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The 30 best reggae songs of 2018 so far

The midpoint of 2018 is behind us, and it’s time to sum up the first six months. Below is a list of 30 massive reggae and dancehall cuts released this year that I have been spinning quite frequently. Some have even been on repeat, like New Town Kings’ Borderline, Alborosie & Chronixx’ Contradiction and Micah Shemaiah’s Zion Trod.

The first six months have been very strong with a many contenders, but I need to draw the line somewhere. And 30 seemed about right this year.

The list is an eclectic one and is as usual presented in no particular order and the songs included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the songs you can download a Spotify playlist with all cuts. Download the Spotify playlist here and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Artist – song title (riddim)
Shenseea & Shatta Wale – The Way I Move
Soothsayers – Natural Mystic 7” Edit
Rudimental & Shungudzo & Protoje & Hak Baker – Toast To Our Differences
Slowly & Courtney John – The Rightway
New Town Kings – Borderline
Richie Loop & Tribal Kush – Way Up
Emeterians & The Island Defenders – Dub Master
Sean Paul & Major Lazer – Tip Pon It
Alaine – Lucky You (Destiny)
Rage – I’m Not A Lonely Girl (Episodes)
Lutan Fyah – Chant Down Babylon (Straight Step)
Kabaka Pyramid & Stonebwoy – Borders
TiMeka & Vershon – Live Life (Vibes Maker)
Naomi Cowan – Paradise Plum
Nico D – Money Come My Way (April)
Alborosie & Chronixx – Contradiction
Protoje & Chronixx – No Guarantee
Ginjah – Bring Heaven Down (Twilight)
Micah Shemaiah – Vibes Town (Good Balance)
Jahbar I – Friendly Foes (Pon Di Grind)
Keida – So Much More (Gems)
Jada Kingdom – Best You Ever Had
Racquel Jones – Take It Easy (Communion)
Soul Sugar & Leonardo Carmichael – I Want You (Discomix version)
Micah Shemaiah – Zion Trod (Extended mix)
Lutan Fyah – Where Is the Culture (Dinner Time)
Joe Pilgrim & The Ligerians – Migrants
Sara Lugo & Randy Valentine – Growing A Jungle (Nice & Easy)
Konshens – Tan Up (Bashment Time)
Kabaka Pyramid & Damian Marley – Kontraband

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Top ten reggae album reissues in 2017

The third and last top list in 2017 collects best reggae album reissues. As usual the list includes albums from reissue giants Pressure Sounds and Soul Jazz, but this year adds releases from German based label Cree, France’s Patate and the newly revitalized Studio One label, which has a fruitful partnership with Yep Roc Music Group.

The list below is presented in no particular order and if you’re curious about the albums make sure to check my Spotify playlist with four sets. Download the playlist here. Enjoy!

Artist – title
Various – Black Man’s Pride
A collection of deep heavyweight reggae featuring Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, The Gladiators, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Freddie McGregor, Cedric Brooks and more.

Various – Studio One Supreme – Maximum 70s And 80s Early Dancehall Sounds
Comes with classics and lesser-known gems from some of Jamaica’s finest artists.

Freddie McKay – Picture On the Wall
Freddie McKay has never got the recognition he deserves. He is for sure one of Jamaica’s finest singers of all time. Listen to this set and you’ll understand why.

Lloyd Parks – Time a Go Dread
This hefty set comes with 22 track, including Slaving and its version. And the remaining 20 cuts are just as great and demonstrate Lloyd Parks’ gift for writing socially conscious lyrics and catchy melodies.

Various – Sly & Robbie Present Taxi Gang In Discomix Style 1978-87
Draws recordings from Sly & Robbie’s Taxi label and showcases a very special blend of reggae and U.S. soul and R&B. Included are covers of a number of classics.

Various – The #1 Sound: From The Vaults Vol. 1
An 18 track bonanza of rare Studio One sides featuring both the label’s top hit makers as well as some of its more obscure artists. Includes recordings from the late 60s to the early 1980s.

Various – Doing Our Thing: More Soul From Jamdown 1970-82
The follow-up to Taxi Gang in Discomix Style and collects another set of Jamaican cover versions of U.S. soul and R&B tunes.

Early B – Ghost Busters
Killer deejay album originally released in 1985 that has cried to be reissued.

Lloyd Parks & We The People – Meet The People
Excellent roots album from bass man Lloyd Parks and his band We the People Band.

Horace Andy – Good Vibes
Collection of discomix singles from the 70s originally released on Blood & Fire and now reissued by VP Records. Excellent versions of Horace Andy classics, including the mighty Skylarking.

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Top 30 reggae songs in 2017

The second top list in 2017 collects best reggae songs and the year has been pretty strong, especially the first six months. As usual the list collects both rising hopefuls and veterans. Most artists are from the Caribbean, but a few are from Europe and the U.S.

Glad that Jamaican falsetto singer Courtney John is back as a solo singer and his Yes We Are is a beautiful slice of mellow reggae. Other noteworthy highlights include the ferocious combination of Sizzla, Capleton and Fantan Mojah on Monkey Marc’s No Surrender, Burro Banton’s brutal Nah Sell Out on a wicked relick on the Kunta Kinte riddim and two ethereal singles from Hollie Cook’s much anticipated third studio album slated for release early next year.

The best track of the year is however Priceless on Frenchie’s Skank & Rave riddim. It’s a delicious slice of infectious and bouncy dancehall delivered by Michie One, Louchie Lou, Ding Dong and Bravo.

The list is as usual presented in no particular order and the cuts included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the tunes you can download a Spotify playlist with all tracks. Download the Spotify playlist here and I hope you will enjoy the music as much as I do.

Artist – song title (riddim)
Treesha & Skarra Mucci – Love You Like 123 (Better Days)
Samory I – Rasta Nuh Gangsta
Tippa Lee – Salute the Veteran
Mista Savona & Solis & Randy Valentine – Carnival
Courtney John – Yes We Are
Jesse Royal – Hold the Faith (Reggae Fest)
RSNY – Wildfire (What to Do)
Lukie D – Lock Dem Down (Replay)
Lutan Fyah – Things Are Not the Same
Burro Banton – Nah Sell Out (Kunta Kinte)
Monkey Marc & Fantan Mojah & Capleton & Sizzla – No Surrender (No Surrender)
Damian Marley – Medication
Jesse Royal – Fyah Fyah (Real Life Story)
Michie One, Louchie Lou, Ding Dong & Bravo – Priceless (Skank & Rave)
Kabaka Pyramid – Can’t Breathe
Hollie Cook – Angel Fire
Mungo’s Hi Fi & Eva Lazarus – Amsterdam
RDX – Shake Your Bam Bam
Irie Souljah – Dreader Than Dread
Alborosie – Living Dread
Jesse Royal & Jo Mersa Marley – Generation
O.B.F & Sr. Wilson – Rub A Dub Mood
Eesah – Tell No Lie
Chevaughn, Ronaldo, Nerry, Mountain, Sherieta & Tammi T – Shine (Body & Soul)
Randy Valentine – Officer Barage (67)
Hollie Cook – Freefalling
Randy Valentine – Just In Time
Estelle & Tarrus Riley – Love Like Ours
Fyakin – Steamin
Koffee – Burning (Ouji)

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Top 12 reggae album reissues in 2016

It has been a fantastic year for reggae album reissues. Killer, and sometimes unbelievably rare, albums have seen the day of light thanks to labels like Pressure Sounds, 17 North Parade and Soul Jazz Records.

But the biggest label in reissues circles is nowadays Japan’s Dub Store Records. Over the past 12 months they have put out a broad variety of albums ranging from digital reggae and vintage rocksteady to meditative and spiritual nyabinghi. I can only hope that Dub Store Records will continue in 2017 with a hefty release schedule.
reissues

The list below is presented in alphabetical order and if you’re curious about the albums – check out this Spotify playlist with nine of the albums. Enjoy!

Artist – album title
Bunny Wailer – Solomonic Singles Vol 1 & 2
Bunny Wailer has always been quietly ferocious with apocalyptic messages and a mystical and transcendental sonic landscape. And many of these marvelous songs – classics, long lost gems, dub versions and instrumentals – are now finally readily available.

Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Grounation
A psychedelic, colorful and ethereal joyride and a milestone in the development of reggae music.

Derrick Harriott – Rock Steady Party
This is rock steady at its very finest. Close harmonies, sweet melodies and smooth grooves.

Errol Brown – Orthodox Dub
Tough roots scorchers dubbed with brimstone and fire mashing down the walls of Babylon.

Horace Andy & Winston Jarrett – Kingston Rock
Killer cuts from both Horace Andy and Winston Jarrett; two singers with radically different voices. Horace Andy is soft, while Winston Jarrett has a rougher and more rural style complemented by beautiful harmonies.

Lloyd Charmers – The Best of Lloyd Charmers
This crucial anthology is painfully long overdue and showcases a ingenious producer as well as an array of Jamaica’s finest artists.

Prince Alla – The Best of Prince Alla
Prince Alla has never been quite as prolific as many of his peers, but many of his recordings have proven to be landmarks in the history of reggae music. And some of these are included on this lethal set.

Yabby You – Beware
A key dub album that still sounds powerful.

Various – First Class Rocksteady
The title says it all.

Various – Money Maker
Collects primarily instrumentals played by Studio One in-house bands The Sound Dimension, The Soul Brothers and The Soul Vendors joined by Im & Dave, Ernest Ranglin, Jackie Mittoo, Lloyd Williams and The Boss himself, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

Various – Studio One Showcase
Brings together a mighty fine selection of tracks from the 70s and early 80s.

Various – Tape Rolling!
This is a fascinating album with lots of excitement – check Big Joe’s excellent take on Count Prince Miller’s Mule Train – and creativity – listen to I Roy’s mystic chant on Noisy Place, a version of The Paragons’ Man Next Door.

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Top 40 reggae songs in 2016

The second top list in 2016 collects best songs, and just as last year the second half of the year was way stronger than the first six months. And when I wrote the half-year report in July I had difficulties finding enough highlights. But from July and onwards it has been a stream of solid singles, remixes and one riddim compilation cuts. This means that some of the songs included in the half-year report were pushed out due to fierce competition.

As usual the list collects both rising hopefuls and veterans. Most are from Jamaica, but a few are from Europe and the U.S. And I’m delighted that singles from Damian Marley’s and Chronixx’ new albums have surfaced during the year. And all four singles are very promising.

best-chunes

You can also find a brand new collaboration between Iba Mahr and Notis aka Heavyweight Rockaz. Big Machine is a fiercely bouncy tune and a worthy follow-up to their hit Diamond Sox.

UK soul and reggae outfit Pama International is also back in fine form and Heatwave is a killer version of Martha Reeves & The Vandella’s 60s smash.

Also very happy that Jamaican falsetto singer Courtney John is back as a solo singer and his Strangers is a beautiful slice of mellow reggae. And those who have missed Earl “Chinna” Smith’s acoustic project Inna de Yard will be pleased to find two singles from the upcoming Inna de Yard album. The cuts from Ken Booth and Kush McAnuff are sublime.

The list is as presented in no particular order and the cuts included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the tunes you can download a Spotify playlist with all tracks. Download the Spotify playlist here and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Artist – song title (riddim)
Jesse Royal – Blowing in the Wind (Guidance & Protection)
Hempress Sativa – Rock It Inna Dance
Lukie D – Lukie Feeling (Tribute To Dennis Brown)
Perfect – Nobody Knows (World War III)
I-Octane – My Struggles
Dub Inc & Jah Sun – Open Up Your Eyes (They Want)
Sara Lugo & Jah9 – Rejoice
Randy Valentine – Hold On (Blueberry Haze)
Ronnie Davis – Now Generation
Flowering Inferno & U Roy & Alice Russell – A Life Worth Living
Clinton Fearon – Waiting
Christopher Martin & Busy Signal – Steppin’
Kazam Davis & Infinite – Free Yourself Up (No Stress)
Ady Suleiman – Runnin’ Away (Winta James remix)
Chronixx – Out Deh (Lion Paw)
Randy Valentine – Too Late
Soothsayers – Nothing Can Stop Us
Good Vibe Styla & Kazam Davis & Infinite & Exile Di Brave– Nothing More To Say
Damian Marley – Caution
Exco Levi – Siren (Maad Sick)
Kabaka Pyramid – No Guns Round Here (Condition)
Heavyweight Rockaz – Upful Movements
Damian Marley – Nail Pon Cross
Melloquence, Mykal Rose & Cutty Ranks – Hot Wata (Reelz)
Chino McGregor & Stephen McGregor – Zero Tolerance
Ikaya – Side Chick (XoXo)
Chronixx – Roots & Chalice
Jesse Royal – Black Woman (Mile High)
Sandy Smith – Crying Out (His Majesty)
Pama International – Heatwave
Courtney John – Strangers
Mortimer – Ganja Train
Soul Sugar & Leonardo Carmichael – Why Can’t We Live Together
Lutan Fyah – No Assistance (Resistance)
Randy Valentine – It Takes Time (Lifetime)
Iba Mahr – Big Machine
Morgan Heritage – Conscious Revolution (Royal Step)
Ken Boothe – Let the Water Run Dry
Brina – Warmongers by Name
Kush McAnuff – Black To I Roots

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Top 25 reggae albums in 2016

It’s December and that means holiday and lists. Lots of them. Reggaemani will present top lists featuring albums, songs and reissues. And I kick things off with 25 albums that rocked my world in the past year.

The list below is diverse with several different countries, styles and genres represented. Included are artists from Jamaica, the U.S., Spain, Madagascar, Germany, Italy and UK covering roots, dancehall, dub, ska and hip-hop.

best-albums_161216

This year’s list includes two compilations, which I usually try to avoid. But these two were too good to be put aside.

The list below is presented alphabetical order and if you’re curious about the albums make sure to check my Spotify playlist with all sets. Download the playlist here. Enjoy!

Artist – title
Alborosie – Freedom & Fyah
When Alborosie put out his debut album Soul Pirate in 2008 he presented a fresh take on roots reggae. He came in from another angle and created his own sound, and has developed it into perfection.

Assassin aka Agent Sasco – Theory of Reggaetivity
A stellar album and a landmark in Assassin’s career. It’s a reflective and conscious set painting a vivid portrait of reggae and its diverse set of sounds, styles and themes.

Biba – Massavana
Spanish producer Roberto Sánchez has given the set a feel of authenticity with vintage vibes and live instrumentation complete with beautiful harmonies – listen to Mr. Babylon – and dub versions to four of the cuts.

Clinton Fearon – This Morning
Quintessential Clinton Fearon. Sweetly skanking riddims, unpretentious arrangements and infectious melodies complete with emotional singing and personal reflections on life and current events, including police brutality and an unjust judicial system.

The Emeterians – The Journey
Marvelous set showcasing the versatility and breath of both The Emeterians and reggae as a genre.

Flowering Inferno – 1000 Watts
Producer and multi-instrumentalist Quantic has crafted a beautiful and mostly instrumental set with warm vintage grooves, summery vibes, dub wizardry and excellent musicianship.

The Frightnrs – Nothing More To Say
Painful and sweet. Just like real rocksteady should be.

General Roots – Walk Tall
An instant grabber with its infectious melodies and gentle, yet pulsating, vibes.

I Kong – Pass It On
If his previous album A Little Walk was a triumphant return for I Kong, this album certainly cements his arrival after almost ten years out of the spotlight.

Jah9 – 9
Jah9 continues to push musical and lyrical boundaries and it will be a journey to follow her future career.

Jahcoustix – Seriously Positive
A throw-back to vintage reggae and the organic sound owes quite a lot to rocksteady, especially the driving organ and the tight and beautiful harmonizing on several tracks, for example on a cut like the insanely catchy Old Tongue.

King Solomon – Ceasefire
Comes with a minimum amount of perfume and make-up. What was recorded in the studio is what you’ll get.

Max Romeo – Horror Zone
Max Romeo and Daniel Boyle have managed to create a strong album that pays respect to the original classic War ina Babylon, but without being too nostalgic.

Perfect – Reggae Farm Work
A striking and innovative album that drops like a bomb.

Raging Fyah – Everlasting
Everlasting has several irresistible moments – even though a few might be slightly too slick and polished – and passionate and expressive vocalist Kumar shines throughout this sonically sophisticated collection.

Raphael – Reggae Survival
Straight up contemporary and uplifting roots reggae with live instrumentation – including a brass section supervised by legendary Jamaican sax maestro Dean Fraser – and infectious melodies.

The Rockers Disciples & The Producers – Sounds From the Ark
A stellar 12 track album where wonderful instrumentals rub shoulders with killer vocal cuts and lethal dub versions.

Sara Lugo – Sara Lugo & Friends
A sultry and soulful album where Sara Lugo’s light, breezy and effortless singing is exquisitely matched with both riddims and collaborators. Stay close to the repeat button.

Silly Walks Discotheque – Smile Jamaica
An excellent compilation with a broad variety of riddims highlighting many of Jamaica’s emerging talents.

Soom T – Free as a Bird
Power, rhythm and melody all come together beautifully on this album. It’s a grower so you need to give it some time. But it’s well worth the time. A spot on album.

Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love, Herb & Reggae
Taj Weekes tackles difficult issues and calls for changes throughout the album. But it’s never dark or dismal. He sings with a smile. And it’s infectious.

Tippa Lee – Cultural Ambassador
A bona fide killer with its tasty and excellent relicks of a number of immortal riddims, including a murderous cut of the lethal Drum Song riddim.

Various – We Remember Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown’s greatness and relevance can’t be overstated, and even though 30 tracks make a hefty compilation, there’s much more to discover.

The Viceroys – Iroko Showcase Vol. 2: Memories
Heavy roots. Roots full of culture and consciousness. Just like in the 70s.

Zion I Kings – Dub in Style
Melodious and elegant dub of the highest caliber.

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The 15 best reggae albums of 2016 so far

The other day I presented my 20 favourite reggae and dancehall cuts so far this year. Now it’s time to present the 15 best albums so far. Last year the list collected ten albums, but 2016 has been very strong so I decided to increase the list with five sets.

If last year was somewhat disappointing, 2016 has been solid with albums from both newcomers and veterans. The list collects – for example – truly excellent sets from The Viceroys, Biba, Soom T and Assassin aka Agent Sasco.

Best of 2016 so far covers

Hopefully the coming six months will be just as strong since artists like Hempress Sativa, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah9, Hollie Cook, Lutan Fyah and Romain Virgo are expected to drop albums this year.

The list below is presented in no particular order and no reissues have been allowed. If you are curious about the albums you can download this Spotify playlist with all 15 albums. Enjoy the music!

Artist – title

Silly Walks Discotheque – Smile Jamaica
An excellent compilation with a broad variety of riddims highlighting many of Jamaica’s emerging talents.

Flowering Inferno – 1000 Watts
Producer and multi-instrumentalist Quantic has crafted a beautiful and mostly instrumental set with warm vintage grooves, summery vibes, dub wizardry and excellent musicianship.

Alborosie – Freedom & Fyah
When Alborosie put out his debut album Soul Pirate in 2008 he presented a fresh take on roots reggae. He came in from another angle and created his own sound, and has developed it into perfection.

Jahcoustix – Seriously Positive
A throw-back to vintage reggae and the organic sound owes quite a lot to rocksteady, especially the driving organ and the tight and beautiful harmonizing on several tracks, for example on a cut like the insanely catchy Old Tongue.

Biba – Massavana
Spanish producer Roberto Sánchez has given the set a feel of authenticity with vintage vibes and live instrumentation complete with beautiful harmonies – listen to Mr. Babylon – and dub versions to four of the cuts.

The Rockers Disciples & The Producers – Sounds From the Ark
A stellar 12 track album where wonderful instrumentals rub shoulders with killer vocal cuts and lethal dub versions.

The Viceroys – Iroko Showcase Vol. 2: Memories
Heavy roots. Roots full of culture and consciousness. Just like in the 70s.

Tippa Lee – Cultural Ambassador
A bona fide killer with its tasty and excellent relicks of a number of immortal riddims, including a murderous cut of the lethal Drum Song riddim.

Soom T – Free as a Bird
Power, rhythm and melody all come together beautifully on this album. It’s a grower so you need to give it some time. But it’s well worth the time. A spot on album.

Sara Lugo – Sara Lugo & Friends
A sultry and soulful album where Sara Lugo’s light, breezy and effortless singing is exquisitely matched with both riddims and collaborators. Stay close to the repeat button.

Assassin aka Agent Sasco – Theory of Reggaetivity
A stellar album and a landmark in Assassin’s career. It’s a reflective and conscious set painting a vivid portrait of reggae and its diverse set of sounds, styles and themes.

Perfect – Reggae Farm Work
A striking and innovative album that drops like a bomb.

Zion I Kings – Dub in Style
Melodious and elegant dub of the highest calibre.

Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love, Herb & Reggae
Taj Weekes tackles difficult issues and calls for changes throughout the album. But it’s never dark or dismal. He sings with a smile. And it’s infectious.

Raphael – Reggae Survival
Straight up contemporary and uplifting roots reggae with live instrumentation – including a brass section supervised by legendary Jamaican sax maestro Dean Fraser – and infectious melodies.

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The 20 best songs of 2016 so far

Soon we have passed the midpoint of 2016 and it’s time to sum up the first six months. Below is a list of 20 reggae and dancehall favourites released this year, and it can hopefully help to navigate among the tons of reggae released so far in 2016.

The year has actually so far been slightly disappointing and the competition to get on the list hasn’t been too fierce. I’m however very pleased with the 20 cuts selected and a few shines brighter than others.

The harmonies on Soothsayers Nothing Can Stop Us and Sara Lugo’s & Jah9’s Rejoice are divine, the lingering guitar on Clinton Fearon’s Waiting is sublime and Hempress Sativa and Jesse Royal kills it as usual with their stylistically superior flow. Also nice to include a new song from Damian Marley. If it’s from an upcoming album it certainly promises very well.

Best songs of 2016 so far covers

The list is as usual presented in no particular order and the songs included are only singles or tracks taken from compilations. If you are curious about the songs you can download a Spotify playlist with 19 of 20 tracks since Damian Marley’s Caution is currently only available on Soundcloud. Download the Spotify playlist here and I hope you enjoy the music as much as I do.

Artist – song title (label/riddim)
Jesse Royal – Blowing in the Wind (Larger Than Life Records/Guidance & Protection)
Hempress Sativa – Rock It Inna Dance (Conquering Lion Records)
Lukie D – Lukie Feeling (Street Rockaz/Tribute To Dennis)
Perfect – Nobody Knows (Irie Ites/World War III)
I-Octane – My Struggles (DJ Frass Records)
Kiko Bun – Sticky Situation (Island Records)
Dub Inc & Jah Sun – Open Up Your Eyes (Diversité Records/They Want)
Sara Lugo & Jah9 – Rejoice (Oneness Records)
Randy Valentine – Hold On (Maximum Sound/Blueberry Haze)
Ronnie Davis – Now Generation (Tuff Scout)
Flowering Inferno & U Roy & Alice Russell – A Life Worth Living (Tru Thoughts)
Clinton Fearon – Waiting (Chapter Two Records)
Christopher Martin & Busy Signal – Steppin’ (VP Records)
Kazam Davis & Infinite – Free Yourself Up (Rebelmadiaq Sound/No Stress)
Ady Suleiman – Runnin’ Away (Winta James remix) (Sony)
Chronixx – Out Deh (Shiah Records/Lion Paw)
Randy Valentine – Too Late (Royal Order Music)
Soothsayers – Nothing Can Stop Us (Kudos Records)
Good Vibe Styla & Kazam Davis & Infinite & Exile Di Brave– Nothing More To Say
Damian Marley – Caution

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Anticipated reggae albums in 2016

Just when the dust has cleared off all best of 2015 lists it’s time for yet another list. This time putting focus on what’s about to come in 2016. And it certainly looks promising.

For the list below we’ve scanned social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find information on reggae albums to be put out in 2016. We also reached out to artists, labels, management and PR firms to learn more about 2016.

Below are over 80 releases; mostly albums – reissues and new recordings – from artists and groups from all over the world. The majority of the releases are to be found in the not yet scheduled section. Several artists – like Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah9, Sizzla, Major Lazer, Alborosie and Brinsley Forde – have announced release plans, but with no set date or album title.

Read the list and add your favorites to the calendar. Enjoy!

Note: originally published on United Reggae.

Artist – title (label)

JANUARY
Fantan Mojah – Soul Rasta (Young Veterans)
Fourth album from this instantly recognizable singer and singjay. First single off the album – the Capleton and Turbulence combination Kingston Town – was released on January 1 and the album was put out on January 8.

Black Roots – Son of Man (Soulbeats)
Drops on January 22 and is described as classic Black Roots.

Various – Studio One Showcase (Soul Jazz)
Brings together a selection of classic tracks from Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Wailing Souls and other reggae artists. All cuts recorded at Studio One in the 1970s. Drops on January 23.

Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Tales of Mozambique (Soul Jazz)
Rare and ground-breaking album originally released in 1975 and now reissued in an expanded format with the inclusion of two rare single-only tracks, full sleeve notes, exclusive photographs and an interview. Drops on January 29.

Bosse Skoglund & Zilverzurf – Mantra Sessions (Playground)
Swedish duo exploring Indian mantras set to a reggae, dub and jazz backdrop. Slated for release on January 29.

Various artists – Boat to Progress (VP Records)
Glen Brown is responsible for productions on this compilation, which collects a number of vocal cuts from singers such as Gregory Isaacs, Little Roy and Johnny Clarke. Originally put out in 1989 on Greensleeves and now set for release on January 29.

Various artists – Check the Winner (VP Records)
Reissue of this compilation with Glen Brown productions. Collects instrumentals from the man himself along with cuts from Tommy McCook, Bobby Aitken and Bobby Ellis. Originally released in 1989 on Greensleeves and now slated for release on January 29.

Various artists – Dubble Attack (VP Records)
Reissue of this deejay compilation with Glen Brown productions. Originally put out in 1989 on Greensleeves and now up for release on January 29.

FEBRUARY
Léah Rosier – Only Irie Vibes (Dibyz Music)
Debut album from the Dutch singer. Drops on February 5.

Lady Saw – Reggae Legends Box Set (VP Records)
Collects a number of strong albums from this pioneering dancehall deejay. Slated for release on February 5.

Luciano – Reggae Legends Box Set (VP Records)
Collects a number of strong albums from one of the most productive modern roots singers. Set for release on February 5.

Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love Herb & Reggae (Jatta)
After being delayed several times St. Lucian singer Taj Weekes and his band Adowa will drop their fifth album Love Herb & Reggae. The set is slated for release on February 12 and the title is a reference and an answer to the decades old mantra “sex, drugs and rock & roll”.

Horace Andy – In the Light Deluxe & In the Light Dub (VP Records)
Deluxe reissue of this hard-to-find original which was actually reissued in 1995 by Blood & Fire Records. Both sets – the vocal and the dub – drop on February 19.

Various artists – Original Rockers Deluxe (VP Records)
Deluxe reissue of this classic compilation which collects a number of lethal and ethereal cuts. Slated for release on February 19.

Skin, Flesh & Bones – Dub in Blood (Pressure Sounds)
Rare dub album produced by the great Phil Pratt and originally released on his Sunshot label in the mid-70s. Expected on February 19.

DJ Vadim – Dubcatcher IIWicked Ma Yout (Soulbeats)
Follow up the insanely bouncy Dubcatcher album. Drops on February 19.

David Isaacs – Jah Love I (Pressure Sounds)
10” produced by Phil Pratt. Expected in February.

Daddy Mory – Travail D’Artiste
Daddy Mory is a legendary French reggae artist and started his career as part of successful duo Raggasonic. This is a solo album produced by the acclaimed Frenchie of Maximum Sound. Expected in mid-February.

Natty & The Rebel Ship – Release the Fear
Second album from this UK roots singer. First single off the album was Gaia, which came with a dub mix provided by Prince Fatty. Slated for release on February 29.

Assassin aka Agent Sasco – Theory of Reggaetivity (Germaica)
After several successful cross-over collaborations – Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Raekwon – this gruff-voiced dancehall deejay drops his first reggae album.

Warrior King – The Rootz Warrior
Warrior King’s fifth album – and his first in five years – and according to the singer it’s his first time working with producers from outside Jamaica. Included is lead single Ain’t Giving Up and a number of collaborations, for example with Beres Hammond and Richie Spice.

MARCH
Various – The Bristol Roots Explosion (Bristol Archive Records)
Nine tracks of classic UK roots reggae including two previously unreleased tracks. Drops on March 4.

Wyman Low & The Ravers – Trippin’ (Khanti)
Reggae band from France. Drops on March 4.

Unified Highway – Unified Highway
U.S. reggae band Rebelution’s front man Eric Rachmany has teamed up with DJ/producer Amp Live for the project Unified Highway.  The duo released the first single Stand Proud – which features Shana Halligan, Keznamdi and New Kingston’s Tahir Panton on vocals – off their debut album last year. The album is expected on March 4.

Perfect Giddimani – Reggae Farm Work (Irie Ites)
New album from the highly productive Perfect. Initially slated for release in 2014, but delayed and will now be out on Irie Ites Records on March 4.

Mighty Mystic – The Art of Balance (Roots Musician Records)
Jamaican-born and U.S.-bred singer drops his third album on March 11, a set following Concrete World which included the superb Cali Green.

Rising Tide – Rising Tide (Soulbeats)
New project from members from U.S. reggae giants Groundation. First single Is It Right was released in December. Drops on March 18.

Max Romeo & Daniel Boyle – Horror Zone
Expected to be in the same vein as Daniel Boyle’s Lee Perry collaboration Back on the Controls. Slated for release sometime in March.

Hornsman Coyote & Soulcraft – Safe Planet (Ammonite Records & PDV)
Second album from this Serbian collective fronted by veteran trombone player Hornsman Coyote. First single off the album was Glorious and it will be followed by Plastic Smiling Face. Expected sometime in March.

Black Slate – Peaceful Demonstration
Legendary reunited reggae band from the UK. First single off this album – Should I Stay or Should I Go – was released last year. Slated for release in March 31.

Big Red – TBA
French singer and deejay Big Red – one half of acclaimed duo Raggasonic – drops an album.

APRIL
Yellam – The Musical Train (Irie Ites)
A taste of this album was presented on the eclectic EP Get on Board, released in 2015. Produced by France’s Irie Ites crew and expected on April 1.

Ackboo – Invincible (Khanti)
Heavy dub and electro business from France. Slated for release on April 1.

Takana Zion – Good Life (Soulbeats)
One of the best African reggae artists with a number of solid efforts on the market. His fifth album drops April 29.

Various artists – Compendulum at the Controls (Sugar Shack)
Remix album on Sugar Shack Records.

Various artists – Tape Rolling! (Pressure Sounds)
Album collection Bunny Lee productions from 1971-1974. Expected in late April.

MAY
Various artists – Midlands Roots Explosion Volume Two (Reggae Archive Records)
Follow up to the successful first volume that was released in 2015.

JUNE
I Kong – Pass It On (Fruits Records)
Second album from the legendary I Kong on Fruits Records. Includes guest performances from Raging Fyah and Ken Boothe among a few others. Mixed by the acclaimed Roberto Sánchez and expected sometime in June.

Harrison Stafford & The Professor Crew – One Dance
New project from Groundation’s front man Harrison Stafford, aka Professor. Musicians involved include Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace on drums, Errol “Flabba” Holt on bass, Dalton Browne on guitar and Obeah Denton on keyboards. The album was recorded at Harry J Studio in Kingston. Expected in May.

NOT YET SCHEDULED
Alborosie – Freedom & Fyah (VP Records)
Two singles off this new album have already been put out – Poser and Rocky Road – and they are classic Puppa Albo.

Akae Beka – Portals (I Grade Records)
New musical project from Midnite’s lead singer and front man Vaughn Benjamin. First album was released in November last year and this is one of two albums scheduled for release in 2016.

Akae Beka – TBA (Zion High Productions)
Another set from Vaughn Benjamin’s – lead singer and front man in Midnite – new musical project that is scheduled for release in 2016. This one via U.S. production trio Zion I Kings.

Bitty McLean – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled new album that will follows up on his beautiful EP Heart, Mind & Soul. Expected in first half of 2016.

Brinsley Forde – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled album from the former Aswad lead vocalist produced by Sly & Robbie and Guillaume Bougard and mixed by Paul “Groucho” Smykle. Expected in first half of 2016.

Bugle – TBA (Germaica)
New EP from the deep-voiced and increasingly conscious Bugle. Slated for release during the first quarter of 2016.

Christopher Martin – TBA (VP Records)
Probably one of the greatest singer of the new Jamaican generation. His EP from last year – Steppin Razor – included several major cuts, including the boastful I’m a Big Deal.

Chronixx – TBA
Debut album from this much celebrated singer. Expected around June or July and will be followed by a worldwide tour.

Daddy Rings – In the Streets
Veteran Jamaican deejay that has been living in Germany for many years. The first single off the album is the dubstep-ish Gentleman collaboration In the Streets.

Da’ville – TBA (Germaica)
Sweet-voiced and romantic reggae singer responsible for the mighty My Grade. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Danakil – La Rue Raisonne
Popular French band that has announced a new album slated for release in the third or fourth quarter of 2016.

Denham Smith – TBD (Irievibrations) 
His second EP, and his first for Austria’s Irievibrations Records, is expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Derajah – The First Book
New album from Jamaican singer Derajah, who got his big break working with acclaimed guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and his Inna De Yard project. First single off the album – The Time is Now – won United Reggae’s production competition.

Ernest Ranglin – Boss Reggae (Dub Store Records)
Instrumental late 60s early reggae business produced by Richard Khouri and arranged by Ken Lazarus. Reissue slated for release during the first quarter of 2016.

Gappy Ranks – Guide Me
Fourth album from this in-demand UK singer and singjay.

The Gladiators – Back to Roots (Patate)
Wicked album originally released in 1982 and reissued in 2000 by Tabou 1. Now the reissue will be made available again thanks to France’s Patate Records. Expected in the first half of 2016.

Gregory Isaacs – Warning (Dub Store Records)
Produced by the late and great King Tubby and backed by The Firehouse Crew. Originally released in 1990 and now set for release in in the first quarter of 2016.

Hempress Sativa – UnconqueRebel (Conquering Lion)
Debut album from Hempress Sativa and the first single off the album Rock It in a Dance – inspired by Papa Michigan & General Smiley’s Studio One classic Nice Up the Dance – bodes very well.

Hollie Cook – TBD
Third and much anticipated album from one of UK’s finest.

J Boog – Wash House Ting
Soulful singer J Boog’s third album is titled after his own studio and label and is expected to drop during the first quarter of 2016.

Jah9 – 9 (VP)
Second album from Jah9 and the follow-up to her much celebrated debut album New Name. Includes multiple producers and is expected in the second quarter of 2016 with a first single to be released in early February.

Jahcoustix – Seriously Positive (Irievibrations)
Follow-up to his Frequency and its acoustic counterpart Acoustic Frequency. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

John Brown’s Body – Fireflies (Easy Star Records)
New album from this popular U.S. reggae band is expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Junior Natural – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Swedish singer that made his stage debut at the tender of 12 at Uppsala Reggae Festival. This was about nine years ago and now he has worked with the legendary Sly & Robbie in tandem with Guillaume Bougard. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Kabaka Pyramid – TBA
After two solid long-playing EPs – Lead the Way and Rebel Music – along with several successful singles, including the recent Well Done for Damian Marley, Kabaka Pyramid is finally set to drop his debut album. The set is said to be produced alongside Damian Marley and will drop this year.

Kunley (of Ward 21) – Dangerous Meditations (Germaica)
EP from Ward 21’s Kunley Ward, aka Kunley 21, who voiced a number of riddims last year. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Lutan Fyah – TBA (I Grade Records)
New album from one of Jamaica’s most prolific and popular singjays. Produced by Zion I Kings and scheduled for release last year, but was delayed.

Major Lazer – Music is the Weapon
After their Peace is the Mission album from last year, which featured the international hit Lean On, the Major Lazer trio is set to drop their fourth studio album in the third quarter of 2016.

Meta & The Cornerstones – Hira
Third album from Meta & The Cornerstones. The set was recorded in the UK and is produced by Meta Dia and engineered by acclaimed producer and mixing wizard Shane C. Brown. It features 13 songs and is a celebration of different cultures, influences and religions.

Nattali Rize – TBA
Blue King Brown’s rebellious singer follows up on her and Notis’ solid EP New Era Frequency from last year. Expect productions from Notis and Winta James.

Raging Fyah – Everlasting (VP Records)
This successful Jamaican band signed to VP last year and almost immediately dropped the catchy Kabaka Pyramid combination Dance with Me.

Raphael – Roots Survival
Raphael’s second album for Irievibrations and follow-up to his rootsy Mind vs. Heart. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Romain Virgo – TBA (VP Records)
Romain Virgo’s EP Lifted was released in 2015 and it certainly promised well for his much-anticipated third album.

Shezekiel – Catch the Boat
Pauline Catlin from UK pioneering lovers rock trio Black Sugar is now performing solo and is expected to drop her debut album.

Sizzla – 876
Originally slated for release in 2015, but was never put out. The title refers to the local telephone area code of Jamaica.

Sly & Robbie meet Bitty McLean and Bunny Rugs (Tabou 1/Taxi)
On Record Store Day – April 16 – Music on Vinyl will put out a 10” with two Bitty McLean cuts and one Bunny Rugs track along with a dub produced by Guillaume Bougard and Sly & Robbie.

Sly & Robbie with DJ Winston – Free Dub (Tabou 1/Taxi)
More dubs from Sly & Robbie’s protégé Dartanyan Winston, aka DJ Winston, who worked on the excellent Dubmaster Voyage album released in 2014.

Sly & Robbie meet Robbie Lynn – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled album where Sly & Robbie meet key maestro Robbie Lynn for a jazz and funk session. Expected in late 2016.

Various – Clean Heart riddim (Lustre Kings)
Fifth installment of Zion I Kings’ one riddim series and follows the acclaimed Lion of Judah riddim.

Various – Dub in Style (Lustre Kings)
Zion I Kings meets legendary Roots Radics drummer at Tuff Gong studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

Various artists – Dub Station [working title] (Irievibrations)
Dub mixes of a variety of artists and cuts from Austria’s premier reggae label Irievibrations. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Various artists – First Class Rock Steady 7” Box Set (VP Records)
Smooth and slick business up for release on vinyl.

Various artists – Havana Meets Kingston
A musical project spearheaded by Australia’s Mista Savona where he has brought together musicians and singers from Jamaica and Cuba in a studio for the first time ever. Featured musicians and artists include several members from Buena Vista Social Club, Sly & Robbie, Ernest Ranglin, Leroy Sibbles, Cornel Campbell, Micah Shemaiah, Randy Valentine, Sizzla, Big Youth and Lutan Fyah. Expected in the first quarter of 2016.

Various – Marketplace riddim (Zion I Kings)
Sixth installment of Zion I Kings’ one riddim series.

Various artists – We Remember Dennis Brown (VP Records)
A tribute to the Crown Prince of Reggae, a singer that left us much too soon.

Various artists – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Guillaume Bougard has produced something sounding very tasty – a boogie funk and old school rap album where Sly & Robbie and Robbie Lynn team up with artists from New York and Memphis. Mixed by veteran mixing wizard John Morales and expected in the first half of 2016.

Viceroys – Memories (Iroko)
New album from this legendary Jamaican harmony group. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Volodia – TBA
French hip-hop influenced reggae artist that is expected to drop a set in late 2016.

Ward 21 – TBA (Germaica)
Hardcore dancehall crew follow-up on their solid album Still Disturbed from 2014. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Willie Lindo – Far and Distant (Dub Store Records)
Smooth lovers rock from this seasoned session guitarist. Originally released in 1974 and now up for release in the first quarter of 2016.

Zos – TBA (Irievibrations)
Debut EP from Irievibrations’ songwriter who has until now only recorded two songs. German speaking roots reggae expected in the second quarter of 2016.

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Top 10 reggae reissues in 2015

The fourth and final list summarizing 2015 collects the ten best reggae reissues and as usual reissue giants like Pressure Sounds and Digikiller are represented, but also Hot Milk and VP’s subsidiary 17 North Parade.

The list below collects ten heavily essential items and the list could actually have been a bit longer since the year has been very strong when it comes to reissues. Just outside the top ten comes albums from Tetrack and The Inturns along with the hefty compilation Rastafari – The Dreads Enter Babylon. Included in the list are both single artist albums and compilations and it’s presented in no particular order.

Top ten reissues

If you’re curious about the albums – check out this Spotify playlist with nine of the sets. Enjoy!

Artist – title
Various – Mr Perry I Presume
Pressure Sounds continue to plug the gaps in reggae history and Lee Perry’s unreleased catalogue is obviously not completely drained as one might presume. This collection of dubplates, alternate mixes and unreleased cuts is just as essential as it is consistent.

Various – Gussie Clarke From the Foundation
Augustus Clarke helped to revolutionize Jamaican music and that’s brilliantly showcased on From the Foundation.

Various – King Jammy Roots, Reality & Sleng Teng
The three discs – including the DVD documentary King at the Controls – show King Jammy’s range and diversity as a producer as well as his unique talent for keeping up with the times and pushing the music forward.

Various – Next Cut!
Most tracks on this Bunny Lee compilation are raw, especially the dubplates, and most of these unique mixes are heavy, sparse and militant.

Various – Strong Like Sampson: Linval Thompson Presents the 12” Mixes
Nearly two hours of some of the most uncompromising early dancehall to be put on wax. The fearsome Roots Radics do not apologize for their sparse and heavy as lead riddims.

Mr. Spaulding – Twelve Tribe of Israel
I have listened to reggae for almost 20 years and I can’t say I have heard frequencies as low as these before. The bass line on cuts like Tell Me and Mankind are as deep as the Mariana Trench and custom-made for mashing down the walls of Babylon.

Gladstone Anderson – Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow
U.S. based label Digikiller has teamed up with France’s Only Roots for the reissue of pianist Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson’s rare Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow. But this album is more than that particular set since the set comes with its almost dub counterpart Radical Dub Session by Roots Radics.

Various – Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You
Don’t think for a second that you can sleep on this epic collection of mystic, powerful and anti-establishment music where Yabby You and his friends chant down Babylon again and again and again.

Jimmy Riley – Live It to Know It
This album has everything a great reissue should have – excellent music, discomixes, devastating dub versions, good audio quality, scarce material and vivid liner notes. It collects nothing but the best and it captures Jimmy Riley at his finest.

Various – The Midlands Roots Explosion Volume 1
Shines light on Birmingham and other cities that make up the Midlands as well as putting forward some of the lesser known acts that spent years performing and recording without achieving any level of success. The area was certainly a powerhouse of British reggae and this compilation includes many tracks worthy of wide exposure.

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