Niney the Observer has been responsible for an extraordinary amount of roots reggae, though some of his greatest creations were issued by other producers, who did not often credit him for his efforts. Niney got his start during the late 1960s, when he was a salesman and production assistant for Studio One, Leslie Kong, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, Linford Anderson, Joe Gibbs and others. Launching himself as an independent producer in 1970, he hit massively with the apocalyptic and controversial ‘Blood And Fire,’ and went on to produce a series of incredible hits with Ken Boothe, Max Romeo, and Dennis Brown, who he helped establish as a major star though an intense partnership that lasted for most of the 1970s. ‘Jah Jah Higher Than I’ and ‘Unbelievers’ are from an ultra-rare 12-inch that surfaced in limited number circa 1978 on the bizarre UK Pre-Release label, credited to Mr Stone, who is apparently the leader of the Rockstone harmony group (aka Rocktone), with whom Niney recorded tracks such as ‘Oh Jah Man.’ Two killer tracks as appealing as they are rare.
David Katz ©