixer. He took riddims from all of these producers and mixed them.

As for Coxsone, well yes he did turn out some roots classics, but by and large he'd run out of steam. I mean, he was such a slouch when it came to Winston Rodney (who hung around for ever trying to get Dodd to pick him up) and besides those two Spear LPs, the Willie Williams LP and a slew of singles, he didnt have much truck with rasta.

john eden
03-12-2004, 04:44 PM
Quality not quantity tho!

Stick the Abysinnians in there and stuff like "Let's go to Zion" (errr by somebody Francis?) and the odd deejay track and he's at least got to be in the list... :p

Grievous Angel
03-12-2004, 04:51 PM
Strictly speaking Tubby isn't a producer though is he. He's a mixer. He took riddims from all of these producers and mixed them.

Personally I'd never quite defined "producer" as meaning exclusively "rhythm producer" -- I think one could argue this one back and forth...

Woebot
03-12-2004, 04:53 PM
I think one could argue this one back and forth...

Oh go on! Lets!

john eden
03-12-2004, 05:03 PM
How does a producer differ from an engineer?

Well you could argue that the producer creates tracks from out of nothing, whereas the engineer simply messes about with already existing source material.

But in reggae, and indeed everywhere, this is a problem because producers asked the musicians to play new versions of old rhythms anyway. Or in some cases just grabbed tapes and then got people to sing over them.

So when scratch lays down a rhythm track he may or may not be a producer, but when someone comes to his studio several years later and he gets them to sing over the riddim, or just does a new dub version of it - is he then an engineer?

This is especially relevant when we bring it up to the 80s/90s and other genres. If a "producer" creates a new work entirely out of samples of existing pieces, does that mean said producer is now "merely" an engineer?

Woebot
03-12-2004, 05:15 PM
How does a producer differ from an engineer?

Well you could argue that the producer creates tracks from out of nothing, whereas the engineer simply messes about with already existing source material.

But in reggae, and indeed everywhere, this is a problem because producers asked the musicians to play new versions of old rhythms anyway. Or in some cases just grabbed tapes and then got people to sing over them.

So when scratch lays down a rhythm track he may or may not be a producer, but when someone comes to his studio several years later and he gets them to sing over the riddim, or just does a new dub version of it - is he then an engineer?

This is especially relevant when we bring it up to the 80s/90s and other genres. If a "producer" creates a new work entirely out of samples of existing pieces, does that mean said producer is now "merely" an engineer?

John, I admire your theoretical throughness here, but lets face it ;) its a pretty clear distinction. Of course there is a purely terminological problem in that Errol Thompson was Joe Gibbs's "engineer", when of course he was essentially a "producer" and Joe Gibbs was nuttin' but a bumbaclaat businessman.

Within the digital context it is a bit less clear. But as long as there's no swapping of actual digital files (Pro Tools/Cubase projects as opposed to WAVs/AIFFs) then again the distinction is pretty clear. Beyond Steelie and Cleevie's stuff of a few years back, is there any Dancehall producer who GENUINELY produces "mixed dubs" which are listenable as a stand-alone? Lenky? No, sorry, nearly but not quite. This, admittedly, from someone who finds Grime dubs virtually pointless without MCs these days.

Grievous Angel
03-12-2004, 05:26 PM
Oh go on! Lets!
I shall largely restate Eden's argument in more condescending terms -- this being Dissensus.

(BTW -- can one be "condescending" AND "patronising" at the same time?)

(Have I just found out?)

(Is there a limit to my rhetorical questions?)

I suspect I may be too infected by slack-jawed dance music referentialism to be able to answer properly. But clearly the WOEBOT position -- and I use the term guardedly -- is that reggae producers originate the musical performance. Immediately one can say (as Eden kinda did) that that is recording rather than producing. But it's true that in Tubby's case he was largely "just doing a job" -- musical plumbing if you will. But you don't need to be semiotician to see straight away that many would interpret his role as that of a producer, or perhaps an artist-cum-producer. (YOu see what I mean about me being infected by dance music?)

Eden's wider point I think is that within reggae the economic and musical role of producer is equivalent to being an artist, since they get the copyright and the publishing. Specifically in terms of the role of the "producer" in reggae, he does as Eden points out sometimes buy in others' rhythms as well as versioning his own. So that would indicate that the definition of producer as "rhythm originator" is both limited and inaccurate. For the originators of rhythms, the engineers / recordists who laid the tracks to tape originally, and the artists they employed or partnered with, might have little or nothing to do with the eventual music credited to the end-producer.

To be facile for a moment, reggae created the blueprint of dance music's fluid interpretation of the roles of artist, engineer, writer and producer -- an argument with which we are all too familiar.

Therefore, the dialectical question which I interpret WOEBOT's comments as encapsulating is, to what degree do we ascribe validity to the original producer, artist or engineer's own definition of their role? I.e., if Tubby didn't see himself as a producer, should we agree with him?

My answer is, no.

john eden
03-12-2004, 05:27 PM
John, I admire your theoretical throughness here, but lets face it ;) its a pretty clear distinction. Of course there is a purely terminological problem in that Errol Thompson was Joe Gibbs's "engineer", when of course he was essentially a "producer" and Joe Gibbs was nuttin' but a bumbaclaat businessman.

Within the digital context it is a bit less clear. But as long as there's no swapping of actual digital files (Pro Tools/Cubase projects as opposed to WAVs/AIFFs) then again the distinction is pretty clear. Beyond Steelie and Cleevie's stuff of a few years back, is there any Dancehall producer who GENUINELY produces "mixed dubs" which are listenable as a stand-alone? Lenky? No, sorry, nearly but not quite. This, admittedly, from someone who finds Grime dubs virtually pointless without MCs these days.

On the ET thing, you are right, but there are countless tales of people being credited as "producer" when all the work was done by other people - what about Duke Reid at Treasure Isle working downstairs in the liquor store and occasionally banging on the ceiling when he didn't like the sounds coming down from the studio?

or Prince Jazzbo who "produced" some of his own singles, but they were actually backing tracks recorded by other producers who gave him the tapes to sing over?

Dunno quite what you mean by Cubase as opposed to WAVs? Are you saying that it matters who the donor of the files is? :confused:

As for digital stuff, what about Fatis Burrell (MLK: Xterminator in Dub)? Or the UK stuff like Jah Warrior and Conscious Sounds. There is an interesting distinction right there because Dougie Conscious is mad keen on getting everything done "originally", but Jah Warrior might sample the odd rim shot off a 70s roots tune...

It may not be as clear cut as you think :p and finding grey areas is always a laugh...

john eden
03-12-2004, 05:29 PM
Therefore, the dialectical question which I interpret WOEBOT's comments as encapsulating is.

:rolleyes:

redcrescent
03-12-2004, 06:33 PM
i haven't really heard much glen brown, bar that one with tubbys on blood and fire, which didnt really floor me. what do people recommend?
http://www.bloodandfire.co.uk/cds/images/bafcd033.jpg
Check Sylford Walker & Welton Irie Lamb's Bread International on B&F... both Walker's "Deuteronomy" and Welton Irie's "Ghettoman Corner" are on it. (the "Lamb's Bread" and "Ghettoman Corner" albums proper are also Glen Brown-produced)

Nice to see 'Junjo' Lawes as a new option, but my vote already went for Lee Perry! With so many great producers, maybe a point system like they have in Formula 1 would've been good. You know, 10 pts for #1, 8 for #2, and so on.

Gido
06-12-2004, 10:42 AM
i think its like this, the producers job is essentially a creative one, whether the engineers job is more technical.

Woebot
06-12-2004, 10:48 AM
i think its like this, the producers job is essentially a creative one, whether the engineers job is more technical.
i was thinking about it myself over the weekend, and came up with the idea that "producers" as the term is generally used in this context maps onto the term "stable" as in a "stable" of horses.

matt b
06-12-2004, 11:27 AM
the producers job is essentially a creative one, whether the engineers job is more technical.

as with much of reggae, the truth is blurred and all over the shop- some producers were merely 'creative'- coxsone/ duke reid; others were both creative and technical- lee perry, pablo; and some engineers were creative on top of being technically able- king tubby.

i'd argue that it is as much to do with the means of production rather than the production of sound: producers have record labels, engineers don't (if they get one they become producers- check king tubby's (early) digital output).
phew.

Diggedy Derek
06-12-2004, 12:24 PM
Hang on, John Eden appears to have voted twice, according to the poll results! For Yabby You and Glen Brown! Some two-face rasta business!

john eden
06-12-2004, 12:28 PM
Hang on, John Eden appears to have voted twice, according to the poll results! For Yabby You and Glen Brown! Some two-face rasta business!

Hey! I resent that!

I voted for Joe Gibbs as well as them two! :D

(it's a multiple choice poll...)

matt b
06-12-2004, 12:41 PM
Hey! I resent that!

I voted for Joe Gibbs as well as them two!


'let the righteous man have multiple choice'

sizzla

;)

Diggedy Derek
06-12-2004, 12:48 PM
Ha, excellent. Anyway I love Glen Brown the most, but it's got to be Yabby You for me. Just the sheer basicness of it, you can always hear the pieces of his music fitting together (he's pretty similar most of the time isn't he- grim bassline, grinding organ, metronomic drums, rearranged as required), you can hear a music made of hot dust and earth coming together and pulling itself up by it's bootstraps.

Woebot
06-12-2004, 05:28 PM
(it's a multiple choice poll...)
john's quite right it's a multiple choyce ting.

redcrescent
06-12-2004, 10:46 PM
john's quite right it's a multiple choyce ting. But only get to vote once, regardless of the number of choices, right?
If anyone voting has a free slot, check Junjo Lawes for me, please. Such a genius, he should get at least a token vote.
Seems like Striker Lee can't get a foot in at Dissensus so far... If anyone needs convincing, check his stellar production recordhere (http://www.roots-archives.com/artist/550). Some serious tablets among those.

john eden
08-07-2009, 11:04 AM
(Brent Dowe's "Down in a Babylon" produced by Lee Perry) That's one of my all-time favourite tunes, so you are right, but I'll often pass over listening to a Perry album in favour of something else these days. It means it will be all the better when I get back into it later...

And sure it enough it was.

Is it fair to say that 70s roots isn't especially hip these days and that dancehall is on the up?

baboon2004
08-07-2009, 11:17 AM
I'd say my personal favourite was Lloyd Barnes, seeing as how without him basic Channel would never have sounded the same, from what I gather...

Wackies tracks are DEEP...

crackerjack
08-07-2009, 11:20 AM
This needs to be some STV or ranking them all in order or something. I just voted for half of them:confused:

You can't get past the brilliance of Scratch, even though he is the 'obvious' choice and i'm glad to see Glen Brown up there, a case of quality over quantity. But where's the love for Niney? The guy produced all of Dennis Brown's best records by miles and his early stuff is stark and weird and quite unlike anyone else, plus he threatened to sue Blood & Fire records for borrowing the name of one of his tracks - he claimed to have had express permission from the Sally Army to use it himself - which is endearingly batty.

john eden
08-07-2009, 11:29 AM
I'd say my personal favourite was Lloyd Barnes, seeing as how without him basic Channel would never have sounded the same, from what I gather...

Wackies tracks are DEEP...

I'm glad someone brought that up. It's weird how in the last 5 years there's this entirely new sub-set of reggae fans who got into it through Basic Channel.

It befuddles me.

crackerjack
08-07-2009, 11:32 AM
I'm glad someone brought that up. It's weird how in the last 5 years there's this entirely new sub-set of reggae fans who got into it through Basic Channel.

It befuddles me.

I've never really got into him. There's a kinda stillness about it that I can appreciate, but it doesn't really move me, probably the same thing that makes him such a star for the people who love him.

baboon2004
08-07-2009, 11:33 AM
In what sense (re the befuddlement)?

(personally, I got into roots through those £5 reissues on Island (?) of Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Sly & Robbie etc...the Wackies thing came later)

Edit: Lee Perry is still probably my favourite producer, but I guess it almost seems redundant to say that since his genius is so obvious/well-recognised

john eden
08-07-2009, 11:36 AM
In what sense?

(personally, I got into roots through those 5 reissues on Island (?) of Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Sly & Robbie etc...the Wackies thing came later)

Edit: Lee Perry is still probably my favourite producer, but I guess it almost seems redundant to say that since his genius is so obvious/well-recognised

It befuddles me because some people (not you) seem really keen to jump in and recommend his stuff to dubstep or techno people, but I don't think it is particularly different (or better) than JA productions.

baboon2004
08-07-2009, 11:37 AM
ah sure, i see. To me there's something dark about it i respond to, in the same way as two of my other favourites, Yabby You and Keith Hudson.

sufi
08-07-2009, 12:19 PM
steve has just upped some nice upsetter deejay stuff over here (http://rootsfromyard.blogspot.com/2009/07/upsetter-deejay-singles.html), if anyone fancy to re-evaluate their responses on this vexing question (if roots is even still trendy enough anyhow! :eek:)
plug done. as you were

DigitalDjigit
09-07-2009, 02:12 PM
It befuddles me because some people (not you) seem really keen to jump in and recommend his stuff to dubstep or techno people, but I don't think it is particularly different (or better) than JA productions.

It seems different to me, there's a lot of distortion to it which I don't really see in most JA stuff, though it's not really what draws me to it. There's a lot of quality tunes on Wackies: "Movie Show", "This World", "Mystic Revelation" (sounds like a lost Perry production) and a few more that are just as good as anything to ever come out of Jamaica.

baboon2004
09-07-2009, 04:40 PM
Movie Show is a fucking classic. I personally think the Lovejoys are incredibly underrated.

Lethem
17-07-2009, 08:53 PM
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CfN_JfCAwBc&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CfN_JfCAwBc&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Don Carlos is my fav roots reggae producer