STUDIO ONE SCORCHER (Soul Jazz) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
The latest instalment in the UK Soul Jazz label's Studio One obsession, which has them working to reissue every last track in the legendary reggae imprint's vault, Studio One Scorcher focuses on the instrumental versions that made the label a sound system favourite. As with most Soul Jazz collections, many of the cuts here have appeared on their other collections, but never in this raw form. Stripped of vocals, bands like the Skatalites, the Soul Vendors and the Afrokats are left to raise a ruckus on their own, kicking out churning grooves built around devastating organ and guitar riffs. The fact that most of these tracks were later "versioned" to death by reggae's top producers speaks for itself, as does the accompanying brief clip of the fascinating DVD that Soul Jazz is assembling on the Studio One story.