Phil Pratt – Dial M For Murder: In Dub Style
“With the passing of time Phil Pratt is emerging as one of the great unsung heroes of Jamaican music. A talented singer himself, Pratt has been involved in music since the early 1960s.
Pratt started producing alongside Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee for Ken Lack’s Caltone label. He set up on his own imprints in the early seventies and his Jamaica labels included Sunshot, Chanan- Jah and Sounds United. He recorded and released some of the best of Jamaica’s vocalists, including Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, John Holt, Pat Kelly, Al Campbell and Phil Pratt’s favourite singer Ken Boothe. However its one of his superb dub albums that is the focus here.
‘Dial M For Murder’ was recorded at Channel One around 1979/1980 with Sly and Robbie as the rhythm section, Rad Brian on guitar, Bobby Kalphat & Ansell Collins on keyboards and piano, Tommy McCook & Herman Marquis on horns. It is a lean but stellar cast of players and one that was used regularly by Phil Pratt. In particular Bobby Kalphat who was to feature heavily on many of Pratt’s recording sessions and cut some great instrumental sides that are well worth the search.
The album was named after the Alfred Hitchcock movie ‘Dial M For Murder’ starring Ray Milland. It is a dynamic production and if not exactly restrained, provides a closing statement in the more cultured, stately style of his collaborator Errol Thompson before the next generation of dub experimentation commenced. The album has become extremely sought after in the collectors’ market, and for good reason with its crisp and tuneful mixes.
The ten original tracks are featured on the LP along with the original sleeve and artwork for the cover and Steve Barker returns for duty on the sleeve notes. This is a superb album and one we are pleased to add to the Pressure Sounds catalogue.
This release, together with Pressure Sounds’ earlier releases of Phil Pratt’s fine productions will hopefully go some way in ensuring the producer takes his rightful place in reggae history.”