Fresh from the vaults of the Falasha Recordings / Aba Shanti-I / Shanti-Ites corner, alongside Bristol’s Digistep (1/2 of Dubkasm) on Melodica

The latest unearthing from the 90’s Dubplate Series is here – Part 7 – ft. previously unreleased cuts of late 90’s dubplate anthem Joshua’s Horns, including our good friend Digi stepper, and backed up with two cuts of King Of Kings on the flip!
One serious disc, not to be overlooked by any steppers head and Aba Shanti-I fan (the two go hand in hand).

Anyway, on our search for some original info on this dubplate series release, we checked our favourite corner of the internet, the original falasha recordings website, and found a nice entry from the website don ‘Humble Lion’, also part of the Aba Shanti-I soundsystem crew – made just after Notting Hill Carnival in 2001 – you know this would’ve been an iconic session – and there is a nice nod to the dubplate of Joshua’s Horns there, as Digistep (he’s a member of the Shanti-Ites band alongside Blood Shanti & crew) rocked up at the fest from Bristol, for some live sax playing over Shanti-Ites / Aba dubplates.

… Yo, where’s that timewarp when you need it?
Well anyway, this is the best replacement for now, and either way, just a nice personal account of some London soundsystem history, 2001:

(we’ll copy the whole text from this diary, so you get the context)

Dateline: 27/08/01
Venue: Notting Hill Carnival 2001

“”The skies darkened and the heavens open up, and down came a great deluge” such was the situation on the sunday of this year’s carnival. But as we only ever play the monday,we had…………
“And the clouds parted and the sun was resplendent in the sky, and great joy abounded all about”
Yes people, monday was a great sunny day with a mellow cool breeze.

The pride and I arrived early and waited for the lorry and generator to arrive. We travel with our own generator at functions such as these, so that no one can pull the plug on us.Such is the politics surrounding the carnival that a couple of years ago the borough council made it illegal for a resident of the borough to supply electricity to a sound system,with the threat of eviction and court action to any that did.

As we waited a Japanese guy came and sat down on the kerb across the road from where we were waiting.Strange I thought as the time was only 09:40 and even the most ardent Aba-ite would not turn up until midday.I was to find out when the lads turned up with the set that he was a friend of Shanti-I and had been told to be there early to help set up the sound. Raspect to the bredrin.

Anyway the lorry arrived at 10:30 and we started setting the sound and the stall up.

We took our time setting things up and as we were doing so people started arriving and claiming their corner.One vocal gentleman for want of a better word started shouting “What’s happen to the music” and “When are you going to be ready”? The time was 12:30. Well I had to have a word…
“This is a free event for the people and you have not paid to come and listen to us,but it has costs us to come and play here. So we will be ready when we are ready and not before”, Nuff said !
With that I went back to work on setting up the set.

I was called over to the stall by the lioness, it seems a lady wanted to ask me a question.

“Why is Aba Shanti-I called Aba Shanti-I and where does it come from” she asked ?
“Well Aba means father or chief and is from West Africa and Shanti means warrior in West Africa or peace in the Indian sub continent; the I means oneself. So the full meaning of Aba Shanti-I is:

I am the father / chief warrior or I am the father / chief of peace”.

She smiled at my answer and nodded and said “You Know”! One very happy West African lady and her two young daughters.

14:15 and the set is tuned up and Aba starts playing. It acted like a rallying call,people started gathering and in no time it was packed.

Nice to see so many well behaved people in the area just vibing. Even the people on the roof of the sports centre who when asked to come down, did so.Health & Safety officer was very concerned about them.

Had a little chat with some bredrins that had travelled from across the seas to take in the vibe and greeted bredrins I had not seen for some time.

It is nice that carnival is such an occassion and that people like it so much that they travel vast distances to be present and to contribute to the atmosphere. In this time of brother killing brother and the slaughter of the innocent. With fear and trepidation being aided along by the scaremongers and those with vested interests, creating a situation where people are looking on one another for differences that can be used against them, it is nice to be part of a mass of people without fears or prejudices (if only for a time) being themselves.

My son turned up with his lady Polly and friend.I could see the pride in his face at what me,his father was part of and an acknowledgement for what we at Falasha are trying to achieve.As George Clinton put it: “One Nation Under A Groove”, wicked!

Digi Stepper from the ‘Joshua Horns’ (horn section of the Shanti-Ites) came with Sax in hand and blew some live sax playing over some ‘Shanti-Ites’ dub plates. People were coming up to the stall to try and buy the tunes with the sax playing on. Lioness had to tell them the sax was being played live and that the only way to obtain the playing they just heard was to buy a live session tape which featured Digi on it. Needless to say tapes flew off the stall. People if you ever get the chance to see the Shanti-Ites live in session,take it in. I am not just saying that because I am part of the company. Seriously, live dub selection are run.

There was a strict turn off policy at this year’s carnival and at 19:00 the police came up to the set and informed us that it was turn off time. The crowd which was very,very large by this time were none too pleased,but they as well as us abided by the rules. If the rules were broken or any trouble ensued because of the strict policy, then there would be no carnival 2002 for anybody.

Marcin from Poland, Ras Kehinde (Twin Sounds / Ghetto Roots) New York,Garth from New York, Kelly from JA, Veronique from France, Ras Kulcha and good Lady from Israel, Martine/Chaim and bredrin from Gambia, The Italian / French / German / Dutch and seriously outernational Japanese posses. My son the Lion cub Polly and friend, Benji The Original Stepper!, Gurv who just loves the tunes, Sister Milly & Cru, Alston, June and Marcus, Mark’s Daughter, Digi Stepper (Joshua Horns) Skopi, Zebulon, Asher, Tremble, Gill, Andy, Gemi, Charles, Mom, Bigger, Trenchtown, Kali……..and to all present RASPECT!!!!!”

There you have it, straight to digital paper in the early days of the www.
Big up the Humble Lion / Aba Shanti-I family, and big up Digistep, Shanti-Ites, Blood Shanti – full support.

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