It’s promo time again as I’ve just got word that fledgling reggae revival label Phoenix City have got the rights to release the long lost Gangster album by The Detonators.
Appearing here for the 1st time in digital, Gangster was the brainchild of dub lover (and lovers dubber) John Collins, recorded back in ’79 in fine DIY fashion in his front room in Tottenham, and released on the Burning Rockers imprint.
This is of course straight up luscious lovers rock with a dash of dub for good measure, and despite Collins’ DIY ethic, his 4 track trickery and a dab hand with the soldering iron stood him shoulder to shoulder with the UK’s finest reggae producers. However, due to the foresight of Phoenix City, purchasing this LP will also get you a copy of the rare as hens teeth Lift Off, a dub track which aside from being something of an ambient experiment, also acted as the blueprint for The Specials’ Ghost Town.
On hearing Lift Off on the flip of Victor Romero Evans’ At The Club, Jerry Dammers got on the blower to coax Collins into producing what would turn out to be their final single. You can read about the recording session from the horse’s mouth over at John Collins’ own Local Records site and while you’re at it, hit play below on the track which inspired Ghost Town’s iconic eerie intro, made in post production back in Tottenham with a hand built Transcendent 2000 synth.
Also from Phoenix City is a comp of some of the best moments from Local Records featuring the brutal blues-harp skank of The Detonators’ Working Dub which also paved the way for some of those aforementioned spectral sonics.