Round 10: WILD CARD

From Brad Paul:

Aswad, “Natural Progression” (BBC Sessions Version, 1976)

I love how young and hungry Aswad sound on this track. For me it captures an absolutely great moment in reggae- when the militant sound was alive and well and West Indian youth in the UK inspired by Bob Marley and other Jamaican artists were busy creating and banging out their own original, British working-class reggae.

Starting in the mid 1970s artists like Steel Pulse, Matumbi, Black Slate, LKJ, Dennis Bovell among many others were busy translating the by then common Rastafarian and reggae themes of black nationalism, alienation, displacement, and police harassment within a specific ‘born in the UK’ colonial context. Recorded as part of the John Peel Sessions in 1976, “Natural Progression,” contains an absolutely heavy bass, spacey lead guitar fills, sweet harmonies, and a delightful staggered stop and go rhythm which adds up to one truly crucial track.

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