King Kong - Dance Hall Session

1986, World Enterprize

  1. Trouble Trouble

  2. Tempo

  3. This Sound Charge For Murder [Banana Man]

  4. Version (Tempo)

  5. Aids

  6. Step Pon Me Corn

  7. Ring The Alarm

  8. Running Away From Progress

  9. Version (Stalag)

  10. No Older Than Me

There are one-artist records, there are two- and three-artist clash records, there are various-artist collaboration records, there are one-riddim various-artist collaboration records, and then there are anomalies like this set and Lovindeer's "Dance Hall General", which is both a one-artist record and a one-riddim record. Thankfully this album is not quite so extreme, featuring three riddims and two artists.

The set begins with five tunes in a row on Tempo. General Trees once said "one riddim too long is very boring" and this is just beginning to push the limits that I find comfortable. King Kong is a very consistent (and consistently good) singjay, and these tunes show that off to the point of being a little bit too much. Tempo is a cover of Anthony Red Rose's then-new hit song of the same name, and is a fantastic cut that I find a much better listen than the original. Which is all well and good, but then Trouble Trouble is uncomfortably similar, and Aids is almost the same tune but with different lyrics. Excellent lyrics mind you, and it's also a great tune... but you see where I am going with this. It's such a strange feeling to get something great and then just have more of the same. Banana Man chimes in with This Sound Charge For Murder which is also extremely close to Tempo, both the original and King Kong's version, and is, yet again, a great tune. Banana Man isn't an artist I have heard much of yet, but he does a fine job copycatting King Kong's style.

The second half of the record gives you four tunes on Stalag, and it's a wicked cut of the riddim delivered by Bobby Digital and featuring some tasteful dubbing. Dub fits wonderfully in rub-a-dub music and I'm always happy to hear stuff like the glistening delayed skanks in this Stalag cut - especially on Ring The Alarm, which is of course another cover tune, this time originated by Tenor Saw. It's almost like there are more artists here, which might make this set feel more like a "Dance Hall Session", what with the same riddims being run several times with different dub effects mixed in. But no such luck. And then at the end you find No Older Than Me, on a riddim I forget the name of, but the tune favors the Little John style, fit with fine lyrics. King Kong rarely steps out of his comfort zone, and this entire set is strictly within it, and while all of these cuts would make a welcome addition to any LP, having so much of the same stuff all together at once makes an awkward listen. Not unpleasant, just weird. Would I recommend it? Surely not before the other King Kong sets, but definitely after.

My picks: Tempo, Aids

Bim count: 0

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