A heavily obscure piece of Toronto roots reggae, ‘Stepping On Strong’ features the toasting talents of an otherwise unknown deejay, one Danny Rank. It surfaced in 1979 as the debut, and possibly the one and only, release on the WG Records label, initiated by aspiring producer W Gooden, and was distributed by Summer Records, in whose studio it was likely recorded. Since it was arranged by Jackie Mittoo, and features his spongy keyboards being morphed through all manner of phasing and oddball effects, especially on the extended dub portion, it all comes together quite nicely, ultimately taking the form of another irresistible and enigmatic slice of the Toronto roots pie. Flip the disc and you have ‘Fitty,’ an alternate instrumental take of the tune, led by a surprisingly subdued saxophone, whose sparse lines are catapulted through the echo chamber.
David Katz ©
LABEL: IROKO RECORDS