“Dial M For Murder in Dub Style” was named after the Movie ‘Dial m For Murder’ starring Ray Milland and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It is one of producer Phil Pratt’s most dynamic dub productions. An extremely sought after album in the collectors’ market, and for good reason. It has a potent, punchy production by Phil Pratt who, with the passing of time, is emerging as one of the great unsung heroes of Jamaican music. A talented singer himself Pratt had always been involved in music since the early nineteen sixties.
Phil Pratt started producing back in the mid sixties alongside Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee for Ken Lack’s Caltone label. He set up on his own imprints in the early seventies and his Jamaica labels included Sunshot, Chanan- Jah (Chanan was adapted from an African Swahali word) and Sounds United. He recorded and released some of the best of Jamaica’s vocalists, including Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, John Holt, Pat Kelly, Al Campbell and Phil Pratt’s favourite singer Ken Boothe. His records also were released in the Uk on the Faith and Terminal labels. The Faith label was named after Pratt’s friend George Faith. He cut some of Big Youths most inspired productions and the great deejays I Roy and Dillinger also recorded for Pratt in the mid seventies. Pratt never owned his own recording facilities but moved from studio to studio although he was particularly fond of the Black Ark and recorded there whenever he could secure the studio time.
“Dial M For Murder” was recorded at Channel One around 1979/1980 with Sly and Robbie as the rhythm section. Rad Brian on guitar, Bobby Kalphat & Ansell Collins on keyboards and piano, Tommy McCook & Herman Marquis on horns. It is a lean but stellar cast of players and one that was used regularly by Phil Pratt. In particular Bobby Kalphat who was to feature heavily on many of Pratt’s recording sessions and cut some great instrumental sides that are well worth the search.
Channel One was the studio where the album was mixed, around this time a new mixing board had been installed making it one of the best studios in Jamaica. Bunny Tom Tom was one of the in house mixing engineers at Channel One at this time and it was he and producer Phil Pratt who mixed the album. Most of the rhythms were laid at Channel One and there are few vocal traces left on the album to identify the original rhythm tracks. Junior Brown’s vocal cut to “What A Disaster” is remixed and renamed “Don’t Watch My Size”. This is the only track on the album with an identifiable vocal.
From his earliest productions Phil Pratts attempted to create music with a high level of musical consistency; as he moved through the rocksteady era and into the reggae-dominated 1970s and into the early 1980s he managed to continue to produce top quality music but chose to remain a relatively shadowy figure, at least compared to some of his contemporaries – and remained in the background of the Jamaican music scene. Hopefully we will see a few more of his productions re-released in the future but in the meantime “Dial M For Murder” is a great place to start!
The ten original tracks are featured on the LP with five bonus tracks on the CD. We have the original sleeve and artwork for the cover and Steve Barker returns for duty on the sleeve notes. This is a superb album and one we are pleased to add to the Pressure Sounds catalogue.
01. Dial M For Murder
02. Danger UBX
04. Beware Of This Rass Dub
05. Chase A Crooked Shadow
06. Don’t Watch My Size
07. Walking Razor
08. Wonder Woman Dub
09. Bad Boy Dub
10. Jam Up
11. Who Gets Your Dub – The Sunshot Band
12. Natty Culture – The Sunshot Band
13. Dub Plenty – The Sunshot Band
14. Dr Bash – The Sunshot Band
15. Seek Dis Yah Dub – The Sunshot Band
The album Phil Pratt & The Sunshot Band “Dial M For Murder In Dub Style” (Pressure Sounds) is going to be released December 2, 2011.