I had the pleasure of meeting and reasoning with the great Errol “Flabba” Holt while he was in D.C. with Israel Vibration in 2013. It was a great interview – Flabba was so friendly, energetic, and open about his life in reggae. It was really the highlight of 2013 for me and one that I will never forget.
The Roots Radics played the soundtrack to my youth. A group of musicians who transformed the sound of reggae in the late 1970s and early 1980s, taking the deeply orthodox roots reggae sound developed a decade earlier and slowing it down, adding a psychofunk element to it, and tightening the screws on the riddims, making each one a ballistic missile aimed straight at the heart of Babylon.
Eroll “Flabba” Holt formed the Radics with friend and fellow musician Eric “Bingy Bunny” LaMont after stints with Rupie Edwards’ crew and as bass player for The Morwells. As Flabba explains in David Katz’s fantastic Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae, “the band formed gradually over several years in the late 1970s, with members coming and going.”
However by the early 1980s the Radics are a well-oiled machine. Their sole purpose? Translating the sounds that filled Holt’s head into “kill shots” – riddims so hard, so heavy, so danceable that even the hardest rudie a yard might bob his head to it.
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The credit for the b&w portait of Flabba is Marc Ismail / Soul of Anbessa records. It was taken in 2009 at Mixing Lab studio.
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