Dillinger vs Trinity - Clash - Vinyl LP
Format: CD & LP
1977 Clash album re-issued on CD and 180 gram vinyl in its original cover, as part of the re-launch of the classic 1970's reggae label Burning Sounds.
The sounds of Jamaica have brought many things to the world music platform including the inspiration to talk or rap, rather than sing, over music. Originally this was a live feature of the Jamaican dancehall as the toastmaster (latterly called 'deejay') livened up the audience with chatty witticisms and ribald observations on life, but soon became popular enough for the nascent deejays to enter the recording studio and lay their moves on wax.
By the mid 1970's deejay business was big stuff and for most popular vocal hits of the day could be found a version with 'toasted' commentary over the original record. Into this arena came many hopeful wanna-be deejays; some excellent at their craft and some, well, best forgotten. Of the former were the two artists featured on this album.
Clash albums such as this one became very popular at the tail end of the 1970's and into the 1980's with both singers and deejays competing against each other track by track. This had been happening in the dancehall for decades with not only performers attempting to upstage each other but two or even three sound systems competing over the course of an evening.
Many of the tracks on here were already hits of the day for singers such as Owen Gray with Rizla which is translated into Rizla Skank from Dillinger and Step It Brother Clem which is a deejay version of Louisa Mark's Keep It Like It Is.
Stumbling Block is a Carlton Patterson Jamaican rhythm recorded by him on Jah Jah by Dean Stone and is actually an update of an old rocksteady rhythm used on Love Is Not A Gamble from the Techniques.
An interesting track is Shelly With The Electric Belly which would appear to be a Lee Perry rhythm brought to the UK by Clement. It appears as Black Lion on the Upsetter produced Columbia Collie album from Jah Lloyd, (renamed by Perry as Jah Lion for this particular dread excursion).
It also pops up as a Bushay production on the UK Kiss label entitled What Can I Do from the little known Locks Lee which is a reggae update of the timeless soul ballad of the same name from Donnie Elbert. Meanwhile Thelma Houston's disco classic Don't Leave Me This Way gets the deejay treatment with the sprightly Spike Heel Shoes rattling along on top of Otis & Clem Bushay's soul-to-reggae cut of the tune which found release on a Burning Sounds 45.
Deejay music has now become part of popular culture with every nation having expert rappers but when this album was recorded very few beyond Jamaica would have known of this particular art form as the major force in this style, US rap, was still a couple of years away.
It shows without doubt that Jamaica may be a small island but its influence on the world music scene was and still is huge, and long may it continue.
1. Rizla Skank
2. Spike Heel Shoes
3. Natty Dread Ah Carry The Swing
4. Natty Dread On The Ball
5. Jamaican Dollars
6. Shelly With The Electric Belly
1. Step It Brother Clem
2. Stumbling Block
3. Cricket Loving Cricket
4. Natty Passing Through A Curfew
5. Natty Dread Is Not The Prodigal Son
6. Starsky And Hutch