october 7th 2002
Somewhere inside "High fidelity", the Nick Hornby
novel, among dozens of scenes I think I must have lived, there's one that represents
the ultimate dream of any record collector (this scene is not in the film version,
although it was shot : check the DVD extras), when the hero is faced with an
unimaginable collection of records, from rare to rarest, that a vengeful abandoned
wife wants to sell for nothing.
That's what we must unconsciously dream of when roaming village jumble sales. You walk under the sun among a typically average French crowd, between piles home-recorded VHS, collections of champagne cork caps, remnants of family cooking apparels from deceased grand-parents, and stacks of records of course. Stacks of records that you go through feverishly, always hoping to find an improbable pearl... Often, you don't come back empty-handed, even if you finds are not of the dreamt quality, but sometimes dreams come true, always in the most unexpected fashion. That's what happened to my friends Dorian Feller and l'Incohérent in Condé-sur-marne on april 1st 2002.
In the course of a rather average jumble sale, their arms filled
with more or less minor and cheap records, they came across an antique seller
who had mostly old phonographs on his stall. But, on a military folding bed,
he had two shoeboxes of singles. Lost in the usual daff stuff, there was a small
pack of singles in plain white sleeves, with beautiful printed labels and unknown
names, exept for a rather plain-speaking "Reggaeites", and a few mentions
of release date, mostly 1969. Acting as the seasoned record buyers they are,
our friends picked a big handful of singles each, alternating between labels
(Escort, Bullet, Camel, Crab,...) and choosing the few names they more or less
On their way back, they invited themselves home for some coffee, and of course, we rushed to the record player to listen to these mysterious singles, who seemed to be jamaican, but we couldn't tell. And we exploded with joy ! These were rock steady singles, mostly of good quality, and taking them one by one, we ended up noticing not unknown names : Marcica Griffiths (Marcia Griffiths, futur backing vocalist for Marley with the I Threes), Reco Rodriquez (trombonist Rico Rodriguez), Peter Touch (Peter Tosh, with the pseudonym he used for his instrumental 60's jamaican hits).
But we didn't lose time to listen to all this stuff in details. We jumped in the Renault to go back to Condé and buy the last singles. The professional, coming from near Paris, was already packing up. The boxes of singles were closed, but still here. He let us look at them, and encouraged us to take as many as we wanted : he would give us a bulk price for the lot. There remain a little less than 15 jamaican singles, and two or three of psychelic rock : of course, we buy all of them.
That's the whole of these Pama singles that we happily present you with today. A very good site gives discographies for all the multiple labels of the Pama galaxy, which was the main opponent to Trojan on the UK market at the time. I encourage you strongly to visit it (www.studiowon.com). There you'll see all of the singles of our chance find listed, of course. I did not research the question deeply, but it seems that, for a reason I can't understant, most of these songs are not available on CD at the moment. So, enjoy even more our hasardous selection !
Compiled by Dorian Feller, L'Incohérent, Pol Dodu
and DJ Gamover, june 2002