Yabby You ‘Deeper Roots’ (Pressure Sounds) 4/5 LP/CD

Reggae roots master Yabby You presided over some of Jamaica’s finest music in the 1970s and several of his seminal albums were issued on the now defunct Blood and Fire label from the 1990s onwards. His dub output is a little more difficult to find, though, in addition to the aforementioned label, ‘Beware dub’ was re-issued and should still be available via the usual internet channels. Pressure Sounds have unearthed a rare gem of recordings that sound like rare 45s in their vocal and dub formats. An alternative take on the anthemic ‘Deliver me from my enemies’ stands out as a key example of the roots era and the DJ style rap and dub echo at the very end breath fresh life into the old chestnut. The opening number takes a leaf out of 1970s Stevie Wonder with the keyboard riff from ‘You are the sunshine of my life’ immediately leading into a deep roots vocal. As one might expect with a Yabby You production, nyabinghi flavours in the drumming, hat hat cymbals and the choiciest of dub effects permeate this fine offering. Essential listening for anyone who likes the seriously rootsy side of the reggae spectrum.

Tim Stenhouse