For our final foray into dancehall territories this week, we’re revisiting the act which helped kick start this blog. As seen in our 1st ever post, Scritti Politti have championed the nasty skank since their debut back in ’78 so it’s no surprise that as Green Gartside developed his brand of post modern pop, he delved deeper into reggae’s murkier depths.
The hissy drum machine dub of The Sweetest Girl from ’82 was the natural stepping stone from the messthetics of Skank Bloc Bologna into poppier provinces but it was a collaboration with Ranking Ann in ’85 which set Gartside’s status as a punky reggae don in stone.
Enlisting Ann to chat up the flipside of his The Word Girl single, Scritti’s Flesh & Blood was a downbeat lope through tin pot percussion and exquisitely EQ’d guitar twangs, featuring Ranking Ann’s gravelly South London tones offsetting Gartside’s sweet whine.
Ann herself had a fairly short lived career with little more than a brace of LP’s produced by Mad Professor and the odd guest appearance to her name, most surprisingly cropping up during the height of trip hop in the mid 90’s on an LP by Japanese downtempo dubbers Silent Poets.
Gartside would of course go on to bother the charts with the likes of Shabba Ranks and Sweetie Irie and years later team up with dancehall demolisher The Bug. Right now though we’re going back to 1985 for a bit of Flesh & Blood.
And I couldn’t leave you without sharing A Slice Of English Toast…