Dance Hall Connection

RR 398LP RR 398LP

Deejay Jah Thomas was one of the creative figures making a dramatic impact on the Kingston sound system scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the rhythms he laid at Channel One studio with the Roots Radics helping to steer reggae towards the emerging dancehall style. Voicing and mixing his work at King Tubby's studio, typically with the young upstart engineer known as Scientist, Thomas got his start as a quick-witted deejay in the vibrant sound system scene of western Kingston, making his recording debut in 1976 with Midnight Rock, a hit that became the name of his record label, once he shifted to producing his own work. Dance Hall Connection, which first surfaced in 1983, is easily one of his best LPs, Thomas ably riding the rough Radics rhythms with style. The title track is a variant of the "Boneman Connection" theme that references dancehall's grounding in sound system culture, "Friday Night Jamboree" salutes the music's potent allure on a top cut of the "Entertainment" rhythm, and "Let Him In" implores the gateman to allow an impoverished dreadlocks into the dance; "Ni**er Skank" warns against wrongdoers, "Joker Smoker" pokes fun at those who can't handle their herb, and "Living In Jamaica" describes various aspects of lifestyle on the island. Elsewhere, Thomas enters boasting territory on "Cool Profile," disses combative women on "Jealous," recounts his girlfriend's dubious antics on "Gal A Laugh" and implores another not to forget him once she emigrates. Flash it, Jah Thomas! This is musical murder!