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DJ PURPLE MAN IS BACK WITH NEW ALBUM ‘DANCEHALL GENERAL!”

 Purple Man —-

 

Artists like Purple Man got their start in the music business hanging out at recording studios in the day and going to dances at nights, hoping to catch the ears of producers or sound system selectors.

That was the 1980’s, and he was good enough to impress producers like Henry “Junjo” Lawes, head of the powerful Volcano label. It’s the digital age now and Purple Man moves with the times on Dancehall General, his first album in over 20 years.

Henry "Jungo" Laws

Henry “Jungo” Lawes

Produced by Saunjay Kerr, it hears Purple Man working on classic Studio One rhythms like Throw Mi Corn, Marley’s The Heathen and the Festival song classic, Cherry Oh Baby.

“We decided to go back to the roots; this is the first time he’s recorded on some of these rhythms,” Kerr told Jamaica Observer.

Born Anthony Jones, Purple Man is 55 years old. He was part of the Volcano camp when it was led by Yellowman who, like him, is an albino.

Yellowman’s Albinism made him a novelty and star. Most importantly, it opened doors for the hitherto scorned Albino.

Purple Man struck up a friendship with his famous stablemate and did several songs and an album with him, but lived in his shadow for most of the 1980s.He addresses the issue of him being a Yellowman copycat on Identification, one of the songs from Dancehall General.

Yellowman

Yellowman

Ready Fi Dem is a collaboration with Eek-A-Mouse, another mainstay from the Volcano era.There are also two-the-hard-way songs with Johnny Osbourne and Glen Ricks.

Originally from Waterhouse, Purple Man was a regular at dances in that community during the late 1970’s, mainly put on by ‘area soun’ King Jammys as well as Lee’s Unlimited and Jack Ruby.

His most fruitful period came in the mid-1980’s when Lawes and Volcano ruled the dancehall roost. The 1982 album, The Yellow, The Purple & The Nancy is an underground classic in the United Kingdom.

Kerr said Purple Man has never stopped recording. Like many of his contemporaries, he just fell off the radar when dancehall changed at the dawn of the 1990s.

“Him still soun’ good; he was excited to record on these rhythms. People who hear him will be surprised.”

—By  Howard Campbell

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