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…)
Jason McDermott AKA Stylo G has has been called reggae’s man of the moment, but Stylo has been in the game for a while now.
This Jamaican-born 28-year old has been stamping his mark on the British urban music scene, first breaking through on the grime banger ‘My Yout’ back in 2004. Check it out, Stylo on the hook with the 14-year old Sickman and IceKid on the verse, a catchy wee number. (more…)
(Forward Records, USA)
When I first began collecting reggae music, I didn’t have the advantage of having any knowledgeable friends on the subject, so my initial record buying experiences were all based on self-schooling. This involved hearing a song in a session and then pursuing it. Luckily, most song titles are easy to pick up from listening to the songs, including this tune. And after hearing it time after time, I knew I had to track it down. (more…)
For a seasoned reggae selector, requests for Bob Marley tunes can be very painful. Generally, while they are often massive fans of such commercially popular artists, selectors can wince at requests for tunes by artists like Bob Marley or UB40. In fact, many selectors strive to share roots reggae beyond it’s more well known facets and would prefer to spin tunes undiscovered by mainstream ears.
Selectors often get around these requests by dropping a rare Marley tune, a dub or a remix. This too can rock the boat as many folks believe that such iconic music is sacred and should not be altered to suit modern tastes. It is also worth noting that there have been some decidedly average offerings in the reggae remix dept, especially concerning Uncle Bob, although some have been spectacular. (more…)
Treasure Isle (1970)
A little over a week ago, Nottinghill Carnival, the biggest reggae party on the planet, was in full swing. The sun was shining, I’d got my fill of jerk chicken and I was heading from one side of the carnival to the other to finish the day. I headed round the corner of Goldbourne Road onto Portobello and heard the intro and Gladdy dropping Ali Baba. Hand in the air, bigger smile on my face, out booms one of my favourite tunes from the mighty Gladdy Wax sound in full glory. (more…)
Chronixx is the man ‘with the flavour’ at this moment in time, and he does not disappoint with his cut on the ‘Inna Rub-a-Dub Style’ riddim, produced by John John down Jamaica way.
Original heads will know the riddim as ‘Leave Yah’ by Freddie McGregor or Al Campbell’s ‘Jammin’. John adds some nice overdubs to make this a twenty-first century roots stomper. (more…)
Version (Soul Proff 7”)
Underneath the main and rightfully well-known selection of Lee Perry/Black Ark tunes, lie classic after classic, usually released on smaller, less prolific labels. We all know the Max Romeo ‘War Inna Babylon’s, but dig a little deeper and tunes such as ‘Love and Prosperity’ are in abundance. (more…)
Stones Throw Records
In the past, not much has been heard from the reggae scene in the U.S., but this 12 (or more) piece soul/reggae crew from Los Angeles just might change that track record.
Coming through with an all-star cast on one of the States premier independant lables, The Lions are forging a name for themselves with their own brand of rootical reggae.
When you hear their sound, the classic influences are immediately clear. Their signature sound is an interpretation of seventies Jamaican reggae, first produced by artists like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Roots Radics.
You might have caught this tune in my regular NiceUp column, but I thought it also deserved its own Track of the Week outing.
I always have a lot of time for Wayne Marshall, who came up in the early 2000s and gained a lot of prominence, particularly with some wicked bashment tunes in collaboration with producer Don Corleon and now-superstar Vybz Kartel. (more…)