Jamaican Recordings LP 11 by Niney The Observer
Jamaican Recordings LP 11 review
Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, A.K.A. The Observer, must be one of reggae’s finest Roots
Rebel producers. Capable of making some of the heaviest, innovative music, not only
in sound but also in the Cultural/Political sense.
Born George Boswell, Montego Bay, Jamaica,1951,and name checked ’Niney’, due to
losing a thumb in a workshop accident.He began his career in music by organising
bands to play at school dances. But his first steps learning the musical ropes came
working under the tutor ledge of producer Bunny Lee around 1967, organising sessions
for Bunny’s stable of artists.He moved on to work alongside Lee Perry at Joe Gibb’s
‘Amalgamated’ label setup, where on Lee Perry’s leaving in 1969 to start his own
‘Upsetter’ label,Niney became chief engineer.
Inspired by Perry’s success it wasn't long before his own ‘Destroyer’ label was under
way. It was 1970, and his first production entitled ‘Mr Brown’ by DJ’s Dennis Alcapone
and Lizzy, proved to be a minor hit,but his own ‘Blood and Fire’ track released in December
of that year would become a major hit.After initial problems with it’s likeness to
Bob Marley’s ‘Duppy Conqueror’, being ironed out , it’s reissue on his now named
‘Observer’ label, saw it go on to become, Jamaican Record of the Year 1971.
Far out selling Bob Marley’s track to the tune of over 30,000 copies in Jamaica alone.
A roots classic...
Niney's reputation for building great roots tracks, was furthered with more success working
with singer Max Romeo.Issuing cuts such as 'Beard man Feast', the great
'Reggae Matic' and 'Aily and Ailaloo' and renewing his relationship with Lee Perry
on the track 'Rasta Band Wagon' who's production credit read Perry, Niney,Maxie.
In 1973,Niney began working with Dennis Brown,who was already an established
star from an early age, they found a chemistry that went on to produce some of
Dennis's finest work.The 1973 hit 'Westbound Train' was followed in 1974 by 'Cassandra',
'I am the Conqueror' and the timeless 'No more shall I Roam'.Another important connection
around this time was the great King Tubby who Niney would take his tapes along to and
even record some of his tracks at Tubby's house, 18 Drummlie Avenue, Kingston, which
doubled as his Studio of Dub.
It's these tracks that we are concentrating on here.Tubby would strip the tracks back to
the bone and rebuild them sometimes leaving off the hook line. Weather that be the
horn line or keyboard line and adding effects over the top that could disguise the cut
even more.Even Niney stating that when Tubby had finished with a cut, he found it
hard to recognise the track himself.
It's these tracks as dub plate specials that Tubby would play on his Hometown
HI - FI Sound System and it's these such tracks that we have compiled for this release.
Dub Plates that have not seen the light of day since tragically the great Osbourne
Ruddock A.K.A. King Tubby was gunned down and murdered on the 6th December 1989.
For a few dollars and a gold chain, reggae music has lost one of it's most inventive, creative
Niney also cut tracks with many other reggae giants, Gregory Issac's,Michael Rose,
Junior Delgado,Horace Andy,Delroy Wilson to name but a few. As in house producer
at the legendary Channel 1 studio's and supervising sessions at Dynamic and Randy's
Studio17, his magic touched many. DJ, Arranger,Producer, his Roots Rebel Music still
stands the test of time.
Respect Jah Floyd.
A1 - Set Dub Free
A2 - Lately Dub
A3 - Dub With Tubby
A4 - Dub Exclusive
A5 - In Love With Dub
A6 - No More Dub
B1 - Here Comes Dub
B2 - Tenement Dub
B3 - Swallow Field & Dub
B4 - Dubbing With Sally
B5 - Dark Side Of Dub
B6 - Dub In Silver
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