Archive for the ‘Bill Laswell’ Category


Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Listen: Strong Me Strong / Yellowman
Strong Me Strong / Yellowman

By the 80′s, reggae seemed to race forward technologically a little too fast, like Jamaica suddenly discovered electricity or something. The deep analog records from the mid 70′s got very syndrum and synth heavy by the end of the decade. Just about every followup to classic albums by Max Romeo, Justin Hines, Aswad or anything involving Sly & Robbie reeked with a shimmer that now is horribly dated.

‘Strong Me Strong’ was indeed so strong, those occasional sonic trappings couldn’t begin to destroy it’s greatness. A pretty brave record for 1984, given that slamming reggae wasn’t exactly in the pocket, or maybe it’s just what was needed. Good signing Howard.

Yellowman’s one off with CBS/Columbia meant white, alternative kids could take notice and rub shoulders with roots music all over again, like in ’77. Yellowman toured the US, playing the exact same venues as the college radio hot indie bands. Not a jaw was left shut once he finished mopping those stages.

Listen: Dub Me Strong / Yellowman
Dub Me Strong / Yellowman

This dub version B side is lightweight but fun, a difficult one to find anywhere but on the original vinyl (I think). Bill Laswell and Material do many things well, but obviously not dubbing. Worth having as a period snapshot though, and still pretty great loud.