via Paradise is a Frequency

Freddy Flint and Sashamane* – New Green World

African Unity Records – K 14582
Jamaica, 1989
private press

A1 New Green World
A2 Green Dub
A3 Blue Mountain Interlude
A4 Zombie

B1 Cooler Vibration
B2 Vibration Dub
B3 Hold On Love

Freddy “Adisa” Flint
Produced By Iya Lisa for Marcus Garvey Records
RFO Productions
*written as Shashamane on the label

In a sea of Jamaican reggae records breaking sonic ground with experimental dub explorations and electronic productions, finding a reggae album with minimal enough electronic or synth musicianship to be narrowly categorized as ‘ambient’ remains nearly impossible.

While Freddy Flint’s first of perhaps only two albums has in recent years been unearthed by deep reggae collectors and heralded as in full a dub grail, ‘New Green World’ released in a handmade paste on black and white cover with a mysterious Sashamane (‘Shashamane’) – either an electronic backing band or an orchestral pseudonym for Flint himself analogous to Egberto Gismonti’s Transarmônica D’Alma D’Omrac Orchestra or Harry Case’s fictional The Case Band – includes what is to my knowledge the most minimal synth composition from any reggae album (at the least from the 70s or 80s) ever.  With mellow digital wave and bird sounds washed over by airy synth chords leading into a short stretch of minimal tribal percussion and flute, ‘Blue Mountain Interlude’ could have easily fit on an album from Hiroshi Yoshimura.  Though nothing else on the album could be stylized as ‘ambient’, the rest of the tracks showcase Flint’s masterful use of synth in the roots and dub reggae world, from the cosmic synth washes in the dub ‘Zombie’ to the laser effects in the soulful ‘Hold On Love’.  Altogether, Freddy Flint will hopefully be seen as not only the little known artist of a rare reggae grail, but as a pioneer of island electronics and minimal synth that sonically gestures toward an alternate future – one alien to ours of war, disease and the excesses of greed – in short, a ‘New Green World’.