Tag Archives: Captain Sinbad

Half-year report 2013 – 15 best albums yet

The first six months of 2013 have offered a number of glorious albums from Jamaican, U.S. and European artists and producers. My 15 favorites are listed below and if you’re curious about how it sounds you’re more than welcome to check the accompanying Spotify playlist here, where a majority of the releases are included. You can also check a review of each album by clicking the link to the set.

The list includes no reissues and is in no particular order.

Captain Sinbad – Reggae Music Will Mad Unu!
This veteran deejay made his musical comeback for Frenchie more than 20 years after his latest release. The LP and the version for digital platforms have different track lists, and I suggest you check out the vinyl version.

Cornel Campbell – New Scroll
The sweet high tenor voice courtesy of Cornel Campbell is set to magnificent music from the highly talented production trio Zion I Kings.

Jahcoustix – Frequency
German singer Jahcoustix wanted to make a more diverse album, but Frequency is his most consistent and cohesive set yet.

Trinity – Eye to Eye
Gruff voiced pioneering deejay Trinity teamed-up with Irie Ites for this retro sounding musical feast.

Malika Madremana – The Race
High school teacher by day and singer by night. Judging by this wonderful album Malika Madremana should focus on her music.

Meta & The Cornerstones – Ancient Power
Bob Marley-sounding Meta Dia moved from his home country Senegal to New York City and was exposed to an array of musical styles. His second album is roots reggae at its finest.

Jah Sun – Rise as One
Best album yet from this reliable U.S. deejay.

Lion D – Bring Back the Vibes
Rising star on the European and global reggae scene that has managed to make a catchy album full of foundation vibes.

Chezidek  The Order of Melchezedik
In 2010 Chezidek teamed-up with Dutch label JahSolidRock for his critically acclaimed album Judgement Time. In April this year the same label dropped Chezidek’s new album The Order of Melchezedik, and needless to say – they put out another powerful set of Rasta anthems.

The Lions – This Generation
13 musicians and four lead singers were involved the making of this soulful album that could be cherished by youths and elders alike.

Black Roots – On the Ground in Dub
One of the best UK reggae bands that reunited last year for the album On the Ground. This is the heavy dub version that contains some inspired mixing.

Etana – Better Tomorrow
Etana’s most cohesive yet and offers a soulful something for everyone.

Protoje – The 8 Year Affair
One of the leaders of the new generation of Jamaican conscious artists. This, his second album, is darker and heavier compared to his debut album The 7 Year Itch.

Jah9 – New Name
Debut album from the conscious Jah9. Her jazzy and breezy voice floats over hard riddims produced by Rory from Stone Love.

Lloyd Brown – New Veteran
Probably one of the most consistent artists – in any genre – in the world. Lloyd Brown usually drops at least one album per year and the quality is remarkably high.

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Frenchie persuaded Captain Sinbad back into the studio

Captain Sinbad in Jamaica where his new album was recorded.

Captain Sinbad in Jamaica where his new album was recorded.

Captain Sinbad’s debut album The Seven Voyages of Captain Sinbad from 1982 is one of my favorite early deejay dancehall albums. And despite its greatness and eye-catching cover sleeve, Captain Sinbad is rather unknown in the reggae music business compared to some of his contemporaries.

He recorded another two albums and a number of singles in the 80’s and then went on to producing and being an important figure behind the scenes.

His new album Reggae Music Will Mad Unu! is his first after being away from the limelight for a very long time. To do another album, or to record again for that matter, Frenchie of Maximum Sound had to persuade him back into the studio. His initial new singles Jamaica 50, Worldwide Rebellion and Capital Offence went down really well among the record buyers.

I had the opportunity to have a chat with Captain Sinbad when he was in Jamaica “having fun in the sun” as he described it. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed and we talked about the new album, the early dancehall scene and his respect for Frenchie. Check the full story over at United Reggae.

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Captain Sinbad is back with a bang

sinbad promoAbout ten years ago I stumbled upon an LP with a wicked cover sleeve in a record shop. I knew the label, Greensleeves, and the producer, Henry “Junjo” Lawes, but I had never heard of the artist – Captain Sinbad.

Judging by the cover, the producer and the label I bought the album. And I was blown away. Completely. Apart from The Seven Voyages of Captain Sinbad I haven’t found any of this deejay’s scarce output. The man also retired from the limelight about 20 years ago. Fortunately enough Frenchie of Maximum Sound has persuaded him back into the public eye.

His first recording after these 20 years was the lethal Worldwide Rebellion on the Skateland Killer riddim released two years back. And last year he dropped the equally lethal Capital Offence and Jamaica 50.

These three eminent tracks are now followed by an album – Reggae Music Will Mad Unu! – for Frenchie’s Maximum Sound imprint. It collects eleven fresh and original tunes, of which five are vocal cuts, five are dub versions and one is a vocal and dub in one.

Just like Captain Sinbad’s debut album it has magnificent cover art and the music is, again, just as great. Frenchie has taken hip-hop, roots and early dancehall and made one hell of an album. It’s crisp and clear and sounds like Henry Lawes would have resurrected from the dead and started to produce again. It’s vintage, but never nostalgic. This is how contemporary reggae and dancehall should sound.

Reggae Music Will Mad Unu! is available on vinyl. The album will also soon be made available on digital platforms, but that edition has a different track listing and doesn’t include the dub versions, versions that are crucial to say the least.

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No fillers on new compilation from Maximum Sound

In late June I summarized the first six months of the year with a selection of my 15 favorite tunes yet. The list included two tracks – Captain Sinbad’s Capital Offence and Tarrus Riley’s Chant Rastafari – on the mighty Maximum Sound label, and if Luciano’s Perilous Times on the Dance Ruler riddim would have been issued at the time it would definitely also have made the list.

These three songs along with 16 more are collected on the compilation Maximum Sound 2012. As the title suggests it is made up from the label’s vinyl releases this year, which means the riddims Most Royal, Leggo di Riddim, the aforementioned Dance Ruler and Rude Bwoy Be Nice, a clever relick of Ini Kamoze’s England Be Nice, a track recently utilized by Don Corleon for Protoje’s Kingston Be Nice.

As usual with material from producer Frenchie and Maximum Sound the crème de la crème of Jamaican artists are featured and there’s a no filler rule applied, which makes the selection strong as concrete. Do yourself a favor and go check this digital only compilation immediately.

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Reggaemani’s best tunes 2011

December is one of my favorite months. Not because of the cold Swedish winter. Nor the short days and long nights up here in northern Europe. I like the Christmas holidays though. But that’s not why December is a great month.

The reason is the making of lists. I love structuring the year and go through all the music I have received during the past twelve months. And it’s a tough job sorting it all out.

This year Reggaemani will publish three lists – the best tunes in 2011, the best albums in 2011 and overall highlights in 2011.

As you might already have figured out this list is focusing on my favorite tunes this year.

The main criteria for making the list is of course being a great song. But I’ve also only picked tunes that have been released as singles or being part of a riddim compilation. No album tunes so to speak.

I’ve also tried to make the list as diverse as possible. I hope there is a little something for everyone – lovers rock, dancehall, roots reggae and hip-hop infused one drop.

One thing that became apparent when I made this list is that the year mainly belonged to one artist – Tarrus Riley. He has made a number of excellent tunes in 2011 and I could easily have done a top ten with just his output without feeling embarrassed.

The list includes 21 tunes. An odd number you might say. The reason is because when I had made the list I was exposed to a huge tune released in December. I didn’t want to change my initial list and decided to just add another title.

Apart from the list I’ve also added some space for the tunes that are bubbling and hanging out just outside the main list. It’s nothing wrong with these little creatures, so check them out as well.

Most of the tunes are easily available on digital platforms or streaming services. If you use Spotify you can download a list with most of the tunes here.

Artist – Title (Riddim)

1. Captain Sinbad – World Wide Rebellion (Skateland Killer)
Producer Frenchie’s longtime friend chats old school style over this lethal Star Daily News or Gleaner inspired one drop. The Eek A Mouse sample is pure genius.

2. Burro Banton & Joe Lickshot – Sound Exterminator (Sound Exterminata)
The man with the rockstone voice in a sound boy murder style.

3. Queen Ifrica – Pot Still Haffi Bubble (Pursue)
An infectious repetitive chorus alongside anthemic flag waving verses.

4. Romain Virgo – I’m Rich in Love
Uptempo modern lovers rock produced by Donovan Germain.

5. Jah Mason – Mr. Government (Sensimillionaire)
Jah Mason flows effortlessly over this pounding riddim.

6. Protoje & Don Corleone – Our Time Now
Didn’t make it onto Protoje’s debut album due to legal issues, but it leaked and made into this list.

7. Luciano – Identity (Fairground)
Luciano continues his conscious style lyrics and comments on skin bleaching and vanity.

 8. Fantan Mojah – Rasta Got Soul (Think Twice)
A James Brown styled Fantan Mojah sings and pays tribute to legendary reggae artists – “If me no call your name, please catch me inna di next song, cause the list a di name a to long.”

9. Carl Meeks – Jah is Alive (Speaker)
80’s singer Carl Meeks has a unique singing style that suits this bouncy riddim very well.

10. Tarrus Riley – Chaka Zulu Pickney (The Nyabinghi)
An always inspired Tarrus Riley sings about historical black leaders.

11. D Major – That’s What Love’s About (Heart and Soul)
The first one drop riddim from the Further Notice camp is all about smoothness and sweet harmonies.

12. Ward 21 – Take a Wif (Jah Army)
A relick of Black Uhuru’s General Penitentiary and just about every cut on this riddim is worth having, and this is particularly devastating.

13. Ky-Mani Marley – Brave Ones (Message)
Producer Don Corleone has a great feel for pop melodies, and this one is no exception.

14. Yami Bolo – Babylon System (Bellyfull)
Weeping and wailing waterhouse style from Yami Bolo. The hip-hop inspired relick of The Gladiator’s Bellyfull is a real gem, and the Albert Griffith’s vocal sample makes all the difference.

15. Chino & Denyque – Driving Me Insane
Chino & Denyque in a modern version of Shabba Ranks’ Mr. Loverman.

16. Jah Sun & Gentleman – Tear Drops (Alive)
Europe meets the U.S. in fine style.

17. Tarrus Riley – Lala Warriors (Gorilla)
Curtis Lynch has produced yet another hefty riddim with a contagious chorus.

18. I-Octane – Cyan Do Wi Nuttn
Raspy voiced I-Octane has had a successful 2011, and his best effort was this Russian-produced dancehall tune.

19. Assassin & Bounty Killer – Ghetto State of Mind (Ghetto State)
Both Assassin and Bounty Killer must have been bread on gravel and small stones. Their rockstone voices suit this hip-hop-tinged one drop scorcher very well.

20. Turbulence – Jah is Love (Royalty)
Xterminator made their return in 2011. And what a return. Turbulence sounds as good as he did in the early 2000’s.

21. Mavado – Final Destination (Summer Fling)
Can’t help myself on this one. It’s hard not to sing along in the beautiful chorus.

Just outside the list: Tarrus Riley – Rebel, Busy SignalWorldwide Love, Maxi Priest & Tippa IrieLike This, Ricardo Clarke – Only Got Love, Vybz Kartel – Summertime, Stylo GCall Me A Yardie and Sizzla – Murder Star.

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