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keith hudson-playing it cool & playing it right cd (basic replay)

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keith hudson: playing it cool & playing it right

BACK IN.  This is the first release on Basic Channel's reggae reissue imprint, Basic Replay, founded by Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. Keith Hudson -- as is Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes, his collaborator here -- was a one-off innovator with impeccably classical lineage: his first studio recording involved former Skatalites; his earliest releases provided solid-gold hits for Ken Boothe ("Old Fashioned Way," 1967), John Holt, Delroy Wilson, U-Roy and the rest. Playing It Cool & Playing It Right was released in 1981 on NYC's Joint International label. It was originally intended that one of Hudson's teenage sons would voice the dubs: in the event the Love Joys, Wayne Jarrett, and most inimitably Hudson himself featured at the microphone. Like Wackies, Hudson was a Studio One devotee -- "I used to hold Don Drummond's trombone for him so I can be in the studio," he once recalled -- and the album follows Coxsone Dodd's strategy of overdubbing signature rhythms. The Studio One sides were aimed at the dancefloor; Hudson's reworks of tracks like "Melody Maker" are more psychological. Here deep Barrett Brothers rhythms are remixed deeper with reverb, filters and other distortion, pitched down, everything; and overlaid with new recordings, often heavily treated, of guitar, percussion, keyboard, voice. Playing It Cool & Playing It Right is legendary, strange, utterly compelling music.

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