Friday, May 7, 2010

Riddim Mysteries.

I recently came across the song "Great Mu Ga Ru Ga" by instrumental reggae greats (and Studio One house band) the Sound Dimension. As you'll hear, it uses the main melody from the Rhine Oaks' "Tampin," a New Orleans funk side featuring some (if not all) of the Meters. Interestingly, Funky 16 Corners shared "Tampin" a few years back and a commenter pointed out that the melody shows up in a Lee Perry-era Wailers track, "Memphis." I'm guessing that "Great Mu Ga Ru Ga" appeared after "Memphis," but officially dating reggae tracks is next-to-impossible. In any case, it appears that this obscure American funk single had a decent following in Jamaica. Take a listen to all three:

"Tampin" - the Rhine Oaks

"Memphis" - the Wailers

"Great Mu Ga Ru Ga" - Sound Dimension

By the way (as if this post needed more complication), "Great Mu Ga Ru Ga" also appears on vinyl under the alternate spelling "Great Muga Ruga," attributed to the Boss.