Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rhythm Doctors - Reggae Injection

Rhythm Doctors - Reggae Injection

When I read the Reggae Injection press release, I was a bit sceptical. How many times do you read some thing about a new release, that is supposed to bring you back to what some regard as the golden years of reggae? And how many times did you found out that what bands call "old skool" in fact is not? I know I have come across this. What many people seem to forget, that it is not only the music that makes a release sound "old skool", but the way it was produced is at least as much important as the music itself. How can you make ancient sounds with new technology? Much better it is to use the real thing. Spring Reverbs and Tape Delays instead of new computerized effects. But you can never reach there in this time.
Strange thing, this (Reggae) Injection that the (Rhythm) Doctors gave me. It makes me kinda philosophical after listening to 12 Shots of, what I really must call, Authentic Reggae and Ska. Although it does not sound 100% like the real thing only because the recording is simply too good still, I must say that this CD comes very close. And although the press release mentions the sound of Lee Perry's BLACK ARK STUDIO, there is hardly a phaser used on the CD and on those tracks where it is used, it's not done in the Lee Perry style. No, most of the music style pre-dates Black Ark for real. The Doctors play a very energetic kind of music, sometimes reggae and sometimes ska. Every track is instrumental, but many titles open up with some crazy vocals, which gives you the feeling that you're listening to movie soundtracks. One track uses a melody line from a gospel song ("I Love You Lord"), revealing the faith of (some) band members.

As I said earlier, the Doctors play a kind of reggae and ska as it was played in the late 1960's to the early 1970's. Not all tracks are like that, though. As the CD progresses you'll find some tracks using the Steppers Drum (basdrum beat on every count) and there's even three real Dubs present. And three real nice Dubs they are for real! I hear many vintage effects like Spring Reverb.

When you like Sure Dread's instrumental tracks, or the Stubborn All Stars, I think you will also love the Rhythm Doctors. But if absence of vocals (or Dub) bothers you, then this one is not for you. But they sure make real what they write in the press release: "Reggae Injection is for everyone that'd given up on listening to new Reggae or SKA Bands." If you don't believe me, take into consideration, that they have backed up for Prince Buster recently (september 2000).

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