1986, High Times / Freedom Sounds
Woman A Yu Yard A The Best
Yu No Ready
The DJ With The Rock Stone Voice
The Governor General
I absolutely love this record. Not just for the cover art, which features someone who looks nothing like Pampidoo in official attire upon what could be a golden throne or tatty old sofa, all appearing to have been illustrated in MS Paint, or more likely by someone’s kid, and flanked by the handwritten words “The GOVERNOR GENERAL” written horizontally until there was no more space, and then vertically to fill the gap on the right side, with an extra “the” to fill up the top-right corner, and unforgettably with “GOVERNAL” at the bottom. You can see it right there but it begs description for impact.
But the music is good too!! Pampidoo has the original “rock stone voice”, which later allegedly became the coolest thing EVER when Buju Banton did it. Or so he claims, there was the famous contention with Uglyman where Uglyman was marketed as the "ugly deejay with the rockstone voice" and Pampidoo accused him of pirating the style, but none of that matters because Burro Banton was doing it as early as 1983 on sound. Da Original Banton, you could say. But what Pampidoo's famed gimmick lacks in originality is made up for with execution - Pampidoo really sounds like the chain-smoking cookie monster vocalist everyone craves now and then.
On this set the cancer-throated-cookie-monster style is flung upon some very, very cool riddims, courtesy of Bertram Brown (in his first and only deejay LP venture). They have a very fuzzy and mellow lo-fi kind of sound to them, very pleasant to listen to, and with the Hi-Times as the performers there’s a lot of exciting melodic and harmonic ideas from the keys in particular. You’d expect the first rock-stone record, especially coming out of 1986, to be hardcore as fuck but the fidelity of the sound makes this one of the quietest deejay records of its decade. The kind of record to be put on the first thing on a Sunday morning as you brush your teeth, have your coffee, and read reggae blogs.
My picks: Bonanza, Woman A Yu Yard A The Best, Grammy Award
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