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African Roots Act 1

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iTunes Review

Originally released on the Five Arts label in 1977, then reissued on Wackies in 1980, this album is built on a series of tracks overseen by producer Clive Hunt, most famous for The Abyssinians’ Satta Massagana and Max Romeo’s Revelation Time. Reggae aficionados may recognize these tracks from original recordings by Trinity, Marcia Griffiths, and Pablo Moses, but the dub deconstructions are so thorough that the source material has been transformed. Because the tracks were recorded in a variety of studios and subsequently tampered with by Clive Hunt—not to mention Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes and Lee Perry, who are uncredited but have fingerprints all over these mixes—the album has the patina of a letter that's been passed from recipient to recipient many times, accruing the postage and penmanship of dozens of unnamed senders. Though it wasn't strictly recorded at Bullwackies’ Bronx studio, it has the tone of a Wackies release: skeletal and smoky, with an underlying feeling of death and determination.

Customer Reviews


Lloyd Barnes aka Bullwackie, founder of the prolific NY-based music label, WACKIES, puts together some excellent dubs on this collection. Represented here is the WACKIES label with it’s unique sound that’s deeply rooted in the old-skool reggae dub sound from Jamaica in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The WACKIES recipe is simple: A key collection of serious players, classic low-fidelity sound and creative production techniques. And, when these ingredients are combined, what you get is delicious classic hypnotic, mind-blowing music.


Review by Rob Theakston, All Music Guide The first session of the African Roots series from the Wackies imprint rerubs tunes from legendary producer/keyboardist Clive Hunt. Featuring a veritable who's who of dub music (not to mention the man, Bullwackie himself). For the first half, Hunt works through dubs that are heavy on the electronics and reverb but spare no expense at getting it right. It's consistently pure instrumental joy for anyone who is a die-hard fan of dub, but it's also instantaneously accessible to the casual listener. The second half brings in a set of proper tunes that are heavier on the dub and reverb accents than the first half, especially the intense percussion workout during "Always Dubbing," where Hunt's elaborate treatments make the drums sound like heavy artillery fire during wartime. With sparse, open arrangements and some of the best dub compositions around, this is a highly recommended release worthy of your hard-earned dollar.


Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s

During the early '80s, dub producer Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes maintained a busy studio in the Bronx, where he produced a large ensemble of reggae vocalists and released the music on his Wackies label. The vocalists Barnes (whose nickname is Bullwackie) worked with include such luminaries as Horace Andy, Wayne Jarrett, and Junior Delahaye as well as others: Love Joys, Naggo Morris, Meditations, Stranger Cole, Sugar Minott, Clive Field Marshall, and Leroy Sibbles. This loose collective has become...
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African Roots Act 1, Wackies
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