A Tribe Called Hip Hop

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10Ft Ganja Plant – Walkey Walk Tall

The Story Of The Plant

 It’s a sweltering hot day in 1999, we convene for the usual chalice and ital stew at 286 Beacon street in Somerville. Then suddenly a drum fill cracked and “Good News Dub” or as we like to call it “Why Can’t They Tell Us The Good News” was permeating the third floor living room. 10 Ft Ganja Plant from the start had many things to say. One was to play the only music we knew how and to give people something we felt was not heard a lot in the world today, roots reggae. Being collectors of the music we sought out many pieces of vintage equipment to make these records. I will never forget the first day the Ampeg 8X10 vibrated the house and the clavinet morphed through the wah-wah and phaser. When 10 Ft. began, its main intention was to get together and do song writing that would then be presented to another group of musicians- some of you may well know. As some of us were out touring with a familiar reggae band called John Brown’s Body we would get off the road and run to the studio; which at the time was called “Mang Studio” or as some of us called it, home. At Mang, everything was positive, and there was no stress to make music but more to relax and enjoy the company of our friends and family.

As we played music through the summer, frequently taking breaks to hit the rooftop to get a breath of fresh air we would get the next track ready. The amount of material we created began to grew quickly and something changed inside all of us. The album Presents debuted in 2000 and was released independently on I-Town Records. As we continued to build up an arsenal of music we decided to present the material we had recorded on two consumer JVC cassette decks to a friend. In doing so our relationship and family grew by introducing us to the well known record label ROIR. From here it encouraged us to grow as a group of friends, family, musicians and engineers. Signing with ROIR brought Hillside Airstrip in 2001 and introduced many new sounds and musicians to the record. From this point on the studio was like a revolving door of musicians cutting a track and passing it off. Midnight Landing arrived in 2003 reiterating the bands passion for roots deeply rooted in the mid to late 70′s. The bass got heavier and the drums bigger, the melodies stronger and the ganja smoke thicker. Bass Chalice was then released in 2005. As touring slowed for some, and life decisions took people into different parts of the world and realms of music. A short break was taken to gather the vibes, build a new studio and lay the foundation for what would become Bush Rock which was released in 2009. Reaching new levels of psychedelic sounds and heavy bass production brings us to where we are now. In talking recently, a few of us seemed to be in the same place of looking back to classic sounds of groups like The Upsetters, Silvertones, Pioneers, Gladiators, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Perry, The Maytones, Burning Spear and some of the greats that graced them such as Ernest Ranglin, Lynn Taitt, Jackie Mittoo, Carlton Barrett, Family Man and so many others. We decided in April of 2010 we would get together for a weekend and do a full instrumental record in conjunction with ROIR as a special digital release (and later hopefully to be released on vinyl) for the opening of the website and to give the people just a little more music to enjoy in the summer months to come. Keep your eyes and ears out for more of these spontaneous records to come as we begin work on the next full length record.

 Peace and Love, 10 Ft Ganja Plant

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July 28, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Abyssinians – Satta Massagana

Truly great roots reggae album which was originally released in 1976 and has been re-released three times since in 1977, 1993, and in 2007 under the labels jam Sounds, and heartbeat Records. 

The title track “Satta Massagana” was a huge hit and has been versioned numerous times by both The Abyssinians and other artists since. It has even been adopted by some Rastifarian  groups as a hymn used during services. The song, which translates from the Amharic language as “Give Thanks”, was originally recorded for Studio One  in 1969, but the label’s owner, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd declined to release it.

The Abyssinians debut album has had a very complex release history. The first un-official editions, very limited in quantity, were released by Clive Hunt  in 1975. The first official release occurred in Jamaica in 1976 on Pentrate Label, issued by Clive Hunt and Geoffrey Chung , and shortly after in the USA on Jam Sounds.

The following years, 1977 and 1978, saw the album released by three labels under the title Forward On To Zion. The album was released in the UK  on the UK Klik Chart Sounds and Different labels, as well as on Bernard Collins’ own Clinch label. Similarly, Clive Hunt’s US-based Azul label released the album under the title Satta. A note on track-listings: the Klik & Different releases reverted to the original tracklisting of the limited pre-release editions which placed the title track as the final track, furthermore, the Azul edition renamed some tracks and did not include “African Race”.

The album would see numerous re-releases over the next decade, including in 1988 by Clinch and in 1989 by the Blue Moon label.

In 1993 the album was released on Compact Disc  for the first time by Heartbeat Records . This edition included four previously unreleased bonus tracks. And once again in 2007 as a deluxe edition which included four additional bonus tracks.

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment