[7 July 2008]
There isn’t a finer world music label in existence than Honest Jon’s, the maverick imprint started by Blur/Gorillaz/The Good, the Bad and the Queen charge Damon Albarn as an extension of the acclaimed multi-culti London record shop of the same name that has been in business for early 35 years. Basic Replay is the imprint’s reggae-centric arm, focusing on reissues of some of the rarest, dankest dub and dancehall plates this side of Trenchtown. This excellent 16-track collection cherry picks some of the choicest selections from the Basic Replay catalog, including crucial tracks from well-known reggae mavens like Jackie Mittoo, Keith Hudson, and Black Uhuru singer Andrew Bees, as well as the massive production work of such dub giants as King Culture, Niney the Observer, and Prince Jazzbo. Any serious fan of dub and reggae music would be wise to seek this set out, if only as a jumping-off point to diving into robust Basic Replay catalog.