French label and sound system Blackboard Jungle has once again put out a killer release with help from France’s Rockers Disciples and Spain’s Roberto Sánchez along with a few other key musicians.
Sounds From the Ark is a stellar 12 track album where wonderful instrumentals rub shoulders with killer vocal cuts and lethal dub versions. The set is inspired by nature and the classical elements, and with that backdrop a team of musicians, including Rockers Disciples, The Producers, Don Fe and Prince Jamo, created a number of instrumental pieces that later formed into Sounds From the Ark.
The inspiration for this album is clearly showcased by the song titles – Water of Life, Fire Rises and Mystic Wind – and the set is organic taking the listener on a journey from the depths of the oceans to the mountain tops.
A beautiful album. Just as nature.
Last year France’s Blackboard Jungle – a sound system and a label – dropped two devastating showcase albums – one from UK’s Reality Souljahs and one from Spain’s Roberto Sánchez, both backed by RockDis All Stars aka the Rockers Disciples, a band from France making solid music in the rockers tradition.
But they also presented a 15 track compilation titled Musically Dread with material released between 2010 and 2014. This set is only available on CD and is well-worth investigating since it’s an excellent roots collection featuring talented singers and deejays like Johnny Osbourne, Jah Mason, Tony Tuff, Afrikan Simba, Patrick Andy, Earl 16 and Christine Miller.
Musically Dread is vintage rockers sounding like it did in the mid to late 70s. There is plenty of highlights and some of the finest moments include Christine Miller’s breezy Feel the Sunshine, Roberto Sánchez’ blazing Fire, Echo Ranks’ militant Chant Down the Wicked and Don Fe’s beautiful flute instrumental Consider the Ravens.
The title of this fine compilation tells it all – this is dread music. Militant and dread.
The second showcase album from French label and sound system Blackboard Jungle features renowned Spanish producer, mixing engineer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Roberto Sánchez and French roots rockers The Rockers Disciples. It follows the first showcase album on which The Rockers Disciples teamed up with UK vocal duo Reality Souljahs.
And just as the first volume, Blackboard Jungle Showcase Vol. II comes with 12 tracks and each has a hard and driving dub version.
It’s a stellar set. Even better than the first volume. Roberto Sánchez is a gifted vocalist with a smooth, yet passionate, style. And the riddims, oh the riddims. They are rough and touch and sounds like they’re directly lifted from a Channel One album recorded in the late 70s, when roots reggae started to give way for early dancehall.
The set is magnificent from start to finish, but stand-out cuts include the groovy Rising Light, the militant Some More (Politricks), the dread Tell it to the Children and the galloping Fire.
Excellent vintage-sounding roots and dub from some of Europe’s finest musicians.
RockDis aka The Rockers Disciples and the crew behind Blackboard Jungle sound system, both based in France, have sneaked out the excellent roots reggae compilation Musical Raid. It assembles ten vocal cuts and five dub versions of the heaviest sort.
The vocal duties are mostly handled by fairly unknown singers, like Daba, Anthony John and Mo’ Kalamity. The most well-known names are probably Prince Malachi from Jamaica or African Simba from the UK.
Regardless of the singers previous credits all tunes are solid, and the production is loaded with distinct influences from the late 70’s Channel One sound.
Standout tracks include Reality Souljahs’ Born Again where the singer goes Marvin Gaye over a thunderous steppers infused riddim, Christine Miller’s Signs of the Times with a nicely pumping organ or Prince Malachi’s apocalyptic Jah Fire.
This compilation is a must have for fans of contemporary reggae firmly rooted the 70’s.