Here we have several 7″s from my bass-ment collection from the great Herman Chin-Loy, record producer, musician, and former owner of the Aquarius and Scorpio labels.
In 1969 Lloyd A. Chin-Loy opened Aquarius Record Store in Half Way Tree, Kingston, Jamaica. In the early 1970s Chin-Loy contracted Mr. Rosser, a notable studio engineer from Wales, to build an innovative, state of the art 24-track recording studio – the first of its kind in Jamaica and probably the entire Caribbean region; and so was born Aquarius Recording Studio in the heart of Half-Way-Tree.
Lloyd Chin-Loy subsequently brought on board his half-brother Herman Chin-Loy, who ran the retail end of the business. Herman dabbled in producing. His earliest productions were quirky, innovative instrumentals, using musicians such as Lloyd Charmers and The Hippy Boys on tracks such as “African Zulu”, “Shang I”, “Reggae In The Fields”, “Invasion”, and “Inner Space”. He was the first producer to use the Now Generation band and the first to record Horace Swaby, whose recordings, like those of other keyboard players who recorded for Chin Loy, were released under the name “Augustus Pablo”, the success of Swaby’s releases causing the name to stick.
In the early 1970s, Herman Chin Loy also produced Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis, and Bruce Ruffin, whose “Rain” reached number 19 in the UK singles chart. Herman Chin-Loy was responsible for one of the first dub albums, Aquarius Dub, released in 1973, and mixed at Dynamic studio by Chin Loy himself. A follow-up, Aquarius Dub part 2, was released the next year.
Herman Chin-Loy returned to reggae productions in 1979, after a brief hiatus, scoring several hits in the early dancehall style with artists such as Little Roy and Ernest Wilson.
Here is a 1971 release titled “Dunce Cap” pressed to the Aquarius label. This is an original Chin-Loy composition feat. Chin-Loy himself on the vocal intro doing a wild bit on teenage pregnancy.
You may recognize this Chin-Loy composition as the foundation riddim of Augustus Pablo’s “Cassava Piece,” Jacob Miller’s “Baby I Love You So,” and “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown.” “I Man” is featured on Chin-Loy’s legendary dub LP ‘Aquarius Dub.’
Here is my favorite Chin-Loy production and I was lucky enough to find it on an Aquarius Pre- 7″ vinyl. “Iggy Iggy” again features Chin-Loy as announcer on the intro. This one is too funky.
Here is Dennis Brown’s “Song My Mother Used To Sing,” which was produced by Herman Chin-Loy and pressed to the Aquarius imprint in 1973.