After The Skatalites, The Sound Dimension were perhaps the most important instrumental group in the history of reggae music. That they remain relatively unknown is explained by the fact that they mostly functioned as the in-house studio group at Studio One Records performing anonymously behind the stars of the day, the reggae equivalent of Motown’s Funk Brothers.
During this period the group played on hundreds of hits with Jamaica’s finest vocalists - Alton Ellis, John Holt, Larry Marshall, Cornell Campbell, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, The Heptones, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor and hundreds more.
Twenty years after the group split-up, their countless classic instrumental tracks recorded at Studio One became the foundation rhythms of the new dancehall music of the 1990s and beyond, countlessly replayed in new forms by artists and producers such as Joe Gibbs, Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie etc.
Featured here is the first ever collection of these original 1960s rhythms in this first ever collection of the music of The Sound Dimension - a mixture of classic tracks alongside super-rare singles only ever released in Jamaica.
The group’s fluid line-up included Jackie Mittoo, Leroy Sibbles, Cedric Brooks, Vin Gordon, Ernest Ranglin, Leroy Horsemouth Wallace and other legendary reggae giants. The group’s unique sound defined reggae music in its relatively short-lived career.
“ A funky disc, full of great, skanking rhythms and fine playing by some of Jamaica's most revered musicians. It’s difficult to believe that this is the first compilation devoted solely to the Sound Dimension, the group who reshaped the signature Jamaican afterbeat of ska and rocksteady into the sturdy, versatile riddims of reggae, and the instrumentals they created are still being used as the basis of scores of songs to this day.” PITCHFORK
" The Sound Dimension was simply one of the great rhythm sections of all time, playing with the same paradoxical tightness and tensile give-and-take to be found in the recordings of legendary groove brethren like Booker T and The MGs.
It bears repeating that the Soul Jazz collections have set a high standard for audio quality, and Jamaica Soul Shake Vol. 1 is no exception to that. Indeed, those responsible for re-mastering these tracks seem to have found (and released) most of the punch, rumble, and majesty still held within aging original magnetic oxides and vinyl grooves." DUSTED
Read full Pitchfork feature here.
Read full Dusted review here