Keith Hudson Nuh Skin Up

If ever there were a figure in reggae, apart from Lee Scratch Perry, to inspire cult-like devotion it’s Keith Hudson. Pressure Sounds does the reggae world yet another favour by reissuing the last of his important dub albums from the late ’70s — Hudson lived only a few more years before succumbing to cancer. He began his career as one of the second wave of entrepreneurial producers in Jamaica during the late ’60s and quickly made his mark as an early producer of DJs like U Roy and Big Youth. He also was a champion of all things dub-wise, from his legendary use of a Yamaha S90 motorbike in a recording session to his early dub classic Pick A Dub. Nuh Skin Up dates from 1979 and collects a variety of tracks recorded with the Soul Syndicate (best known as Dennis Brown’s ’70s band) and "a white reggae group from Baltimore.” Some of these rhythms will be familiar from the much-celebrated Brand album from two years previous, but this collection is far more atmospheric. The billowing keyboards of "Troubles” are an album high point, both ambient and menacing at the same time. Throughout, Hudson’s croaky, tuneless voice is featured right up front. He can’t sing for shit but he gives it his all, and in turn inspires bedroom dub masters around the world. This record was completely out of step with the militant, precise rhythms and echo treatments of the time but stands up well in retrospect. (Pressure)