Tag Archives: Alborosie

Greensleeves reissues rare Alborosie compilation

unnamedGreensleeves has decided to reissue a compilation of Alborosie combinations titled Specialist Presents Alborosie & Friends. It was originally released in 2010 on Alborosie’s own label.

This singer, song writer, dub engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist has recorded a truck-load of duets, and 27 of them are collected on this album. It includes essential combinations with artists in the dancehall and roots reggae vein, including Sizzla, Jah Sun, Michael Rose, Busy Signal and Etana, only to name a few.

It hits UK on June 23 and the rest of Europe on June 27 and will be available on double disc CD or single LP

Leave a comment

Filed under News

A fascinating and fun search for new life

Evolution Of Dub vol. 8 - artworkGreensleeves Records’ Evolution of Dub series has over a number of years put the spotlight on key moments in the development of dub. Now the time has come for the series eighth volume, and this one offers something new compared to previous editions.

Evolution of Dub Vol. 8 – The Search for New Life includes two previously unreleased albums – Two Friends Crew’s Voyage into Dub and Shane Brown’s Juke Boxx Dub. The former collects a number of late 80s and early 90s version sides from the Two Friends label, a label run by Mikey Bennett and Patrick Lindsay, two producers and engineers that at the time worked closely with ragga giant Augustus “Gussie” Clarke.

Shane Brown is a Jamaican producer and engineer, and probably best known for his recent work for Busy Signal and Etana.

The other two sets are Prince Jammy’s Computerised Dub, a novelty effort that gives a dubwise/instrumental treatment to some mid 80s early digital gems, and Alborosie’s Dub Clash, a scarce set originally released in 2010 and where Puppa Albo dubs some of his bestsellers.

Picks of the bunch are the two contemporary sets from Shane Brown and Alborosie. The original versions for the dubs on these sets are mostly flawless and both producers/engineers are imaginative when it comes to mixing, especially Alborosie, who has given all tracks a dash of vintage flavour.

As usual, the four disc box set comes with excellent liner notes telling the story of dub and the story behind each album.

Leave a comment

Filed under Record reviews

Alborosie dubs the system

11183_JKT.qxdItalian/Jamaican reggae superstar Alborosie recently unleashed a dub version of his acclaimed Sound the System album, a set released in June. It’s his second dub effort and follows the superb Dub Clash, released in 2010 and to be reissued in 2014 as part of Evolution of Dub Vol. 8.

Sound the System was a vintage affair and offered a mix of live instrumentation and analogue recording techniques. Then it’s only natural for Alborosie to tramble the same path with the dub counterpart, and Dub the System of course echoes from past times, especially the 80s and the sounds of Sly & Robbie.

Alborosie himself has deconstructed all the tracks and then re-built them with passion and flare. The dub versions showcase his sense for melody, strong hooks and memorable horn parts. The dubs are warm, rich and flavourful and bridges nicely to the original versions.

I’m especially fond of the aggressive saxophone on Dub Concern and when Puppa Albo takes the role as funkmaster on Who Run the Dub. Excellent to say the least.

Dub the System is currently only available on vinyl.

2 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

Alborosie makes music with a message

3803683Here’s yet another rave review. This time’s it’s the multi-talented Italian turned Jamaican reggae artist Alborosie’s latest 16 track set Sound the System, on which he plays almost every instrument himself. He’s a do it yourself kind of guy that also writes most of his own material and produces himself.

Vocal duties are however shared with a number of other artists, including Ky-Mani Marley on a remake of Bob Marley’s Zion Train, Italian reggae star Nina Zilli on the jazzy ska flavored Goodbye, sweet singing Kemar on the beautiful There is a Place, Nature on the catchy Warrior and veteran vocal harmony trio The Abyssinians on Give Thanks, a track on which they provide harmonies sang in Amharic, the sacred language of Ethiopia.

Sound the System is Puppa Rosie’s fifth album and has a classic, yet contemporary, sound heavily influenced by early 80’s dancehall in a Sly & Robbie style and fashion. He uses live instruments and analogue recording techniques to achieve his vintage sound which carry plenty of references to eras when Bob Marley, Yellowman, Burning Spear and Barrington Levy ruled the charts.

Alborosie is a virtual virtuoso at writing bubbling and boisterous riddims, catchy melodies and hooks and righteous and rebellious lyrics, but without being preachy or moralizing. His more humorous side can be heard in soundsystem anthems and burial tunes like Who Run the Dance, Shut U Mouth and Rock the Dancehall.

Sound the System is a diverse and passionate reggae cocktail by an artist that knows how to create hit songs with a message.

5 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Jah Sun’s best yet

To me, the Californian reggae was for a longtime synonymous with ska/punk bands such as Sublime and Reel Big Fish. But that’s of course far from the truth.

There is a thriving reggae scene in both southern and northern California with artists, bands and producers like Messenjah Selah, Blaak Lung, Lustre Kings, Dub Vision, Groundation and Itation Records.

And then there is the former teenage rebel and street thug Jah Sun, who got a conscious awakening when he heard Bob Marley for the first time.

His third album Battle the Dragon – and the follow-up to the 2010-released EP Gravity – is produced by a host of mostly European producers and features – just like his previous outings – several combinations. This time guests include Gentleman, Alborosie, J Boog, Peetah Morgan, Stevie Culture and Perfect.

Battle the Dragon collects 15 tracks of up-tempo contemporary roots reggae with influences from latin, such as Amoré, a tune that resembles Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, and dancehall, where the auto-tune drenched title track, and the pulsating Alborosie-combination Ganja Don, are the most obvious examples.

But these influences aside – Battle the Dragon is European modern one drop, and if you are familiar with the pounding and engaging production style of Bost & Bim and Special Delivery you’ll get the picture.

This is Jah Sun’s best album to date, and you ought to check out Jah Children, which echoes of the scorching Diseases riddim, the hammering Plastic City and the radio-friendly Where is Your Love.

Battle the Dragon drops on 30 January as digital download.

2 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

Killer compilation from Maximum Sound

UK-based label Maximum Sound, lead by producer Frenchie, went digital last week. The first step was to offer the back catalogue on iTunes, and the other day saw the release of the iTunes exclusive compilation Maximum Sound 2011.

This set assembles 18 dancehall and one drop tunes from 2009 to 2011. And as usual with Maximum Sound there are no fillers here, only killers from the crème de la crème of Jamaican singers and deejays.

I mean, you hardly go wrong with Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Mr. Vegas, Tarrus Riley and Alborosie on well-produced and inspired riddims such as Praise Jahovia (a relick of the Billie Jean aka Get A Lick riddim), Ghetto State (which incorporates elements from Half Pint’s One Big Ghetto) or the most recent addition, Fairground.

Maximum Sound 2011 collects several tunes previously only available as 7” or 12”, but it also includes exclusive titles, such as Who You Love from Ce’Cile.

This compilation is without a doubt an essential purchase that will enhance any record collection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Record reviews

Alborosie makes you smile

Italian-born Jamaican resident Alborosie is back with 2 Times Revolution, his third album to date. It is jam-packed with his distinctive heavy patois singjay-style and has influences from Europe, the Caribbean and North and South America.

2 Times Revolution is both accessible and complex. Accessible because of the infectious melodies and grooves on tunes such as the sun drenched Grow Your Dreads with its wicked piano or the rolling Soul Train. Complex because of the many styles, influences and novelties utilized. However, that is also one of the album’s several strengths.

Because this is an album that makes you happy. And it is obvious that Alborosie has had a blast in the studio when he recorded and produced 2 Times Revolution. Raggamuffin is probably the best example. Or the Manu Chao-like La Revolucion with its acoustic guitar and melancholic trumpet.

The digital release of this album features the bonus track Games. Be sure to check that one out. It is a great 80’s inspired tune somewhat similar to Games People Play, originally recorded by Joe South, but covered to great effect by Bob Andy in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

If this album will start one or two revolutions remains to be seen. But if this is the soundtrack to the revolution you will certainly find me in the frontline along with Pupa Albo. Viva!

2 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

Sneak preview of Dub in HD

It is not often these days that you hear dub music produced and mixed in Jamaica. Last year Alborosie put out Dub Clash, a limited edition project where he had dubbed some of his own material, as well as other well know reggae tunes, in a vintage dub style.

Now it is happily enough time again for a Jamaican dub album.

In February a Youtube clip of Jamaican producer Don Corleon dubbing in his studio started circling around. Soon it was made official that he was working on a dub album titled Dub in HD.

The album presents ten dub versions of riddims such as Drop Leaf, Major and Seasons, but also individual tunes, like Protoje’s Wrong Side of the Law. The former was actually the first tune that you could hear the Don experimenting with dub.

Reggaemani now has the opportunity to present a sample of one full track from the album. Below you can listen to Natural Black’s Far From Reality on the Seasons riddim.

This is a wonderful initiative from a young Jamaican producer, and I certainly hope that others will follow in his footsteps.

Dub in HD is available for digital download on June 21.

1 Comment

Filed under News

Alborosie craves revolution

Alborosie is back with his upcoming album 2 Times Revolution, the follow-up to his acclaimed Escape From Babylon set released in 2009. This Italian-born Jamaican resident uses his music to start not one, but two, revolutions. To Reggaemani he reveals why, and also makes a public announcement.

Alborosie's new album drops on June 20 in Europe and June 21 in the U.S.

Alberto D’ Ascola was born in Messina on the Italian island of Sicily 33 years ago. In the year 2000 he decided to take the next step in life and move to Jamaica.

“I needed something different. I came here because I was sick of Italy. I did not come here to be an artist. I could have been a fisherman, It just happened that I started at Geejam,” says Alborosie on the phone from Kingston, and continues:

“Jamaica is the place to be, and I have lived here for eleven years now. First time I visited was in 94’. From then on I went three times a year. Jamaica is my home. You will never bring me back to Europe. This is me right now. I have a house, a studio. This is where I belong, even though I have strong Italian roots.”

Alborosie is relaxed, laughs a lot and speaks excellent patois. It is actually hard to hear that he originates from Italy. Now that the album is about to be put out he is preparing for the usual European tour, as he puts it.

New influences
He says that 2 Times Revolution describes his reggae journey so far.

“It has some latin and hip-hop ingredients. Not very different from my other albums,” he explains, and continues:

“I have always been influenced by latin music. This is just my first tribute. I was like, let’s do it this time. I have wanted to do it for a long time. Latin is magic. Latin music is great, and I have it in me.”

Need a change
Alborosie is a rebel, and does things his own way and in his own style. The title of the new album gives a rather straightforward message.

“We need a revolution,” he says, and explains:

“We need a spiritual revolution and a musical revolution. We need to fight back. People are not happy. Revolution is evolution. The music is suffering, especially reggae. Now it is hype music, music that is not long lasting. We need to bring back the sound from whence it came.”

It is obvious that Alborosie has given this a lot of thought, and he wants to see a change in the direction of reggae music.

“There is the new Jamaican music that the young people want. But it is not the only way. I guarantee that on Sunday, they will play old school roots and culture here.”

He sometimes gives the impression that he is preaching when we speak. He has his arguments and the goal is set – reggae needs its roots.

“I am on a mission. It is me. I am a vintage guy. I am an old man in a young man’s body, he chuckles, and adds:

“The Hennessy hype is not for me. I am not saying that people should not enjoy the hype, but let’s not lose the foundation.”

Does most by himself
In the press release of the new album, Alborosie says that he is not thinking about himself as doing reggae anymore – he is doing Jahspel.

“Christians do gospel. I’m a revolutionary Christian so I do Jahspel,” he explains like it is the most obvious thing in the world.

Alborosie is a multi-faceted musician. He is usually credited for production, engineering, composing and arranging as well as for playing a number of instruments. He has also built his own guitar, shown on the album cover.

“I am going to build a keyboard and drums next,” he chuckles.

He also has his own studio. He is like the essence of the DIY-movement.

“I have always done everything by myself. I am in the studio for six to seven months, so Specialist comes to the studio and checks the production. I lose perception, and it is difficult. That is why I have a split personality – Alberto D’Ascola, the producer, and Alborosie, the artist,” he laughs.

No expectations
Even though Alborosie’s last album was a success and his concerts are well attended, he explains that he does not have any expectations on 2 Times Revolution.

“If I like the music, I am good with it. It is success for me. It is a celebration for reggae. I do not care for money, f*** money. I work with the Most High. I never have any expectations in life. Time will tell.”

Alborosie has in his career put out loads of duets with both familiar artists as well as lesser known ones. Last year he even put out the two disc duet compilation Alborosie & Friends.

Public announcement
On the new album he teams up with Junior Reid and Etana, both artists with whom he has worked with previously. When I ask what artist he would like to get the opportunity to work with he is silent for a few seconds, and then fires off in a serious tone.

“I am going to make a public announcement. I want to work with Bob Marley. Let me do one song with him, please. Give me one a capella. I want to do a form of remix. One day, one day,” he dreams.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Alborosie drops new album in June

Alborosie has a new album cooking, an album that is said to take reggae a step further.

2 Times Revolution is the name and the press release states that he doesn’t think of himself as doing reggae anymore. He says he is doing “Jahspel”, which is told to be a form of gospel music.

Last year Pupa Albo put out an essential duets compilation, an inspired dub album and the awesome Rudie Don’t Fear on John John’s Zion Gate riddim. He also had time to produce The Tamlins comeback album Re-birth.

On top of these he obviously managed to record 2 Times Revolution, an album that comprises 16 tunes and scheduled for release on June 2o in Europe and on June 21 in the U.S.

According to the press material he has played most of the instruments and produced most of the album – just like he did on last year’s dub effort.

The first promising tune of the album – Respect – features veteran waterhouse singer Junior Reid, with whom Alborosie cut the lethal Kingston Town Remix a few years back.

Leave a comment

Filed under News