Review: Riddimentary - Diplo Selects Greensleeves
by Angus Taylor
What do you get if you cross a diplodocus with some prehistoric dancehall sides? The latest in Greensleeves’ series of celeb mix albums: this time featuring Hollatronic and Major Lazer founder - and sometime MIA producer - Diplo.
Diplo has previous involvement with Jamaican music in the form of aforementioned Major Lazer dancehall project but here he deals mainly in slower foundation and foundation-inspired material. He starts off with a tune not typical of the British label - Alpha and Omega's hypnotic dub meditation Who Is the Ruler.
Andy Smith (who made his own Greensleeves document in 2009) described working with Trojan on his preceding mix as a compromise between his and the label's choices. And, as with just about every other venture of this kind, the same compromise is palpable here. Tristan Palma’s Joker Smoker and John Holt’s Police in Helicopter feel like they've been on every ’Sleeves comp ever.
But there are plenty of more interesting selections to be found. Barrington Levy and General Echo’s Junjo Lawes produced Eventide Fire A Disaster recounts the tragic death of 153 elderly women at a care home on 21st May 1980. There’s also a curious cut of Satta by Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson grabbed from Joe’s Dub Serial album on the Greensleeves reissue package Evolution Of Dub Volume 1. Later Diplo takes it digital with a computer game inspired version to Wayne Smith’s Walk Like A Granny (from a still - just about – “Prince” Jammy) followed by Gussie Clarke’s ’93 digi recut of Night Nurse, before continuing the Gussie/Gregory connection with Clarke’s rumours rhythm (JC Lodge’s Telephone Love). To close he chooses an unusually upbeat dancehall friendly Roy Cousins produced track by Prince Far I, Survival, which warns, “You know a rude boy by the way he turns his cap”.
For the grumpy reviewer this is the usual mix of big sellers and welcome obscurities - but Diplo's personality comes across in his picks. And this should get a lot more young sympathetic ears on to reggae - which can only be good.
Various Artists - Riddimentary - Diplo Selects Greensleeves
CD / DIGITAL RELEASE [Greensleeves]
Release date: 2/22/2011
01. Who Is The Ruler - Alpha & Omega
02. Jaqueline - Hugh Mundell
03. Joker Smoker - Triston Palma
04. Police In Helicopter - John Holt
05. Eventide Fire A Disaster - Barrington Levy & General Echo
06. Satta Amassa Gana Version - Joe Gibbs
07. Fattie Boom Boom - Rankin Dread
08. Anarexol - Eek-A-Mouse
09. Gunshot Mek Daughter Drop - Lone Ranger
10. Sweet Sweet Matilda - Clint Eastwood & General Saint
11. Interface - Prince Jammy
12. Night Nurse - Gregory Isaacs
13. Telephone Love - J.C. Lodge
14. Water Pumping - Johnny Osbourne
15. Survival - Prince Far I