Prof B, Oct 12, 2007
Much of the core of the album has been available elsewhere for many years, notably on Bim's own Century label ("Crucial Cuts One and Two" and "Lover's Leap Showcase" albums) and more recently on the EFA releases, so there will be few surprises here for long term followers of the man.
It is somewhat puzzling why Pressure Sounds decided to re release so much material which has been so easy to find on other labels, and included such a large amount of material which has only fairly recently been reissued on the market by other sources.
Having said that, there are indeed, some powerful, magical cuts here which have never seen CD release -- anywhere else -- until now. In particular, the intensely meditative, reflective "Ital West aka Dispensation aka Revolution." Long term listeners will know the tune very well from the overpowering version on the Singers and Players album. There was also a 10" disco mix, and numerous dubs on the ONU Sound label -- so Sherman fanatics will not, under any circumstances want to miss the versions Pressure Sounds have made available now.
Other fresh and first rate tracks here are "Natty Cale" and "Leggo Natty Cale", both of which version one of Bim's peak musical moments, "Ever Firm". These versions showcase Big Joe, a totally different vocal take from Bim (only partial here, not complete), and a Tubby's dub -- all of which are essential, offering fresh insight into, and fresh interpretations of one of Bim's most heartfelt, hymn like tunes.
The album profiles another rarity largely unheard outside of serious collectors circles, which will be of great interest to the Sherman fanatics -- the version of the poetically eerie and elegiac "Tribulation aka Fit To Survive". Included here is the 1975 mix which has never before seen CD release.
There is another gem here -- "Weak Heart Men" is a completely fresh vocal/lyrical take on "My Whole World", a tune also versioned by Ari's New Age Steppers. Elsewhere on the album, Jah Woosh also chants on "Love Forever", another cut which hasn't seen CD issue before now.
Bim Sherman - Tribulation
Rankin' John, Jan 06, 2008
The Pressure Sounds label continues to bring to our attention some key roots musicians from the 1970s and 80s who never achieved the recognition bestowed on their best-selling contemporaries. This release, subtitled ‘Down in Jamdown 1974 to 1979’ is an excellent compilation of 23 largely self-financed and self-produced tracks by Bim Sherman, previously issued on his own record labels. The collection opens with Ital West (aka Dispensation) with its driving, basic, primitive rhythm track holding things together before moving into a comprehensive dub of the same track, and then a further version with a different vocal over the same rhythm. This pattern holds true for the rest of the album too. Particular mention should be made of the collaboration with Jah Woosh on Love in the Ghetto (a reworking of the preceding track, Love Forever) and the driving dub version that follows. The treatment and production get a little more elaborate as the album goes on, but the great strength of this album as a whole is the spartan stripped-down sound and the uncompromising deconstruction into version and dub that wrings everything it can out of a rhythm. Two separate 7-inch single releases of alternative versions appear at the same time as this album, and the album itself is available on double LP vinyl as well as CD. Release (UK): 22nd October 2007
Prof B 's review
Dave Home, Jan 19, 2008
I fail to see the point (again) of Prof B's review, with it''s negative tone. Companies like PS obviously invest a lot of time and care into their releases and it must be frustrating to have them criticised in this way. In a a very difficult market perhaps we should be grateful that Pressure Sounds have survived this far, consistently delivering releases of a high standard.
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