Words by LargeUp Crew
King Jammy, one of Jamaica’s most prolific, influential and innovative producers, shows his continued relevance by reaching into the past for a brilliant new LP featuring some of present-day reggae’s biggest names. New Sounds of Freedom adds a new chapter to a story that now bridges three albums. In 1977, Black Uhuru recorded Love Crisis, a 10-song classic from a pivotal era in reggae. The rhythms were laid at Harry J’s recording studio with Sly & Robbie, Chinna Smith, Winston Wright and Gladstone Anderson among others, then voiced and mixed at King Tubby’s studio. The album was later remixed by Jammy — then Prince Jammy, before he was “King” — at King Tubby’s, and released in 1981 as Black Sounds of Freedom.
The 1981 version serves as the inspiration and jump off point for these raw and vibrant new tracks featuring original vocal performances from Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Gentleman, Alborosie, Dre Island, Tony Rebel and others, blended with the original vocals from Mykal Rose and company in Black Uhuru. While each track deserves notice in its own right, dancehall fans will surely have their attention piqued by “Leggo Babylon Wickedness,” a tune pairing two of Jamaican music’s biggest names in Shaggy and Beenie Man. Elsewhere, Bounty Killer, who got his start working with Jammy in the early 1990s, puts in a typically sharp performance on “Another Day in the Ghetto.” And reggae icons U-Roy and Louie Culture make rare appearances on “Mystic Chant” and “People Bawling,” respectively.
“I wanted to enhance these songs but give them the vintage feel,” says King Jammy of the set. “I have great adoration and respect for this album and want it to live on with reggae music fans.”
New Sounds of Freedom Track Listing:
1. Peace Treaty Style – Alborosie (Black Uhuru’s Time To Unite)
2. Walls Of Babylon – Dre Island (Black Uhuru’s Eden Out Deh)
3. King Selassie Throne – Chronixx (Black Uhuru’s I Love King Selassie)
4. Dog Nyam Yuh Suppa – Tony Rebel (Black Uhuru’s Sorry For The Man)
5. Another Day In The Ghetto – Bounty Killer (Black Uhuru’s Hard Ground)
6. Leave Satan Business – Gentleman (Black Uhuru’s Satan Army Band)
7. Peace And Love – Kabaka Pyramid (Black Uhuru’s Willow Tree)
8. Mystic Chant – U Roy (Black Uhuru’s Natural Mystic)
9. Leggo Babylon Wickedness – Shaggy & Beenie Man (African Love)
10. People Bawling – Louie Culture (Black Uhuru’s Love Crisis)