Comeback CD holds promise

"Rasta in Control"
Mikey Dread
Dread at the Controls

By Gary C.W. Chun

I first knew of Dread (Michael Campbell) through his work with the Clash, who produced their reggae-punk hit "Bankrobbers," and some of the tracks that can be heard on the re-released, gritty "World War III" album, as part of his rejuvenated Dread at the Controls label.

Dread is a veteran in the business, dating back to the late 1970s. He made his name as a successful recording artist and producer, as well as his radio show broadcast over the Jamaica Broadcasting Corp. signal that broke dance-hall reggae to a wider audience.

Dread's now based out of Coral Springs, Fla., and he and his wife, Monika, worked on and released last year's "Rasta in Control," his latest album in more than 11 years.

While the songs keep true to the music's roots, the dominantly programmed horn-and-drum synth sounds and underdeveloped, if catchy, grooves keep this from being a totally triumphant comeback. But there are tracks sprinkled throughout the album that holds promise for Dread's continuing career -- "Inna Foreign," with Horace Andy and Cedric Myton, of the legendary Congos, guesting; "Prophecy"; "Great God of Glory," which segues into the instrumental, but dubless, version called "Rasta Irie Oki"; and "Year of Decision," which breaks down to the interesting, Middle Eastern-influenced "Groove City."

Of local interest (as Dread has played here in the past) is "Hawaii Surfer," a pleasant "big-up" to the islands' wave riders.

OTHER NEW RELEASES: "Lovebox," Groove Armada; "Chocolate Factory," R. Kelly; "Smile," Jacky Terrasson; "Music in High Places," Unwritten Law; "We're a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones"; original Broadway cast soundtrack for "Flower Drum Song" (with Lea Salonga); and "Chicago" film soundtrack (with new Janet Jackson song)

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --