Nov 27, 2012

RhoDeo 1248 Roots

Hello, as mentioned last week there's been a big influx of Jamaicans in the UK these last decades and they seeded a vibrant reggae/dub culture, reason enough to post some of the results here..  a dub poet   N'joy

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Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) is a British based dub poet.  Johnson attended Goldsmiths College in New Cross, London, which currently holds his personal papers in its archives; in 2004 he became an Honorary Visiting Professor of Middlesex University in London. In 2005 he was awarded a silver Musgrave medal from the Institute of Jamaica for distinguished eminence in the field of poetry. Most of Johnson's poetry is political, dealing mainly with the experiences of being an African-Caribbean in Britain. However, he has also shown himself more than capable of writing about other issues, such as British foreign policy or the death of anti-racist marcher Blair Peach. His most celebrated poems were written during the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The poems contain graphic accounts of the alleged regular racist police brutality

Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) (born in Jamaica, 24 August 1952) is a UK-based dub poet. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series (Mi Revalueshanary Fren). Johnson was born in Chapelton, a small town in the rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. In 1963 he came to live in Brixton, London, joining his mother who had emigrated to Britain shortly before Jamaican independence in 1962. Johnson attended Tulse Hill secondary school in Lambeth. While still at school he joined the British Black Panther Movement, helped to organise a poetry workshop within the movement, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers. During the early to mid-1970s he was employed as the first paid library resources and education officer at the Keskidee Centre, where his poem Voices of the living and the dead was staged (73), produced by Jamaica novelist Lindsay Barrett, with music by the reggae group Rasta Love.

Although he has only released one album of new material in the last ten years, and virtually retired from the live stage, Linton Kwesi Johnson remains a towering figure in reggae music. Johnson's grim realism and tales of racism in an England governed by Tories was scathingly critical. The Afro-Brits in Johnson's poems are neglected by the government and persecuted by the police. Johnson was also instrumental (with his friend Darcus Howe) in the publication of a socialist-oriented London-based newspaper, Race Today. For one so outspoken in his politics, Johnson's recorded work, while politically explicit, is not simply a series of slogans or tuneful/danceable jeremiads. In fact, is was his second release, Forces of Victory, where his mix of politics and music united to stunning effect. Dennis Bovell and the Dub Band could swing (as in jazzy) more than many reggae bands, and guitarist John Kpiaye, the group's secret weapon, offered deftly played, dazzlingly melodic solos. But it was Johnson's moving poetry, galvanizing moments such as "Sonny's Lettah" and "Fite Dem Back" that made it obvious that this was a major talent.

Although he never intended to, Johnson became a star, in England anyway; in America he had a small yet devoted group of fans. But political activism was as important, perhaps more important, than churning out records and touring, and after the release of his third album, Bass Culture, in 1980, Johnson took time off from the music scene, turning his back on a lucrative contract from Island. He continued to perform, but it was poetry readings at universities, at festivals in the Caribbean, and for trade union workers in Trinidad. In 1982, the BBC commissioned Johnson to create a series of radio programs on Jamaican popular music, a subject he'd been researching for years. The programs, entitled From Mento to Lovers Rock, were more than just musical history; Johnson contextualized Jamaican music socially and politically and offered a more nuanced and thorough examination of the popular music of his native and adopted countries.

Johnson returned to the pop music scene in 1984 with perhaps his best record, Making History. Again working with Dennis Bovell, Johnson's seething political anger suffuses this recording, but it is never undone by simple vituperation. Johnson is, if anything, a thoughtful radical, more analytical than simplistic, and that adds to the power of these seven songs. Unfortunately, this would be the last new music from Johnson until 1991's Tings an' Times, which proved yet again that regardless of how much time he takes off from music, when LKJ returns, it's as if he's never missed a beat. His most recent period of recording silence has been broken by the release of a music-less poetry album. He divorced in 94 (2 sons , 1 daughter) . His 1998 album was entitled More Time, and in 2002 Johnson faces his 50th birthday this August with ambivalence. "I feel good within myself to know I've lived this long. When you're involved in revolutionary struggle, you're wondering if you're going to die in a police cell. I never thought I'd live to the age I have now, but you become more aware of your own mortality. 2003 saw the release of Live In Paris...

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One of Jamaica's most significant reggae albums, originally released in 1978 on Frontline Records. Poet is Linton Kwesi Johnson; the Roots are Vivian Weathers (bass guitar, vocals), Dennis Bovell (guitar, keyboards), Desmond Craig (keyboards), Winston Cumiffe (drums), Lloyd Donaldson (drums), Everald Forest (percussion), John Vamom (guitar), and Lila Weathers (vocals). All but two songs first appeared in Johnson's 1975 poetry book, Dread Beat An' Blood. The poems are political in nature, dealing with Jamaica's racist regime and the way some dealt with the oppression: doping, fighting, and wasting one another in bars, as depicted in "Five Nights of Bleeding (For Leroy Harris)." Johnson does little singing, he simply delivers his poems in cadence to the music. Only on a couple of tunes like "Song of Blood," led by Lila Weathers, does any real singing occur, but Johnson's powerful, inspirational, descriptive words needs little embellishment.

Poet And The Roots ( Linton Kwesi Johnson) - Dread Beat And Blood (flac  225mb)

01 Dread Beat An' Blood 2:58
02 Five Nights Of Bleeding 4:30
03 Doun De Road 2:26
04 Song Of Blood 6:27
05 It Dread Inna Inglan 4:03
06 Come Wi Goh Dung Deh 3:45
07 Man Free 6:01
08 All Wi Doin' Is Defendin' 3:02
09 Command Counsel (Dub) 3:10
10 Defense (Dub) 3:13

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Probably the least essential of Linton Kwesi Johnson's recordings. It is what it says it is, an album of dub versions of songs from Forces of Victory and Bass Culture. As dub goes it's very good; Bovell acquits himself nicely as mixer and producer. This would be the last LKJ release for four years.

Linton Kwesi Johnson - In Dub (flac  193mb)

01 Victorious Dub 3:33
02 Reality Dub 2:45
03 Peach Dub 3:48
04 Shocking Dub 4:45
05 Iron Bar Dub 3:42
06 Bitch Dub 4:35
07 Cultural Dub 3:28
08 Brain Smashing Dub 3:28

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It was as if the four-year break (despite his arduous schedule) re-energized him and Bovell, and the result was this masterpiece of swinging reggae. Johnson's poetry, still delivered in his semi-tuneful sing-song voice, takes on greater musical force on this record, blending in almost seamlessly with the band. Bovell has also taken some chances on this record his arrangements take the natural lilt of LKJ's self-conscious patois to a new level of musicality. There's a lot of busy horn work here, and the rhythms pop and roll more vigorously than ever before, but this doesn't detract from Johnson's intensely lyrical writing, which has rarely sounded more determined. He may not be quite the man of the people he wants to be, but he comes a damn sight closer than most leftists. And he's as smart as anyone could want to be, which is why he puts so much care into his analysis. Bovell has also taken some chances on this record, namely in the arrangements. . OK, I'll fess up, this is the LKJ album to own if you only intend to buy one.

Linton Kwesi Johnson ‎- Making History (flac 224mb)

01 Di Eagle An' Di Bear 4:14
02 Wat About Di Workin' Claas? 5:12
03 Di Great Insohreckshan 4:02
04 Making History 4:19
05 Reggae Fi Radni 4:24
06 Reggae Fi Dada 4:50
07 New Craas Massahkah 6:30
08 Di Eagle An' Di Bear (12" version) 7:24

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Anonymous said...

The flac package of In Dub contains track 5 in ogg only.

Rho said...

Yes sorry about that, something must have gone wrong after recoding, don't think it ever happened before. Anyway i switched the files back and re uploaded the file in Flac.

Anonymous said...

Fixed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho,

thanks for all the great Downloads and all the work! Could you please reup "LKJ in Dub"?

Thanks again!

yvesdi said...

Could you please re-upload LKJ's Tings an' times-album too?

Anonymous said...

Great thanks.
I'm curious about "Forces of Bass Victory Culture", whose link appears to be dead; could you revive it please ?
many thanks in advance

Rho said...

Hello, "Forces of Bass Victory Culture" is simply Forces of Victory combined with Bass Culture nothing new there to re-up

Paul C said...

Rho,could you reup Dread,Beat And Blood please? Any of the other LKJ stuff is also appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho,could you reup LKJ :
- Making History
- Dread Beat And Blood
- In Dub
- Tings An' Times
- More Time
- Live In Paris

I get it from your blog in 2012, but my external drive is dead!
Merci beaucoup...

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho, Thank you so much
So happy because LKJ is a must!

Anonymous said...

Estimado (creo)compatriota Muy agradecido por LKJ y el resto de tus posteos.
Que tengas un gran año!!