The aptly-named Bent Backs Records are a Brooklyn, New York-based label, specializing in 12″ vinyl. Now on their fourth release – each of which finds a younger vocalist paired with a proper reggae legend (such as Johnny Osbourne and Devon Clarke) – it’s Waterhouse-style extraordinaire King Kong followed by rising French singer S’Kaya plus a tough dub from Hypa. (more…)
Dubmatix’s The French Sessions actually provided much of the soundtrack on my road trip through France last summer, centered around attending the Reggae Sun Ska Festival in Bordeaux. So with a sentimental attachment to the originals, hopes were high that these remixes could maintain the magic of the originals. Fortunately the Canadian producer – who teamed up with a talented younger generation of current singers for the initial release – was equally prudent in choosing a wide range of artists for this project. France is still the focus here, aside from American act Tour De Force who still fit in both stylistically and nominally.
I 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…)
Assassin 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…)
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.
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…)
Randy 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…)
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…)
Continuing 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…)
Classified 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…)