When normal fans devote time and money to build web sites or write fanzines for their favorite artists, UK-producer Curtis Lynch produces a 15 track album dedicated to one of his heroes– the late Gregory Isaacs. And when looking at the cover sleeve it’s obvious that Curtis Lynch is not just any fan since the Cool Ruler is pictured as some kind of angel on stained glass.
On Gregory Isaacs Remixes Curtis Lynch has re-done and re-shaped eleven tracks recorded by Gregory Isaacs for Jamaican producer Augustus “Gussie” Clarke. The album includes a total of 15 tracks and collects classics such as Private Beach Party and Let Off Supm, but a number of tunes are rather obscure since they are taken from Gregory Isaacs’ less creative period.
Curtis Lynch has re-played most of the music and only sampled a few bits. He has also pumped up the tempo and added the kind of ill bass lines your parents doesn’t want you to hang out with. The voice has however been affected by the changed tempo and Gregory Isaacs sounds a bit drunk on the monster hit Night Nurse.
On cover albums or remix sets it’s always a tough task to be better than the originals, even though that’s probably not always the intention of the musicians or the producers. And the tracks on Gregory Isaacs Remixes are not necessarily better than the original versions, they’re just different with a contemporary and more electronic sound.
I’ve to confess that I’m not a raving Gregory Isaacs fan. I like most of his cultural and roots-oriented material, but a large part of his output is too smooth for my taste. And with this new album Curtis Lynch has given his work a new edgier style, which is a good thing.
In an interview Curtis Lynch recently did with Angus Taylor for United Reggae he said that his dad and his stepdad liked the album and that Gussie Clarke was pleased. Well, I’m too.
Gregory Isaacs Remixes is now available on CD and digital platforms.
An encounter at Peckings record shop in London last year between Necessary Mayhem’s Curtis Lynch and veteran deejay Macka B was the starting point for a fruitful musical relationship.
It started with the release of Our Music on the Gorilla riddim, a tune now included on Macka B’s brand new six track showcase album Rasta Soldier for Necessary Mayhem.
Rasta Soldier includes four previously unreleased tracks and is Macka B’s second album this year, and he once again shows his witty and striking social commentaries, taking on subjects such as racism, modern technology, violence and Rastafari.
The mood is classic Lynch with beats that are grim, introspective and dark, clearly manifested by the dub versions following each vocal.
Macka B and Curtis Lynch have managed to create a musical backing very well-suited to the harsh reality many people face everyday.
Rasta Soldier is now available on vinyl and will hit the download stores on August 21.
Future Cuts is the third compilation from UK label Necessary Mayhem led by producer Curtis Lynch. It offers a mixed bag of old and new material by several familiar singers and deejays from Europe and Jamaica.
The title of the album refers to the idea of giving a glance of what’s currently happening around the label. And there are some really interesting tunes and riddims involved, telling tales of a promising future.
Most promising is the severely under recorded Jamaican singer Jahmali and his grim Blood Thirsty, on a riddim inspired by Ken Boothe’s Black Gold and Green.
Other highlights include J.C Lodge’s Way Up on a new mix of Curtis Lynch’s relick of Gussie Clark’s Rumors riddim and the four vocalist combination As Mi Forward, where Million Stylez, Etana, Busy Signal and the violently fierce French female deejay Netna rides a particularly ultra heavy riddim. I mean, this isn’t the kind of bass line you bring home to meet your parents.
Curtis Lynch has once again proven that he is a producer to be reckoned with and one that seems to be obsessed with relentless bass lines.
Future Cuts is currently available on vinyl. The digital download edition drops on 14 February.
In early 2010 I was asked to contribute to Swedish magazine Reggae Galore. I suggested an interview with UK producer Curtis Lynch who runs the Necessary Mayhem label.
I contacted him and I remember it was difficult to find a date for the interview. When I finally got him on Skype the Internet connection broke down. I gave the interview a few more shots, but it never happened. Until now. For United Reggae, and not Reggae Galore.
I spoke to Curtis a few weeks ago and we discussed some of his many upcoming projects, among them a 2012 sampler titled Future Cuts and a possible album release from the under recorded Jamaican singer Jahmali.
The full story along with a exclusive mix and exclusive photos can be found over at United Reggae.
Tobago-born London-resident Franz Job was one of the brightest shining stars in 2009, the year his debut album Babylon is Dead was put out.
Two years has gone by and now he’s back with the Curtis Lynch-produced EP Rebel Lover Boy, a set where Franz Job shows a new side of himself – angrier and more electronic.
I got a chat with him on the phone from London. Check the interview over at United Reggae.
British deejay Mr. Williamz has dropped several scorching tunes for producer Curtis Lynch in the past years. A few months ago he also put out his debut EP titled Last Night. In mid July he performed at Swedish reggae festival Öland Roots. I saw him strolling around the premises after his set and asked for an interview.
Among other things we talked about the importance of dancehall culture. Check the interview over at United Reggae.
Necessary Mayhem producer Curtis Lynch is apparently taking things up a notch in 2011. In January he dropped an EP from Chantelle Ernandez as well as a reworking of the classic riddim Pass the Kouchie and two 12” from Dennis Brown and Brinsley Forde respectively. February saw the lovers rock album The Love Directories that compiled both released and previously unreleased material.
Now he has come up with a new riddim called The Gorilla that is – according to the press release – “the best riddim so far on the Necessary Mayhem label”. And it certainly is a great one with efforts from a broad variety of artists.
Tarrus Riley, Omar Perry, Franz Job and veterans Macka B and Chukki Starr have all voiced this dub infused bass heavy riddim that will make you shake your hip and move your feet.
It’s available on Monday March 14th on vinyl and legal download.
On Valentines Day top producer Curtis Lynch put out his full length contribution to the lovers rock genre. This side of him has been heard on some previous productions, such as Heart Broken by Etana and Worth Your Weight in Gold from the late Delroy Wilson, a song included on the album.
The Love Directories is Curtis Lynch second compilation and includes twelve tunes, some already familiar, while others are previously unreleased. The former includes the lethal Blackout JA and Michie One combination Love Me Woman, and the latter new gems such as Brinsley Forde’s joyful Bubbling on the General riddim and Thinking, a treat with an pulsating abyss-like bass line, accompanied by soulful singer Tony Curtis alongside Angel.
A bit surprising is that Stevie Wonder turns up in Don’t You Forget It. It is not really Stevie himself though. It is U.S. soul singer Glenn Lewis, who performs a reggae lick of one of his own hit tunes.
This compilation is a great way to combine deep and heavy riddims with lovers oriented lyrics. It will suit both you and your significant other when romanticizing.
UK-based producer Curtis Lynch has managed to release a bunch of releases already in the new year. Started on January 11 with Chantelle Ernandez and her nice lovers rock EP My Forever and continuing with a relick of one of the most versioned riddims ever – Pass the Kutchie, originally titled Full Up and recorded at Studio One. It features vocals from the Mighty Diamonds, Yellowman, Mr. Williamz, Tippa Irie, Kasi and Franz Job.
But that’s not all. The Necessary Mayhem camp has also managed to put out the first release in their “Company Policy” series. It’s a 12” release (also available as legal download) with one side from the late Dennis Brown and the other from ex-Aswad singer Brinsley Forde.
The tunes are not on the same riddim though. The Dennis Brown cut is a version of his Deceiving Girl produced by Augustus “Gussie” Clarke in the early 80’s, and included on the Judge Not album with the late Gregory Isaacs. Brinsley Forde rides a relick of another Gussie Clarke production – the mighty Rumours riddim. Both tunes are served with its dub version.
Curtis Lynch is a reliable source for great reggae music and with these new releases you can expect the usual – ear blowing heavy bass lines, electronica influences and added sound effects.
Compilations can often be a bit dull and it’s tough not to wander away in the jungle of new compilations introduced on iTunes every week. This is probably one of the reasons why I think 2010 hasn’t been a great year for new compilations. It has just been too many with too poor quality.
But there are still compilations that are very well crafted and well compiled. The new Dennis Brown Anthology and Absolutely The Uniques just to name two.
But in my list of the best compilations in 2010, I’ve only selected various artists’ albums and eliminated those that are dedicated to just one artist or group. I’ve also excluded riddim compilations to narrow it down even further.
Below are the three compilations that I’ve enjoyed the most in 2010.
3. Various – Dancehall 2 – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture
The second edition in the Soul Jazz Records “Dancehall” series featuring some great dancehall moments with wicked artists such as Yellowman, Johnny Osbourne and Lone Ranger. An absolutely essential guide that features both classic tunes as well as rarer ones.
2. Various – Digital Acoustics
Gathers some of the best tunes from producer Curtis Lynch. Includes several relicks, but also some own material. A great introduction to this master producer and his hefty sounds.
1. Various – Bobo Revolution 2
Includes 21 cuts on nine well crafted riddims produced by mastermind Frenchie. Artists ranging from chanters to sweeter voices such as Peetah Morgan. No fillers, only killers.