Jashwha Moses – Jah Time Has Come (Sugar Shack Records)
Ltd 12″ / DL
With a vintage roots sound, this 12” this could have been a gem collecting dust in the backroom of a ’70s JA record shack or UK indie record shop. “Jah Time Has Come” is taken from the new Jashwha Moses album “No War on Earth” and the 12” opens with a “Redub” by the Rootikal Crew from London.
The vocal melody starts, followed by echoey piano and a reverb slap treatment to the drums that wouldn’t sound out of place on a King Tubby collection. The spacey sounding horns serve to reinforce the conscious lyrics: people may be living in poverty but the listener is reminded that “Jah Time Has Come and Jah Will Be Done”, a familiar staple message of roots reggae.
Jashwha Moses has the voice to carry this message and with his collaborator Mikey Taylor-Hall has a combined 70 years playing and recording experience which probably accounts for that genuine roots sound and the quality of the playing.
On the heels of the Rootikal Redub we have the original track from the album, a little more digital sounding and reminiscent of some ’80s/’90s offerings from Ariwa sounds or On-U Sound.
The Dubwise Mix sees the producer employing the effects board to the max. Multiple echoes and pitch shift on the vocals interplay with those horns and the ever present bass reminiscent of the style pioneered by Mad Professor.
“Suffering Is In The Past” is taken from “Joshua To Jashwha – 30 Years In The Wilderness”, (Bristol Archive Records) but was left off the vinyl edition, starts with a vocal melody lifted from Bob Marley’s “Punk Reggae Party” and used by countless others since.
This tune is again in the Roots tradition, but distinctly British and with more of an ’80s sound perfected by the likes of Misty in Roots. The instrumentalists certainly get full opportunity to display their prowess on the multi-layered delivery.
The final cut, “Suffering Dub” gives us some heavy, heavy bass, wah-wah treatment on the guitar, plenty of percussion topped off with the obligatory ping pong delay on vocals and drums, certain to go down well on a sound system that has the bottom end push to do it justice.
For my money, “Suffering…” is the strongest track of the 5 on offer but the whole 12” makes an enjoyable 17 minutes for any fan of roots and dub – including those purist reggae fans I’ve met who aren’t fans of dub. This is music that has started life as reggae and been given the dub treatment rather than written as dub from the outset.
All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on LTW here.