With three heavy-hitting conscious new 7”s – featuring vocals from Speng Bond, Koa Aloy, and S’Kaya – simultaneously released on their own Top Smile Records, Swiss digital enthusiasts High Smile HiFi have once again crafted some tough riddims which pair nicely with their global cohort of singers.
These releases (#s 12-14) feature bubbling bass lines and stabbing skanks aplenty, all straight out of the mid-1980s in aesthetic and style. (more…)
For the label’s seventh full-length LP release, well-regarded Scottish sound system specialists Scotch Bonnet (run by the mighty Mungo’s Hi Fi) have compiled a collection of favorites past and present, naturally entitled Puffer’s Choice. (more…)
Famed [and personal fav] underground mashup/remix extraordinaire Jstar, is on the cusp of a more ‘traditional’ album release with Stand To Order. Featuring respected vocalists Ranking Joe, Soom T, Brother Culture, and Blackout JA amongst others.
Single “Liar Liar” features Danish singer Kinck and is out already. It includes interpretations from Mikal, Capitol 1212, and the Turntable Dubbers, who all explore different expanses of bass music. Jstar was kind enough to answer a few questions about the single, album, and production work. (more…)
Listening to the whole of Taiwan MC’s debut full-length Cool & Deadly is a musical explosion. Throughout, the skilled French singer, frequent Chinese Man collaborator, and sure confuser of Sinophiles embraces a range of musical styles while generally maintaining a bouncy dancefloor-friendly vibe. (more…)
13 – 20 August 2016 @ Benicàssim, Spain
I’m a little late with this review of Rototom Sunsplash 2016, but it is in good time to get you in the mood for New Zealand summer festivals.
Rototom Sunsplash is an amazing 8-day (9-days including the pre-party) reggae festival which encompasses music like ska, dancehall, dub and African, and includes related culture such as Rastafari, sound system, sustainability and health and well-being. (more…)
The latest 10″ release for Culture Dub Records comes from the Basskateers and Sticky Joe, with Sista Bethsabée and (the doubly-skilled) J. Pattersson providing vocals while the instrumentals/dubs emphasize the horn-work of Becky. This is a true European collaboration – Germany, the UK, and France are all represented. (more…)
29 – 31 July, Bersenbrück, Germany
Reggae Jam has been rated the number 1 reggae festival in Europe by Riddim magazine readers, and hearing this I had high expectations. I guess I experienced many highs and a few lows throughout the festival. (more…)
7 – 10 July 2016 @ Carquefou, France
Dub Camp 2016 was an incredible experience with 19 sound systems (actual sound systems!), many other DJs, singers, players of instruments, sound conference and Q&A sessions over 3 days and 4 nights. Somehow I have to attempt to condense that into this short review. (more…)
Foundation Sound (2016)
Out now on 7″, a heavy new piece of modern roots music with a vintage touch, as an almost 70-year old I-Kong delivers the message “Don’t Sell your Soul” over a riddim produced by Foundation Sound out of Norwich, UK. A hauntingly conscious lyric fades into a slightly extended jazzy sax version on the A-side, with a dark raw dub on the flip. (more…)
Jim the Boss’ latest endeavour, Hudson Soul out via Boom One Records, is an earnest homage to the sounds of 1970s Jamaica, one that wisely features intriguing yet on-point production far beyond the stylistic foundation. The result is the right type of timeless music, where grooves lead the way to somewhere deeper; a fact that’s doubly true as the proceeds are being donated to the family of the late Dan Klein of Daptone Records reggae band, The Frightnrs, who recently passed away following a diagnosis of the disease ALS in late-2015. (more…)