Augustus Pablo, originally Horace Swaby, inherited a fictitious studio name but presented a unique reggae sound. Producer Herman Chin-Loy used the name Augustus Pablo for studio instrumentalists and bequeathed the moniker to Horace Swaby at the beginning of Swaby's career, when the two worked together.
Pablo went on to put a unique sound stamp on reggae music with his Far East sound, derived from high-pitched melodica solos over deep rhythms. He formed his own record labels, of which the Rockers International label spawned its own genre of reggae called rockers (also the name of Pablo's sound system).
During the course of his career, Augustus Pablo worked with artists from Lee Perry and Big Youth to Junior Delgado and Horace Andy, along with many others. Some of Pablo's best-loved work was done with the renowned dub master King Tubby.
The original rockers rasta passed away in 1999, leaving behind a mystical music legend and a varied discography. If you want to chill out with some deep vibes, The Great Pablo is a good place to start. It is a mid-priced greatest hits album with informative liner notes, quality photographs and design, and a great overview of Augustus Pablo's work from the early to mid '70s. - Robert Seiden
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