Prince Douglas – Dub Roots
Engineer Douglas Levy was part of the original Wackies set up from 1974-75, alongside Lloyd Barnes and Jah Upton. For a while he would have his own label – Hamma – within the Bullwackies group; but besides Sugar’s International Herb, this 1980 dub album is his finest work. Wackies’ fans have been clamouring for its reissue ever since Rhythm & Sound began making the catalogue available again.
Many of the rhythms are derived from a tape given to the studio by Sly and Robbie, containing their versions of recent Joe Gibbs hits. And there are brilliant treatments of Tribesman Dub – the rhythm for Tyrone Evans’ Black Like Me – and Wayne Jarrett’s definitive interpretation of Every Tongue Shall Tell. Elsewhere Jah Batta takes deejay duties – likewise Prince Douglas himself. (And there are lovely skewed graphics by team regular Leslie Moore, self-styled ‘LAM International’). But the deadliest cut of all reworks another gift, Steel Pulse’s Handsworth Revolution, which arrived in a parcel of records from England the same weekend as the session: March Down Babylon Dub, with Bullwackie himself at the microphone in his Chosen Brothers guise, as steely and apocalyptic as Douglas Levy’s fabulous production.