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Niney the Observer. one of Jamaicas great producers. cultivated a distinctive sparse/heavy sound to his productions. Add to this the poignant lyrics that many of these tunes carried. builds to a roots music catalogue that few could match.
Winston Holness, aka Niney the Observer (named due to a workshop accident in which he lost a thumb!), began his musical induction working for producer Bunny Lee in the late 60s.Around 1968 Niney worked alongside Lee Perry for producer Joe Gibbs eventually taking over Perry’s role as ‘in house’ producer in 1968, when Perry decided to go his own way and start his own label.
Niney by now had learned his craft ,especially known for building strong original rhythms which he put to good work on his first production called ‘Mr Brown’ / ‘Everybody Bawling’ for DJs Dennis Alcapone and Lizzy. This was a hometown hit in Jamaica but its follow up in 1970, Niney’s ‘Blood & Fire’ featuring Niney himself on vocals was a runaway hit selling over 30,000 copies in Jamaica alone. Niney’s production work hit another high around 1973 when he began working with singer Dennis Brown. The records initially were released on Joe Gibbs label but soon appeared on Niney’s own imprint ‘Observer’ label. Hit after hit came from this chemistry that flowed between Niney and Dennis Brown, ’Westbound Train’ following in 1974 with, ‘Cassandra’, ‘I Am The Conqueror’ and the timeless ‘No More Shall I Roam’.
Kingston Sounds have culled some great tunes that Niney added his magic production skills to around this time, they show his vast talents and also the cross-section of artists that he worked with. Dennis Brown provides ‘Stages of Life’ alongside Leroy Smarts classic ‘Mr Richman’, Max Romeo ‘Don’t Be Prejudice’, Bob Andy ‘War War’, Delroy Wilson ‘Pretty Girl’. Ken Boothe provides us with two cuts, ‘Namibia’and ‘Peaceful Day’, vocal legend Alton Ellis features with ‘Change My Life’ and vocal groups are represented by the Versatiles ‘Trust The Book’ and Tamlins ‘Give It Up’. A great selection of songs that work so well together, not only because of the heartfelt singing that the artists put across but also the songs are interlinked by Niney’s rich studio style … Hope you enjoy the set …
(added: 2012-05-30 14:03:34 )