Some great sessions from the USA
Admiral International - Alexander Hamilton Hotel, 55 Church Street, Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.A 1981
** Thanks to Ras Adam and Mikey Jarrett for this additional info.
African Love Hi Fi Brooklyn March 1984
African Love Hi Fi Reggae Lounge 285 West Broadway, Manhattan 27-2-1986
Ambassador Hi Fi – Miami, Florida, 11th April 1987
Atomic Nuclear Hi Fi New York March 1990
Bombshell Hi Fi New York, 1985
Featuring: Screechy Dan, James Bond, Shelley Thunder, Super Jerry, Gregory Nose, Smuggler, Papa Ranjit
Selector – Occa T
“This tape captures the Bombshell posse in session in early 1985. The location is uncertain but it could very well be in the Brooklyn area. The local deejays are out in force and all come with good style and fashion. Deejay James Bond handles the microphone expertly and strings his lyrics together nicely for “Deep Sea Diver”, “Can’t Take The Winter” and in particular on “Me Young”. Female deejay Shelley Thunder, the small horsewoman, is perhaps the most rated here and she shines, all too briefly here, on “Girl Stylee”. The vibes are JA inspired but an entertaining sound all told.”
David Rodigan SNWMF Boonville, CA 2008
Another top class set from the SNWMF and once more this is a crystal clear recording. We have over 3 hours of non-stop niceness from the UK's very own David 'Ram-Jam' Rodigan. I wont spoil the surprise with a run down of tunes, let's just say that he absolutely smashes up the Boonville area and we are treated to slice after slice of reggae history...
Diplomat Hi Fi – Boston, Massachusetts, May 1984
Brigadier Jerry, Sassafrass
Selector – Juki Jam
“Here’s one of Boston’s eighties sounds, Diplomat Hi Fi. This recording captures the final part of the evening’s entertainment and it has two big JA supas, Brigadier Jerry and Sassafrass passing through the place. The “Prison Oval Rock” rhythm is the backdrop to Briggy’s “Horse A Gallop” and Sassa’s “Gamble For We”. Both are in good form with Brigadier rolling out his big lyrics for “Pain” and Sassa even croons Ken Boothes “Silver Words” before the lights come up and the people head for home.”
Downbeat International – Club HQ, 476 White Plains Road, Bronx, NYC, 17th April 1983
Featuring: Brigadier Jerry, Sister Carol, Bobby Culture, Louie Ranking, Welton Irie, Shinehead
Selector – Tony Screw
“These sounds are “played by Downbeat Intellectual, alone”. So says Brigadier Jerry, just one of a few big name deejays lighting up this early 1983 session at Bronx’s Club HQ. Bobby Culture is “Big Bout Ya” and has some sharp lyrics in his “Yardie” homage and the confident “Riddim Rider” Louie Ranking sings and deejays his way through the “Say What Your Saying” standard. Sister Carol rightly hails herself as the “First Female DJ in NYC” and she comes strong in her “Crucial” piece. Brigadier Jerry is, as usual, his own formidable self on “Give Thanks & Praise” and “Pain”, but, as quite often happens, when Shinehead is in the place he just tears it up. His “Wanna Be Starting Something” is frenetically chatted over the “Real Rock”. He proves that he certainly is the “Fastest Mouth In The West” and also one of the most original chatters ever.”
Downbeat ‘the ruler’ vs. Volcano Hi Power Superstar Athletics club NY February 1984
Featuring: Shinehead, Brigadier Jerry, Santa Ranking…
Operators: Tony ‘Goldfinger’ Screw & Jah Wise..
Shinehead states “Usually we do it warm & complacent but tonight is going to be wild & erratic!” at the start of this session and he is not kidding, as New Yorks Downbeat take on JA’s Volcano Hi Power at the Superstar Athletic Club on the White Plains Rd in the Bronx.
Shinehead is on top form and is the star for the show on this one. He does all the great styles that he became famous for including a great impersonation of Volcano DJ Ranking Toyan. He also does the whistling thing over the Billie Jean rhythm followed by a great version of ‘aint no sunshine’.
The ‘General’ Brigadier Jerry is also on hand to nice it up along with other Downbeat resident Santa Ranking.
Tony Screw drops some great selection for the DJ’s to ride from Barrington Levy, Cocoa Tea, Al Campbell and Sugar Minott, but one of the many highlights from this session is when Downbeat sign back on after Volcano’s time with guest selector Jah Wise from Youth Promotion who drops the original of ‘Trying to conquer me’. The crowd go crazy…
Would love to know how Volcano answered back if anyone out there has their side to this clash??
Downbeat 'The Ruler' Turntable 2 New York February 1987
Downbeat the Ruler vs Papa Moke St Michaels Hall Patterson, New Jersey December 1987
Featuring: Lt Stitchie, Brigadier Jerry, Earl Cunningham, Malibu, Johnny Slaughter, Dave Sixteen….
Operator: Tony ‘Goldfinger’ Screw
It’s a meeting of the two New York heavyweights in the St Michaels hall and the great Lt Stitchie is definitely running things on Downbeat tonight. He asks Moke to turn their amps down to fix a feedback problem and once this is done it’s non-stop lyrics from the visiting Jamaican super.Tony Screw drops selections from amongst others, King Kong, Johnny Osbourne, Superblack and Stitchie rides everything inna fine, fine style.There is a short break in proceedings when a police officer asks for some cars to be moved from outside the dance but it’s straight back into action with Stitchie and John Slaughter vibesing up the place.There is vocal support from the sweet voiced Earl Cunningham & Malibu and the not so sweet voiced Dave Sixteen!When the ‘General’ Briggy steps up to the mic the place erupts and you can hear the hands slapping the walls all over the hall.The Moke DJ’s draw some card on Stitchie and he doesn’t let any of the offenders off as he shows his lyrical dexterity mounting attack after attack on Admiral Shirt and Mikey Jarrett.
All in all another fine Downbeat session made all the better by being able to hear the Moke side. You can make up your own minds as to who got the better in this big session….
Papa Moke vs Downbeat International, St Michael’s Hall, Paterson, New Jersey, December 1987
Downbeat 'The Ruler' SNWMF Angels Camp, CA 2004
Featuring: Brigadier Jerry, Carlton Livingston, Nevada Joe, Alton Ellis
A short but ever so sweet piece of audio from the dancehall arena of the SNWMF 2004.
Tony Screw's Downbeat set are in session and he is dropping a mighty selection of Studio 1 classics.
Carlton Livingston is in fine form and he gives the Angels Camp massive Armagideon, Trodding through the jungle,
Hot summer, 100 weight of collie weed & Rumours over the timeless Studio 1 rhythms.
Brigadier is as always soild as a rock handling the rhythms with ease especially when Downbeat drops his sign on tune the great 'Warn the nation' and with Carlton singing 'Dancing to Downbeat sound' first before Briggy gives the imortal 'Downbeat sound the raggamuffin sound' it is a really great moment.
As if all this is not enough, we then get to hear the legend that is Alton Ellis live & direct on the sound and even though he is "hoarse" he still manages to belt out 'Downbeat the champion' much to the delight of the SNWMF posse and now to us also!!
Downbeat 'The Ruler' SNWMF Boonville, CA 2007
Featuring: Sugar Minott
Selectors: Tony Screw, Goldfinger
Tony Screw has made the journey from NY for the SNWMF and he has brought a crate of top tunes with him... Special after special is flung down and a top notch selection of true revival killers too.
As if that is not enough, we also get a superb live performance from the late great 'Booga' Minott to boot and you know any time Sugar is in the dance it's gonna be TROUBLE!!
Over 3 hours of this one and stunning sound quality..... MURDER!!
Genesis Hi Power - Bronx, New York, 1987
Featuring: Papa Biggy, Lt. Stitchie, Wolfman, Peter Metro, John Wayne
Selector - Smokey Don
Thankfully this has nothing to do with Phil Collins. Instead, it’s a 1987 recording of Genesis Hi Power live in the Bronx. When the likes of Lt. Stitchie, Wolfman and Peter Metro touch down in the dance, you’re guaranteed lyrics galore. ‘Top Celebrity’ Stitchie comes with ‘Downtown’ chatted on the Greetings riddim and reprises big hit ‘Wear Yu Size’ before teaming up with his spar, Wolfman, on ‘Wicked Rider’. Ex Black Star selector Smokey Don is at the Genesis controls and he’s got plenty of Little John and Johnny Osbourne to rock the dance. The self-styled ‘biggest deejay in the world’ Papa Biggy is not over-shadowed by the ‘supas’ present, and his pieces include ‘African Haffe Free’ and ‘Lyrics Attack’. Meanwhile, Peter Metro observes that New York is ‘Full a Freaks’ and he reminisces about the famous 4 sound clash dance held at Kingston’s cinema 2 a couple of years previously.
Ghetto Roots Hi Fi New York 1999....
Jack Ruby Hi Fi – Keystone Berkeley, 2119 University Avenue, Berkeley, California, 1st August 1982
Featuring: Lui Lepke, Bobby Culture, Jah Big
Operator – Fat Jaw
Owner – Jack Ruby
“Here is a real exclusive, courtesy of White Squall, of the mighty Jack Ruby Hi Fi live and direct in California. This is a really crisp recording of an event held at Keystone Berkeley that was maybe put on to showcase how the authentic Jamaican sound systems operate. The owner Jack Ruby is heard introducing his deejays to the audience and radio listeners, and one of the sounds regular deejays Lui Lepke is heard stepping out over some “Pre-release” Mighty Diamonds tracks. His report of the death of “Walter Rodney” is delivered over the Diamonds recut of “Declaration Of Rights” and when Fat Jaw spins some new Dennis Brown he tells how a recent “Dance A Keep Ina Ochi”. Bobby Culture has made the journey too and he gets down to business riding Freddie McGregor’s massive “Big Ship” changing it to “Big Sound Ina Foreign”. Like Lui, he’s got a lot of lyrics to flash and he educates the crowd about how to keep a dance in “Master Blaster”. Jack Ruby in fine style!”
Leotone Hi Fi Brooklyn April 1983
Love Injection Hi Fi Biltmore Ballroom, NY 1990
Nyah Tone Hi Fi – Clarkson Avenue, Brooklyn 1983
Junior Wilson, Lone Ranger, Silver Fox, Papa Rucu, Sammy Levi, Mikey Slew
Selector – Kanai
“After the demise of the Virgo International sound system around 1983 the Lone Ranger started to turn up regularly on American sounds and this is him guesting on the Nyah Tone Hi Fi in Brooklyn. This is trademark Lone Ranger style and he has familiar pieces like “Too Greedy”, “Jennifer Lee” as well as local observations in his “Brooklyn Juggling”. There are plenty of special requests to the New Lots and 90’s crews and the local singers like Junior “Willow” Wilson and Sammy Levi are sounding good here. Other deejays present are Mikey Slew, Silver Fox and the little heard Papa Rucu, who handles the microphone well for his “Big Everytime” and “Shaolin Temple” pieces.”
Prince LLoyd Hi Fi Galaxy Ballroom, 843 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn 1983
Ram Jam Hi Fi - San Diego, California, October 1986
Revelation Hi Fi New York 1987
Rockertone Hi Fi – Hartford, Connecticut, June 1987
Featuring: Charlie Chaplin, Josey Wales, Brigadier Jerry
Selectors – Smokey Don, Tony Screw
“The three heavyweight deejays are in “foreign” again, this time the dance is in the Hartford area and they work the microphone as only seasoned veterans can. Early lyrics from Charlie Chaplin include a wicked “Money In The Bank” and “Long Belly Man” and his worries about “Too Much Loafters in Jamaica”. Josey’s rough as ever with “Nah Lef Ya” getting a good response from the Connecticut massive. Briggy’s rocks them too, coming with “Briggy Went To A Dance” before all the big time supas get caught up in the churchical vibes in a medley which includes “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Even a small microphone problem can’t dampen the spirit of these dancehall kings.”
Sir Peter Hi Fi New Startone Lawn, 610 Van Siclen Avenue, Mount Vernon,
New York 1985
Featuring: Brigadier Jerry, Daddy One
“The “General” is in the dance! A St Peter sound system dance in Mount Vernon to be precise. This ghetto-blaster recording, with virtually no bass originally, finds Brigadier Jerry running through some of his favourite lyrics like “Riding West”, “When The Saints” and “We Are The World” to name just a few. The crowd love it when he goes into the fast talk style on “Can’t Stop The General Again”. It must be late in the session as the coach driver is ready to leave, but Briggy sounds like he’s really enjoying himself, and he urges the driver to wait till the end. All night till daylight.”
Sir Tommy’s v Nyahtone @ Galaxy Ballroom, 843 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 9th September 1983
Featuring: Nicodemus, U. Brown, Mikey Jarrett, Daddy Kempes, Sammy Levi
Selector – Sligo
“Tapes of legendary New York sound system Sir Tommy’s don’t turn up too often so here’s a vintage rub a dub clash against Nyahtone recorded at Brooklyn’s Galaxy Ballroom venue. Experienced duo U.Brown and Nicodemus line up for Sir Tommy’s and certainly know how to “ram up a dance” and that’s what they proceed to do. Nicodemus holds the mic for the longest here riding a selection of Studio One dubs and the “Unmetered Taxi”, which goes down well. As Demus says “Sir Tommy’s A Nice Up The Party”.
Shadow International – Al’s Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19th February 1988
Featuring: Louie Ranking, Professor Nuts, Colin Roach, Shabba Ranks, Lady English & Miss Linda, Major Mackerel, Howie Banton, DJ Daddy, Captain Devon, Anthony Malvo
Selector – Tony Screw Mixer – Juki Jam
“There’s loads of JA and NY entertainers passing through the Philadelphia area for a dance held at Al’s Place. Shabba Ranks is a deejay on the rise and he can do no wrong at this time and delights the crowd with his own brand of slackness delivering hits like “Love Punnany Bad”. He’s joined by the unique deejay Major Mackerel who chats and squeaks his way through “Run Down Man”, “Pretty Looks Done” and “Mampie”. Guest selector Tony Screw draws popular tunes by Pinchers and Al Campbell whilst funny man Professor Nuts rails against the pure noise of “Amateur Deejays” in the business. But it’s not all ragga chat as singers Anthony Malvo and Colin Roach, “the only two foot roach”, get their chance around the microphone.”
Techniques Hi Fi – Flatbush, Brooklyn, 1989
Culture Bobby, Citrus, Sluggy Ranks, Wolfman, Thriller, Little Junior
Selector – Baby Wayne
“This is a typical late eighties recording of Brooklyn’s Techniques Disco featuring a mix of dancehall juggling and some live artists holding the mic for extra entertainment. New York stalwart Sluggy Ranks was making a mark on the dancehall recording scene singing songs with a positive message. Here he versions his hit “95% Black, 5% White”, his observation on the ratio of prisoners in the Rykers jail, as well as “No Old Bruk”, “Stop Making A Fool”. On “Roadblock” Sluggy shows he’ no mean deejay too. Thriller is another singer who made his name in the dance with Youth Promotion and here he gives his take on Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel”. Jonathan Wolfman, the self styled “original armshouse deejay” is in the party too and he contrasts the singers with some rough ragga chat in pieces like “Ready, Get Ready”, “Want Smaddy” and the slack “Love Me”.
Third World Hi Fi Bronx HQ 1984
Terrorist Hi Fi Biltmore Ballroom, 2230 Church Avenue, Brooklyn 1986