One of the great things about the proliferation of independent labels is their ability to reintroduce sadly forgotten yet influential artists to new audiences, often through the reissuing of albums that had seemingly disappeared. Fantasy Memory Records, an imprint of the Omnian Music Group will be releasing a reissue of Red, one of the signature efforts from two sadly forgotten yet important figures in reggae and dancehall music – Linval Thompson and Puddy Roots, best known for his work in Kilimanjaro Soundsystem, a soundsystem crew that was instrumental to launching the careers of Super Cat, Early B, Ninjaman and others.
Although Thompson never toured, between 1977 and 1979 he released five solo albums and produced countless artists. He even acted as a mentor to them-up-and-comers such as Junjo Lawes, Scientist and Eek-A-Mouse. And as dancehall became much more prominent, Thompson produced rhythms to a soundsystem DJs. In fact, Red which was released in the 1970s to almost no fanfare, was actually produced by Thompson and includes vocals by a man listed as Bunny Lion, who actually was Puddy Roots, who sadly doesn’t make a ton of appearances on wax. So what makes this album special is that it’s one of the first recorded efforts from an artist who has rarely appeared on an album.
“Rat Trap” should be warmly familiar to those who are even dimly familiar with reggae, dancehall and with soundsystem culture. Guitars, drums and everything else is fed through layers upon layers of reverb which evokes the sound of sound cascading upon itself and echoing off gigantic walls and simultaneously, the trippy blissed out vibe we’re accustomed to; in fact, if this track doesn’t put you in a good mood, there’s something deeply wrong with you.