Tag Archives: Best of 2015

The five best reggae EPs in 2015 so far

This is the fourth and final best of 2015 so far list. It collects the five best reggae EPs. But the list could actually have been a bit longer since the year so far has been very strong when it comes to EPs. Just outside top five comes efforts from Naptali and Christopher Martin. Included is only single artist sets and the list is presented in no particular order.

Best EPs 2015 so far

If you’re curious about the EPs – check out this Spotify playlist with all sets. Enjoy!

Artist – title
Keida – Ebb and Flow
This fresh set showcases a mature singer comfortable with both up-tempo and hard-edged dancehall as well slower roots.

Randy Valentine – Still Pushing
Another beautiful set from Randy Valentine and after two EPs and several strong singles and one riddim album cuts I’m definitely ready for this emotive singer’s debut album.

Toian – Retrospect
An excellent and youthful debut from a fresh new voice.

Omar Perry – Be Cool
Produced by Sly & Robbie. And as usual with this ground breaking duo the set is well-crafted, expertly executed and with intriguing arrangements and song structures. And when Omar Perry shows no mercy on the microphone there is need to put up a fight against a set like this.

Clay – Clay:List
Clay is an emotional singer with a deep feel for catchy melodies and infectious choruses, which was showcased already on his debut. And Clay:List continues in the same vein.

2 Comments

Filed under Columns

The five best reggae reissues in 2015 so far

The third list summarizing 2015 so far collects the five best reggae reissues and as usual reissue giants like Pressure Sounds and Digikiller are represented, but also Hot Milk.

The list below collects five essential items and the list could actually have been a bit longer since the year so far has been very strong when it comes to reissues. Just outside the top five comes albums from Tetrack and The Inturns. Included in the list are both single artist albums and compilations and it’s presented in no particular order.

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

Best reissues 2

Artist – album title
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 it comes with its almost dub counterpart Radical Dub Session by Roots Radics

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.

Yabby You – 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.

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 crashing down the walls of Babylon.

2 Comments

Filed under Columns

The ten best reggae albums of 2015 so far

Last week I presented my 20 favorite reggae and dancehall cuts so far this year. Now it’s time to present the ten best albums so far. I’d like to say that the competition has been fierce, but it hasn’t. This year has so far been a bit disappointing actually. There have been a few truly excellent albums though, like Protoje’s Ancient Future, Brother Culture & Manasseh’s All a We and Jahdan Blakkamoore’s Order of Distinction.

Those were my obvious ones and compiling the other seven albums were rather hard. Not that these seven albums are bad in any way, but usually I can compile a top ten list quite easily. But not this time.

There are sadly no female artists in the list. Alaine’s Ten of Hearts was on an early version, but didn’t make it in the final run.

The ten best reggae albums 2015 so farAnyhow, the list below collects ten albums and is presented in no particular order. No reissues or compilations have been included. If you are curious about the albums you can download this Spotify playlist with all albums. Enjoy!

Artist – album
No-Maddz – Sly & Robbie Presents No-Maddz
A joy from start to finish. Cleverly produced and tailored to No-Maddz with engineered perfection.

L’Entourloop – Chickens in Your Town
A playful and creative album boiling with unexpected influences. It will heat up any dance floor with its multi-layered sound, sweaty grooves and electrifying beats.

Jahdan Blakkamoore – Order of Distinction
Well-crafted from beginning to end. Jahdaan Blakkamoore is an innovative wordsmith delivering positive and insightful lyrics, ranging from sexy lovers rock on Smood Blakk Skin and Everything I Love to the encouraging and electrofied Faith, the spiritual Come Back Around and the more boisterous and energetic Ting Tun Up! with Lady Leshurr and Melodic Yoza.

Mad Professor meets Prince Fatty – The Clone Theory
Two musical heavyweights mix five tracks each and the result is a soulful and warm dub album complete with blazing horns, rolling drums and pulsating bass lines.

The Skints – FM
The Skints pull influences ranging from grime, garage and punk to summertime sound system reggae, dancehall, rocksteady and soul. It’s a tour of urban culture in its latest guise.

Protoje – Ancient Future
A cohesive set that balances rootsy reggae with hip-hop beats. But it also offers a few tasty slices of lovers rock and joyous ska. It’s definitely rooted in the 70s and 80s, but embodies the energy of the present.

I Kong – A Little Walk
The riddims are powerful and the backing has a sweet and melodic richness. This is effective roots mixed by Spanish maestro Roberto Sanchéz.

Brother Culture & Manasseh – All a We
Follows the success of last year’s anthemic Sound Killer and on this new album Nick Manasseh unleashes some heavy as lead riddims for Brother Culture to ride upon. It’s socially conscious and spiritually devout.

Jah Sun – New Paradigm
Solid, cohesive and firmly rooted in contemporary and up-tempo one drop reggae. Jah Sun sings, deejays and even showcases his rapping skills on a few tracks.

Mark Wonder – Scrolls of the Levite
Offers a tasty mix of beats and riddims with forward-thinking arrangements and song structures. It’s definitely Mark Wonder’s best work to date.

2 Comments

Filed under Columns