Greensleeves have been pressing quality high grade singles and albums for as long as I have been looking for good music, and when it comes to Jamaica, good music is a dime a dozen, that is why they have such a strict level of quality. And you could argue that 98.9 percent of Jamaican music goes far beyond the tag of ‘good’.
Hi Grade Ganja Anthems is one of those no brainer compilations, and I don’t mean that cos they smoke too much. The link between Reggae music and smoking ganja is as thick as blood and so the verbal praise of the sensi is as standard as a bowl of goat curry and a Red Stripe is to a good night out at the local sound-clash, they could literally keep pumping these out till they hit three figures. (more…)
Feel the Seasons Change is an album recorded at the live shows played around Aotearoa in February this year, which saw Salmonella Dub team up with the NZSO and other Kiwi music legends such as Whirimako Black and Paddy Free. The collaboration is an unmistakably ‘Aotearoa experience’, building on the distinctive sound that Sal Dub have created over the years, and incorporating te reo Maori and traditional Maori instruments (taonga puoro), which are expertly played by Richard Nunns. The live shows also integrated a slide-show of beautiful images of NZ, some of which can be seen on the short DVD that comes with the CD.
The first couple of short tracks are decidedly orchestral, with the opening beats of Tui Dub a happy reassurance that the Sal Dub sound will still feature on the album, albeit in a different form. The classic track (from Inside the Dub Plates) is given a new spin, with powerful vocals from Whirimako Black, who sings an adaptation of a traditional Tuhoe prayer. (more…)
Singer /songwriter Etana is fast becoming a rising star in the reggae world. Already well established in Jamaica and Africa, Etana is now taking her soulful, expressive sound to the world. Her debut album ‘The Strong One’ is being released in New Zealand on 20 September out on VP Records. This five-track sampler is in preparation of the full album release. Dubbed the ‘truth’ and Jamaica’s India Arie, Etana is the new generation of reggae soul.
Etana is a Swahili name meaning strong one and it is very fitting for this songstress. Her cultural and political songs are full of inspirational messages and showcases Etanas desire to spread positive vibrations. ‘I do music straight from the heart, straight from the soul, straight from the people I see in everyday life’. With her desire to stay true to her beliefs Etana is one of the new generation of women in reggae who choose not to be defined as sexual objects in an overly dominated male industry.
Dub Asylum is the alias of Auckland-based beat maker Peter McLennan. His latest offering, The Ba Ba Boom EP, presents an interesting blend of hip-hop, breaks and electronica pulled together nicely by some subtle reggae influences. The EP features six tracks and is a precursor to his next full album.
The standout track for mine would definitely be Ba Ba Boom. The track sees Peter mash-up some old-skool reggae samples with a crackling hip-hop beat and horn parts from the WBC (a local Ska band) to forge a sound that lies somewhere between late 60s rocksteady and early 90s East Coast hip-hop. It’s a sonically-pleasing mix that would go down a treat on the dance floor. (more…)
Dancehall Queen Australia 2008 is a mix CD created, essentially, to promote Surgeon General Sound’s nationwide dancing contest, of the same name. The competition was established in 2007 and has heats in five of Australia’s main cities, with the 2008 grand final in Sydney on November 15. Australia has an enthusiastic soundclash scene at the moment, and it’s great to see yet another aspect of the culture and music being promoted hard over there.
Flowsio (Warren Beazley) was born and raised in the small town of Kaikohe, three hours north of Auckland. He comes from a musical background and learnt the art of performance and singing from his grandfather (also his mentor) and others in his extended family.
Upon moving to Auckland at age 16 he was exposed to new forms of musical tastes and cultural sounds which helped to forge a deep appreciation for all genres, an appreciation that later, while finishing university, would came to fruition when he began linking with various DJs in Auckland city, until he eventually found himself gracing the mic once again. (more…)