Sugar @ Studio One - Soul Jazz

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Postby Ash » Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:54 pm

H.I.M...it seems we have a similar prob..my setups ok, i have a pair of floor standing gale speakers,spiked an sand filled, bi-wired with silver cables, running off a denon ud-m3, i get a nice easy sound from it with most of the stuff i play, but a lot of the S1 sounds dreadfull,kinda tinny...
'Blessed is the Man who walketh not in the counsel of the Ungodly'
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Postby Donovan » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:28 pm

I refuse to buy Studio 1 product anymore. After getting burned several times by utterly appalling quality control I got smart. It wasn't only the quality that ticked me off, it was also the apparent lack of effort by the label to do better. I'm not anybody's sucker, no matter who it is that's conning me. That's why I was excited about this release, because I don't have "More Sugar" or "Live Loving". I'll still buy it, I just wish it had more "Live Loving" tracks on it.
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Postby JV » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:46 pm

Maybe I've just been lucky. As I have stated many times before my Studio One copies are usually very fine. I have something like 10 below par Studio 1 albums out of ca. 150, most of them just good not above or below avg JA standard (not counting CDs now) And those who have listened to my compilations of St.1 music (12" singles for example) can testify that too. Most of them bought in the early 80's though. For example Sugar Minott's Live Loving yellow/red print is like a school example of a good print, still no ticks and pops after nearly 25 years of playing. Maybe it's this special laidback feeling of Studio that always does it for me. It sure is a preference thing.
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Postby Mark T » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:35 am

It looks like a great release to me and I appreciate what SJ are doing because Studio One material is not readily available here in Edmonton, I don't collect vinyl anymore and I only have so much money to spend on music. So these types of releases fill the gap nicely. Any chance of a Johnny Osbourne comp do you think?
By the way Juha - I think Canada is legal - I certainly hope so anyway.
Mark T.
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Postby Donovan » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:38 am

Mark T wrote:It looks like a great release to me
Mark T.


Cool, glad to hear that. What's your opinion Juha, strictly from a tracklist viewpoint. With the exception of "Oh Mr DC", are these the best of the tracks from the 3 LP's? Are there any killer songs from LL or More that made you go "How could they leave that off?" Also, is your website still available? I couldn't find it. I like the album ratings and brief statements about the S1 albums. Good reference guide.
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Postby His_Imperial_Measurements » Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:47 am

JV, Ash,

Thanks for the replies, but it's nothing to do with my set up. I just hate that muddied 2 track sound.

Yes, I know, that given the conditions the sound engineers worked miricles, and if you listen closely you can hear there were some wonderful renditions of many songs, and a lot of the rhythms originated in that studio will last as long as people want to listen to reggae music, but I'm afraid the recordings/pressings are hopeless to my ears at least.

It must be a Coxone thing though, as 'Sattamassaga' doesn't sound so bad to me. Same studio and equipment, different producer. I dunno.
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Postby Ringo » Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:17 am

Is the suggestion here that Coxsone/Sylvan Morris/etc didn't know how to record music at Studio 1?
Blimey. You're all on detention.
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Postby tim p » Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:07 pm

There is definitely a confusion going on between dodgy record pressings and bad production values going on here.

I'm very surprised to hear that any one would think that Studio One stuff was poorly recorded. If you apply that to Studio One then you might as well say that about EVERY studio in Jamaica.

It is true of course that a significant number of S1 re-presses put out over the years have suffered from very bad sound quality. JV will of course know that the yellow/big red one label presses tend to be decent quality most of the time whereas later presses of these same LP's have been pretty terrible on occasions.

It's not just re-presses either. I've had maybe 5-6 copies of Ethiopians Live It Out by Burning Spear on the original Coxsone label - they've all sounded like a bag of sand was poured in with the vinyl (I was very happy to get the Soul Jazz CD to hear this stuff in decent quality).

In short the more Soul Jazz can put out the better in my opinion. If they happen to duplicate existing LP's then as long as they don't stick the same tracks on half a dozen different compilations then I really don't care.
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Postby Jackie Pablo » Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:40 pm

In a year that saw the passing of Mr Dodd, full credit is due to Soul Jazz for continuing to push the music forward and make it much more accessible to many more people than it would ever have been.

They are doing a great job giving the Studio 1 label a much higher profile than ever before.

They are putting out Coxsone compilations that Studio 1, for whatever reason, could not or would not compile themselves.

Fingers crossed they can keep on doing this next year and beyond.
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Postby jb welda » Wed Dec 22, 2004 5:13 pm

i agree on many fronts: souljazz is doing a bang up job even if they dont always satisify the very picky among us (but then again they can never be satisified...theres always something "better" left off but thats the way it goes); i also agree that S1 in general can give one a bad impression of jamaican recordings from the pressing standpoint, but beyond that, the music is generally well recorded (for the time and place). but they continually shoot themselves in the foot with dodgy overdubs, crappy mastering (even of cds...i think every s1 cd i have on one of their associated labels has major mastering issues).

but with first heartbeat and now souljazz doing what they are doing, the music sounds great. i also think that with the passing of mr dodd, someone is going to care more than he evidently did about quality and we are going to continue to see some great stuff being licensed to third parties like souljazz and heartbeat and even forthcoming studio one releases will be markedly better in quality.

the spear thing is a good start; this latest sugar minott thing looks good too, i hope they start putting out some of the more obscure 12" discomixes soon, one way or another. they have a distinct charm despite or perhaps because of the heavy handed "mixing" style they exhibit.

one love
jah bill
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Postby His_Imperial_Measurements » Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:06 am

"I'm very surprised to hear that any one would think that Studio One stuff was poorly recorded. If you apply that to Studio One then you might as well say that about EVERY studio in Jamaica."

Out of tune instruments, equipment failures (check the Gladiators CD, the high pitched screech is the tape machine breaking down!) poor pressings, unmixed over dubs, thick muddy sound... Yes Studio One is great. Don't forget the studio was empty for a long time. Certainly the roster of artistes passing through was second to none and some great rythms were originally laid down there but as to whether many truly great recordings exist I question that. In my opinion the best Coxone recordings were done at Federal.

Although most other studios had similar resource limitations by and large the owners/producers were a little more professional in their attitude.

Treasure Ilse had a wonderful warm sound during the rocksteady era. Similarly Channel One and Sly Dunbar created a unique sound. Much of Lee Perry's stuff sounds more like work in progress than finish product but bwoy when he'd prefected the sound it was glorious. Randy's did a good job. Joe Gibbs & ET did a decent job although some of the dub effects were annoying. Harry J's Dynamic and Tuff Gong all made listenable, though perhaps a little bland, music.

Thank God for King Tubby's imagination and innovation who somehow turned almost everything he touched into pure gold.

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Postby crazydownbeat » Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:14 am

:shock: Obviously there must be another Studio 1!
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Postby DrSuperlove » Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:29 pm

i think it's a ****-take, i hope it's a ****-take
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Postby jb welda » Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:28 pm

however much i may disagree with HIMs assessment of studio one, he sure got this right:

>Joe Gibbs & ET did a decent job although some of the dub effects were
>annoying

my thoughts exactly, except i would replace "some" with "most".

im not sure which gladiators cd he is referring to (i guess the heartbeat studio one set?) but i dont think ive heard any screeching or if i had, i would probably write it off to the cd mastering, not the original recording.

one love
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Postby skunkride » Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:24 pm

Out of tune instruments


Thats one of the things i like in reggae ! :)
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