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Aswad: Don't Stop The Carnival - The Audiophile Man
Title: Live and Direct Label: Music on Vinyl Aswad largely considered to be Britain’s greatest ever reggae band, this West London outfit began with Brinsley “Dan” Forde on guitar and vocals Angus “Drummie Zeb” Gaye on vocals and drums, bassist George “Ras Levi” Oban, guitarist Donald “Benjamin” Griffiths and Courtney Hemmings on keyboards. The band’s early repertoire was actually more than the reggae tag I gave them above. It was an amalgam of reggae, yes, but also soul, dub, jazz, funk and a few other fiddly bits thrown in for good measure. Major label contracts followed as did major line-up changes until this LP was released in 1983 as the band moved to Island and that label’s subsidiary, Mango. It was recorded live at the Meanwhile Gardens, Notting Hill Gate Carnival in that very year. Apparently, this album was mixed onto a Sony Music digital sound system so I was intrigued at how this vinyl album would sound on that basis but also how the live recording would be balanced. All live albums suffer, in some way, because of tonal balance and screwy dynamics of one sort or another. Listening to this Aswad LP there are issues, yes. The bass …