Bristol Archive Records Blog

Posts Tagged ‘roots lovers reggae dub’

Joshua Moses Album Review

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Joshua Moses

Joshua to Jashwha: 30 Years in the Wilderness Bristol Archive ARC250CD


**** (pick)


The Bristol Archive label continues its project of documenting the long-neglected Bristol reggae scene with this odds-and-ends assortment of recordings by Joshua Moses. Moses began recording in 1978, and soon became a local favorite. However, when Bristol Archives contacted him to begin the project of compiling a retrospective album, they found that he had kept no copies of any of his many recordings. Joshua to Jashwa: 30 Years in the Wilderness is therefore the product of extensive detective work, and includes the only two Moses tracks ever to have been commercially

released: “Africa Is Our Land” and its dub version. Where the rest of this material came from is a mystery, but reggae lovers everywhere owe a huge debt to those who dug it up‹this is top-quality roots reggae. Moses’ voice is smooth and strong, sometimes strongly reminiscent of Johnny Clarke’s, and his songs are simple and straightforward but powerfully engaging.

Those who have been following the Bristol Archive’s aggressive release schedule over the past few years will recognize “Rise Up” from the excellent Bristol Reggae Explosion, Vol. 2 compilation, but there is even better material here: excellent live versions of “House of Dread” and “Protection”; the weirdly chugging “Steel”; his adaptation of Aswad’s “Promised Land” rhythm into the original song “Jah Time Has Come”; the ska-inflected “Bobby Wrong.” At the peak of his powers Moses was both deeply rooted in the traditional reggae verities and a truly unique vocalist and songwriter‹a combination both counterintuitive and wonderful.

Despite one or two minor clunkers (check out the bizarrely unbalanced sound on “Nothing to Lose” and the messy pseudo-delta-blues of  “Distant

Guns”) this album should be considered an essential purchase by all serious reggae lovers.


Taken from All-Media Guide from the USA

Success in the polls

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Mojo Magazine include ‘Bristol The Reggae Explosion 1978-1983′ in their top ten Reggae Reissue albums on 2011.

We have also scheduled Vol 3 The 80′s Part 2 for a March 19th 2012 release, press release below:




15 Track CD, 8 Track LP AND Digital Download

Released 19th March 2012


The Bristol Reggae Explosion is back with a third volume. Whilst still happily exploring  what was happening in the city during the 1980s, we’ve bent the rules and included a lone track from 1979. If anything, this third volume is our strongest so far, an amazing achievement when you consider that 11 of the 15 tracks are previously unreleased.

      By popular demand, “Bristol Reggae Explosion Volume 3 – The 1980s Part II” has a strong leaning towards the roots side of reggae. The album opens with Revelation Rockers “Jah Praises”, recorded in 1979 and taken from the album of the same name that sees its first release on Bristol Archive Records in March 2012 exclusively on vinyl, so it’s inclusion on Volume 3 will be it’s only CD issue. Revelation Rockers soon changed their name to Talisman and as such they feature twice more with the unreleased (Cave mix) of “Takin’ The Strain” and “Lick & Run” taken from their debut album “Takin’ The Strain”, re-released on CD as a deluxe edition in March 2012.

      We included Bunny Marrett’s only vinyl outing on Volume 2. He returns for Volume 3 with an incredibly soulful and atmospheric performance of “I’m Free.” An alternative version will be included on Bunny’s first album which Bristol Archive Records plan to release later in 2012,something we are really excited about.

      Another act from whom we intend to release a long overdue album is Joshua Moses. ‘Stick It Up’ is a live recording that gives you some idea just how good his shows were and is a taster from the album ‘Joshua to Jashwha- 30 Years In The Wilderness’.  Maintaining the roots vibe are Zion Band, most of whom would go on to form Restriction but not before putting out a six track EP and we’ve included “Babylon Fire/Babylon Dub” from that scarce vinyl release.

     Two more previously featured acts from Volume 2 are Alfred McIntosh, whose dubs were so well received last time, and Cool Runnings, with unreleased alternative versions of two songs taken from their forthcoming self-titled album on Bristol Archive Records.

      Although very well known locally, Popsy Curious gets his introduction to the worldwide reggae community with his “Chant Down Bobby Rome”. He makes a second  contribution showing his lovers rock side, as one of the vocalists on Vibes’ “My Love”. The remaining artists Ron Green, Zapp Stereo, The Radicals and Dan Ratchet will be familiar to those who have our previous volumes. It is worth noting that Dan Ratchet is backed by members of Aswad for his take on the classic mid-eighties U.K. reggae sound. Bristol Archive Records are currently working on releasing Dan’s first album from which “Sweet Rosie” is taken as well as an album from the multi-talented Ron Green.

     All in all, these 15 tracks provide a great overview of the diversity of ideas and styles that were bubbling away in 1980s Bristol. We have had a great response to our first two volumes and hopefully volume three will receive an equally positive welcome.                                                                                                                                                                                                    



The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1985 Review

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Bristol’s fantastic reggae legacy

The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983Black Roots are one of my all time favourite UK reggae bands. Their sound is in the same great tradition as Aswad, Misty in Roots and Steel Pulse – heavy as lead bass lines, groove and clear melodies. And Black Roots were apparently part of the Bristol reggae scene, a music scene that is now put on wax by Bristol Archive Records.

The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983 is according to the label the first and only attempt to document the local reggae scene from the late 70’s and early 80’s.

According to Bristol Archive Records none of the tunes – except for the Black Roots tunes – have ever been reissued and this is their debut in digital format.

It was certainly a long overdue deed. This is a historical document that includes great music and very informative liner notes about the Bristol reggae scene and the bands and artists that appear on the compilation.

Roots reggae dominates the 14 tracks by eight bands and artists and there are several highlights here.

Four Point Plan, by a band called Restriction that only released one four track twelve inch in 1983 mixed and engineered by Mad Professor at his Ariwa Studio in London, is a deejay lead masterpiece with some nice dub echoing going on.

Black Roots and Talisman are represented by three tracks each; two of Talisman’s are live recordings. All six are classic UK roots with solid brass arrangements.

Sharon Bengamin’s Mr Guy is lovers rock in the Janet Kay tradition and keeps things sweet and smooth.

Today DJ Stryda of Dubkasm keeps the Bristol reggae flag flying high, and this compilation shows that he has a firm foundation to rely on.

Taken from:

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Bristol The Reggae Explosion

Friday, November 12th, 2010

West Country Reggae

Bristol Reggae ExplosionWith a significant 50′s Windrush era West Indian community, the St Paul’s riot in 1980 and it’s earlier history as a port central to the 18th Century transatlantic slave trade, Bristol has been something of a microcosm of the trials and tribulations of the black community in the UK. As such it’s hardly surprising that in the 70′s and beyond the city should have had a thriving reggae scene.

Joshua Moses – Africa Is Our Land

The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-83 from Bristol Archive Records, available for download now and on CD and LP in February of next year celebrates the bands and artists that in the face of some adversity produced some great and memorable reggae music. The biggest bands of the period, Talisman and Black Roots are well represented with three tracks each and the great Africa Is Our Land by Joshua Moses, is present and correct (which will save you £60-£100 on the cost of the original 12″ on ebay). Rescued from obscurity are a couple of solid 80′s roots tunes from Restiction and some lovers tracks by The Radicals, Sandra Bengamin and Buggs Durant.

Restriction – Four Point Plan

On the face of this release it’s hard to understand why a couple of the bands/artists represented didn’t go further, sign to bigger labels and release LP’s alongside the greats of UK reggae like Aswad and Steel Pulse. But even in the reggae world circa 1980 Bristol was Bristol and London was London, all to often the only recognition came on locally produced and self released limited run 7″ and 12″ singles. To Bristol Archive Recordings, though the style of music may differ from their usual punkier projects, the ethos of the DIY project by overlooked local musicians is their bread and butter, they’ve got a fine release on their hands here and hopefully this time round more of the music will reach a wider audience it always deserved.

Preorder now: