12/02/2019: “Back To Africa” by Aswad

There’s a certain view amongst sections of the Rastafari movement that Black Caribbeans have been stolen from Africa and should one day return, especially back to Zion (Ethiopia).

The belief is strong strong amongst some adherents, that they set up the community of Shashamane in Ethiopia.

“Back To Africa” is a song which propagates the view that the spiritual home of people descended from former slaves is Africa.

The song is a chilled out rootsy affair, with an irresistible flute hook, and some sweet backing vocals.

The band would tend to take turns providing the lead vocals, and here they are provided by Drummie, aka Marvin Gaye, who performs admirably.

The guitar picks delicately, the bass trots up and down, and the drums keep the time without getting too stressed.

The song was released on Aswad’s first LP, called Aswad, in 1976.

This song is so relaxing, yet so engaging. I really can’t overstate how alluring the little flute hook is!

A wonderful song!

22/04/2018: “Dub Fire” by Aswad

aswaddubfdire

Aswad are one of the more famous British reggae bands. Originating from London, their members had Jamaican heritage but grew up in England.

Released on 1982’s A New Chapter of Dub, “Dub Fire” is a dub version of Aswad’s Love Fire. It isn’t that the lyrics are bad or anything like that; the dub version is just better. There’s more going on and the greatness of the track really shines through. A better vocal version is Dennis Brown’s “Promised Land”, which came out the year after in 1983.

I couldn’t even say what my favourite part of the song is. The bassline is phenomenal, and unusual for a dub song. It has a warp to it almost reminiscent of dubstep. The piano that kicks in halfway has a powerful impact. The brass section is timeless, in both its forms. Listen to the song and you’ll see what I mean, as the song has two versions of the main melody on display.

Taken altogether it’s simply amazing.