the rhythm doctors

Tell Dem She
The Rhythm Doctors
Tell Dem She

The Rhythm Doctors - Tell Dem She

This was a pretty damned neat thing to stumble upon. I was kind of aware of the story of how the Aggrolites came to be; two Los Angeles reggae bands by the names of the Vessels and the Rhythm Doctors divided up and joined forces to for the backing band for a Derrick Morgan album. The album was recorded but was never released.. the guys liked playing with each other.. bip bop boopity.. blam! And the Aggrolites were born!

I was never aware that any of the proto-Aggrolites band had any recorded material out there, let alone in mp3 format. However the internet delivers, and lo and behold I found myself with the Rhythm Doctors’ only release, Reggae Injection, in my (figurative) hands. And it’s definitely not bad. It’s unbad. Hell, I’d go so far as to say that it’s

TOTALLY! FUCKING! AAAAAAAAAAWESOOOOOOOOME!!!

Ok well maybe it isn’t that good. It’s pretty damned good. And a nifty little piece of history.

The album is purely instrumental, except for some of the spoken word intros that some of the tracks have, like Dirty Reggae after it, and zillions of Jamaican tracks before it. Unlike the bulk of the Aggrolite’s body of work, this album moves around quite a bit in the realm of reggae. Not as extreme as moving from a skinhead track to a rocker’s one, but.. all I can really explain it as is that you can definitely hear the gears turning in Jesse Wagner’s 19 year old head. This is kind of the missing link in the Aggrolite’s genre of “dirty reggae,” which has kind of become the culmination reggae, ska, soul and funk music. The experimentation of mixing those genres can be heard in this album.

Anywho, the song I posted is by far my favorite on the track.. even though I really dug how the 1st track “Rhythm Doctor” quoted “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock. The song is very Aggrolites, but you can hear how very different it is at the same time, especially in the bass and organ parts. Not coincidentally, the bass player Justin Kulekjian and the organ player Mark Quan didn’t make the transition over into the Aggrolites. Kulekjian’s style on this album varies from the standard skinhead bass lines that outline the triad/dominant/dominant + 9 chords, to a very swooping, almost Robbie Shakespeare style of playing that’s exhibited in this song. Quan’s style is way less percussive than Roger Rivas’ organ style that is the a significant feature of the Aggrolite’s overall sound.

As to where to get this album..? It’s on Amazon and the Android market place for like.. 8 bucks. Finding a cd or vinyl of this is hard because it is obviously way the FUCK outta print.. but if you wanted to spend the cash you could get it for under $50.

Enjoy :D