Tag Archives: Best reggae 2014

Top ten reggae reissues 2014

The fourth and final top list of 2014 is dedicated to reissues. As usual top reissue giants like Pressure Sounds and Soul Jazz are represented with several items each.

Best reissues 2014

 

The list below collects ten roots, ska, rocksteady and early dancehall albums and compilations in no particular order. If you’re curious about the albums – check out my Spotify playlist with seven of the sets. Download the playlist here. Enjoy!

Yabby You & The Prophets – Deeper Roots Part 2
Eerie and dread from the legendary Yabby You.

Various – Studio One Dancehall – Sir Coxsone in the Dance: The Foundation Sound
Rough and raw, yet innovative and creative.

Various – Handsworth Explosion Vol. I
Excellent and extremely rare early 80s roots from the UK.

Various – Gussie Presenting the Right Tracks
The sounds collected on this double disc compilation are at times uplifting and joyous, but also haunting, ethereal and eerie. Augustus Clarke certainly had a great ear for arrangements and moods.

Augustus Pablo – Born to Dub You
Augustus Pablo’s melodica snakes in and out of the mix and this set offers the usual dark and meditative ambiance found on many of Pablo’s songs and productions.

Various – Full Up: Bunny Lee’s Early Reggae Productions
A fine selection of swinging instrumentals mixed with some early vocal productions and a few overlooked vocal gems from singers, deejays soloists and bands like Bunny Lee All Stars, Dave Barker, Delroy Wilson, Tommy McCook, Joe White, Stranger Cole, U Roy, Pat Kelly and The Hippy Boys.

Various – Studio One Rocksteady
Beautiful, bouncy and optimistic, but also moody and melancholic as in Cecile Campbell’s Whisper to Me and Ken Boothe’s When I Fall in Love.

Willie Williams – Unification: From Channel One to King Tubby’s
Consciousness from start to finish with songs like Free Dem, Righteousness, Unification and Rally.

Horace Andy – Get Wise
Hypnotic and dread from Horace Andy and producer Phil Pratt.

U Black – Westbound Thing a Swing
U Black carries the swing all the way.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Columns

Top five reggae EP’s 2014

During 2014 an unusually high number of EP’s were put out, and many of them were also very, very strong efforts.

Three of the EP’s below are by up and coming singers. And we’re far from there yet, but issuing an EP before a full album might be a trend for debuting singers.

Best EPs II

The list below is presented in no particular order and if you are curious about the EP’syou can download this Spotify playlist with all of them.

Papa Michigan – DJ Legend
Vintage dancehall in a contemporary style with loads of musical references to 80s Jamaica.

Clay – 1st Chapter
It’s easy to fall in love with this set, particularly the melancholy and darkness that is expressed in the more conscious cuts.

RC – Rough Survivor
Promising and smooth debut album from this passionate and uplifting vocalist. managed by the legendary Donovan Germain

Randy Valentine – Break the Chain
Energy and smoothness in a divine combination.

Kenyatta Hill – Riddim of Life
The son of legendary singer Joseph Hill – lead singer in Culture – carries his father’s legacy forward and waves the red, gold and green banner high and proud.

1 Comment

Filed under Columns

16 reggae personalities select their top ten tunes of 2014

End of the year means making lists and the usual way to do is to have editors and writers selecting their favorites throughout the year. This year United Reggae decided to do it another way, so we asked artists and producers around the globe to provide us with their top ten tunes from 2014.

We received lists from 16 different producers and artists, including Frenchie, Jah9, Duane Stephenson, Etana, Unga Barunga and Taj Weekes.

The lists include mostly reggae, but also R&B, hip-hop, pop, soca and house. Judging by the lists there are two standout tracks – Rock Stone by Stephen Marley & Capleton & Sizzla and Protoje & Chronixx’ Who Knows.

The lists also include a few surprises. Check all lists over at United Reggae and download a Spotify playlist with most of the songs here.

1 Comment

Filed under Columns

Top 50 reggae tunes 2014

When reviewing 2014 the second half offered stronger releases than the initial six months. I had more than 80 songs to choose from, only counting July to December. I had to merge these with my 25 favourites from January to June. The competition was fierce and I ended up re-doing the list altogether to get a top 50 tunes in 2014.

As usual, the list is an eclectic mix of reggae and dancehall productions from all over the globe, mostly from Jamaica, Europe and the U.S., but Australia is also represented by Mista Savona’s Champion Sound riddim and New Zealand by Fat Freddy’s Drop’s Slings & Arrow. There is also a mix of old and new talents, including both newcomers and veterans.

Best songs 2014

The list below is 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 this Spotify playlist with 48 of the 50 tracks.

Artist – song title (riddim/label)
Papa Michigan & Yami Bolo – People Rise (Flash Hit Records)
Toian – Rude Boys (Class One Music)
Micah Shemaiah & Infinite – Reggae Rockit
Lutan Fyah – Rasta Won’t Fail (Jump for Joy/Splatter House Records)
Mr. Benn & Nanci Correia & Buggsy – Stand Up (Nice Up! Records)
Yung Jr – General (Bassick Records)
Gentleman’s Dub Club & Solo Banton – Unbreakable (Ranking Records)
Burro Banton – Bad Like Mi (Champion Sound/Muti Music))
Brooklyn Jungle Soundsystem – Kulture (Dubmatix remix) (Destroy All Concepts)
Lutan Fyah – Real People (Crunch Time/Dynasty Records)
Zagga – Heal the Soul (Four Seasons/Union World Music)
Gentleman & Shaggy – Warn Dem (Universal Records)
Righteous Child – Good Morning World (Penthouse Records)
Fat Freddy’s Drop – Slings & Arrows (The Drop)
Bunny General – Mek Them Rock (Jstar remix) (Nice Up! Records)
No Maddz – Shotta (Taxi Records)
Notis & Iba Mahr & Tarrus Riley – Diamond Sox (remix) (Notis Records)
Queen Ifrica – Make You Rock (Clocktower/Silly Walks Discotheque)
Blue King Brown – All Nations (Blue King Brown)
Little Roy – Disaster & Signs (Tuff Scout)
Lutan Fyah & Turbulence – Criminal (The Empire/Riddim Wise)
Toian – Kingston Town
Dre Island – Way Up (UIM Records)
Spice – So Me Like It (Notnice Records)
Spring Wata – Holding Firm (Rokwon Drop/Rokwon Productions)
DJ Vadim & Matthew McAnuff – Be Careful (remix)
Protoje – Stylin’
Clay – Shadow After Dark (Countrybus Music)
Chronixx – Capture Land (Chronixx Music)
Don Camilo & Manudigital – Champion Juggler (Brigante Records)
Kelissa & Chronixx & Kazemde – Winna (Anbessa Productions & Zinc Fence Records)
Konshens – The Journey (Irievibrations Records)
Jah Sun – Never Give Up (House of Riddim)
Raging Fyah – Jah Glory (Frankie Music)
Stephen Marley & Sizzla & Capleton – Rock Stone (Ghetto Youths International)
Bugle – Anoited
Mr. Benn & Champian – Everytime (Stars/Nice Up! Records)
Stick Figure & Collie Buddz – Smokin’ Love (Roughwood Records)
Protoje & Chronixx – Who Knows (Overstand Entertainment)
Cornell Campbell & Burro Banton – Pressure (I’m Living/Muti Music)
Loyal Flames – Go Hard (Jah Blessings/Maximum Sound)
Sound Dynamiq & Skarra Mucci – Revolution
Lukie D – Calling (Way Back/Akom Records)
Zagga – Attitude of Gratitude (Zion Train/Liv Up Records)
Lutan Fyah – Roll it Up (Village/Irievibrations)
Burro Banton – Inna Mi Legue (Penthouse/Jugglerz Records)
Busy Signal & Christopher Martin – Lock Di Endz (Weedy G Soundforce)
Randy Valentine & LionHeart – Sound the Alarm (Hemp Higher Records)
Addis Pablo – Road to Addis (JahSolidRock)
Bushman & Skarra Mucci – Pretty Looks (Pretty Looks/Flash Hit Records)

5 Comments

Filed under Columns

The 15 best reggae albums of 2014 so far

Six months of 2014 have passed and a few days ago Reggaemani presented a list with the 25 best reggae songs from 2014 so far. Now it’s time to present the albums, and competition has as usual been fierce with a huge number of strong albums from debutants and veterans alike.

Half-year report albums

The list below collects 15 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 13 out of 15 albums.

Artist – album title
Popcaan – Where We Come From
A remarkable, exceptional and unique dancehall effort that hopefully can start a new trend in the otherwise very busy and non-consistent dancehall industry.

Raging Fyah – Destiny
The melodies and the arrangements are beautiful and it’s impossible not to get struck by a sweet piano ballad like Brave or pulsating non-stop rocking rockers like Barriers and Step Outta Babylon.

Hezron – The Life I Live(d)
Hezron’s debut album, but it sounds mature, partly because of the well-produced riddims by some of Jamaica’s finest, and partly because he sings like he has never done anything else in his life.

Lee Perry – Back on the Controls
A dark and dense album showcasing Lee Perry’s signature style.

Soul Majestic – Setting the Tone
With its angelic vocal harmonizing and alternating male and female lead vocals – this is a sublime, beautiful and uplifting album.

Hollie Cook – Twice
Nine tracks and over 40 minutes of discofied reggae in its greatest form. Free your mind, take off your shoes and hang on, this is a rollercoaster into dreamy territory.

Earl Sixteen – Natty Farming
Organic and analogue with Earl Sixteen’s pleading voice floating elegantly over the throbbing and syncopated riddims.

Bugle – Anointed
Probably best known for singles like Doh, What I’m I Gonna Do, Journey and Don’t Give Up, and if you dig those you’ll love this album.

Sizzla – Born a King
Wickedly well-produced, balanced and detailed. This scorching album is definitely one of the strongest sets from Sizzla’s more than extensive catalogue.

Alpheus – Good Prevails
Skip the poorly sounding rocksteady reissues and go for this meticulously constructed and well-produced set. This is the sound of real reggae music.

Chronixx – Dread & Terrible
Solid debut set from this youthful and passionate singer that has focused on quality rather than quantity.

Clinton Fearon – Goodness
Yet another fine example of how Clinton Fearon and his Boogie Brown Band takes the reggae legacy into contemporary territory.

Black Symbol – Journey
A spiritual and sometimes meditative journey with sublime harmonizing and beautiful back-up vocals courtesy of Empress Bev. Her touch gives the album a character of its own.

Addis Pablo – In My Father’s House
Its 17 tracks takes the listener on a meditative, haunting and melodic roots reggae journey.

Tarrus Riley – Love Situation
Slick, polished and timeless with lots of classic and vintage sounding riddims.

8 Comments

Filed under Columns