Round 5: DJ (part 2)

From Brad Paul:

Round 5 Rewind (Injury Time Selection): DJ

Gunslinger, “The Buzz Feeling” (1985)

In 1985 British reggae artists, UB40, released an unlikely album called Baggariddim. The album served as a bit of a companion to the group’s pop EP Little Baggariddim and was issued in a manner somewhat similar to Aswad’s New Chapter and New Chapter of Dub. But this was not a dub album and not really much of a UB40 album either. Rather it was a collection of rhythms from the pop-oriented EP and elsewhere and reworked to fit the emergent style of reggae popularized by British MC’s, including Pato Banton and Admiral Jerry [Note that Round 5, Part 1’s Dillinger also appears on the album]. In the early 1980s, DJ’s like Asher Senator, Peter King, Papa Levi and Smiley Culture were in the process of inventing the “fast style” and recording great tracks at Saxon Studio and at the temple-like Dub Vendor record shop in London. The Dub Vendor, already a great place to pop a Tennants Lager or Crucial Brew and spend the day listening to the latest selections, must have been on fire during these sessions. Against this backdrop the seminal album Great British MC’s was released and a bunch of good stuff from the Greensleeves label and Baggariddim soon followed. Baggariddim remains a creative and important contribution, and that UB40 would release it in the midst of their own mainstream success is a fine testament to their position as reggae fans, chroniclers, and archivists. Taken as a whole the album is good but not especially earth shattering. It is an uneven mix of pop and the new style of DJ still finding its way. As such, some of the songs sound like first drafts. But a few singles absolutely nail it. One of these is “The Buzz Feeling” by a relatively obscure cat named Gunslinger. It’s all there- the way he slowly builds momentum into a final fever pitch, the hard rhythm, and the great and funny story telling complete with gratuitous references to 5 sheeters. What’s not to like? Don’t play with the General; don’t fool with the General.


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