Just a few days after posting my latest thoughts on the wild world of Boston-related reggae records I came across another piece to add to the list–this one being Zion Initation’s ‘Jah Light’ LP. The album was released in 1985 on the Zion Lion label based out of Evans Street in Dorchester–Ras Ipa and Danny Tucker are credited with the vocals and the recording was done at Downtown Recording Studio in Boston with the help of Joe the engineer. Iphus Silcott and Iraka Reid are credited on drums and bass respectively, Abdul Baki on keyboard, Abbi Ike on percussion and Ras Ipa again on the rhythm and lead guitar. Mixdown was done at none other than Harry J Studio in Kingston with Sylvan Morris at the controls. From what the internet tells me this was the group’s second full length disc, after putting out ‘Showcase’ on Armagedon in the late seventies. The record is dubby, mellowed-out roots with a fantastic unpolished sound, reminiscent of some Wackies output and recordings from Jerry Brown’s Summer Sound Studio during the seventies and eighties–a kind of more drawn out, less finished style than much of what was being made in Jamaica.
Another small piece of the puzzle fins its place. I am certainly no expert on reggae music’s past or present place in Boston’s cultural landscape, but I think the task of putting these records out there is a relevant one. There are no compilations on this subject, no books or lengthly articles to my knowledge that really focus on reggae recordings produced and released in the area. If you have some knowledge to share please leave a comment or an email (ruffluxury (at) gmail.com)–I would love to hear from you.