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Friday, March 25, 2005

INI & ME





prompted by Eden's championing of the PHENOMENAL new Damian Marley tune 'Welcome To Jamrock' (and the man's right again, it's a stone classic and I'm on my way to Blacka Dread to pick up my copy later today), I started thinking about Ini Kamoze (the Marley track is built up from Kamoze's World-A-Music on his 1983 Island self-titled debut mini-album(i think?).

Anyway, I realised that this was the first reggae record I bought. Ever.

Must have been second hand, about 1984. I'd obviously heard bits of reggae - not just Bob, but some chart reggae and stuff. I know two good friends of mine - Jim & Gretel - had Big Youth's Dreadlocks Dread (I was astonished by the cover, mostly) and a Black Slate album. But - somewhere - I'd heard this Ini Kamoze release and it really hit me hard, without me actually having a clue what was going on. I've just dug it out for the first time in years (it's DEFINITELY getting played at Unsound tomorrow!) and read the credits - it's a classic Taxi production job, with - bizarrely i guess - full lyrics.

With hindsight, it's not a CLASSIC roots album - the 2nd side tails off a bit - but as a 16-year old Darzet boy, Trouble You A Trouble Me and World-A-Music especially just took my head off (I was just starting my fairly brief career as a stoner around then, I guess). Fuck knows if this is still available, but it should be. There's a great little piece of prose - part biog, part statement of intent, part lonely hearts ad - which somehow calls to mind the piece on the back of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, though I'm buggered if I could explain why:

"INI KAMOZE (pronounced Ine Ka-mo-ze) born in Port Maria St. Mary 9th
October 1957... A disciplined Libran.. Raised in almost fourteen parishes but
mainly in St Elizabeth where he attended St. Elizabeth Technical High... Says he
started singing from the minute he was born (while other babies cry)... Visioned
Rastafari in 1976... Says it is man who creates God in their image and
likeness... Pencil slim, freed, singled, and disentangled, a six foot
vegetarian, believing that all food should be eaten live - (uncooked)... Writes
and arranges all his own music... Considers himself an (He)artist, not an
entertainer.. Writes plays and poetry and acts... Records on Mogho Naba, Taxi
and Island labels... Aims to shake up the earth with his music... Ini Kamoze
cools out in the hill around Spanish Town... Well, what else do you want to
know?"


"Now just be nice and hold your space

I won't entertain no more disgrace

Out in the street they call it murder

When rhythm spacing out your head"


posted by dubversion at 3:04 pm

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