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Various Artists - More Univershall

Various Artists - More Univershall

Various Artists - More Univershall

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An unusual journey into reggae's leftfield for a very worthy cause.


Springline's follow-up to their fair-trade compilation of underground roots artists, 'Univershall Style', is a charity double album in aid of the biblical voiced singer Peter Broggs. Broggs suffered a stroke in 2004 and the proceeds from 'More Univershall' will go towards his treatment.

'Univershall Style' was an intriguing mixture of different roots reggae approaches, from Lee Perry-ish early seventies revivals to eastern flavoured hippie dub. Its lack of professional mastering was both blessing and curse. On the one hand it made a refreshing change from the increasingly overcooked modern reggae releases of recent years (of which Alborosie's last album was one of the worst offenders). On the other, the tunes sounded very out of place on an iPod or mix CD.

''More Univershall' remedies this with a glossy but not massively compressed finish across the tracks. And there are plenty of weird and wonderful cuts representing a wider range of eras and curious sub genres this time around. Newcastle/London’s Hassle deliver a nice early seventies style instrumental called Loved. Haj fuses the one-drop with a minor key folksy vibe for the catchy hybrid Three Bridges - plowing a furrow much like that of Ed Rome.

Ambient B sides (Denja’s Dreams In Aya and Jah Billah’s Fall In Dub) rub shoulders with odd circus ska from David Powell and “proper” roots music from Telford Tilly Roots Nelson (Chase The Devil) and the uncannily good London vocalist Yabass (Brother Peter). As with the previous compilation there is a discernable Lee Perry influence running through productions such as Pama International’s Fisherman Dub and Albusark Studios’ Peter Broggs Inna. There's even a dreamy electro-soul dancehall piece by Stranger Cole’s son Squiddly and an eerie “reg-hop” creation named All Need Hope from Lyrikill and Sista M.

Springline, like the UK’s Urban Sedated, operate at a unique corner of the underground reggae market. This lovingly presented project shows they can punch well above their weight. An unusual journey into reggae's leftfield for a very worthy cause. Support Peter Broggs and buy this today :

Copyright Angus Taylor 6th October 2009 ©

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