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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

SUFFERATION: THE DEEP ROOTS OF NINEY THE OBSERVER

By Tom Pryor
Published September 22, 2005

Auralux

During the ’70s roots reggae era, Winston “Niney” Holness was one of the great producers, a studio innovator who, along with his colleagues Bunny Lee and Lee Perry, helped craft the “dread” sound of the era. This new collection from the British Auralux label collects some of his lesser-known work from that decade. But lesser-known didn’t mean unknown for Niney, and some of the tracks here boast genuine stars. Horace Andy voices “Them Never Tell I” and Dennis Brown emotes all over “Find Some One” and “Jah Is Watching You,” which Dillinger flips into his immortal DJ version “Flatfoot Hustling.” The lesser lights get their fair due here too, and acts like Tyrone Taylor, the Rockstones and the enigmatic singer identified only as Christine all shine. With groundbreaking engineers like King Tubby and Errol Thompson on his payroll, Niney was always pushing the music forward, and several of the cuts here are backed by excellent dub versions, too.