I'm a huge reggae fan and answered a similar thread awhile back. I'll just cut and paste my initial response, although I would add to this list of recommendations nearly any of the Studio One compilations ('Studio One Dub', 'Studio One Soul', 'Studio One Roots', etc.)put out by Soul Jazz records...very, VERY nice collections of vintage reggae groove.
>>>My tastes for reggae generally steer towards older vintage recordings from the late '60's to early 70's with a strong leaning towards the classic dub plates from such masters as King Tubby, Lee Perry, Prince Jammy, etc. One of the things I find most intriguing about reggae is that it's admittedly limited musical structure inherently lends to it's strengths as it is a music revolving around texture, space, and a general feel...a 'vibe' as it were. Any type of 'tune' or song structure is merely a platform for the music to lean on and stretch out to. That said, I would recommend almost anything that Blood & Fire (a recent UK label feverishly devoted to lovingly compiled and remastered vintage reggae recordings) has put out as well as Pressure Sounds, another fine UK label overseen by Adrian Sherwood. Sherwood himself has produced (on his On-U-Sound) label some of the finest modern reggae recordings and done quite a bit to expand the genre with bands like African Head Charge & New Age Steppers who really use the genre of reggae itself as a platform for experimental sound structures...dub for the modern age. Some personal favorites:
Yabby You: 'Jesus Dread'
Burning Spear: 'Social Living' and 'Marcus Garvey'
v/a: 'Roots Techniques' and 'Techniques in Dub'
(comps of recordings by producer Winston Riley)
Jackie Mittoo: 'The Keyboard King of Studio One'
Augustus Pablo: 'East of the River Nile' and 'King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown'
King Tubby & Soul Syndicate: 'Freedom Sounds in
The Congos: "Heart of the Congos"
Israel Vibration: "The Same Song"
There's much more stuff out there of course, and a lot I've yet to discover, but there's a few ideas. Don't forget to check out Mr. Marley of course as well as Lee Perry & his productions for the Upsetters and others...the Arkology box set is hard to go wrong with on that end and there are a lot of great compilations out there too.
If you dig into the more recent catalog of On-U-Sound recordings, a good place to start would be with Creation Rebel and Singers & Players with a sidestep into the Dub Syndicate if you want to dig further. Enjoy the sounds...<<<
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