Yabby You - Deeper Roots

Valley of Joeasaphat – Smith & The Prophets
Joeasaphat – Smith & The Prophets
Thanks and Praise  – King Tubby
Don’t Touch I Dread – Barrington Spence
Tutch Dub – The Prophet All Stars
Fighting Dub – Tommy McCook & King Tubby
Deliver Me - Yabby You
Deliver Dub – King Tubby & Yabby You
Milk River Rock – Don D Junior & The Prophets
Dip Them Bedward – Prince Pampidoo
Dub Them Bedward – The Prophet All Stars
Dub Vengeance – King Tubby & The Prophets
Forward on the Track – King Miguel
Caymanas Rock – King Miguel & The Prophets
Love Sweet Love Drums – King Tubby & The Prophets
Lazy Mood – The Prophet All Stars
Open Your Hearts – King Tubby & The Prophets
Poor and Needy Dubwise – King Tubby & The Prophets
Cleo’s Dub – Hot City All Stars

Vivian Jackson, aka Yabby You, was the living embodiment of the struggling, but highly spiritually attuned, Rasta brethren of Kingston during the peak of roots Reggae. 'Deeper Roots' celebrates his unique partnership with King Tubby and reflects the very core of Rasta in the 1970's. Culled from rare singles and dub plates 'Deeper Roots' serves to heighten the legacy of Yabby You as artist, producer and visionary.

Yabby You, whose nom de guerre derived from the haunting vocal chorus to be found on his debut single, 'Conquering Lion', ploughed his own distinct furrow in both the spiritual and musical worlds; maintaining Jesus Christ as his deity, even though a Rastaman, and taking years to slowly build the musical career he first envisioned. He saved up cash for over two and a half years so he could afford to pay for his first record to be recorded and pressed. Such was the esteem in which Yabby was held that musicians such as Aston 'Familyman' Barrett agreed to record for free when the young producer was getting started in 1972.

Many of Yabby You's singles were pressed in tiny numbers and the tracks included here from King Miguel, Barrington Spence, Prince Pampado and Smith & The Prophets are typical of the producer's reflections on life in Kingston. 'Forward on the Track', and it's dub, find 'Steppin' King Miguel chatting about Kingston's famous racecourse and a favourite place for Yabby you to do a likkle hustling - 'Caymanas Park'. The little recorded Prince Pampado recounts the story of the infamous 'Flying' Preacher Bedward; a typical tale of Kingston folk lore, and, like Barrington Spence's 'Don't touch I Dread' it's used to reflect the righteousness and belief of the true Rasta. The 'Valley Of Joeasaphat' speaks in tongues fired with Old Testament certainties and unshakeable beliefs. The Prophets were Alrick Forbes and Bobby Melody - who was replace by Dada Smith - with Forbes occasionally taking lead vocal duties. 'Cleo's Dub' is a fine workout of the rhythm from Cleopatra Williams 'Beyond The Hills', a JA single that only appeared on the UK pressing of the 'Conquering Lion' album retitled 'Ram-A-Dam'.

Yabby You not only used studios such as Dynamics, Harry J's, Channel One and Lee Perry's Black Ark but also worked with the ubiquitous Bunny Lee on tracks like the Barrington Spence tune. 'Forward On The Track', 'Dip Them Bedward' and the classic 'Jah Vengeance' rhythm all carry the unmistakable sound of the Black Ark Studio, whose sufferers and Rasta vibes would have appealed to Yabby You. He also worked with the cream of Kingston's session musicians including long time supporter Familyman., who had moved on from Lee Perry's Upsetter's to bass duties for the Wailers. Wherever the rhythm was initially cut Yabby You frequently went on to use Tubby's Drumillie Avenue studio for voicing and mixing. It was his relationship with King tubby that was to take his music into another realm, as Tubby seemed to save some of his best work for the producer, who once said of Tubby "My music seemed to fascinate him".

The unknown cuts on 'Deeper Roots' range from newly discovered tracks like Don D Junior's 'Milk Lane Rock' to unknown mixes of classic rhythms like the multi-versioned 'Jah Vengeance' ('Dub Vengeance'), 'Conquering Lion' ('Open Your Heart') and the dub of the Yabby classic - 'Deliver Me' - that everyone wanted to find back in the day - 'Deliver Dub'. It's a rare thing to discover that a long sought after and much desired track is as good as it is in the imagination: 'Deliver Dub' is a sublime slice of King Tubby at his most subtle and creative best; hi-grade fi true. 'Lazy Mood' is a rare as hen's teeth single that appeared on the 'Now' imprint and is an organ cut - probably by Fams (Aston 'Familyman') Barrett - to 'Conquering Lion'. Though 'Dub Vengeance' must be at least the seventh known mix of the Black Ark cut of the 'Jah Vengeance' rhythm, it's full of mixing fire - with bongos and percussion to the fore -  and yet another killer chapter in the life of that rhythm. 'Open Your Heart' adds to the glorious 'Conquering Lion' / 'God Is Watching You' rhythm story; like 'Dub Vengeance' driven by bongos and armed with a sparkling mix. It's probably Yabby himself on the bongos, though it might be Scully.

As the studio chat at the end of the track has it: "YES Bredda".

Back in the day, newly cut material from Tubby's and Yabby You was hard to find: the classic 'King Tubby's Prophecy Of Dub' album had only 500 copies pressed and then quickly disappeared. So it's no surprise that tracks like these should emerge blinking into daylight decades after sound system followers were taken to new heights by Tubby's mixes of sufferers' anthems like 'Poor And Needy' or 'Thanks And Praise'. A hallmark of Yabby You's production work was the quality of his rhythm cut with instrumentalists; the combination of the producer together with Tommy McCook and King tubby yielded a fine album in 'Blazing horns' as well as this rare dub mix of 'Fighting'. likewise an uncredited bongo player works with Tubby on a dub version to 'Love sweet Love' that only followers of South London sounds have ever heard before. In the 1970's artists like Wayne Wade and Trinity recorded what were to become their best albums under Yabby You's tutelage. The 1980s saw Yabby You launch Michael Prophet to chart success both in Jamaica and the UK, while as an artist he continued in the dub tradition with King Tubby's protégé Scientist. Unfortunately Yabby You experienced chronic illness due to his impoverished teenage life leading to many years of relative inactivity on the music scene.

'Deeper Roots' stands as a testament to Yabby You's golden period as both artist and producer. His unique understanding of spirituality, ghetto life and music not only found a resonance at the heart of Rasta culture. But also on the streets and in the Sound Systems dances in London, Birmingham, Manchester and beyond. His special relationship with King Tubby resulted in some of Tubby's best ever work that stands proudly above the by the yard mixes of Bunny lee's flying cymbals tunes from the same period.

Yabby You always kept tight control of his music and unlike many of his contemporaries licensed little to others. In the 1990s his reputation grew again thanks to an extremely fruitful and creative link with top reissue label 'Blood & Fire'. By the time of his death, in February 2010, he was all but forgotten in Jamaica; but in the US, the UK and Europe he had maintained a loyal following from the 1970s plus those that had first discovered his music through dances and more recently dubstep fans became familiar via the samples of his music used on new dance tunes. Pressure Sounds are proud to pick up the baton as we work with his widow and estate, to once more bring Yabby You's unique sound and vision to fans old & new.

Jeremy Collingwood

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