Shark Records: In The Belly Of The Whale
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1994.
HighTone Records is a relatively new label based in Oakland, CA with a firm grasp
on the current sounds from Jamaica. In recent months they've released discs comprising
the "Producer's Trophy" series, presenting various tracks from such labels as Jahmento
Records, Roof International and the basis of this review, Shark Records.
On the back of each CD is this description: "The HighTone Producer's Trophy
Series features the best, most current sounds from Jamaica's dancehalls on a label-by-label
basis. Each volume highlights the output of one of Jamaica's noted producers and his label
with a variety of DJs and singers. Some tracks are released here for the first time, some
have been recent hit singles in Jamaica, and some are boomin' tracks that may have gone
The compilation from Shark Records fits that description perfectly. Mark Morrison
is the noted producer and does an outstanding job as the 13 tracks have a deep, full sound.
Some of the artists include the obscure: Kenterious, Chopper and Gregory Isaacs
sound-alike Lucan Scissors; as well as better-known artists such as Sugar Minott and the
Heptones. In fact, one of the CD's best tracks is a reworking of the latter's classic, "Book
Of Rules," featuring DJ Shaka Shamba.
As the liner notes state, these compilations feature the "most current sounds from
Jamaica's dancehalls..." Check 'em out, starting with "SHARK RECORDS: In The Belly
Of The Whale," and find out for yourself.
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