Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2016 - Track Seventeen - Dark Of The Moon

I have said and written much about the great Jackie Mittoo over the years and have in fact included a bunch of his songs in Spooktaculars over the years, this year is no different.  This one is called "Dark Of The Moon" featuring Jackie and the Sound Dimension and it comes from a 1970 7" on the Bamboo label.  And when Jackie hits the Hammond, you are always guaranteed of a top notch performance... and even though the upbeat rhythm would lull you into believing that everything is fine, the organ on this one definitely has the feel of something hiding in the shadows.  Maybe it's just me but with instrumental music I tend to get a mood and a vibe dependent on the title and this one obviously feels at home in our distinguished anthology of spooky tunes.  

I have embellished this one with audio I have blatantly stolen from Gayle House's "The Haunting" record.  If you are anywhere near my age and had a thing for comic books as a kid you'll remember the ad with the captivating headline of "Invite your friends over for a... Haunting" and the cloaked, fanged monster with the claws beckoning you to give it a try.  Of course at the time who had $1.00 to throw into the mail to send away for a record?  Sure I was curious about what was on the record, half expecting the second you dropped the needle the room would go dark and be alive with swirling malevolent spirits much like when the Nazis opened the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  As a kid, I figured it was best not to unleash a nightmarish horde into the family's living room so I quickly tried to forget the ad which was harder than I hoped considering it seemed to have inundated every comic book at the time.  Years later the miracle of the internet allowed me to finally hear "The Haunting" and it is so awfully campy and cheesy it quickly became a Halloween favorite right up there with Mi Tie Doughty Walker.  I have to admit, in the back of my mind I was happy that I was finally able to give it a listen without the paranormal catastrophe my 10-year-old mind had envisioned.  And just like the overly-dramatic narrator on side A who just so happened to have "come from the world of the unliving" to warn us of the Blood Banshee (whatever the hell that is), I need to let you know... "It is too late!  The banshee is already here!  You are doomed!  Doomed!"

But we're not done... 

 Teddy "Dosdedos" Garcia is originally from MatarĂ³ Spain, he relocated to Granada and formed Los Granadians Del Espacio Exterior, soon after he moved to London and formed The Delegators. Relocating to the Washington DC a few years ago, he now divides his time teaching at a local Montessori school and managing aforementioned ska originators Roy Panton and Yvonne Harrison.  Teddy loves the sweet sounds of the electric organ and has had the opportunity to play with Jamaican music legends Derrick Morgan, Dennis Alcapone, Dave Barker, Rico Rodriguez, Big Youth, Laurel Aitken, Carl Dawkins and many more.  So who better than to speak about this one by the great Jackie Mittoo?  Take it away Teddy!

"Just after the first man landed on the moon and we thus concluded one of the most ambitious episodes in the history of mankind, all kinds of questions related to the universe and its exploration started to emerge.  While NASA, NKA and CNSA were seeking ways to reach one of the most mysterious corners of our nearest satellite, in little studios on earth musicians and singers wondered and imagined what would be the sounds of the hidden side of the moon.  No space agency dared to venture any of its men to the cold and dark side of the moon.  Communications were lost, satellite signals could not reach and the legend grew.  There were debates on lunar constructions and extraterrestrial life, all the way to conspiracy theories about intelligent life settled on that side of the moon which our governments allegedly didn't want to expose.  At the same time, both in Jamaica and the other nations, the sounds were clear, the signs powerful and engineers well prepared for this journey to space and into the unknown, a cold war between nations to conquer the far side of the moon.

Pink Floyd tried it, perhaps the ultimate reference on such an undertaking.  But their dark and fearful interpretation did not intimidate the Jamaicans.  The crew was Sound Dimension, commander in charge of the ship was Jackie Mittoo, and whose captain, Clement Dodd, used the base path from the Maytals' "Monkey Man" and the Pioneers "Mama Look Deh" as a gateway to that lunar hemisphere.

As always, the particular vision of the Jamaicans on those new challenges made them interpret things in a more positive way.  In this interstellar journey, we can see how Jackie leads his men in an ambitious and determined manner, but with positivity and joy.  The Sound Dimension landed on the far side of the moon in 1970.  Since then, many other have tried without obtaining the positive results that Jackie Mittoo did with Sound Dimension."


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