Review: Original copies of the original 1978 seven-inch of 12 Tribes Of Israel's debut single are not only hard to find, but also exceedingly expensive on the rare occasions they do come up for sale. This reissue then is well overdue. "Kill The Devil" is that rarest of things: an instrumental roots reggae workout that peppers a dancefloor-friendly groove with fluid piano, Hammond organ and jazz guitar solos. The flipside dub version - re-titled "Bury The Devil" - is also superb, with a stripped-back, reverb-drenched version of the track's killer groove rightly taking pride of place throughout.
Review: The Altered Tapes crew's sneaky remixes are amongst the finest around, as this latest must-check "45" proves. "Cherchez" has been doing the rounds for a couple of years digitally, so it's great to see it finally land on wax. It's a flip of Ghostface Killah's "Cherchez La Ghost", with the venerable rapper's verses rising above a weighty backing track crafted from hand picked samples of classic funk jams. Weighty and floor-friendly, it's the kind of bootleg revision that's guaranteed to get the party started. "Cherchez La B-Boy" on the flip strips out most of his vocals and instead chooses to base the action around fat funk breakbeats and an even more sizable bassline.
Review: "Fever" is one of Horace Andy's biggest hits. Amazingly, it has never been given its own release so Studio One has done the right thing and put it out on a super loud 12" for the first time. It first landed way back in 1973 before Andy rose to contemporary fame appearing with Massive Attack on five of their albums, but still hits hard. The lush vocals sit well in the swinging drums and bass, and makes it a sure fire dance floor destroyer that won't hang around. Comes accompanied with a Cedric "Im" Brooks instrumental version on the flip.
Review: Only Roots come through with a classic wedge from Barry Biggs. These pure vibes first came in 1976 and on this package you're also treated to the Clarence Wears guitar piece from the same year, plus a couple of spicy dubs. "Work All Day" is a golden offering with an aloof and soulful vocal that drifts up top like a wispy cloud on a summer's day. Muted chords enrich things and the natty riffs keep things subtly funky. That original Wears guitar piece is a real heart wrencher - the guitar rings out into the sky with oodles of reverb giving it even more poignancy.
Review: Nick "Bobby Blackbird" Dean is the Equinoxx producer behind "The Master Blenda" - a new instrumental that nearly never was: in 2015, he was involved in a near fatal car crash that left him hospitalised for three months. Grammy-nominated band Raging Fyah, horn maestro Stingwray and keys legend Franklyn "Bubbler" Wahl all feature on the A side - an upbeat ska anthem with big leads and a high feel good factor. Exile Di Brave takes over the flipside dub, which is an exercise in fantastic studio trickery and oodles of reverb. This is a sweet new 10" from this ever more essential label, especially as it is one that might never have been.
Review: Busty Brown's early reggae cover of the Temptations' smash hit "My Girl" from 1964 is presented here in all its glory. It's a glorious makeover that has soaring trumpets filled with optimism, deep cut drums that wriggle and rumble nonstop, as well as Brown's buttery, authentic vocals up top. Legendary dub outfit The Upsetters then take care of an instrumental on the flip side that goes a little slower and more purposefully about its business. It's not often that a cover outshines the original but in the case of this one, that might be what's happening here.