Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2008 Track 16 - Dub It Inna Black Cat Stylee

We're up to track sixteen with only seven more to go! This time we're tackling one of those quintessential icons of the spooky Halloween Season... of course you can tell by the image you see on the left, that I'm talking about the ubiquitous black cat.

For thousands of years, the black cat has been regarded as a mysterious creature with supernatural powers and were always closely associated with witchcraft and death. Folklore says that witches are able to turn into black cats, in fact, legends say they are only able to do so nine times which may account for the belief in the cat having nine lives.

The list of black cat superstitions is extensive and usually quite different depending on where you live in the world so instead of trying to paraphrase I found a great article on a website devoted to cat owners and those interested in cats in general and am quoting directly from that piece...

"If you live in the United States, or most European countries, then black cats passing in front of you will likely make you believe that no matter how dismal things are now, things are going to get worse. If however you live in the United Kingdom, or in Japan, black cats crossing your path will probably make you smile, and think that good fortune is on its way.

Live in Germany and you will probably believe that black cats crossing your path from right to left, is a bad omen. But from left to right, and the cat is granting favorable times for you.

In Italy many hold the superstition that if an inky feline lays on a sick persons bed, death will follow. In China there are those that believe black cats to be harbingers of famine and poverty. Latvian farmers, that find black kitties in their grain silos, dance with joy. They believe these felines to be the spirit of Rungis, a god of harvests.

Crossing the path of a black cat, as opposed to it crossing yours, is generally thought of as inviting the very worst of luck. In Scotland folks believe finding black kittens sitting in their porch is a sure sign of riches, and happiness to come.

In most parts of the world it is thought that a black cat walking towards you is a certainty of good luck coming your way. Should the cat stop and turn away, before it reaches you, then don't take any risks or place any bets, fair fortune is not to be yours.

Chasing black cats out of your house is a certain way to ensure that yours will not be a lucky house. Stroking the fur of black felines will bring you both health, and wealth. In some fishing communities, the fishermen's wives keep their cats indoors, believing that this will keep their men folk safe from peril whilst at sea.

Many people around the world believe that there is a single white hair to be found, on even the blackest of cats. Pull out the hair, without getting a scratch, and yours will be a long, happy and prosperous marriage."

With that in mind, let's get to the music. This one is called "Black Cat Version" mixed by Errol Brown and comes from the 1996 Heartbeat double CD set called Dub Over Dub: 27 Track Dub Extravaganza. Errol Brown is the nephew of the legendary Duke Reid who started and operated the Treasure Isle Recording Studio. He attended Kingston Technical High School where he concentrated on radio and television but received his real world training under the tutelage of Duke Reid himself. When Duke Reid died in 1974, his long-time friend Sonia Pottinger, bought the Treasure Isle label and continued operations. It was during that time that Errol Brown, with Mrs. Pottinger's encouragement, became a full-fledged engineer for the seminal High Note label working on albums for Culture, Marcia Griffiths and many others. This set captures some of Brown's masterful High Note dubs and if you're a fan of dub and haven't given this one a try yet you're really missing out on some great stuff... it ranks right up there as one of my all-time favorites!

I have embellished "Black Cat Version" with audio borrowed from the 1963 Boris Karloff LP on Mercury Records called Tales Of The Frightened Volume 2 and as you would imagine I concentrated on Karloff's tale "Never Kick A Black Cat" and I think it works great with the tune! And of course I couldn't help myself and added some echoey cat shrieks to the mix just to keep it fun. Enjoy!

I dedicate this one to my first childhood pet... the black cat my family named Felix. I'm not a cat person, but Felix is the reason I've always liked black cats and why I haven't entirely ruled-out the idea of ever having another. :)

Track 16

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