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Errol Bellot - Know Jah

Errol Bellot - Know Jah

Errol Bellot - Know Jah

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2012's album schedule is already off to a good start.


In music, natural talent doesn't always equal exposure. The ska pioneer Eric Monty Morris  only recently released his debut album. Likewise, it has taken the phenomenally gifted UK roots singer Errol "Gideon Zinger" Bellot some 30 years of hard hitting sides and memorable live appearances to unveil his first long-player 'Know Jah' (although Gussie P's equally excellent 'Sip A Cup Showcase: Greetings In The Name Of The Most High' could also claim the title - being issued at almost exactly the same time.)

Errol Bellot - Know JahThe former offering comes via Reading's guitarist/producer Kris Kemist of Reality Shock Records, the label behind fellow album-latecomer Solo Banton's 'Walk Like Rasta'. Kemist's crisp, tough roots productions strike the balance between organic and digital, soundsystem and private listening. In short: the perfect environment for one of the world's greatest Rasta singers to ply his craft.

The struggle to commit this mysterious, complex character to disc is evident in the presence of opener Know Jah - which Kemist says he and Errol began recording 9 years previously. The song's message however is still pertinent - telling young non Rasta fans of roots reggae that while they maybe love "the drum and bass" many in the music are after something more. Beautifully sung in a voice from the Luciano/Prince Malachi region yet with its own distinct timbre, Errol's messages tend to have this prescient quality - his superb Jah Tubbys 45 Roots Gone International highlighted the worldwide popularity of classical reggae to which the Jamaican media has awoken only of late. The Blair-and-Bush-bashing Hooligan, on Denmark's One People Productions' head-nodding One People rhythm, is perhaps less topical but none the worse for it.

A few songs will be familiar. Everything Possible is out on 10" while a recut of Errol's original big single Babylon (which first appeared on the S&G imprint in 1981 and has been recorded on several occasions since) and label tribute Reality Shock surfaced on  2008 sampler 'Reality Shock Volume 1'. But the majority, like the major key serenity of Militant Souljahs and Time For Change, are previously unheard. To the eleven vocals Kemist has added six dubs for an almost "showcase" feel.

Followers of the Gideon Zinger have awaited this moment a long time - and it is worth the wait. 2012's album schedule is already off to a good start.

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