Reviews

Top Revival Dub Reissue LPs from Plattsie OneVoice

King Tubby & Soul Syndicate - Freedom Sounds In DubI better get my disclaimers in nice and early. Although this is my opinion on revival dub reissue LPs, I am much more a 7 and 12s man and I only buy and play out originals. That rule however has never followed for albums. Through the years I have picked up a few, although rarely had the time to sit down and listen. Having relocated from the centre of London out to the greenery of UK’s home counties I find myself driving around more. All of the albums have now had a dust off and I have rediscovered my love for revival dub. (more…)

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Assassin AKA Agent Sasco – Theory of Reggaetivity

Assassin - Theory of ReggaetivityAssassin AKA Agent Sasco, who still leads with the former (from those pre-Google days) despite the originality of the latter, is certainly in an enviable position with his Kendrick Lamar feature “The Blacker The Berry” having been recently performed at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Keeping the edge is the challenge then, for his Theory of Reggaetivity album which dropped just days later. Very much an artist showcase, Elesia Iimura and Chronixx are the only guests on the twelve tracks presented here. (more…)

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Goa Reggae Sunsplash 2016

Goa Reggae SunsplashThe sound system may be new, but the energy within the Indian reggae scene is clearly far from fledgling. Arriving from Hong Kong, I spent the better part of a week attending the inaugural Goa Sunsplash Festival, 16 January 2016, as well as its official pre and post-parties.

Organized by Delhi-based promotion and performance crew Reggae Rajahs – with plenty of assistance from all facets of the national scene – the fest not only represents a coming together of the like-minded, but also symbolizes a firm milestone in the subcontinent’s development of reggae. Making its mark on the festival was the public debut of the 10,000 Lions Sound System, hand-built for the occasion while bearing post-party ambitions for spreading reggae and its related genres across all of India. (more…)

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Bent Backs 12” – feat. Jay Spaker & Ranking Joe

Bent Backs 12" - Jay Spaker & Ranking JoeLimited edition 12″ out on Bent Backs Records (2015)

Side A: Roots Woman by Jay “Double Tiger” Spaker

Side B: Work by Ranking Joe

Dub & Loving by Hypa

Exec Produced: Lo Bentback

Artwork: Maël Boutin

Bent Back Records are there pon the case again with another wicked maxi single, with the vibes of mid-80s New York coming on their fresh and on-point label.

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Foundation Sound & Skari – One Love

Foundation Sound & Skari - One LoveOriginally a digital-only release, Foundation Sound’s 2014 solid collaboration with Skari has proved sufficiently popular to warrant a limited 7″ pressing.

Full in both sound and message, “One Love” strikes an excellent balance of power between the Shofar Allstars’s crisp-yet-deep horns and Skari’s positive lyrics. (more…)

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NiceUp meets Reggae Sun Ska Festival

Reggae Sun SkaIn just a few short days, The Groove Thief is headed to Bordeaux, France, to represent NiceUp at the 18th annual Reggae Sun Ska Festival. Held August 7, 8, and 9 at the University Campus of Bordeaux, for one weekend reggae will be stealing the limelight from the region’s famed wines! (more…)

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Randy Valentine – Still Pushing EP

Randy ValentineRandy Valentine has been a name I’ve been hearing about for a few years now. I must admit I had passed him over a little at first, but did find myself checking riddims to see if it was him killing it on the version.

Jamaican-born Randy now resides in the UK and is gaining popularity at an alarming rate. This could be due to his versatility as a singer as well as a deejay (dancehall MC).  (more…)

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Yabby You – Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You

Yabby You - Dread Prophecy(Shanachie)

Opinions about the reissue releases from Blood and Fire, Pressure Sounds, Soul Jazz etc are mixed. Sometimes facts and details are incorrect, sometimes the selections are a bit baffling. One thing they did do, was to force re-issue LPs to up their games presentation wise.

That is the first thing that hits you with this release. This package consists of 3 CDs with 56 tracks, a very nice fold-out CD box with some nice label scans (I do love a label scan!), and a 27-page booklet with interviews and discography. Very impressive.  (more…)

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Hi Smile HiFi 7″s – feat. Tenna Star, Ras Negus I, Little Harry & S’Kaya

Hi Smile HiFi 7"s - feat. Tenna Star, Ras Negus I, Little Harry & S'KayaContinuing to cultivate both their polished digital sound and their stable of vocalists, Top Smile Records returns for its third collection of 7″ vinyl releases. It seems Switzerland is starting to become a reliable source for digital reggae, as High Smile HiFi continues to focus on quality productions rather than worrying about any hype or (mis)perceptions. These three slabs of wax present just as many riddims, although with four featured vocalists – including the increasingly resurgent Little Harry – only two of the versions are included. (more…)

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Soom T & Monkey Marc – Bullets Over Babylon

Soom T & Monkey Marc - Bullets Over BabylonClassified as digital reggae, Soom T & Monkey Marc’s collaborative Bullets Over Babylon is much more apocalyptic bass manifesto than celebratory ragga dancehall. Soom T nods to plenty yet has a voice all her own; Monkey Marc nods to plenty yet crafts beats all his own. Both partners bring swagger and style to sustain such an ambitious dystopian statement. (more…)

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