Tag Archives: Black Uhuru

Crisp new album from Mykal Rose

unnamedFormer Black Uhuru front man and lead singer Michael “Mykal” Rose has been productive in recent years. Last year he dropped two studio albums – Rasta State and Sidewalk Steppa. And now it’s time for yet another one – Strategy of Rome. This set has primarily been recorded in Denmark during a week-long break from touring.

And this is not the first time Mykal Rose collaborates with Ice Drop Records and producers Adil “Jahdil” Nadri and Søeren “Pharfar” Schou. In 2008 they did the excellent herb anthem Mr. Collie. That track is also featured on Strategy of Rome, but with a different version.

Mykal Rose is the originator of the slightly nasal Waterhouse vocal style and it’s by him also powered by several vocal scats – tu tu tweng and ding ding woy are probably recognized by more than a few. His voice is today just as powerful as it was back in the 70s when he created classics together with Black Uhuru and Sly & Robbie.

On Strategy of Rome the producers have created a crisp soundscape with heavy drum and bass supplemented by smooth harmonies and catchy melodies. It’s a journey where Mykal Rose showcases his vocal prowess over a varied set of riddims ranging from slick one drop and lightweight dancehall to early 80s roots. Best of the bunch is probably the insanely infectious, and slightly melancholic, On the Move Again.

Mykal Rose is after more than 40 years in the music industry still a force to be reckoned with.

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Mykal Rose joins forces with King Jammy on Rasta State

unnamedOn Mykal Rose’s second album this year – the first was the eclectic Sidewalk Steppa – he has again teamed up with engineer turned producer King Jammy. The duo worked together already in the 70s when King Jammy was one of King Tubby’s apprentices.

At the time he was still Prince Jammy and produced Black Uhuru’s, where Mykal Rose was lead singer, acclaimed debut album Love Crisis, later reissued as Black Sounds of Freedom with great effect.

In the mid-80s Mykal Rose left Black Uhuru to pursue a solo career and he has rather successful and prolific with several strong albums and hit songs. In recent years he has however recorded sparsely. Until 2016 when he suddenly dropped two albums.

And the best of those is Rasta State which is a throwback to the 90s with a number of well-known riddims utilized with great result. Highlights include the bouncy and electric Unity and the militant Reply From the Queen.

Mykal Rose is a crusader of Jah music and his haunting and passionate singing style has been widely copied over the years and he has influenced a great many singers. Expect quite a few stanahois and ding, ding, dongs.

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Mykal Rose takes a new musical direction on Showdown Inna Bloody Town

Showdown Inna Bloody TownMichael “Mykal” Rose has mashed down babylon for quite some time now, both as a solo artist and as a member of Black Uhuru. He has put out a number of smashes over the years, including dancehall favorite Shoot Out, the haunting Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and the stomping World Is Africa.

On his brand new album Showdown Inna Bloody Town recorded for Californian producer Siahvash Dowlatshahi – probably best known for producing Earl Zero’s Market Place two years ago – Mykal Rose takes a new musical direction.

The eight track set, including four vocals and four remixes recorded with live instrumentation and Style Scott from Roots Radics on drums, has a distinct Ethiopian jazz flavor, especially album opener Gunfighter with its killer horns. Its funky instrumental version takes the Ethiopian spice blend one step further.

On Dutty Road Mykal Rose is back in his usual militant style and on an updated eerie version of Youth of Eglington he deals with violence and gun business in the U.S., especially in California.

Mykal Rose has been a leading light in reggae for almost four decades. He continues to be innovative and interesting and this set represents an artist that is still willing to experiment and try new musical styles and directions with an impressive result.

Showdown Inna Bloody Town is now available on digital platforms worldwide.

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From Waterhouse to the World – A Michael Rose Special

Michael “Mykal” Rose is one of the most consistent performers in reggae music. His career begun already in the mid 70’s and since then he has managed to put out great music for producers around the globe. His recordings in the 21st century us just as good as the ones he did in the 70’s.

In my opinion his tunes for producer Ryan Moore is among the best he has done, and well in line with his body of work produced by Prince Jammy or Sly & Robbie.

From Waterhouse to the World is a mix based solely on Michael Rose’s vast catalogue. It is solo vocals, duets, dub versions and instrumentals spanning over four decades. The mix is roughly chronological and starts off with some obscure Michael Rose vocals accompanied by their dub versions.

Then it is time for a few cuts from Black Uhuru when Michael Rose was handling the lead vocal duties. After that it is back to his solo performances.

As usual, From Waterhouse to the World is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound effects. If you like what you hear, please support Michael Rose, producers and the labels and buy the tunes. All of them are easily available on mp3 and CD. A bunch of them easy to find on vinyl.

Listen and download via the player below. You can also head over to Soundcloud for more mixes. Turn it up and enjoy the music!

Artist – song title

1. Michael Rose – We Shall Overcome
2. The Kay – Overcome
3. Michael Rose – Observe Life
4. The Upsetter – Observing Dub
5. Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie ( original version)
6. Prince Jammy – His Imperial Majesty
7. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
8. Sly & Robbie – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner version
9. Black Uhuru – Youth of Eglington
10. Black Uhuru – Youth
11. Michael Rose – Visit Them
12. Sly & Robbie – Visit Them Dub
13. Michael Rose – Friday
14. Michael Rose – Friday (horns mix)
15. Michael Rose – Burial
16. Michael Rose – Funeral Dub
17. Michael Rose – Freedom
18. Michael Rose – Freedom Dub
19. Michael Rose – No Burial
20. Michael Rose – Dub Burial
21. Michael Rose – No Hypocrites
22. Basque Dub Foundation – Midnight Organ
23. Basque Dub Foundation & Dub Terror – Dubbing Tonight
24. Michael Rose – Mr. Collie (Collieangel remix)
25. Michael Rose – Catch Up di Fire
26. Michael Rose & Hi-Kee – Catch Up di Fire
27. Michael Rose – Shoot Out
28. Michael Rose & Damian Marley – Shoot Out (remix)

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Black Uhuru i lyxförpackning

Black SoundsUhuru betyder frihet på swahili. Och fri är precis vad den nya utgåvan av Black Uhurus debutplatta Black Sounds of Freedom är.

Black Uhuru bildades 1974. I originaluppsättningen ingick Don Carlos, Rudolph ”Garth” Dennnis och Derek ”Duckie” Simpson. De två första hoppade av efter ett par år. Don Carlos inledde en lyckad solokarriär och Rudolph Dennis blev medlem i Wailing Souls.

Ersättarna var inga gökungar. Errol Nelson hade tidigare sjungit i Jays och Michael ”Mykal” Rose hade spelat in tunga låtar med bland annat Winston ”Niney” Holness.

Love Crisis hette gruppens Prince Jammy-producerade debut från 1977. När den gavs ut på Prince Jammys eget skivbolag och brittiska Third World gjorde den inte något väsen av sig. Men 1981 la Greensleeves vantarna på skivan och så började saker att hända.

Greensleeves mixade om plattan och döpte den till det tuffare Black Sounds of Freedom. Succén var ett faktum. Låtar som I Love King Selassie, Love Crisis och Bob Marley-covern Natural Mystic kan i dag närmast betraktas som klassiker.

Den nya deluxe-utgåvan innehåller 34 låtar hämtade från fyra olika plattor –  hela Love Crisis från 1977, hela Black Sounds of Freedom från 1981 och hela Prince Jammys Uhuru in Dub från 1982. Greensleeves har dessutom kryddat med fyra låtar av deejayn U Black, bland annat grymma Ride Into Zion som är en version av Black Uhurus African Love.

Visst, den här plattan kanske är för komplettister. Men har du inte redan de här låtarna är det rätt tillfälle att utöka skivsamlingen med en platta som innehåller både rariteter och klassiker.

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Rise Up Crew mixar Junior Reid och hans vänner

Junior_Reid_48f68002c7dd2Junior Reid är för många mesta känd som killen som ersatte Michael “Mykal” Rose i Black Uhuru. Men Junior Reid hade en framgångsrik musikkarriär redan innan han klev in i Black Uhuru och spelade in Grammy-nominerade Brutal 1986.

Han blev dock inte långvarig i gruppen och lämnade efter bara två år för att fortsätta sin solokarriär.

Han lyckades bra på egen hand. Den första hitten – storslagna One Blood – nådde hitlistorna redan året efter han lämnade Black Uhuru.

Ungefär här tar Junior Reids karriär slut för mig, för att återupptas nästan 20 år senare med Kingston Town – duetten med Alborosie.

Men nu visar det sig att Junior Reid hade en ganska produktiv karriär även under 90-talet. Franska Rise Up Crew har samlat nästan 60 låtar med Junior Reid-anknytning i nya mixen J.R Productions Special – Junior Reid & Friends.

Mixen är en dansgolvsvältare som klockar in på gedigna 79 minuter och 56 sekunder. Den innehåller så klart One blood, men även Junior Reids version av Yabby Yous Jah Love (riddimen bakom bland annat Inna di Road med Chezidek) samt en schysst version av Skylarking-riddimen.

Gillar du hård, digital 90-talsreggae, så är den här mixen något för dig. Är du – precis som jag – nyfiken på vad Junior Reid hade för sig under 90-talet, så borde du också låna mixen ett öra eller två. Har du däremot svårt för Waterhouse-stilen och Junior Reids nasala sång kanske den här mixen inte är något för dig.

Vi andra klickar på den här länken och drömmer oss till dansgolven i Kingston och London på 90-talet.

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