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Tetrack - Unfinished Business

Tetrack - Unfinished Business

Tetrack - Unfinished Business

By on - 3 comments

A well penned, beautifully sung return which deserves to find an audience.

Sampler

Tetrack - Unfinished BusinessFebruary 14th is traditionally the time for a string of releases at the more slushy end of reggae. But this year Valentine's Day saw the long-awaited download issue of this tough roots and lovers recording by the harmony group Tetrack, reunited after over a quarter of a century. The title refers in part to the equivalent age of some of the songs.

Tetrack was originally Carlton Hines, Dave Harvey and Paul Mangaroo. They formed in the early 1970s, catching the ear of producer and instrumentalist Augustus Pablo, for whom they cut the strong singles I'm Not Satisfied (1975) and Let's Get Started (1977). The latter became the title-piece of their first album for Pablo in 1980, followed by a second for Gussie Clarke before the outfit called it a day towards the end of the digital decade.

The revived line up initially featured Hines, Harvey and new recruit Norris Reid of the Viceroys - but Harvey left prior to the start of the project. The regrouping came to the attention of another master producer (and colleague of Pablo's) Clive Chin who helped arrange download distribution from VP.

The harmonies between Carlton and Norris are sublime. Hines' cherubic voice has matured to almost Bim Sherman-esque level of portent and mystery while Reid is his perfect foil. As you'd expect from the man who wrote for Gregory Isaacs, Hine's songcraft is faultless: there are no off the cuff improvisations or couplets thrown together under studio time pressure. Deep cultural topics like Dem Can't Get You Out (atop the Declaration of Rights rhythm) rub shoulders with rootsy lovers material such I Need You (on a bouncy semi-relick of Unchained).

Purist fans of the group's 70s heyday may struggle with the computerized drums to these otherwise instrument-based tracks - particularly due to the inclusion of the fully organic Same Speed which sticks out from with the rest. Hines had hoped to record everything this way but budgetary considerations came to bear. Yet it would be a shame to dismiss these recordings on these grounds - for this is quality digitally driven reggae as epitomised by the productions of Clarke, with whom Hines worked as an artist and songwriter during the 80s. Last year's single Dread Out Deh is actually a reworked song from Clarke's archives, while two further songs Nah Give Up and Shirley are unreleased Pablo collaborations. The remainder have a similar well-crafted sound, with Hines' engineer brother Jimi bringing the best out of the kick-drums and synth-toms. This is a well penned, beautifully sung return which deserves to find an audience so a completely live album can follow.

Tags: Tetrack

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Read comments (3)


Posted by beverley sinclair on 04.18.2012
Good interview... Music even better.

Posted by Alam on 04.19.2012
Cool...!

Posted by Aîcha on 01.04.2013
Tetrack are the Best listen my interview in my website:
http://groundation-reggae-musik
Jah Bless & Keep Tetrack Familly Love.
Aîcha.

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