Review: The Kingstonians were a relatively short-lived Jamaican band whose greatest work was produced by Derek Harriott between 1968 and '70. It was at the tail end of this period that they recorded their sole album, "Sufferer", an early reggae classic featuring a swathe of sought-after cuts. It's from that set that these two tracks are taken. For the record, both have appeared on 7" singles before, but are so hard to find that collectors are willing to spend up to 500 Euros to find original copies. A-side "Hold Down" is particularly potent, with the vocal trio's fuzzy vocals rising above a killer early reggae rhythm much in Hammond organ stabs, warm bass and clipped guitars. "Nice, Nice" meanwhile is a more up-tempo affair that gives a little more prominence to a typical early reggae guitar riff. Together the two tracks make for a suitably scintillating package.
Review: Most reggae scholars agree that dub maestro Lee 'Scratch' Perry was at his musical best during the period he spent working at the Black Ark studio. Two of the last albums recorded at the studio before it burned down in 1979 were "Black Ark In Dub" volumes one and two, which were eventually released in 1980 and '81 respectively. Here they're gathered together on CD for the first time. Volume 1 (disc one) sees Perry offer up weighty, spooky and out-there dubs of backing tracks created by his regular studio band, the Black Ark Players. Disc two expands on the more vocal-focused - but no less dubbed-out - sequel, showcasing alternate takes and extended mixes of popular Perry-produced singles from the period. In a word: essential.