On French singjay and producer Biga Ranx’ fourth album 1988 he continues in the same vein as its predecessor Nightbird, released two years go.
It’s an electrofied effort heavily influenced by aesthetics from the 80s. It’s not reggae in its ordinary shapes and colors. It’s rather ambient and introspective electronica drawing influences from the Caribbean.
It’s a dreamy, scenic and futuristic affair with blunted beats and an ethereal sonic landscape. A soundtrack for a lazy and rainy Sunday afternoon – pretty far from sandy beaches, colorful drinks and swaying palms.
Radio jockey and producer Blundetto has dropped a new album, an unusual and unique set full of sonic surprises and imaginative arrangements and instruments.
It presents a cocktail of low-key instrumental tracks and laid-back vocal cuts featuring talents such as Biga Ranx, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Marina P, John Milk and Pupa Jim.
World of is melancholic, earthly and atmospheric. Sometimes it leans towards electro lounge music and sometimes it’s more reggae-oriented, like Biga Ranx’ airy Above the Water, Marina P’s elegant Last Broken Bones, a track custom-made for a blunted jazz club in Paris, or Jahdan Blakkamoore’s stylish Work.
This set is not your ordinary reggae album and Blundetto is not afraid of thinking out of the box.
French deejay Biga Ranx rose to prominence back in 2008 when he recorded a combination with gruff Jamaican deejay Joseph Cotton. He released his debut set in 2011, its follow-up two years later and now he has dropped his third album Nightbird.
The title is a telling one since this album is dark and melancholic. It’s a subway journey through a desolate city on a late Sunday night. A time when it’s just you, your headphones and Biga Ranx’ tongue twisting vocal delivery.
Nightbird is electronic and electrified. It’s digital reggae with a twist. Not aimed at the party, rather for the ride home or for a dozed off after-party.
Biga Ranx and producer Manudigital have also accomplished something unique. They have managed to have no less than four legendary Jamaican deejays on the same track. On Hate Biga Ranx teams up with Big Youth, U Roy, U Brown and Joseph Cotton and the result is a great one. It’s not often you hear those deejays on an electronic and futuristic beat with a slow bass line and dreamy synths.
Nightbird might be digital reggae, but it’s nothing like digital reggae. It has its own very contemporary sound complete with influences from the 80s reggae scene.
The European digital reggae scene is thriving and a number of strong albums have been released in recent months. First it was Tonto Addi’s debut set Dancehall Showcase, then it was Dr. Ring-Ding’s playful Dig It All and just a few weeks ago French trio Stand High Patrol dropped their smoky A Matter of Scale.
Another strong and vital set is French producer, DJ and beatmaker Atili Bandalero’s Closed Circuit; an album where he has invited seven deejays and singjays to showcase their talent over nine tracks. It was put out in mid-December last year and is now available for free download over at Bandcamp.
And there are at least nine good reasons to head over there – Prendy’s Tomorrow, Speng Bond’s Sweet Like Sugar, Joseph Cotton’s Kicks and Have Fun, Green Cross’ Boom Skeng, Gappy Ranks’ Gone, Biga Ranx’ Video Game and the two tough cuts where Joseph Cotton, Biga Ranx, Green Cross and Baby Boom take turn on the microphone.
Closed Circuit is rooted in the mid-80s digital reggae scene. The arrangements are straightforward, the tempo often high and sometimes it feels like you are listening to a reggae-oriented soundtrack to a Nintendo video game. Listen to a few familiar samples on Biga Ranx’ Video Game and you’ll know what I mean. Especially if you were growing up in the 80s.