Dancehall pressure!

Coughing Up Fire stars in action
There’s never been a more exciting reggae scene than eighties UK dancehall. The sheer exuberant joy of the records and yard tapes from the era can’t be beaten. I’ve already done a mix of hits from that era, combined together with a load of ragga jungle from Rebel MC and others, on my “Tribute to Congo Natty” mix which is over on Marc Dauncey’s Bassnation site.

Now I’ve gone a step further. Back in March I reviewed the fantastic “Coughing Up Fire” CD, which showcases a 1984 set from Saxon International featuring the cream of Brit MCs – and it’s fabulous, every reggae fan should have it. A million thanks to John Eden for getting me that! In that set there’s a multitude of gems to enjoy, but I selected the explosive contribution of Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel for the Grievous Angel make-over treatment.

Rather than do the usual trick of ripping the arse out of it with jungle – delightful though that exercise is – this time I’ve gone into homage mode, sticking to reggae speed and showcasing the vocal. The original is virtually an accapella and I’ve simply added some thumping dancehall / hiphop crossover drums and a solid UK digidub bassline. The result is an explosive floor-bound sound lending the genius of Tippa and Colonel the arsenal of beats required to destroy dances today just as they did twenty years ago. Here it is.

Grievous Angel Vs Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel: Tippa and Colonel Again
5.6Mb mp3

Sadly I don’t know much about Tippa Irie or Daddy Colonel other than just being a general fan. But Tippa was one of the stars of Saxon, and helped originate “fast-talking” style chat. He scored some big hits, with Pato Banton and others, including the great “Hello Darling”, “Raggamuffin Girl” (featuring Peter Hunnigale), and “Stress” (featuring Lloyd Brown). Fans of three-sided football should note he also recorded “Shouting for the Gunners”, an Arsenal fan song which reached the Top 30.

Best of all he’s still working and recording today. Check his site.
Tippa in action today
There’s a great interview here.

Daddy Colonel I know even less about. He and Tippa did a record on UK Bubblers / Greensleves called Just a Speak at the same time as the “Coughing Up Fire!” recording. I suspect it’s this track that they’re doing on CD, and which I’ve turned into this tune, cos the crowd seem to know it well, but I’m not sure. There’s a label scan here.

Show respect (and do yourself a favour): buy the original album off the Greensleeves site.

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