Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's 90 Degrees and It's the End of September... Who's Ready for Jamaican Halloween 2007?!

The Weather isn't exactly cooperating with setting the proper Autumnal mood for Halloween which is a little more than a month away, and though I'm not complaining it's nonetheless time for the 2007 Jamaican Halloween Mix... For those of us who are new to Distinctly Jamaican Sounds the Halloween mix is when I take a bunch of Jamaican tunes from all eras dealing with supernatural or scary themes, blend them up and spit 'em back out complete with creepy/spooky aural enhancements courtesy of vintage sound effects records, horror movie trailers and whatever else works.

Just like last Halloween, I'll not be posting the complete mix in one big lump. I will finish the mix this weekend, chop it into individual tracks and then post them one a day throughout the month. When each tune is placed together in order on a CDR or on your Ipod they'll make a complete Jamaican Halloween Mix. Each track will definitely stand alone but will be that much more enjoyable when assembled in order with all of the others. Be sure to collect them all!
First track coming soon... stay tuned!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Voice Of Thunder - Prince Far I

Prince Far I, born Michael Williams circa 1944, known as the Voice Of Thunder started his musical career as a bouncer for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in the late 60's and early 70's. One day King Stitt, the regular DJ at Studio One, failed to turn up to voice a track and Williams convinced Dodd to give him a try on the mic. Coxsone gave him the new name of King Cry Cry and a legend was born. After recording a couple tracks using the monnicker he was bestowed he eventually changed his name to Prince Far I. His gruff, deep voice, chanting style initially appeared to limit his talents but unlike many DJ's before and after had failed to do he continued to maintain his popularity throughout his lifetime. After recording a decent amount of records in Jamaica for labels such as Joe Gibbs, Virgin Front Line and Trojan he eventually spent time in England with Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound. Unfortunately Prince Far I's life was cut short on the streets of Kingston on September 15, 1983 at the age of 39.

Now before we get to the mix I have a word of warning. Prince Far I is definitely not for everybody. My wife is a relatively seasoned reggae listener and she has never been able to stomach Prince Far I. His style is raw and tends to lack that certain "light-hearted" tone that unacoustmed listeners usually equate as the trademark of reggae music as a whole. Prince Far I definitely had a voice of thunder and the topics discussed, usually of a biblical or "sufferah's" nature, are not for those looking for some light listening while settling down to dinner. If you've never heard Prince Far I I'm not trying to dissuade you from giving him a listen, because he is an important link in the chain of Jamaican music as a whole, but the guy is hardcore. Well enough about that.

On an unrelated side-note... I do have fond memories of my friend Nick and I calling the weekly reggae program on a local radio station and requesting Prince Far I once a week. At first the female DJ who did the show would kindly pacify us by saying she'd play something but of course she wouldn't. So after a few months of unrelenting requests, sometimes 3 or 4 times a night, in different disguised voices mind you, she would just hang up on us. Nick would convincingly start off by asking a legitimate question about a song that was playing at one instant and the next he was requesting Prince Far I and she would slam the phone down. She never played the "Voice Of Thunder" and as teenage boys are often known to do we gloated in the fact that we had stumped her with an artist she had either never heard of or didn't own.

Now to the music...

1. "Foggy Road" from the 1977 Virgin album Message From The King
2. "The Lord's Prayer" from the 1975 Carib Gems album Psalms For I
3. "Show Me My Enemy" from the 1977 Joe Gibbs album Under Heavy Manners
4. "Throw Away Your Gun" from the 70's era Virgin various artists CD compilation Natty Rebel Roots
5. "Jamaican Heroes" from the 2001 CD compilation The Golden Years on the Cleopatra label
6. "Praise Him With Psalms" from the 1978 Virgin album Long Life
7. "Go Home On The Morning Train" from the 1979 Trojan album Free From Sin
8. "Johnny Get Worse" from the 2005 Blood & Fire CD compilation Silver & Gold
9. "Uncle Joe" with Gregory Isaacs from a 1979 Frontline 12"
10. "Some With Roof" from the 1981 album Livity on the Charisma label
11. "Every Time I Hear The Word" from the 2005 Trojan Dancehall Roots various artist boxset
12. "House Of Jah" from the 1997 Pressure Sounds CD Health & Strength (originally recorded 1978-1979)
13. "Mr. President" from the 2000 CD Ten Commandments on the Cactus label
14. "The Dream" from the 2005 Virgin CD Black Man Land
15. "How Love Devine" with the Wailing Souls from the Pre album Showcase In A Suitcase
16. "Shuffle And Deal" from the 1994 Blood & Fire various artists CD compilation If Deejay Was Your Trade
17. "Natty Champion" from the 1980 Trojan album Jamaican Heroes
18. "Clean Hands Pure Heart" from the 1999 Pressure Sounds CD Sounds And Pressure Vol. 4
19. "Ten Commandments" from the 1981 Trojan album Voice Of Thunder
20. "Heavy Manners" from the 1992 Heartbeat various artists CD The Mighty Two

Hear the Voice Of Thunder!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Club Paradise Trivia Contest...

I've decided on a fun way to distribute the complete Club Paradise Soundtrack to those fans of the film who would like to hear it again...

Instead of just posting a link to download the album we're going to do a little Club Paradise trivia, where you'll have the chance to win a copy via download. Man, I feel like Chuck Woolery here... Now I know not everyone has seen the film and there are probably countless others who have no interest in hearing a bunch of Jimmy Cliff tunes recorded for an 80's era Harold Ramis comedy. So if you fall into either one of those categories you can just ignore this post... we'll have something more to your liking soon.

Now this is the way it's going to work. The soundtrack has 10 tracks - you'll get 10 trivia questions relating to the movie and or a specific song from the album. The number of correct answers on the quiz will coincide with the amount of tracks you receive for your specific download link. Requests to take the quiz will be posted in the comments section and all correspondence will be facilitated via e-mail so as to not reveal the answers to those who are out of the loop.

If you're a real fan of Club Paradise then these questions won't be too hard.

Leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll forward you the quiz - I won't publish the comments that contain your address so I can promise you won't get flooded with offers to buy prescription drugs or bogus plans to increase your penis size.

Annnnd.... begin!!