Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Rebel Musicdotdot
artworkThis is a budget 2 CD collection of music from the Trojan label, taken from vinyl sources. For some reason, a lot of reggae and ska masters just disappear, or the labels don't seem to care about maintaining their own history. Anyway, I'm reviewing this here because it contains an artifact from Val Bennett that blends surf and ska/reggae in what is just about the suavest Jamaican release ever.
Picks: The Russians Are Coming, 2 Wedden Skank, Melody Maker

Track by Track Review

The Russians Are Coming dotdotdotdotdot
Ska Surf (Instrumental)

"The Russians Are Coming" is a 1968 cover of "Take Five," adapted to the style of pre-reggae. Aside from its incredible coolness, it's notable for the near-surf rhythm guitar that reverbs beneath the saucy sax lead. Entirely infectious, with a silken seduction unequaled in the reggae/ska field.

2 Wedden Skank dotdotdot
Reggae (Instrumental)

Glen Brown cut "2 Wedden Skank" in 1972. It's more or less completely dependent on it's rhythm, though the melody is carried by harmonica, and is incidentally the same as the classic "Stand Up, Get Up, Fight For Your Rights."

Melody Maker dotdot
Reggae (Instrumental)

"Melody Maker" is a 1973 instro featuring wah wah guitar and a chorus. It seems to have little direction, and relies on wah wah guitar much like a cross between "Shaft" and David Axelrod's "Leading Citizen" from The Auction. Not very interesting.