Sunday, November 29, 2009

dub weh

cry tuff

Shot dead on home turf in Kingston, Jamaica in 1983 following a confrontation, seemingly, with an opportunistic armed intruder, Michael James Williams - aka Prince Far I - qualifies for an honorary season ticket on the Bleachers; no refund. The findings of any police enquiry in a city notorious for its 'higher than I' murder statistics can never wholly be taken at face value. What is certain is that his death was no small beans. A major presence and pioneer on the UK Dub scene and its influence on more commercial productions, Far I was every bit as cutting edge as the biggest names operating out of Studio One. Razor beats and stroppy bubbles.

Long before the bullet casings became prima facie evidence, the "Final Chapter" was written.

PRINCE FAR I & THE ARABS: BLACK WEH from "Cry Tuff Chapter 3" LP (Front Line) 1980 (UK)


Your driver said...

God, I was crazy for Prince Far I back in the late '70's- early '80's. For most of 1979 I had to listen to 'Message From The King' at least once a day.

ib said...

I and I. Some very laid back and positive grooves.

Funny thing. This might be senility creeping in, but I had to go and check if Far I had anything to do with the production on the Clash's version of Willi Williams' "Armagedeon Time"; not just because of the shared Williams moniker - which I think is sheer coincidence - but because the dub sound on the 12" owes so much to the Prince.

Apparently not. It is credited simply to The Clash, but at the very least I am sure Mikey Dread must have had a hand in it.

I don't have "Message From The King", sadly. Sly Dunbar played on the album I remember. There is a track on it called "Armegeddon" ? Coincidence again ?

Your driver said...

Armageddon is not related to the Willie Williams song. The Rastafarian Bredren were very concerned about the end of the world. That was around the time Selassie I was killed. Alright, I know H.I.M. no cyan dead, but that's what was being reported in the papers. Armageddon sounds a lot like Adrian Sherwood's On U Sound productions. Certain Bass and Drum purists claim that Message is flawed by "rockist" influences.
Dunbar was one of several drummers on the album. I'm not sure who played on what.

ib said...

As a friend of mine once remarked:

"Haile Selassie ? Highly unlikely."

I don't know whether this was with regard to his reported death from respiratory failure in '75, or to his status as God incarnate. The latter, I suspect.

Dem bones. Allegedly - by way of a tangent - Saint Valentine's mortal remains lie interred beneath a chapel within the Gorbals, less than half a mile from here. The bones have become quite the object of veneration and - the chapel - pilgrimage in recent years.

Such hocus pocus does not have the same draw as superior drum and bass. Nor incense the same pull as plumes of ganja.

Thanks for putting me in the picture regards "Armageddon". I wasn't sure, but I did think it a long shot.

November 29, 2009 8:03 PM

@eloh said...

I got lost listening to the music and watching the mind music... I left you and Jon a message...but I don't know where.... oh well.

@eloh said...

21 December, 2008

Good God ib.....I'm easily confused in my old age... and then when I get to feed me a 1960's style in the hell was I supposed to realized I was in your "Way Back Machine".

The shame of leaving a comment will take me a while to live down.

Your driver said...

@eloh, welcome to the world of record collector chat. Lovely to hear from you here and at my blog, by the way. Anyhow, this kind of music is why I don't smoke pot anymore. If I was smoking and listening to this stuff, I would be blissfully entranced but covered with cobwebs- kind of like the pot smoking parents in "Repo Man". I already have moss growing on my north side.

ib said...

Well, @eloh. The 'zodiac mindwarp' was largely unintentional in that sense, but I am glad you uncovered the "Final Chapter" all the same; dub jahm at its giddiest.

No shame in leaving a comment way back there, let me assure you. I seem to be spending an increasing amount of time myself zipping in and out of those worm holes.

Just maintaining the garden.

Anto said...

this, like most of his tunes, is marvellous. Dub, ironically(?), was nover very big in Dublin until late '80s when there was a huge sway towards black music, brought on in no small part by the second major wave of hash to hit the place (mostly scabby soapbar and, even worser as we used to say, muck they sold under the moniker Diesel). The hydrosmoke only came later, 'round the time of the last decent tribe called quest album. at least in my world

ib said...

Interesting, Anto.

A Tribe Called Quest. Did they do "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" ? If so, it was no doubt as a result of the hydroponics.

Funny thing. I am not an admirer of that super skunk. Unthinking cadets rolling 'AK47's with no tobacco. Or inundated with pollen.

I cannot keep up with the younger crowd intent on chasing oblivion.

Still. Like you say, that Diesel was shit. Not 'shit' as in 'dope', but just crap; it tasted like reconstituted bicycle tyre. It probably was reconstituted bicycle tyre.

There was a lot of that nonsense in this neck of the woods, too.

Oh for some old fashioned Nepalese. Or even some 'rocky'. Nothing too severe; just a mellow high with a sprinkling of the hallucinogenic.

Always good to read your comments.

anto said...

Man sorry i couldn't join the fun the last few weeks, i have being sitting my pharmacy exams and have a royle pain the hole. if it wasn't for the book Vertigo (WG Sebald) i would have thrown myself under something. Anyone who has any interest in literature must read this book. His others are great too - the rings of saturn being probably his best. Sorry, well off point here but the folks who dabble on your site tend to be of the type open to a bit of good stuff and this stuff is some of the best.
In relation to the green stuff, my favourite was always a bit of funkadelic or Can and a j with plenty of red Leb. Not that i had much say in what frankie, our local man, gave me. bizzarely, he was able to tell what fragrance or dioderant you wore and could routinley pick out the various strains of Lynx amongst the throng that crowded around the wall in Finglas where he would do his thing. And, a huge reggea fan to boot. We've come full circle


All this talk of wormholes & zodiac mindwarps & dub & redub & hash & Diesel (called diesel because it tastes like diesel fuel burning) finally got my attention. I just burned a biggie of Black Pineapple laced with Nepalese Temple finger, dedicated it to the loving memory of Prince Far I (a king in my book) & am listening to some 2009 London-area dub with some of the heavy hitters of the current Brit-dub scene (Tena Stelin, Africa Simba, Levi Roots) with a Brazilian connection (Jero Banto). Give it a listen & let me know what you think (you can always dump it if you don't dig it.

Dubkasm - Transform I (2009)

ib said...

And. That banter regards "Black Pineapple" and "Nepalese Temple finfger" is making me itch. As if that should not suffice, you compound matters with the observation this was in fact a "biggie".

God damn, Nate.

How could the Dubskam not sound good, the way you paint it ? I attempted to DL just this minute but the connection is sl-o-o-o-o-w right now. I shall persist, mind you; I am in the mood to score more in this (cerebral) vein. I've been a tad preoccupied with extraneous shit this week and I need to wind down some. Or up.

Thanks for that link.

Is there a pharmacist in the house ?

Can take some beating, too - in that ilk. I had forgotten about the red leb. And the oil, although I recall pouring myself into a phone box in Mount Florida after imbibing; and virtually crawling on all fours when the pennies finally dropped.

And - speaking of Lynx - I just picked up a deodorant from LidL called 'Man Fever'. How lame is that ? Smelled good, though, and beggars can't be choosers.

I will get back to y'all with a verdict in due course. On the Dubskam. On the shut eye. First thing first: I am off to the licensed grocer's.

anto said...

if i could ask to consider thsi...

I have spent most of waking hours thinking about it since seeing it.

tell a friend

ib said...

Kind of off topic, unless I'm missing something, but fantastic nonetheless.

I've seen Mascis going it acoustic a couple of times, which is kind of how I like it. Better than Dinosaur Jr., on balance, I believe.

My wife - the stooge only in the kindest sense - caught him playing with the Fog and Ron Asheton here in Glasgow.

The guitar on the 'You-Tribe' clip of "Ammaring" is amazing, thanks. Did you trip to this first time around ?

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