Harlem Shuffle are fast becoming one of our favourite labels specialists in killer reggae reissues and the brilliant Hot Sauce compilation we reviewed a while back. They’re back with a volume 2 of the series, this time dedicated to the Trojan label and its associated UK labels, namely Amalgamated, Beverley’s Records, Blue Cat, Clan Disk, Downtown, Doctor Bird, Harry J, Duke, Randy’s, Smash, Spinning Wheel and Treasure Isle.
As with the first instalment, it’s a feast of hard to find, in some cases obscure little reggae gems from a golden age of reggae, that include some rather lovely dub, rocksteady and roots. The label are at pains to point out the thought that went into the selection and order of the tunes, building up from the Rocksteady of the A side to the more 70s heavy b-side.
Starting with the glorious Keep on Pushing from Lloyd & Glen, which blasts straight into this dichotomy of a slow burner which has you moving straight from the off. Other highlights is Glen Adams ‘Hold Him Joe’, and a brilliant ska-filled instrumental from Sir Collins & The Earthquakes – Earthquake.
As the compilation moves forward Dave Barkers brilliant Hot Sauce begins the descent into dub, while Winston Wright with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics’ ‘Psychedelic Reggae’ is worth the price of the compilation on its own. That said, with a fantastic Big Youth / Dennis Brown collaboration ‘Ride On, Ride On’ later on in the set, alongside the almost obligatory Augustus Pablo number ‘Reggae in the Fields’, its maybe slightly hasty as well.
If you’re an aficionado , there’s stuff on here for you to dig and love till you save you’re money up to grab the largely ridiculously expensive originals wherever you can find them, and if you’re a casual regal we lover, or new to the genre, there’s diamonds all the way through.
Either way, its an essential purchase.
Hot Sauce 2 is out now on Harlem Shuffle Records. Grab it here