Saturday, 29 April 2017
Oliver!: King Tubby and The Observer AllStars - Jam Down (14 March 1992)
A kind soul recently uploaded King Tubby's Special 1973-1976 to YouTube, allowing me a chance to listen to it in full and search for clues about why Peel was playing so many tracks from it through early 1992. The album is essentially split into two halves: a series of instrumentals with The Observer Allstars and a series of versions (vocal tracks) featuring The Aggrovators. One of which included heavy sampling from a very early post on this blog. Maybe it's been an accident of tape omission on the shows I've heard, but Peel's preference seemed to be skewed more towards The Observer Allstars tracks, as I've heard nothing from The Aggrovators' cuts - a shame as I think some of the tracks from the latter half of the album hit some beguilingly strange grooves, while the treatment of the vocals give them real kick in some cases.
By contrast, The Observer Allstars material, with one outstanding exception, seems to fall into two camps: stentorian blasts or chilled noodling. The saving grace is that it's all so well played and arranged that I can't help but include it, and Jam Down is another example of that. In the context of a Peel playlist featuring tracks about fascism and death/famine/holocaust references, these chilled grooves would have been a necessary balm. Intermission music before the next aural assault.
Video courtesy of theBolillo310