JJ's Down Jamaica Way

JJ's Down Jamaica Way
Reggae Reviews


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spotlight On: ENFORCER

The mysterious singer known only as Enforcer was definately a Channel One recording artist as his small but excellent discography shows.

Enforcer - Jah Will Guide/Version - Hitbound 7" (1976)
Enforcer - Pay Them/Version - Well Charge 7" (1976)
Enforcer - Pearl/Version - Hitbound 7" (1978)
Enforcer - Ride On Marcus/Version - Hitbound 7" (1976)

Album Review: Well Charged Channel One - Pressure Sounds CD

Well Charged

First lets clear up the tracklisting on this Pressure Sounds Various Artist compilation as the cover omits to mention Trinity's 'School Days" & Version or that the dub versions of the vocal cuts are included as seperate tracks. Here is the actual tracklist.

1.Leroy Smart - The Meaning Of Life (12" Version)       

2.I Roy - I Man Time

3.John Holt - Tribal War

4.The Enforcer - Pay Them

5.Revolutionaires - Pay Them Version

6.Trinity - All Gone

7.Earth & Stone - Give Me

8.Creole - Beware

9.Revolutionaires - Beware Version

10.Overnight Players - Shaka the Great (12" Version)

11.Wailing Souls - Lawless Society

12.Revolutionaires - Lawless Society Version

13.John Holt - Up Park Camp

14.Revolutionaires - Up Park Camp Version

15.Revolutionaires - Leftist

16.Revolutionaires - Leftist Version

17.Ernest Wilson - I Know Myself

18.Trinity - School Days

19.Revolutionaires - School Days Version

20.McWoner - Nuh Fire It

Over the heavy Channel One cut of the Far East riddim we are treated to the extended 12" version of Leroy Smarts great Meaning Of Life. If you like this riddim be sure to check out the wonderful I Roy cut on the riddim titled "Ali" on his Virgin LP "World On Fire".

Next up we have I Roy chatting over the Mighty Diamonds mighty Right Time tune which still features snippets of the Diamonds chorus along with bursts of Tabby's lead vocals in the mix.

John Holt with a nice version of Tribal War from 1978. Also check out the nice Joe Gibbs cut of this riddim with George Nooks singing his version of Tribal War & dj'd by Prince Weedy on his "Jah Did It" piece.

The Enforcer's "Pay Them" is a very welcome inclusion featuring a hard relentless rockers groove where drummer Sly Dunbar gets to showcase his 'militant' double time drumming style to excellent effect on the dub version .
Trinity aka Wade Brammer was another versatile artist who when not dj-ing as Trinity released singing titles under his real name Wade Brammer or Jr Brammer. Here he gives us "All Gone" over the riddim used for the Diamonds 1975 classic  "Have Mercy" from their Right Time LP.
All Gone is from the excellent LP Trinity shared with Ranking Trevor called "Three Piece Chicken & Chips" on the Cha Cha label.
The duo of Earth & Stone give us their song "Give Me" which was first issued as a 7" on Channel One's "Cord" label in 1977 & again a year later on the Channel One label.
Shaka The Great is a rocking roots instrumental that features some fine acoustic guitar picking & a peppy yet solemn horn line repeated throughout the tune. Taken from the ultra rare & no doubt extremely expensive 1981 LP on the Cha Cha label.

"The Overnight Players - Babylon Distruction.

Recorded At Channel One in Jamaica & Island Records studio in London .The fine musicianship & warm production values make Shaka.... a magnificent addition to the Channel One catalog & it's criminal that no one has yet reissued their only long player.
The long lasting Wailing Souls vocal quartet share their harmonious vocals on their tune "Lawless Society" which comes with it's dub version.
John Holt hits us with his 1977 monster 'Up Park Camp' with it's accompnying dub.
The Revolutionares who supply the backing to all these tracks give us their instrumental ''Leftist'' & it's version.
The big voiced veteran Ernest Wilson gives us his powerful "I Know Myself" which is followed by the omitted Trinity's "School Days" & it's dub.
Bringing us to track 20 the magnificent "No Fire It" from the little known McWoner which comes without a matching version. Also reissued on 10" vinyl by DKR in April 2011.* see review

j j

McWoner 10" a disappointment.

I have owned a terrible sounding Channel One 7" of "Nuh Fire It" by the almost mythical artist known as McWoner for around 30 years & even though i haven't played that record for years i can still recall the loud Schhhh......Schhhhh........Schhhh  i'd hear on every revolution along with the sound of the infamous 'frying bacon' crackle of badly pressed or just plain worn out vinyl record.
So it was thrilling to read that the excellent US reggae label DKR (Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge Records) was to reissue Nuh Fire It on a Channel 1 10" backed with the tune "Higher Region" which was previously issued on 12" on the Tribesman label under the name of Drummie Benji.

On recieving the 10" from Ernie's my enjoyment of hearing McWoners voice minus all the noise was suddenly cut short as the needle reached the wicked dub version by the Revolutionaires band, i was dismayed to hear the familiar snap crackle & pop of my old 7" as what i had thought would be a pristine pressing of this roots epic of a riddim was marred by a barrage of loud click & pops from the start through to the finish.

I can't understand why DKR would want to issue this rare & much sort after classic in this condition, after going to the trouble of searching through old tapes & stampers for suitable material to release & then going through the process of pressing it up?

Apparently the sound imperfections are on the master stamper which apart from the crackle were still in good order.
The sound quality wasn't considered bad enough by DKR to warrent going to the trouble of remastering the version side of the record & remaking the stamper.
Pressure Sounds chose not to include the dub cut of "Nuh Fire It" on their Channel One compilation "Well Charged At Channel One" (PSCD 14) perhaps because of this same reason.
As this was most probably the last time this actual tune will ever be reissued in my lifetime i feel this release was a bit of a missed opportunity on DKR's part - to reissue this roots classic in the style it so deserves & deliver it to us in a better quality than my crackly 30year old repress.

j j

About Me

i roam the hills above my house with my pack of three bitches.