Music Reviews

Stone Love

Champion Sound Vol. 1

Groove Attack

Ah, the strains of a young dancehall selector! “You have girls rushing you, there’s a glamour behind it,” admits newcomer Ruby in the liner notes. But, he sighs, “to really sit down and have a relationship is impossible to have. I miss that, ‘cause I’m not getting sex regularly.”

Still, at least he has one of – if not the – greatest collection of special dancehall mixes in the world to choose from. Stone Love is one of the major sound systems in Jamaica, having been around for close to thirty years now, and here we get a one hour plus mix of some of their greatest ones. Including huge names like Bounty Killa, Ky-mani Marley, Buju Banton, Beenieman and Shabba Ranks – among several others – Stone Love has seen some very great moments indeed and there is certainly a sense of historical relevance in reliving those.

The mix presented here is a great one as well. Initially cautious and somewhat lacking in excitement, it picks up eventually and halfway through things really get moving. However, somehow the disc never truly takes off. Not because of any lack in either the original dub plates or in the mixing, but because this is music meant to be enjoyed live and in commune. There is a lot to be said for the value of this as a document of the dancehall and of sound systems and Stone Love in particular – and Groove Attack deserves kudos for getting behind this. But it’s still a curiously unsatisfying release, like you’re supposed to be moved by it, but it just doesn’t happen. Probably works best as a teaser for the full head-on live experience, rather than as a statement in itself. There are just too many good times going on here for mere man to take on his own.

Groove Attack:

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