Jennifer Hylton’s early-nineties r’n'b-tipped torpedo, recorded by Lloyd Pickout Dennis at Dynamic, with the Firehouse Crew.
Dark, hypnotic, tripping nyabinghi from 1974. At no cost to its deep spirituality, this is the closest reggae comes to psychedelia.
One eye on the past, this captures UK roots sound-system vibes, like magic in a bottle; the other on the future, it’s a prophecy of dubstep. Originally released on Steve Mosco’s Jah Warrior label in 1996.
A grieving 1988 tribute to Tenor Saw, this is the killer Kong. Driving, hard, haunted and sombre, with nervous, grubbing synths and ringing claps, and a lethal bass-line — a stone classic.
Bim! Rougher than rough Roots Radics cut of Every Tongue from 1982, fired up with wild effects, murderous dubbing, and live, jostling microphone interplay; and with an excoriating version.
Co-architect of Black Victory, Sugar himself takes the mic for its last release, a driving sufferers cliffhanger about bent cops and going on the run, with Bagga Walker, the great Studio One bassist, in full effect.
Another Black Victory classic missing in action, with superb rhythms and killer dubs, a dream combination of Studio One and Bullwackies musicians, and the young sing-jay already at the top of his game.
A stinging, thumping, futuristic soundboy frightener, originally toted by JA producer Dennis ‘Star’ Hayles in 1989. ‘Tempo’ has mutated into shock treatment, controls set to vaporize all zinc pan.
Raw, stripped, auratic, Black Ark funk — the Final Weapon rhythm as Zen tutelage, no doubt inspired by Niney, with signature cowbell, scrubby guitar, bass bubbling in the pocket, The Upsetter mixing on the spot.
The key Black Victory album: a devastating, chilled, dread run on King Tubby’s Tempo rhythm, and surely the greatest one-rhythm LP of all time, with the very greatest versions of the Red Rose classic.
‘Special thanks to Freddie McGregor and the Studio One band’, it says on the cover, as the up and coming Saw gets full superstar treatment from the best in the business (not to mention a full-colour sleeve).
Utterly inspired, gale-force ranting pon a flashin’ TR-909. The head-on, 1988 collision of harder-than-hard-core dancehall and ultra-raw Detroit techno. Soundboy will soil his winceyette onesie.
Driving Shaka murder, fury and yearning mixed into a perfect marriage of digital and old-school music-making. Bagga Walker and a drum-machine tear up the dub. Complete with rare, ebullient Colarman toast.