Archive for April, 2013

Interlude #1 – Mix

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

So time for an interlude: here’s a 40 minute mix I put up on Mixcloud. The mixing isn’t perfect, but if I kept putting it off until I had a perfect mix it’d never happen …

Several of the versions have already been posted, others will no doubt be featured in due course.

 

Sleng Teng Extravaganza pt 1 by Lxsch on Mixcloud

10. Wayne Smith – Morning News

Monday, April 29th, 2013

For this tenth post we have one of my favourite versions, featuring the man who started it all – Wayne Smith. Smith returned to the riddim that made him famous to vocal an updated version of the riddim from King Jammy. Smith comes up with another killer vocal, this time in the form of a love song. He references his earlier hits for Jammy, Under Mi Sleng Teng, Ain’t No Meaning and Come Along, which are layered under his vocals to slick effect and cleverly interwoven with the lyrics (“Sing Ain’t No Meaning, yes me sing it for you / Sing Come Along,  you know me sing it for you / Sing Sleng Teng, you know me sing it for you “).  He also reuses his “Way in My Brain” lyric.

Wayne Smith - Morning News [Kingston 11, 1993]

Wayne Smith – Morning News (Kingston 11)

 

The playful reuse of earlier lyrics is a nice touch – I’m a real sucker for tracks which reference versioning and dancehall history.  But for the most part this track stands up superbly on its own as a fantastic version – Wayne rides the riddim effortlessly and approaches it from a completely different angle. It would have been easy for him to simply rehash his previous version or rest on his laurels, knowing that the riddim will always be associated with his name.  To his credit, and aided by some nifty production, he came up with another excellent version which does justice to him as a singer.

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Come Along and Ain’t No Meaning, the other tracks referenced in the song:

9. Cobra – Mr. Pleasure

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Another John John version, this time vocalled by Cobra.  It’s got a singjay-y chorus which I’m a sucker for, and I think the trumpets on this version give a bit of spark to the vocals on it which it might lack on another track. As you might expect, it’s fairly slack  – “Mad dem with your fat pum pum under yu frock”.

Cobra - Mr. Pleasure [John John, 1993]

Cobra – Mr. Pleasure [John John]

 

8. Colour Man – Vengeance

Monday, April 15th, 2013

As far as I can tell this is the only release on this label, which I assume is named after Sir Garfield Sobers, captain of the West Indies cricket team from 1965-72.

I hadn’t heard of Colour Man either, but it seems he released a couple of albums and a few 7″s between 1982-87.

The vinyl has no date on it but given the dates of Colour Man’s other releases I think it’s safe to say it was around ’85-’87. He comes in with a biblical theme: “I’m back with a vengeance / Got to make mention of my intention / The only deejay go on stage with the bible in his right hand and mic in his left hand” but the song isn’t hugely religious, more a lyrical showcase.
Colour Man - Vengeance [Sir Garfield]

Colour Man – Vengeance [Sir Garfield]

Steely & Fluxy do a good job on the rhythm track with a strong digi feel. The track has a liberal dose of “yeah!” and “nice!” samples which always remind me of Dave Kelly productions. The producer is listed as G. White, who again I’ve not heard of.

Steely & Fluxy - Version [Sir Garfield]

Steely & Fluxy – Version [Sir Garfield]