Black Uhuru and Sly and Robbie took the Reggae scene by storm in 1977, at a time when Reggae was running out of steam and was on the verge of becoming a caricature of itself. That same year, Punks blew up the established codes in the music industry and Black Uhuru is in many ways Jamaica's answer to that movement: following years of positive vibrations and hope, Black Uhuru represents the disillusioned youths of Kingston's ghettos. Leather clad, in your face, with an attitude, they departed from the lovey dovey image so far bestowed upon Rastafarian Reggae…
Backed and produced by Sly and Robbie, the heaviest rhythm section the universe has ever seen or heard, Black Uhuru screamed and lobbed dynamite sticks in lieu of lyrics. Their concerts were a deluge of fire and brimstone that took no prisoners. Once Sly and Robbie took them under their wing, they sounded hard onstage and in the studio.
For several years, Sly and Robbie worked tirelessly with Black Uhuru, producing singles and albums on their Taxi label. They had firmly established themselves at the forefront of the Reggae industry and after several years backing Peter Tosh, they were ready for new musical adventures where they could experiment at will.
Taxi Trax is a double album compiling singles released on Sly and Robbie's magnificent Taxi label during that 1977-80 period. Along with Reggae anthems like "Abortion" or "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", Taxi Trax contains several rarities and singles previously unreleased outside Jamaica: covers of Bob Marley's "Sun Is Shining", Dawn Penn's "No No No" or the unexpected "Aquarius", fully appropriated by Black Uhuru from the 5th Dimension's original.
All in all, Taxi Trax is filled with sides A and dubs, as well as super rare "Dubplate" mixes, which were miraculously salvaged and restored for this collection. Superstar graphic artist Bruno Tilley designed a cover that mirrors the group's harsh intensity, using Adrian Boot's photographs and liners written by Reggae authority Noel Hawkes, who interviewed Sly and the group.
Taxi Trax showcases a long gone sound that mashed up everything in sight at the time. This time capsule is a perfect introduction to the crucial formation that revolutionized Jamaican music in just a few years.