Aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the sound of exhalation, the insight of the inspired, the volumic ministrations of the medicine, the giggle of the gorgeously-horizontal, the praise of the perfect, the respect for the reality of rebirth…
A triple CD box set here of fabulous spliff-song and collie-class is of course in danger of being hijacked by middle class student white-boy coolkids who identify, who testify, who multiply with their posters of Marley and smoka da weed, who justify spending lives in a fug of addled head-nodding, low-throated, long-vowelled pseudo-Jamaican all-over smiles and grimaces whilst the straightass, flightless world spins by with plasticity of poise.
Harsh words maybe, 'specially coming from a semi-albino bratboy whose coolest moments have come from strugglewalking up Snowdon in shivering December. Nevertheless, when all’s said and done, when it's all smoked and gone, the only conclusion that seems appropriate is that this is a very, very special collection from which you can learn whatever you choose.
‘Cause despite snotty digs and dubfuckerry, it’s fundamentally important to say that this latest Trojan Records box set is a magnificent musical feast on a par with 4AM Pizza and ginger-nuts-in-milk blowouts after a huge session; there’s quailty from The Upsetters; double-ya-money rootsy Dub from the likes of Derrick Morgan and Dillinger; Scientist and The Roots Radicals with their Stand By Me grooved-up greatness; pure ska supremacy from Horace Andy; the list, the beat, the feet, the feat smooths on and on.
It’s goodly, godly, joyous, mystical, introspective, playful, aggressive, open, fun, involved, evolved, an ear-caressing, body-bisse journey of 50 tracks that can both recede into the background and concurrently help you concede that music is for moving. In every sense of the word: be moved by the groove, melt your mind in the mood, believe that dignity is supreme, that fashion is obscene and that the truth may be found in whatever frame of mind you seek to explore.
The sleevenotes, as usual, are great. The music, as usual, is fantastic. The best of the best seek to showcase their stylee, their way of life, with morality and mirrorball minstrel lay-back and stay-fresh fabulousness. A celebration, an inspiraton, rolled up in a sensimilliaic sparkle of triumphantly tubed individuality.