12″ Warrior Records (1978)
The Royals are one of those groups who I believe don’t get the recognition they deserve. The group’s line up has varied over the years but at its heart was Roy Cousins.
Hailing from Kingston, from a young age Roy Cousins sang with the local church choir, and his classmates included the likes of Bernard Collins, Lloyd Parks, Naggo Morris, and Ansel Collins to name a few. (more…)
This is a brand new joint from these two princes of dancehall (I’m still up in the air as to who is the current king) – Cham and Mavado on a Madhouse produced riddim.
Well well, what do we have here, Cham AKA Baby Cham is on a heavy comeback. This is his second colab with one of the genres heavy hitters, this time with Mavado. If you haven’t heard the Cham and Jnr Gong tune ‘Fighter’, have a listen, it’s a banger. (more…)
Last week saw the passing of yet another legend. The world will miss one of the most vocally gifted singers to emerge out of Jamaica. William Clarke AKA Bunny Rugs was the lead singer for Third World. His voice can be heard soulfully souring on many of their tracks, including their stellar hit ‘Now That We Found Love’, which is a true testimony to this.
In 1975 prior to joining Third World, Bunny recorded an album for Lee Perry under the name of Bunny Scott, titled ‘To Love Somebody’. This album contains the track ‘What’s The Use’, which is my track for the week. (more…)
7” on Hitbound/Shamala
This was a tune that surfaced just after Xmas but is gaining momentum as we speak, as more heads realise it’s out here, having been obviously overlooked due to the season. (more…)
Forthcoming on Steppas Records, limited pre-release on CD
This week’s tune has a special story for me, as I have been lucky enough to witness it in some unique circumstances.
The first time was at last year’s Rototom Sunsplash in Spain. The opening night of the Dub Station featured well known Spanish producer Don Fe, alongside his good friend and fellow singer/producer, Prince Jamo. In this heavily stacked dub arena, amongst a plethora of stellar unreleased dubs they were running, came a slow, eerie intro, which about a minute later erupted into a piece of absolutely brilliant UK steppas. Only to be complemented by a beautiful flute chorus which chimed in momentarily later. This was ‘Weep Not’, the much anticipated forthcoming tune by Murcia’s, Don Fe. (more…)
As a selector I cover a lot of eras and styles of Jamaican-influenced music, but between remixes, refixes, mashups, and modern productions, a digital sound definitely dominates. Nothing wrong with an original analog production – and there’s also a lot of great dub coming out right now that employs a vintage aesthetic – but in my opinion massive bass and an accelerated BPM rarely worsen a track’s effect on the dance. Perhaps this reflects my age or my techno DJing background or too much time spent on Soundcloud…? For my Track of the Week, I’m going back to an original digital production, King Kong’s “He Was A Friend” from 1989. (more…)
I first started collecting originals back in the 90s. I was working six days a week and taking home decent money. One of my favourite haunts was Daddy Kools, which by then was on Berwick Street in the seedy streets of Soho. The owner of the shop was a highly unpleasant man so I used to know what day he didn’t work on.
I would head down on those days and usually it was the same guy working there. For some reason I never asked his name and he never asked mine but we were on nodding terms. Every time I would go in he would say, “Right, horns and harmonies then…”. To this day that sums up my record buying! (more…)
In America, the nineties were a boom time for dancehall reggae. The popularity of foundation Jamaican dancehall artists like Shabba Ranks, Tenor Saw, Josey Wales and Supercat was securely established, and sound systems were hosting and promoting touring Jamaican artists.
On the dancefloor and on the radio, dancehall releases were being promoted and mixed with other forms of popular music by selectors and DJs such as Kool, DJ Red Alert and Bobby Konders. Particularly in New York, Caribbean migrants and Americans of all kinds were embracing an emerging wave of international dancehall music, fused with the urban elements of hip-hop music. (more…)
Island 12”, 1977
It was with great sadness that I read of Junior Murvin’s passing today. It seems only fitting to feature one of his tunes this week.
‘Tedious’ is one of his tracks from the classic ‘Police and Theives’ set, co-written and produced with Lee Scratch Perry. Murvin’s unique falsetto voice sets him apart from the crowd. (more…)
Dre represents the new wave of conscious artists currently emerging from Jamaica. Other artists from the said wave also
feature on cuts to this riddim. (more…)