Tag Archives: Free downloads

Onlyjoe drops fourth single for free download and prepares for debut album

Energetic and multi-faceted ten piece reggae band onlyjoe from the UK has just released their fourth single Hold Me for free download. It’s a summery and infectious cut with a catchy sing-a-long chorus and comes with a swinging dub version mixed by acclaimed producer and mixing engineer Nick Manasseh.

“We actually recorded the rhythm section and the horns a little while ago, and were looking for an opportunity to work with Manasseh on something, and this track seemed like the obvious choice to take to him, and as we had it finished and there was demand for it we really wanted to give it to people,” explains Harry Bradford, saxophonist in onlyjoe.

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The reason for giving the song and its two versions is simple – they wanted to give something to the people who have been supporting them over the last few years. And at the moment they are in the process of recording their debut album, a set with production helmed by forward-thinking bass producer Hylu, who travels with onlyjoe as engineer. He has also produced all their previous singles.

“We’re getting funding from wherever we can at the moment, and while we’re slowing down on gigs getting money through t-shirt sales, and donations on releases is really helping pay for future sessions,” says Harry Bradford.

Onlyjoe aims at releasing the so far untitled album next year, and it will hold a mixture of tracks and sounds.

“People will know the music from our sets as well as some other bits which we have developed behind closed doors, those tracks are a progression of the same sound, while some are more dubwise and some have higher energy. The main focus of onlyjoe has always been making conscious music to move a dance,” says Harry Bradford, and concludes:

“It all fits under the umbrella of reggae music in its many different forms. We definitely want some surprises on the album, and if the studio session a few weeks back is anything to go by it’s looking like there will be some!”

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An explosive fusion of reggae and hip-hop on Capitol 1212’s debut album

imr020Capitol 1212 are Professa Fresh and Fly T, two Edinburgh based DJ’s and producers that started to make music together in 2007. Since then they have been busy releasing various singles and EP’s on different labels, including their own 1212 Records.

Now, seven years after of honing their craft behind the mixing desk, all of their influences come together on their debut album The Return of Rudy Nacho, an explosive and intoxicating mash-up of hip-hop, ska, reggae and jungle flavoured with a serious dose of carnival vibes.

And sound the air horns, because this is an irresistible and stylish album filled with seductive hooks and infectious melodies set to boastful beats and pulsating riddims. Many genres with big bass lines come together very nicely.

For this album Capitol 1212 has collaborated with vocalists like Tenor Fly, Serocee, Gappy Ranks, Deadly Hunta and Million Dan. And these vocalists battle beats with clever samples. Makin’ Disturbances, with Serocee on the microphone, borrows from Justin Hinds’ classic Carry Go Bring Home, and Daddy Scotty’s Everybody Move Like Robot uses elements from The Uniques’ smooth My Conversation and Hopeton Lewis’ delicate Take it Easy.

Some of the vocalists also need to handle unexpected tempo changes, and the best examples are Lif Up with veteran deejay Tenor Fly on vocals and Murder Dem with the gruff Deadly Hunta. Both cuts start with booming beats and then – suddenly – strobe lights jump in and give you a heart-attack.

The Return of Rudy Nacho collects 13 tracks, including one intro, one interlude with MC Donald D talking about the hip-hop/reggae connection and one outro. The other ten tracks are pure dance floor mayhem, with Gappy Ranks’ grim Born as a Warrior – now available as free download – being one prime example. Check it below.

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Vintage rub-a-dub dub from The Giants

coverSwiss trio The Giants comprises the Duke Brothers – Yves and David – along with Pascal Reuse. It’s however the brainchild of Yves and David, and they play bass, organ, keys, trombone, drums and trumpet, while Pascal Reuse adds rhythm and lead guitar.

On their new 18 track album Reel 1 & 2 – Adapted Chapter they have versioned 18 riddims in a vintage dub style. Most of the riddims are well-known and previously much-versioned, including Drifter, World a Reggae aka World Jam and Drum Song. The haunting Drum Song is actually one of my all-time favourite riddims, and this version gets a pretty high rating.

Reel 1 & 2 – Adapted Chapter was recorded during a live studio session on a 8-track tape from the late 80s. And the album certainly has a feel of old school dancehall coming from Channel One with Roots Radics providing the hard and ruthless riddims.

This is clean, organic and vintage dub at its best. There is one mystery with this solid set though. It’s available for free download. Not sure why, because the Duke Brothers have certainly put their hearts and souls in this project. So, grab it now before they change their minds.

 

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A mash-up monster for free download

a3322063923_2UK’s DJ Shepdog has released an album with some of his finest reggae mash-ups for free download.

The set covers most corners of dance music with a distinct reggae flavour, and one can hear hip-hop, dub, dancehall, dubstep and drum & bass on this clever effort.

Greatest Licks Vol. 1 comes with ten tracks, including versions of fan favourites like Cutty Ranks’ Limb By Limb, Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock and Alborosie’s Mama She Don’t Like You, on which Puppa Albo rides Steely & Clevie’s popular cut of the You Don’t Love Me (No No No) riddim.

Listen below and head over to Bandcamp and grab a free copy today, and stay tuned for volume 2. It’s already planned.

 

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Five Steez sets date for new EP and drops first single as free download

0003286951_10Jamaican hip-hop artist Five Steez follows up on his debut album War For Peace, released in 2012. His new project is an EP titled These Kingston Times. With its eight tracks it’s said in a press release to capture the modern tale of the Jamaican capital.

“I wanted to paint my city the way I see it, and in a way I’ve never heard the story told before in music,” says Five Steez in a press release and continues:

“Since hip-hop’s genesis with DJ Kool Herc, there has always been a Jamaican influence and involvement in the genre, but you’ve never heard about actual life here in ‘yard’, as we affectionately call it. It’s a new perspective in hip-hop, but parallel to that of urban environments worldwide.”

Jamaica is often recognized worldwide for its music, athletes and beautiful beaches, but the country has also developed a reputation of having one of the highest rates of murder and questionable killings by police as well as widespread government corruption. Much of this has historically taken place in Kingston. And these two sides – paradise and slum – are portrayed by Five Steez on These Kingston Times.

The EP drops on October 14, but the first single Deadly off the set is already available, and it’s ready for free download on Bandcamp until the project hits the streets.

Deadly is produced by DJ Crooks, and features a classic hip-hop beat mixed with a vintage reggae sound, a Dennis Brown sample and a signature dancehall chant.

“I had fun with this song because it’s so hip-hop, and it fuses elements from different Jamaican genres so well. I just went in with the flow and, of course, I had to big up people like Heavy D and Chubb Rock, who were also born in Jamaica,” explains Five Steez.

“I’m glad that Five Steez rocked it like he did,” says California-based, Jamaica-born DJ Crooks, and adds:

“It’s hip-hop at its purest, really. This is how we can honour the dynamic nature of the Jamaican music culture, paying respect to reggae and hip-hop at the same time.”

 

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NoBordersMusic drops one riddim album for free

NoBordersMusic from France recently dropped the Koumance riddim, a fresh dancehall riddim with echoes from late 80s Jamaica and the sounds from King Tubby and King Jammy.

It comes with nine vocal cuts from the likes of Anthony John, Black Dillinger, General Lion and Lord Bitum.

This big bad and bass heavy riddim was produced by Mighty Max and is currently available for free download over at Soundcloud.

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Seven deadly Major Lazer remixes by Mungo’s Hi Fi

artworks-000067560644-8gumtm-originalScotland’s own Mungo’s Hi Fi have remixed five Major Lazer tunes. They have re-shaped them, re-structured them, re-built them and now released them for free over at Soundcloud.

The results are smashing, intoxicating and very enjoyable. Just listen to the ska version of Busy Signal’s energetic Watch Out For This (Bumaye), the digi-reggae version of Get Free, featuring Amber from U.S. rockers Dirty Projectors, or the rocksteady-tinged Smooth Sailing with Mr. Williamz carrying the swing.

Check the Soundcloud link here and get a taste.

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Funky and fun from Jamaican Jazz Orchestra

avatars-000061799624-ir5f3y-t500x500Wouter Rosseel – guitarist in Lee Perry-influenced Belgian reggae band Pura Vida – has another project, a project with hardly any Lee Perry influences. The members of Jamaican Jazz Orchestra are instead worshipping The Skatalites and the early sounds of Jamaica led by Don Drummond, Ernest Ranglin, Tommy McCook and others.

And this ten piece band has recently dropped a self-titled six track EP free for download over at Soundcloud.

When listening to it my foot starts tapping and my head starts nodding reflexively. They have a tasteful mix of reggae and ska rhythms spiced with a jazzy brass section and a groove-oriented organ player.

It’s loose, funky and fun and well-worth checking out, even though I could have made it without the rapping on G13.

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Natural niceness from Bizzarri Records

00-Natural-Thing-Riddim-CoverNever Stray is one of the strongest cuts on Jah Sun’s excllent album Rise as One. It’s a combination with Gappy Ranks, and it was great news when I found out that the label behind the production – Italy’s Bizzarri Records – had put out a one riddim album based on that particular riddim.

Natural Thing riddim follows the label’s Laba Laba riddim and comes with ten cuts and two versions, one reggae and one dancehall. Apart from Jah Sun and Gappy Ranks, the riddim features four Italian artists – Raina, Lion D, Miss Linda and Brusco.

Ths riddim is pure niceness and is currently only available via Reggaerecord, but hits other digital platforms on January 19, 2014. Between December 19 and January you can get the dancehall version of Sun’s & Gappy’s Never Stray for free via Reggaerecord.

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Entertaining debut album from Mr Benn

Mr-Benn-Shake-A-LegThe UK city of Bristol is probably best known for groundbreaking trippy 90’s bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead. But the reggae scene has also been vital for many years, as shown by the many excellent albums and compilations coming from Bristol Archive Records.

One of the more recent additions on the Bristol reggae scene is Mr Benn, who on his debut album Shake A Leg takes an old school meets new school approach.

The album is an eclectic smorgasbord set with Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby along with various ingredients coming from 90s hip-hop and boom rap, soca, jungle, dancehall, dubstep and bashement.

This vast list of musical influences and guest artists, ranging from UK heavyweighters like Top Cat and Tenor Fly and to newcomers like Eva Lazarus and Nanci Correia, creates a cheerful jump-up vibe directly aimed at setting dance floors worldwide on fire.

And it’s hard to sit still when you play this entertaining album. Your head starts to nod, your feet beings to stomp and suddenly you feel an urge to dim lights, call all your friends and turn up the bass, even if it’s just a boring Thursday afternoon. Then just do it.

And don’ forget to check out the out the free download of a wicked combination with gruff voiced deejay Blackout JA, not included on the album.

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