The European digital reggae scene is thriving and a number of strong albums have been released in recent months. First it was Tonto Addi’s debut set Dancehall Showcase, then it was Dr. Ring-Ding’s playful Dig It All and just a few weeks ago French trio Stand High Patrol dropped their smoky A Matter of Scale.
Another strong and vital set is French producer, DJ and beatmaker Atili Bandalero’s Closed Circuit; an album where he has invited seven deejays and singjays to showcase their talent over nine tracks. It was put out in mid-December last year and is now available for free download over at Bandcamp.
And there are at least nine good reasons to head over there – Prendy’s Tomorrow, Speng Bond’s Sweet Like Sugar, Joseph Cotton’s Kicks and Have Fun, Green Cross’ Boom Skeng, Gappy Ranks’ Gone, Biga Ranx’ Video Game and the two tough cuts where Joseph Cotton, Biga Ranx, Green Cross and Baby Boom take turn on the microphone.
Closed Circuit is rooted in the mid-80s digital reggae scene. The arrangements are straightforward, the tempo often high and sometimes it feels like you are listening to a reggae-oriented soundtrack to a Nintendo video game. Listen to a few familiar samples on Biga Ranx’ Video Game and you’ll know what I mean. Especially if you were growing up in the 80s.