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  “In 1975 I was goin’ to America for the second time, when I decide to mek a dub LP. I like all the dub LP that Errol [Thompson] mek fi Joe Gibbs , like “Dub Almighty“. I went down to Channel One an’ they say to me ‘You ‘ave enough riddim put down on tape, you can mek a dub album’. One mornin’ me lef’ me house an’ me reach deh a studio about 6.30 a mornin‘. The reason why me reach so early, me did ‘ave fe start a client session at 10 o‘clock . Me mix one side a the LP that mornin‘, before the client session, an’ mix the second side the next mornin‘. Me use the label name as the title fe the Pp, because ‘Earthquake’ a one ‘eavy ting.” Ossie Hibbert

Monday 7th March sees the release of “Earthquake Dub”, by Ossie Hibbert And The Revolutionaires on the newly formed Cooking Vinyl imprint, Hot Pot. The original album has been long unavailable and this reisssue adds eight bonus cuts to that set. At the same time it portrays two remarkable talents; the deservedly celebrated Channel One house band the Revolutionaries [with the legendary Sly Dunbar at the drum kit] and the still relatively unsung Oswald ‘Ossie’ Hibbert as the producer, arranger and mixing engineer.

“Earthquake Dub” starts with the title track - a version of Dennis Brown’s “Whip Them Jah”, which utilises a recut of the Royals classic “Pick Up The Pieces” rhythm. The album also included as a bonus track a further cut (“Whip Them In Dub”), which was used as the b-side to Dennis Brown’s original vocal 45; the rhythm was also used by Tappa Zukie as the basis for his “Pick Up The Rockers” 45. Three tracks are original rhythms - “Rasta Foundation”, “Secret Agent” and “An Event” - whilst “Fletchers Land” has as its foundation the original rhythm under Junior Ross’s “So Jah Jah Say”. The remaining cuts are all versions of classic rock steady rhythms updated in rockers style by Ossie and the Revolutionaries. “Ital Menu” is a version of Phyllis Dillon’s “Love Was All I had” with a slightly different bassline; “Heavy Rock” rides a new cut of Ken Boothe’s immortal “Girl I Left Behind”. “Pain Land Dub“ is named for the Kingston ghetto district of Payne Land; it’s a version of “Rainy Night”. “Black Diamond” uses the bassline to Keith & Tex’s rocksteady classic “Stop That Train”, first recorded for Derrick Harriott, but this recut craftily adds a new horn arrangement; “Collie In Dub” is another cut of the Abbyssinians “Declaration Of Rights”, with both “Kissinger” and “Death Sentence” being further cuts of that legendary rhythm, originally issued as a 45 on the Earthquake label in 1976. All three cuts utilise a new horn line; the rhythm track also served as the basis for Junior Ross & the Spears’ “Judgement Time” 45. Alto saxist Headley Bennett features on “River Bank” a crisp update of the folk song “River To the Bank” here presented in extended form. The remaining three dubs included as bonus cuts are all taken from 45s; “Heavier Than Lead” was the b-side dub to U Brown;s “Heavier Than Lead”, and uses a cut of Dennis Brown’s “Funny Feeling”, Hog Head was the b-side to Trinity’s “Dog Meat” and sits on a cut of “I’m The Winner”, whilst “Conscience Version” was the b-side of Trinity’s brother Clint Eastwood’s “Conscience A Go Beat Them”, and rides a recut of the Mad Lads’ beautiful Studio One song “Ten To One”.

Oswald ‘Ossie’ Hibbert was certainly one of the busiest people in the Kingston studios during the 1970s. A gifted keyboard player, he was also a producer of note, first coming to prominence via his participation with producer Keith Hudson’s hit on Big Youth, the immortal “S-90 Skank”, on which he played organ. By the mid-1970s, he was working for Bunny Lee as member of the Aggrovators, as well as directing sessions at both Channel One and Joe Gibbs studios. These two studios were the hit factories during the latter part of the 1970s, taking over from the legendary Randy’s studio on North Parade, which had been so crucial during the first half of the decade.

Ossie was arranger and session boss for both Channel One and Joe Gibbs at this time; he issued a string of hits on his own labels, starting with collaborations with Pat ’Scabba’ Sutherland and using the ’Hound Dog’ label. Included among these were sound system favourites like Rod Taylor’s early hit “Bad Man Comes and Goes”. During 1975-6, he scored with Gregory Isaacs (“The Sun Shines For Me“) and Dillinger (“Natty Dread A The General") both released through Jo Jo Hookim’s Steady label, going on to register further success with Earth & Stone (“Wicked A Fe Dress Back”), Dennis Brown (“Whip Them Jah”) and further UK sound favourites like Junior Ross & the Spear’s “So Jah Jah Say” and Frankie Jones’ “Rasta Children”, as well has songs by veteran singers like Pat Kelly, Ronnie Davis and Freddie Mckay. Ross’s ‘So Jah Jah Say” also appeared on the group’s excellent LP for Tappa Zukie, alongside other Ossie produced cuts like “Judgement Time”.

Following this, Ossie issued LPs by Gregory Isaacs (“Mr Isaacs”) as well as two further dub sets “Crucial Dub” and Leggo Dub”, which latter set contained all the dubs to the superb “Mr Isaacs” set. Both sets will be reissued by Hot Pot Music in the near future. “Earthquake Dub” was the very first dub album produced by Ossie Hibbert; released on Ossie’s own ‘Earthquake’ label, early pressings of this set also appeared on Joe Gibbs ‘Record Globe’ imprint, as well as on Count Shelley’s ‘Live & Love’ label in the UK. This latter pressing - given to Shelley by Ossie’s New York based colleague Winston Jones - had all tracks retitled; the current reissue follows the titles as used by Ossie on the original pressings.

That a new audience can pick up on these excellent rockers nearly thirty years later is truly a testament to all concerned.

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