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Zim Zim
© 2002 Silver Kamel Audio

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Billy Boyo
Zim Zim

Total Time: 47:46
Cost: $12.98 +s/h*

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STYLE: Jamaican "Dub" Reggae / Sinjay

HOME TOWN: Stamford, CT via London, England & Kingston, Jamaica


1. Jamaica Nice
2. Dub Freeze
3. Zim Zim
4. Stagolee Stylee
5. Dreadlocks Party
6. Dread Skank
7. Every Mockell Tell
8. Got To Say It
9. Iron Woman
10. Vote For Me
11. I Like Your Something
12. B.B.s Posse

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Siver Kamel Audio

ISSUE #59                             Feb '04

Zim Zim by Billy Boyo was recorded in 1983, but not released until 2002. Yet, this CD/LP ROCKS! SMOKES! JAMS! And simply, as put by Billy Boyo himself, this is:
the Baddest DJ LP.” No shit.

In 1983 Silver Camel Music was running the show as far as Reggae, Dub, Dance Hall and Showcase, Sinjay, and Ridim trax, styles that were encompassing the Jamaican music scene emanating out of England in that era. These styles reached far and had an immediate effect on other music of the time, most notably (through this reviewer’s ears) The Clash (witness: Justice Tonight/Kick It Over, Bank Robber/Robber Dub, Rockers Galore/UK Tour, and many others) and (of course) Big Audio Dynamite (the 1st two LPs). But, except for the commercial appeal of Bob and Ziggy Marley, throw in Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and a few others, the Jamaican scene never caught fire in the mainstream. Maybe if Silver Camel hadn’t stopped operations shortly after Zim Zim was recorded it might have been different, maybe not. But while artists such as Yellowman, Mickey Dread, and others have succeeded in their reggae music careers, the recognition deserved has remained hidden from wide spread public view, especially in America.

In 2002, Silver Camel Music, formerly of London, England reestablished itself in Stamford, CT USA as Silver Kamel Audio (SKA). Since then it has set about the task of returning the classic, timeless, Jamaican music scene back to the listening public who knows and appreciates the long lasting effects of this unjustly covert (and coveted) style. (I could go on a whole tirade here about the effects of Dub, Ridim, Dancehall, Showcase, and Sinjay on the contemporary Rap and Hip Hop scene, but with my limited knowledge of both I might come up against an argument from those more proficiently versed than I. Needless to say, this Rocker can find much redeeming value of the Jamaican scene within what is sold to the general public as Rap and Hip Hop nowadays).

One of the first releases from the new Silver Kamel Audio label was that long lost recording of Zim Zim by Billy Boyo. Sadly posthumous, this collection of Sinjay (DJ sing-rapping over dubbed ridim tracks) stylee music shows the promise of a bright future for a teenager just starting out in the music biz. Adding to the interest is the layout of the tracks. Each of the 6 vocal tracks are followed by their respective dub track – Think of it as the A side followed by the B side (After all, the 12” single/EP was the way back in the day) – And it is here that we see the genius of Billy Boyo at work both behind the mic and at the boards.

These dub tracks that immediately follow each “song”/vocal track are maybe one of the most enjoyable parts of this CD. For, it is here we get the extra “B” side(s) that in the past only the true hardcore fans would flip the vinyl to listen to. Those that are aware of the now common practice of the “remix” should delight in gaining the “Bonus” material without having to shell out a few more bucks for it. Still in it’s infancy (and before the commercial acceptance of it), the dub track was a staple of the Jamaican sound. Practiced by all the artists, it generally consisted of the studio manipulation of the ridim track originally used for the “A” side song that was recorded. This method also encompassed the Dancehall and Showcase styles that populated the vinyl and clubs that thrived upon the scene.

Opening with “Jamaica Nice,” Billy Boyo immediately thrusts us into the rhythmic jammin’ of the unmistakable Jamaican reggae sound, but this sound has a bit of a different edge. This isn’t tourist sitting on the white sands sipping rum drinks out of coconuts while enjoying the island sounds and ganja. This is club culture, this is edgier, this is Bling before Bling Bling, this is slap the vinyl on the turn table without scratching, ride the ridim, and lay down some of the most cool, fun, and infectious vocal raps this side of the past two decades.

The title track “Zim Zim” will send you cruising in a laid back beat that floats the rhymes out onto a dance floor with a slow cooked perfection and “we are superduper.” Utilizing a wide array of percussion that simmers, boils, and pops just under the surface we drift on the rhythm with a soothing bob. “Dreadlocks Party” follows the same lead, while pumping the vocals and the vocal f/x even more up front of the unassuming, yet intense bass lines.

But it’s “Every Mockell Tell” that exposes Billy Boyo right down to his heart and soul. Again, this song is set to an intense and infectious bass line that slices under the skin while Billy extols his sinjay style and how he could walk away from the mic without any hesitation (which he ultimately did without explanation). And when he breaks it down into a nonsense rap that just slams it home, you know that the world lost an amazing artist not once (when he stopped recording), but twice (when he succumbed to a brain tumor in 2000 at the early age of 31).

Silver Camel Music recorded Zim Zim by Billy Boyo in 1983 at the height of England’s reggae movement, but it was never released.

Now Silver Kamel Audio gives us Zim Zim some 20 years later and guess what?

THIS IS: “the Baddest DJ LP.”

Just go to the record shop and get a copy…

Zim Zim by Billy Boyo
a Silver Kamel Audio release
is available now for: $12.98 + s/h*

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*Shipping & Handling charges:
USA - $3.00 for the first 2 CDs ordered,
                     Add $1.50 per each CD after.
Canada - $5.00 for the first CD ordered,
                          Add $2.00 per each CD after.
Everywhere else -$7.00 for the first CD ordered,
                                        Add $3.00 per each CD after.

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