Don Letts Presents… Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown Vol. 2 - album review

Download: Sinsemilla; Funky Kingston; Chase the Devil; Forces of Vicktry; Lightning Flash (Weak Heart Drop); Satta Massa Gana

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The Independent Culture

The Sixties may have occasioned the great baby-boomer breakthrough, but the Seventies was surely a time of even greater musical ferment.

That’s certainly the case with Jamaican music, as this Don Letts-curated collection demonstrates. It helped that Lee Perry was at his peak, crafting infectious grooves like Black Uhuru’s “Sinsemilla” and Max Romeo’s “Chase The Devil”; and that Big Youth’s immense charisma was at its most expansive on tracks like “Lightning Flash (Weak Heart Drop)”; but equally impressive was The Abyssinians’ “Satta Massa Gana”, the most majestic Rastafarian co-option of the rock-steady vocal-group sound.

Supported by stalwart UK sides from Aswad, Steel Pulse and Linton Kwesi Johnson, this compilation offers an uplifting snapshot of a genre in its pomp.