Jamaican singer Chronixx – one of the lead artists in the current reggae revival – visited BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Sixty Minutes Live last week and it was quite a performance.
Over a diverse range of riddims and beats he and a number of his prominent friends – Maverick Sabre, Randy Valentine, Little Simz, Luciano and Jah Bouks – showcase their freestyle skills. And they are all brilliant wordsmiths, but Chronixx is the brightest shining light and it seems like he has x amount of lyrics and could have gone on for another hour or two.
Best is probably an acoustic exclusive with Luciano and Chronixx in the second half of the show. And Luciano can’t hold his vibe back and steals the show in the end.
Sessions like these shows reggae and dancehall it its best. Check the full performance below.
Successful singjay and producer Damian Marley has announced his fourth and highly-anticipated album Stony Hill, the follow-up to the acclaimed Welcome To Jamrock, which was released eleven years ago.
During these years Damian Marley hasn’t been inactive though. He has put out singles, produced other artists and released albums with the short-lived super-group SuperHeavy as well as the astonishing Nas combination Distant Relatives. He has also kept himself busy with his and his brother’s label Ghetto Youths International.
The first single of Stony Hill is Nail Pon Cross, which is currently only available at Tidal, a streaming service where Damian Marley is one of the famous artist owners. A video for the single is dropping today. Also only via Tidal.
The Marley family has been busy in 2016. Ziggy Marley has put out a self-titled album and Ky-Mani Marley dropped Maestro and a combination album with German superstar Gentleman. Stephen Marley put out the much-anticipated Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, the follow-up to the rootsy Revelation Part I: The Root of Life. It will be a fierce battle for the Reggae Grammy.
Stony Hill is expected to drop on October 28.
Reissues of albums and singles from legendary Jamaican studio and label Studio One have surfaced over the years on labels such as Soul Jazz and Heartbeat. And now another label joins the reissue game.
Many of the label’s essential albums have been out of print for decades and now Studio One, in conjunction with the Yep Roc Music Group, will re-release titles from its catalog in their original formats, with track listings and album artwork intact, as well as new additions to the catalogue.
“We are excited for the opportunity to re-launch the Studio One brand and thankful for the trust that Carol Dodd and her team has afforded us. Through reissues of classic titles as well as new collections, we want our releases to reflect the history and legacy of Jamaica’s most iconic label. Here’s to the next 60 years!,” says Billy Maupin, GM of Yep Roc Music Group, in a press release.
The release schedule kicks off on May 27 with The Wailers’ debut album The Wailing Wailers. The reissue includes the original 1965 Jamaican masters and cover. The original LP version of the album has been out of print for decades, fetching huge sums from collectors, and the album has never before been released on CD with the original track listing and artwork.
The next release is a reissue of a compilation titled Money Maker, which has also been remastered from the original session tapes. It features a selection of cuts from acts like The Heptones, Burning Spear, The Wailing Souls and John Holt. The album is set for release on August 5.
Future 2016 releases from Studio One include the Studio One Radio Show taken from two 1970’s shows featuring the legendary host Winston “The Whip” Williams and a Don Drummond collection compiled by Clement Dodd himself before his passing in 2004 along with a box set to celebrate the label’s over 60 years of existence.
Acclaimed Australian producer, mixing engineer and keyboardist Mista Savona is on a mission. He aims to bring about 30 Jamaican and Cuban musicians together in the recording studio for the first time ever.
Key Jamaican and Cuban artists already confirmed for this landmark project include Sly & Robbie, members of Buena Vista Social Club, Leroy Sibbles of The Heptones, Prince Alla and Randy Valentine.
But Mista Savona and his team need financial support to make this historical new project come true. They have secured support from the Australia Council to help with recording costs in Cuba and Australia. They now need assistance with international travel costs, studio and equipment hire, engineer and artist fees, legal expenses and permits for our artists and film crew.
The team has a Kickstarter goal of $20,000 AUD, and they have already received a little more than $16,000 AUD. Less than $4,000 AUD is therefore needed to reach the goal. If they exceed the target additional funds will be used to record more high profile artists, including Damian Marley, Mos Def, Busy Signal, Chronixx, Tanya Stephens and Tarrus Riley.
This project is a journey to unite the music of Jamaica and Cuba. It will fire up a melting pot of traditional and contemporary Cuban and Jamaican music, and intends to explore and develop new styles and sounds showcasing the best of each island’s musical heritage.
The international artists will come together to record at Havana’s Egrem studios in Cuba. Over the course of eight days the musicians will collaborate, compose and improvise together to create a full length album.
Learn more about the project and how to contribute here.
In late June premier UK reissue label Pressure Sounds unleashes yet another compilation with Bunny Lee produced material.
This 19 track set (17 on the vinyl version) collects a mix of alternate takes on a number of well-known tracks along with dub plates and few “overlooked” gems. Artists represented on Next Cut are, among others, Johnny Clarke, Tommy McCook and Cornell Campbell.
A 10” with four previously unreleased dub versions, produced by Bunny Lee, will accompany the release.
From Muti Music now comes a fifth remix EP from Sizzla’s stunning and critically acclaimed album Born a King, a set produced by forward-thinking Australian multi-instrumentalist and producer Mista Savona.
The forthcoming EP collects 13 different versions of Sizzla’s Cold War – eleven cuts of the original track and one version each from veteran singer Prince Alla and gruff dancehall deejay Bugle.
It kicks off with the original six minute+ original version followed by an acoustic version along with the cuts from Prince Alla and Bugle. From there on there’s an bass boosting extravaganza created by Mista Savona himself along with Empress Shema, Om Unit, Mat the Alien, HNGVR, Sukh Knight and 3rdeye.
These mostly dance music oriented producers push the concept of bass heavy music forward experimenting with dubstep, drum & bass, dancehall, jungle, steppers and reggae. Fresh new sounds with an edge. Check the EP on June 1.
In late March UK roots outfit Zion Train dropped their Land of the Blind album and now comes a third riddim release from that set. Just Say EP comes with four tracks – three vocal cuts and one dub version.
On board this driving one riddim EP is the legendary Horace Andy alongside deejays Fitta Warri and Longfingah. The dub version of Horace Andy’s Just Say Who is courtesy of Italy’s Almamegretta.
Just Say EP drops on May 19.
Guyanese born, Brooklyn-raised and Grammy-nominated singay, rapper and songwriter Jahdan Blakkamoore finally follows up on his massive 2010-released album Babylon Nightmare.
Order of Distinction – set for release on March 24 – is his third album and features mainly production by Zion I Kings and Paper Stars. Zion I Kings is widely known for several powerful releases, including Midnite’s Beauty for Ashes, which was awarded iTunes album of the year 2014, while Papers Stars is the production and writing duo forged between Jahdan Blakkamoore and Andrew “Moon” Bain, who is also part of Zion I Kings. Other producers include electro dancehall maestro Dre Skull and electro producer Nate Mars.
On Order of Distinction the team has invited a strong roster of contemporaries, including Lutan Fyah, Pressure Busspipe and Kabaka Pyramid. And the set offers a mix of high-energy ragga hip-hop, sexy lovers rock and modern roots.
According to a press release the set pushes the envelope of the genre, introducing fresh faces amongst familiar ones while remaining rooted in a foundation of innovative musicianship and forward thinking production that resounds with positive and evocative messages. Check the first single off the album below.
UK-based super producer Frenchie has teamed up with no other than the legendary King Jammy for a new scorching riddim titled Clash of the Titans, set for release on February 16.
This riddim is in the same blazing vein as the mighty Tin Mackerel riddim, released in 2013 with monster tunes like Konshens & Romain Virgo’s We No Worry Bout Them, Mr. Vegas & Natel & Major Mackerel’s Flash Up Unu Lighta and Tony Curtis’ Number One Sound.
Clash of the Titans is voiced by seven different artists – Ninjaman, Mr. Vegas, Ward 21, Major Mackerel, Shanty B, Vershon and Masicka – and comes with nine cuts, of which two are from Vershon and one is an instrumental.
More than a few sound bwoys were slayed by the Tin Mackerel riddim and with this one another dozen or two will face the same cruel fate.
UK’s eight piece reggae band King Porter Stomp have teamed up with reggae legend Prince Fatty to create the brand new single Warning. This rolling reggae rocker comes with trademark horns, heavy bass, layered guitar work and lyrics that throw blows of realism and revolution.
King Porter Stomp have for this single also brought Prince Fatty and Nick Manasseh together on the same record for the very first time. Prince Fatty has mixed the two tracks and Nick Manasseh is responsible for the dub version on the flip.
King Porter Stomp embraces a musical diversity and have released a string of singles of which Warning is the third. Each track in the series differs in musical style and Warning is now available vinyl and digital download.