Various - DJ Derek presents Sweet Memory Sounds

Derek, let's face it, is not a typical DJ name. His details are indeed intriguing, although I received the PR for this release too near April Fools Day not to be inititially suspicious. DJ Derek really is a cardigan-wearing white man now in his sixties whose specialist field is reggae. He's been in the business for three decades (since packing in his job as an accountant). And, yes, he is taken seriously, regularly touring and playing festivals such as The Big Chill.

Sweet Memory Sounds kicks off promisingly with some scratchy, authentic numbers, even dipping into more blues and funk styled material (Honky Tonk and Make It Reggae respectively). Later come such essentials as Police and Thieves and Chase the Devil (sampled on The Prodigy's Out Of Space). Unfortunately, so do smoother tunes of a more recent vintage. Covers of Something Inside So Strong and Redemption Song have all the edge of UB40, the equivalent, one imagines, of going to Jamacia just to stay inside a tourist complex. For genre virgins, there are probably better places to start.



out of 10

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