Horace Andy, Good Vibes (1975-1979)

Vivienne Goldman

By Vivienne Goldman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Good Vibes (1975-1979)

Horace Andy
Early work from a reggae legend turned trip-hop hitmaker.

I like the structure of this record, which reproduces the 12-inch experience of a vocal going right into its dub version, and the dubs are satisfactorily heavy. The warbling soprano of Studio One alumnus Horace Andy, soaring in full flight on "Skylarking," that beloved indictment of loafing youth, has an eerie enchantment. Decades on, it was to capture Massive Attack, who propelled Andy into the international charts as a trip-hop star. But Andy's distinctively vulnerable persona has an arresting quality that made singles like "Mr. Bassie," reproduced here in disco mix style, red-hot records in the punk era. As one of the first releases on pioneering indie label Rough Trade, "Mr. Bassie" had an oblong red, green and gold promotional sticker that was a regular sight in the punk '70s — and if anyone sees it on a short-neck Fender Musicmaster bass, please let me know. It's mine and it got nicked in Ladbroke Grove.