Delroy Wilson ‘Dub Plate Style’ 2LP/CD (Pressure Sounds) 4/5

While the songs contained within were released on a limited edition Third World double album from the late nineteen seventies and as such have become a collectable commodity, ‘Dub Style Plate’ differs from the original in that expert production skills of one Prince Jammy has been brought to bear on proceedings and as a result, the overall sound is a good deal harder with the drums beefed up and a spacier, in parts, dubified instrumentation. The genius of Jammy, however, is that he leaves the honey-toned vocals of Delroy Wilson intact and therefore we have an album that is certainly vocal, but with the major plus of dub techniques employed ever so subtly at opportune moments. Of course an artist of Wilson’s stature who has straddled the earlier era of ska and rock steady has always been eager to revisit the classics and on this selection, the singer reworks the Wailers ‘I’m still waiting’ and John Holt’s ‘Stick by me’ to good effect. Where the songs really stand out, though, are on the inventive additions of Jammy such as the extra percussion on ‘Mash it up’ or the use of organ on ‘Can I change my mind’. Most successful of all is the sparse accompaniment with rhythm guitar inserted into ‘Living in the foot steps of another man’. A fascinating and very successful fusion of vocal and dub techniques to one of reggae’s greatest singers and one that re-affirms the early genius of King Jammy.

Tim Stenhouse