Sunday, March 8, 2015


If you have any vintage reggae in your collection, chances are you have some Sound Dimension. You might not have any records credited to them, but believe me, you've heard them. They were the house band at Studio One, one of the most active labels from the early sixties through the late seventies, and arguably the most important label and studio in the history of the genre. Initially led by organist Jackie Mittoo, Sound Dimension had a rotating line up comprised of reggae's heavy hitters, notably Leroy Sibbles (bass), Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (drums), Ernest Ranglin (guitar), Cedric Brooks and Roland Alphonso (saxophone), Vin Gordon (trombone), and Bobby Ellis (trumpet).

Prior to 1967, with a slightly different line-up, they were known as the Soul Vendors. As the story goes, Jackie Mittoo toured England with the band, and when they returned guitarist Rick Frater brought home an echo effect branded Sound Dimension. Viola! A new name for the band was adopted. (A rare Coxsone Dodd screw up. What name could possibly be better than the Soul Vendors?) They're all over everything. If you know anything at all about reggae, you know that riddims (rhythms), particularly the good ones, are used again and again, oft times for decades. Such is the case with Sound Dimensions'. Their tracks were practically a template for the genre.

Here's a mish mash, with a few of the lesser know tracks, along with a few some of you will know well. You fiends should check out "El Cumbanchero" by Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernandez. It's the song that "Rockfort Rock" is based on.

Soul Vendors - Swing Easy mp3 at DJ No DJ
Soul Vendors - Musical Happiness mp3
at DJ No DJ

Sound Dimension - Rockfort Rock mp3 at Leave You Wanting Less
Sound Dimension - Drum Song mp3
at Leave You Wanting Less

Sound Dimension - Congo Rock mp3 at Roots and Culture
Sound Dimension - Swell Head Part 2 mp3 at Roots and Culture Vocal: Burning Spear
Sound Dimension - Moan and Groan mp3 at Roots and Culture
Sound Dimension = Great Mu Ga Ru Ga mp3 at Roots and Culture
Rafael Hernandez - El Cumbanchero (streaming) at YouTube

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