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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Various Artists

By Bruce Miller
Published March 16, 2007

More Pressure: Straight To The Head
Pressure Sounds 50

Pressure Sounds is arguably the best vintage reggae reissue label going, spitting out tons of obscure dub, rock steady and archival dancehall releases with handsome packaging and solid, if not always well-written information. This latest release, a collection of rare sides, not bound by producer or artist, with no clear agenda other than to take over the head, finds the label trawling the vaults and showing that there seems to be a bottomless pit of indispensable ’70s-era Jamaican groove. Included here is Black Uhuru’s initial recording, “Folk Song,” Rickey Storm’s “The Way It Is”—which snags hunks of Blondie’s “Rapture” and tucks it snugly into prime reggae’s bed—and dub-drenched versions on Bongo Gene’s “Skyjack.” There’s no doubt that the exceeding rarity of its tracks creates much of this package’s appeal, but it’s their dense, frequently mournful overtones that connect them, and make More Pressure the essential listening it is.