Top Shotta Band are a 10-piece instrumental Rockers & Dub group based in Brooklyn, New York. Drawing their sound from vintage Jamaican reggae bands such as The Upsetters, The Aggrovators and The Revolutionaires, the band brings a slick and authentic sounding roots reggae vibe which is heavy on the bass, horns and percussion.

The band is led by trumpeter/producer djMush1 (formerly of the seminal NY bands Slackers & Murphy’s Law and currently of Tunnel One Radio [WNYU 89.1fm NYC], Al Paragus HQ Studios/When Dance Was Nice, and Hungry March Band) who lends his spicy jazz-like horn techniques to most tracks on the LP. All up, the band is comprised of a 4-piece horn section, organ, guitar, percussion, drums, bass and vocals which gives them everything they need to create some high quality reggae music.

The sound is supplemented by vocals from the original Screechy Dan. Dan’s vocals range from a sweet R+B vocal style to classic toasting and on to a rough percussive ragga style. Dan’s skills complement the band nicely, giving it an extra edge during live sets.

As they mention in their bio, “Top Shotta hits the listener with a wall of sound, featuring horn-laden rockers reggae, wet with reverb, echo and DUB.” The band features original music alongside versions of classic reggae riddims which they make their own.

Also in the mix are a couple of veteran JA vocalists. Hopeton James steps up with a warm, romantic number called ‘No Regrets’, and the LP closes with Ranking Joe dropping some excellent DJ chat with ‘Dub Plate Style’. It’s great to hear these artists still in action.

A nice feature of this LP was the addition of a few dub versions. They make for a varied and well rounded listening experience, almost like a selector would spin a tune and then flip it to the B-side and play the dub or instrumental for the crowd.

Upbeat and uplifting, the Top Shotta Band bring a smooth and polished selection of tunes to the dance. If this is American reggae then it is clearly rising from strength to strength.

More info:
Top Shotta Band on Facebook
Top Shotta Band YouTube Playlist
Buy Top Shotta Band on iTunes
Buy Top Shotta Band on Vinyl

Winston Spliff