FRACTURED AIR

The universe is making music all the time

Fractured Air 14: Time To Be Free (A Mixtape by Greg Haines)

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A special Dub Mix compiled by the UK-born and Berlin-based composer Greg Haines. This June, Greg Gives Peter Space, Haines’s brand new collaborative project with US songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick, release their debut album via Erased Tapes. Haines’s latest solo LP is the magnificent ‘Where We Were’, released last year on Denovali Records. As well as producing a string of impressive solo albums over the past decade, Haines also performs alongside both The Alvaret Ensemble and The Group. 

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Fractured Air 14: Time To Be Free (A Mixtape by Greg Haines)

To listen on Mixcloud:
http://www.mixcloud.com/Fractured_Air/fractured-air-14-time-to-be-free-a-mixtape-by-greg-haines/

“You hear a lot of talk about “dub” music these days, and I myself find the word slipping from my lips on a daily or sometimes hourly basis. “Dub” is cool again, and I have to admit I find it a bit frustrating that the word “dubby” is thrown around in reviews of every album that has echoey vocals or a cowbell! The word “reggae” still seems like it hasn’t caught on, it’s as if its a dirty word. But dub without reggae is the equivalent of John Cage’s 4’33”: just an empty tape of silence. So here is a mix that is based around roots reggae tracks that I have been spinning recently — it sure is dubby, but you can’t forget your roots!”

—Greg Haines

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Tracklisting:

01. Cedric “Im” Brooks ‘Satta Massa Ganna’ [Water Lily]
02. Jackie Mittoo ‘Ayatollah’ [Nefertiti/Basic Replay]
03. Dadawah ‘Run Come Rally’ [Trojan]
04. Keith Hudson ‘Felt The Strain’ [Joint International]
05. Al Campbell / General Lee & Trinity ‘Jah Love / Jah A Me Right Hand Man’ [High Power Music]
06. Pad Anthony ‘Blackman’s World’ [Hit Bound]
07. Sista Beverley ‘Rasta Woman’ [Iroko]
08. Willie Williams ‘Come Make We Rally’ [Black Roots]
09. Dennis Bovell ‘Jughead’ (Dubplate Mix) [Kingston Connexion]
10. Ernest Wilson ‘I Know Myself’ [Hit Bound/Channel One]
11. The Mystic ‘Forward With Jah Orthodox’ [Black Art]
12. Freddie McKay ‘I Am A Freeman’ [Money Disc]
13. Noel Tempo ‘Time To Be Free’ [Iroko]

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Track-by-track description by Greg Haines:

01. Cedric “Im” Brooks ‘Satta Massa Ganna’ [Water Lily]
When asked to compile this mix, I immediately thought of this track to start it off. Originally written by The Abyssinians and covered endless times since, it has even turned into something of a hymn for the Rastafarian religion. This version brings a completely different flavour to it — something like a reggae big-band feel, which opens with such power and confidence that in a strange way it reminds me of the classic opening passage of Isaac Hayes’ “Hot Buttered Soul” album.

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02. Jackie Mittoo ‘Ayatollah’ [Nefertiti/Basic Replay]
A beautifully synth-y track, reissued by Basic Replay, this was another contender for the opening track of this mix. Its got a little bit of an Ethiopian feel to it, along with a lot of hazy sci-fi goodness, which always seems to work well in the context of dub. Amazing female backing vocals hidden in there too!

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03. Dadawah ‘Run Come Rally’ [Trojan]
This record is one of my favourite recent finds — it has a spaciousness and a sacredness to it that combine to create something really beautiful. Run Come Rally, a Niyabinghi chant from Jamaica, is another song that crops up very often in different versions, but after hearing this version, it will always belong to Dadawah to me. Ras Michael, the man behind the project, has released many records and so far I have loved everything I have heard. Always very loose and vibe-y, but made with intent.

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04. Keith Hudson ‘Felt The Strain’ [Joint International]
A less common cut to the famous track by the legend that is Keith Hudson. There is always something to his tracks which is unique — to me the only way I can explain it is a hot, swampy sound. Its like the music is dripping in sweat. It’s also got a strong psychedelic quality to it — the room must have always been smokey when Keith Hudson was recording! I could have easily have picked another track from him, especially something from the “Playing it Cool” album which I love, but I just picked this up a few weeks ago and its been on heavy rotation ever since.

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05. Al Campbell / General Lee & Trinity ‘Jah Love / Jah A Me Right Hand Man’ [High Power Music]
One of my favourite tracks to DJ with. The take over in the middle is insane and brings a huge smile to my face every time I hear it…“Jeeeessuus Christ! We’re Nice!”. The legendary Roots Radics playing the riddim, and Scientist behind the desk – which is always a winning combination. And lets not forget Al Campbell’s powerful vocals. Incredible track.

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06. Pad Anthony ‘Blackman’s World’ [Hit Bound]
The b-side to Sugar Minott’s “No Vacancy”. Minott’s work, particularly on the Wackies label, often blows me away, but as I recently made a mix of exclusively Wackies tracks, I thought I would try to stay away from it this time. Anyone who says that the lyrics of dub reggae are all nonsense should listen to this track — it’s heartbreaking; political yet personal, and pretty melancholy despite the upbeat riddim.

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07. Sista Beverley ‘Rasta Woman’ [Iroko]
More women singing reggae please! I love the sound of a woman’s voice over such a tough riddim — if someone out there has some more recommendations for me, please let me know! Reissued through Iroko — a constantly good label from France. Produced by Dennis Bovell — but more about him in a minute!

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08. Willie Williams ‘Come Make We Rally’ [Black Roots]
Not much to say about this one except that its a beautiful production — slinky! Fantastic horns. Produced by Sugar Minott, who I mentioned above. Mixed by scientist — the master!

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09. Dennis Bovell ‘Jughead’ (Dubplate Mix) [Kingston Connexion]
The second mention of Dennis Bovell, and this time its in the context of a record under his own name. This is the b-side to a 10”. The A-side is another mix of the same track, but there is something about this dubplate mix which is so biting and driving. I always have a soft spot for re-issue records that have been recorded from the dubplate — they certainly have a different sound, and although usually you loose a bit of the lows and a bit of the highs, the degradation of the audio can sometimes add something incredible. I love that about dub and reggae music — a lot of of the textures of sound you hear come from years experimenting the studio, but some of the things you learn to love about it come from the limitations of the moment or the medium…and these limitations can even be exploited for wonderful effect. Its man vs. machine!

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10. Ernest Wilson ‘I Know Myself’ [Hit Bound/Channel One]
One of my favourite tracks to come out on Channel One, and one of my favorite vocal tracks out there — can’t help but bring a smile to my face! And the best thing is that the 10” I have includes four versions of the same track. Perfect! The only thing thats better than listening to it once is listening to four different people’s take on it!

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11. The Mystic ‘Forward With Jah Orthodox’ [Black Art]
One name has been notably vacant from this list so far, and that is Lee “Scratch” Perry. It’s hard to underestimate his influence on all that came after him. This track by The Mystic, produced at Black Ark by Scratch, and is a perfect example of why he is so revered.

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12. Freddie McKay ‘I Am A Freeman’ [Money Disc]
Just a fantastic song. An alternative take to the original, from the album of the same name — the last he made before he died.

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13. Noel Tempo ‘Time To Be Free’ [Iroko]
This song just gets to me every time — its unusual, its extremely soulful, and it has a mixing style that shows that Jamaican mixing techniques are more than just delays and reverbs. Its a very “dry” track. What it lacks in FX, it makes up for in emotion, and channels a little bit of the classic Motown singers like Curtis Mayfield or Otis Redding along the way. This is a great track to play to people who think they don’t like reggae music. Its such a diverse world, and with this mix, I tried to show just a little bit of that. I hope it whet your appetite for me — but trust me, it won’t sound quite right unless it’s on vinyl!

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Greg Gives Peter Space, the new collaborative project featuring Greg Haines and Peter Broderick, will be released on vinyl and download via Erased Tapes on June 16th, 2014.

http://greghaines.co.uk
http://erasedtapes.com

Greg Haines’s latest solo album, ‘Where We Were’, is available now on Denovali.

http://denovali.com

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To follow Fractured Air you can do so on Facebook HERE, or Twitter HERE.

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Written by admin

May 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

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  1. […] Last month Greg Haines compiled a Dub-inspired mixtape for us, LISTEN HERE. […]


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