KIddus-I survives in Topsy Turvy World

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Thursday, May 09, 2013

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HAVING made his name in the golden age of reggae, Kiddus-I never strays from the roots sound that defined
the 1970s.

The 69-year-old singer stays true to his base with Topsy Turvy World, his latest album, which will be officially launched Saturday at Redbones Blues Café in St Andrew.

Topsy Turvy World was largely recorded at Rubin Studio in Cologne, Germany with German musicians including drummer Martin Pauen who produced the album.

The set has a distinct one-drop feel, reminiscent of 1970s roots-reggae. Kiddus-I says Pauen's drumming style is responsible for that.

"Wi call him Carly Jnr cause he's a big fan of Carly (Barrett, former Wailers drummer). He plays different genres but he loves the one drop so wi decided to do an official reggae album."

Bass player Aston Barrett, older brother of Carly and current leader of the Wailers, played on Topsy Turvy World. So too former Wailers, keyboardist Tyrone Downie and guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith.

Topsy Turvy World is Kiddus-I's fifth album. He has recorded and toured profusely in the last six years, mainly with Smith's Inna De Yard roots ensemble.

Most of his recordings are released in Europe, an area with a huge roots-reggae following.

Kiddus-I (born Frank Dowding) was not as prolific in the 1970s, though he recorded several songs for his Shepherd label and collaborated with groups like Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus.

One of his best known songs, Graduation In Zion, was cut during that period. It made the soundtrack to the 1978 movie Rockers, in which Kiddus-I starred.

On Saturday, Kiddus-I shares the bill with British deejay Scratchylus who launches his Reset The Mindset album.




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