Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sister Carol - Jah Disciple

Sister Carol - Jah Disciple

As the old soul ballad goes, "this is a man's world", and so it sometimes seems with Reggae Music. When it comes to singers and players of instruments, the men are in a majority. I know some people who even think that the best Reggae must be made by men. A thing which I disagree with, and one of the examples I always give is Sister Carol. In 1981, she started to record music under the eyes of Reggae DJ Brigadier Jerry. This was the age of Rub a Dub style, as dancehall music was called in those days. Jah Disciple was released in 1989, a time in which Reggae was -again- going through a shift, like in the time Sister Carol started to record. Personally, I regard this album as one of the higher quality products in a time in which this was absolutely not a common thing.

The albums contains ten tracks and starts off with a track in true DJ tradition: "Who Can Ram The Party Like Me", with the Sistren chatting about standing firm in this "man's world", she shows a perfect style of sing-jay. In the second track she performs her lyrics in fast toasting style, a style made popular by Brigadier Jerry. Third track is the title track, and it has a very catchy riddim. When the drum and the bass roll on under the Sistren's voice, you can't sit still, you just got to move forward an skank hard. Track four is my favourite Sister Carol track: Potential. This track says: play me loud, louder, and again and again. The drum and the bass-line are of exceptional quality. After this, Sister Carol showing to be able to master the genre of Dub Poetry (Linton Kwesie Johnson, Mutabaruka) with a track livicated to knowledge about African History. The 6th track, "Lost In Space" has a slow ragga-ish vibe, and a message to think about: they go to space but they have no respect for the human race. And that is why they're "lost in space". Intelligence is the title of track after this. A track in clear rub a dub style but with -then- contemporary sounds, as you can hear on Culture's "Nuff Crisis" for example. In this one she combines Dub poetry with Rub a Dub toasting and calls upon people to use their God given brains. Track 8 is called "No Me Mommy and Daddy" and again uses a slow ragga-ish style of drumming, while in the background you hear guitar licks and horn hits. Not the strongest song on the album. A lot of Dub mixing and drum and bassline in the next one, with Sister Carol singing and toasting. The album closes with a track that I do not really like, to be honest. It's almost pure ragga and that can't really move me.

The album has an interesting mix between Drum programming and real play, a document of the later 1980's when digital production became more common and accepted. A pioneering time indeed, and I think that now, in the early 2000's things are getting somewhere. But in the style as used on this album, it's quite acceptable for both digital and analogue fan. The album contains many different vibe, as every track stand in it's own style. The more you hear the album, the more you hear this. To summarize, I would say that this album is a must in your collection, especially when you are interested in Reggae DJ-ing. This is one of the best Sister Carol albums, without apology.

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