Nubian Records Store


Take It

Black Roots

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"All our songs were inspired by the over sight of how the youth dem lost their way in the jungle of capitalism, slaying dem brothers and sisters without any hesitation. That brutality comes from the mindset of our so-called leaders. Especially the title track, Take It, which sums up the world's concept, putting money before life, not of Jahjah, the almighty God, Rastafari". So, says the band about this album.  And when you read this, it becomes clear that Black Roots are not about to be turned away from the path that they have chosen.

They have never shied away from making social and political commentary or singing about African emancipation.  But always with that ability to be inclusive, encompassing all people and races into that message, speaking about knowledge, empowerment and of coming together to stand up and fight against those that seek to oppress and enslave the poor and the weak in society.

It couldn’t be a more significant time in history to impart these messages as more and more countries lurch to the right infringing and diluting the rights of minorities, refugees and the poor.  There are several references to children and how they must be protected as they represent the future.  But when you see the plight that they are in, the band asks are we taking hunger, poverty, displacement and the effects that this is having on them seriously?  The band know this not to be true.  It seems that war fuelled by greed is more important that building a world that is safe for them.  There are references to false prophets making promises that are self-serving, that drive people into oppression by ensnaring and trapping them in a cycle of poverty and brutality that they cannot break out of.  They refer to Trump as the reincarnation of Hitler and to the Tories in the UK as false prophets whose gift is oppression and false imprisonment.  Has anything really changed, they ask?

Africa is a theme that they return to again and again.  But in this set they speak of the world not being free until Africa is free and comparing the whole World to Africa.  Perhaps they are reflecting that unless and until the most oppressed and downtrodden are freed then the World cannot be truly free.

This album builds on the work that Black Roots has done since 1979 when they first formed in St Pauls Bristol and is the 4th studio album since they got back together.  The first of these 4 albums was On the Ground released on on Sugar Shack UK in 2012.  It is followed by 2 albums Ghetto Feel 2014 and Son of Man 2016 on Soulbeats Records.

They are, also, performing live again delivering that conscious and uncompromising message with those harmonic vocals backed by a deep melodic roots reggae rhythm that makes them so unique.  And in support of this new album they are touring in France in November 2018.

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  1. 1 Take It 04:15
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  2. 2 Forgive Them 05:22
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  3. 3 Be 03:55
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  4. 4 Common Man 05:04
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  5. 5 What a Crisis 03:52
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  6. 6 Children of the World 03:53
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  7. 7 How Long 04:57
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  8. 8 Ah Who Say 04:15
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  9. 9 Digital 04:15
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  10. 10 Reincarnation 04:13
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  11. 11 Tories 04:06
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I Believe ep

Black Roots

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Here is another heavyweight remix ep from the mighty roots reggae band Black Roots hailing from St Paul’s Bristol.

The song ‘I Believe’, originally released on ‘On the Ground’ (Sugar Shack Records - September 2012) is lifted from this album and given a new edge and sharpness on these 4 mixes. It is a seminal song, one of the most popular off the album so this was a strong motivation to go back into the studio to create and put some different versions out on release. Its lyrics are strong and powerful. They draw on personal experience.

Black Roots sing that ‘life in the system is not easy because it doesn’t cater for I and I but if you believe in the higher power you can still hold your head up high’. Isn’t that the truth! In spite of the fact that the ‘system’ has discriminated against you, that life for you is hard and difficult, that you are powerless and disenfranchised you can still find that inner strength and belief in the higher power to show you the way to transcend this pressure, believe in yourself and live positive.

Jah Garvey and Buggsy, 2 emcees based in St Paul’s Bristol, join Black Roots in the lyrical mix, to add another layer of reasoning to the underlying message of this song. Jah Garvey too is a roots artist inspired by his exposure to the plight of people that he encounters on his daily journeys and feels that he must support their lives through his music encouraging happiness, enlightenment, personal growth and development. He features on 3 of the mixes and Buggsy who describes himself as the fast spitting Rasta emcee from St Paul’s Bristol, boasting a flow like an automatic weapon features on 1 mix. He describes himself as a soldier in Jah Army joining up with the ‘old skool’ to help to deliver a message full of ‘truth and right’ and shows his respect for Black Roots in the lyrics that he chats.

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  1. 1 I Believe featuring Jah Garvey 03:43
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  2. 2 Life in the System Dub 03:40
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  3. 3 I Believe featuring Jah Garvey (extended mix) 05:17
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  4. 4 I Believe featuring Jah Garvey and Buggsy 03:43
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Move On ep

Black Roots

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Black Roots have produced, written, composed and recorded some highly acclaimed songs during their long career. One of these is ‘Move On’.

The song is about a relationship that has broken down, in which the man realises that his partner has fallen in love with someone else and that he feels that he has no choice but to ‘Move On’. How many of us have faced this dilemma in life’s journey?

First released on their debut vinyl outing simply called ‘4 Track Demo 12”’ back in 1981 it was picked up by the legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel and played on national radio. This helped to propel the band to prominence. Then it appeared on their debut album ‘Black Roots’ that came out in 1983. Since it has featured on some re-releases notably on French label Makasound’s ‘On the Frontline’ and ‘In Session’, and Sugar Shack’s ‘Reggae Singles Anthology’. It is one of the band’s anthems. This is a song that is recognised world-wide and is undoubtedly one of their top 10 best songs of all time.

So it seemed a reasonable proposition for the band to bring it back into the studio some 35 years on to rework it, redefine it, modernise the sound and then release it. And here it is as a digital download only offering, 5 mixes of this wonderful song recorded back in July 2013, once again at J&J Studio, produced by Jeff Spencer and the band, and mixed by Louis Beckett. One of the cuts features Jah Garvey, an upcoming artist, also based in Bristol, who lends his lyrical skills to give added meaning and poignancy to this song.

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  1. 1 Move On 03:29
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  2. 2 Move Along (Dub) 03:56
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  3. 3 Move On (featuring Jah Garvey) 03:49
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  4. 4 Move On (extended mix) 06:00
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  5. 5 Move Away (Dub) 03:48
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On The Ground

Black Roots

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Following the 2011 release of some of their back catalogue by Black Roots and their label Nubian Records have teamed up with Bristol Archive's parent label Sugar Shack Records to release an album of brand new material called “On The Ground”.

It may be more than twenty years since the original line up were together in the studio, but on this record they've picked up where they left off and are right back in that classic Black Roots groove that will keep their existing fans happy and appeal to a whole new generation of reggae lovers, many of whom weren't born when Black Roots released their string of classic records.

The music is entertaining and upbeat, but it is still roots music. These songs have a social message that is just as relevant in the troubled world we inhabit in 2012 as the band's songs were during the ups and downs of the 1980's.

Opening track “I Believe” makes it clear that for all the progress we've made, for many people life today is just as hard as it's ever been. Surviving the system isn't easy. Second track “Pompous Way” is also concerned with society, but this time with fixing it and reaching out to the next generation rather than labeling them as the problem. The music itself harks back to Black Roots of old and other than the mention of the digital age could easily have been recorded thirty years ago.

Another song that sounds like it could have come from the band's first incarnation is “Militancy” definitely sounding like Black Roots of old and also touching on the theme of slavery, a theme that receives further exploration in the aptly titled “Slavery” recalling the memory of the great evil that befell millions of Africans and their descendants.

There are more upbeat songs recalling a life in rural Jamaica with “Long Long Ago” or celebrating Africa with “Oh Mama Africa.” In fact whatever the message the band are delivering they still do it with great and enjoyable music, the new members of the band more than earning their place alongside the founding fathers.

More than three decades after they formed, Black Roots returned back with a 17 track CD album that defies the passage of time and will appeal to all reggae fans.

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  1. 1 I Believe 03:43
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  2. 2 Pompous Way 03:51
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  3. 3 Long Long Ago 03:42
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  4. 4 Militancy 03:53
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  5. 5 Earth Land 04:03
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  6. 6 I Am Flying 04:27
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  7. 7 Slavery 04:27
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  8. 8 Oh Mama Africa 03:38
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  9. 9 Hide Out 04:38
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  10. 10 On The Ground 04:12
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  11. 11 Call Me Out 03:01
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  12. 12 No Fee 03:20
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  13. 13 Struggle 04:42
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  14. 14 Landscape 03:38
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  15. 15 Without Direction 03:55
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  16. 16 Capitalism 03:46
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  17. 17 Come and Sing 03:45
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Natural Reaction

Black Roots

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Natural Reaction was the last studio album of original songs that the band recorded last century. It was also the last collaboration with Neil Fraser aka The Mad Professor but the first that was recorded and mixed at Ariwa Studios in London.

Charles Bryan, one of the singers, Trevor Seivwright, the drummer, and Derrick King, the bass player had left the band by the time the band started recording this album. And this provided the opportunity to try something a little bit different. The band teamed up with talented multi-instrumentalist Black Steel who was doing a lot of work for Ariwa at the time and he laid the bass, drums and keyboards for the tracks. It was the first time that Black Roots had used a digital sound to build their tracks but it gave it a new edge.

Originally released in October 1990, on Vinyl, CD and Cassette, Nubian Records has now made Natural Reaction for download.

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  1. 1 Natural Reaction 03:31
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  2. 2 Drive The Road 03:33
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  3. 3 Barriers 03:05
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  4. 4 Home Once More 04:05
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  5. 5 Tip Toe 04:05
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  6. 6 Guide Us 03:16
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  7. 7 Living With Jah 02:51
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  8. 8 Voice Of The People 04:39
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  9. 9 Where Did I Go Wrong 03:12
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  10. 10 Strange Land 03:44
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  11. 11 She Wants 03:37
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  12. 12 Dub of the People 04:08
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  13. 13 Dub Us 03:14
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All Day All Night

Black Roots

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This album was the fourth Black Roots release and first hit the streets on Vinyl and Cassette early in 1987. More recently Bristol Archive Records re-released a ‘deluxe’ version in 2011 on CD featuring bonus dub tracks.

It was recorded in Cardiff in 1986 and was the first studio collaboration with Neil Fraser aka The Mad Professor. And over the next few years Mad Professor was to work on another 2 albums with the band.

In this work, Mad Professor uses his production skills to take the band in a new direction, that ‘live feel’ that punctuates the early releases ‘Black Roots’ and ‘The Frontline’ is gone. The sound in this album is fuller, deeper and more mature without compromising the band’s unique roots feel that is punctuated by powerful and harmonic vocals. Mad Professor’s work as producer is made easier by a powerful horn section, brought in by the band and used on several tracks, led by Vin Gordon, the legendary trombone player who was living in Bristol at the time, and assisted by Mike ‘Bammie’ Rose on Tenor Sax and Flute.

This download version consists of 15 songs featuring 11 of the 12 original tracks, with the extended mix of ‘Pin in the Ocean’ replacing the original vocal version and it is finished off by 3 extra dub mixes.

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  1. 1 Realise 03:19
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  2. 2 Pin in the Ocean (extended mix) 06:44
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  3. 3 Release the Food 03:13
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  4. 4 Freedom 02:55
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  5. 5 Poor Children 03:48
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  6. 6 Spare the Rod 03:57
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  7. 7 Conman 03:24
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  8. 8 Seeing Your Face 04:19
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  9. 9 All Day All Night 03:12
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  10. 10 Mighty Lion 02:45
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  11. 11 Suffer Me Not 03:40
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  12. 12 Childless Mother 02:58
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  13. 13 Murder Dem 03:16
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  14. 14 Lion Dub 03:01
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  15. 15 Face Dub 04:02
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In Session

Black Roots

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ORIGINAL SLEEVE NOTES that appeared on the 1985 release:

'Black Roots, from St Paul's, Bristol, are leading contenders to be Britain's top touring Reggae band playing the nations major colleges, universities, venues and festivals, as well as many appearances elsewhere in Europe.

They have been featured in Peter Powell's show, a recent 'In Concert', and many television and commercial radio shows as well as for John Peel and David 'Kid' Jensen, from whose BBC Radio 1 sessions this L.P. has been compiled.'

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  1. 1 Confusion 03:14
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  2. 2 Survival 03:38
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  3. 3 Juvenile Delinquent 04:09
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  4. 4 What Them 'A Do 03:50
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  5. 5 Move On 03:41
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  6. 6 Opportunity 04:40
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  7. 7 Tribal War 04:39
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  8. 8 Africa 03:35
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  9. 9 The Father 03:56
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  10. 10 Chanting For Freedom 04:26
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The Frontline

Black Roots

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In July 1984, Black Roots released their second album, The Front Line, on vinyl and cassette.

The title track of this album, ‘Frontline’, was the theme song for the BBC Television sitcom that ran for one series by the same name. It is a story of 2 brothers who are constantly fighting like ‘cat and dog’ and the reason is that one is a police man and the other a dreadlocks man, both living together in the same house. Their life styles are such opposites that they can never agree about anything. And this clash of lifestyles is what informs the comedy that unfolds.

This digital format includes 2 bonus tracks - Confusion and Chanting for Freedom.

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  1. 1 War 04:33
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  2. 2 Signs & Wonders 04:16
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  3. 3 Frontline 04:30
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  4. 4 Far Over 03:22
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  5. 5 Blackheart Man 09:29
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  6. 6 Struggling 03:15
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  7. 7 Confusion 03:30
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  8. 8 Chanting for Freedom 08:48
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Black Roots

Black Roots

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“Black Roots”, the eponymously named album, was originally released in 1983, by which time the band was established as one of the UK's leading live acts with a strong repertoire of socially aware songs reflecting the issues of the day. When it came to their first album, they chose eight of their strongest tracks and assembled what was to become one of the classic British reggae albums of the decade.

Featuring 8 songs “The Father”, “Survival”, “Juvenile Delinquent”, “What Them 'A Do”, “Opportunity”, “Tribal War”, “Africa” and “Move On”, the album covers themes of social alienation, deprivation, repatriation, RastafarI, violence within the black community and ends, with the tale of a failing relationship. Three decades later, many of the songs are just as relevant and provide the perfect complement to their latest recordings.

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  1. 1 The Father 03:57
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  2. 2 Survival 03:47
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  3. 3 Juvenile Delinquent 04:29
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  4. 4 What Them 'A Do 04:03
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  5. 5 Opportunity 04:56
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  6. 6 Tribal War 04:27
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  7. 7 Africa 03:06
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  8. 8 Move On 06:07
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