For almost thirty years Pressure Sounds have been delving into the depths of JA’s finest spaced-time revolutionaries, and for much of that there’s been plenty of Vivian Jackson aka the mighty Yabby You to dig delightedly into.
Following February’s phenomenal Yabby You & The Prophets dubs and versions double vinyl (which remains on weekly rotation in these parts), we’re now offered an album’s worth of collabs with vocalist Patrick Andy, taken from an unreleased tape in Jackson’s personal archives. Needless to say it’s a heady brew of low-end theory and soulful vocal cuts, spun endlessly out through the echo chambers and on into the future as imagined by the denizens of Kingston 12.
The title cut kicks things off: Andy’s mellifluous vocal performance bedded down by the bottom-end, a sugar and spice combination – well tried, well-tested, a proven formula for aural success. Zion is summoned, Jah is praised, horns are welded precisely: ‘he moves upon the wind / he’s the king of kings…Jah made them all’. Typical tropes of course, but handled deftly and sweetly by the singers and players – why mess with a recipe that’s timeless?
Got To Give Some Help is a call to arms, a rallying cry against the idols of silver and gold, as worshipped by the wicked man: conscious roots music reverberating strongly half a century down the line.
Youths Of Today returns to another perennial topic: fighting every day and not knowing the meaning of love – those pesky youths – I’m guessing Andy wasn’t much more than a youth himself at the time but still…The dub turns up the horns and isolates the vocal magnificently: there’s more space here than on Hackney Marshes – a wide-open vista of echoplex nirvana.
You Don’t Want Me is another traditional lament, the lover spurned, the heart in pieces, turning to song to ease the pain. A touch of doo-wop, almost, in the backing vocals. Oohs and ahhs smeared over the horn lines: melodies as medicine, music the healer as always.
Another winner then from the estate of Yabby You. We can but wonder how long Pressure Sounds can keep chiseling out these beautiful aural relics, and we can give thanks that there appears to be an inexhaustible wellspring from which Jah’s praises continue to be sung. Thirty years is but a wink of the cosmic eyelid after all: interplanetary emissions look set to continue for a good while yet.
Vivian Jackson Presents Patrick Andy’s Living In Mount Zion is out now, on Pressure Sounds.