Tag Archives: David Rodigan

Resonators is back with a meditative set

185856UK band Resonators is back after a four-year long hiatus. The two singles – Imaginary People and Healer – off the new album have been championed by the one and only David Rodigan.

Imaginary People is their third album and it collects slow and soothing meditative roots with ethereal backing vocals and rumbling bass lines, including the bulldozing Come Through. Two lead vocalists trading places in front of the microphone along with lots of psychedelic dub effects also provide plenty of diversity to the nine sonorous cuts.

Can’t say I had heard much about Resonators up until this year when the two singles were released, but they can easily be filed next to bright shining vintage-sounding UK acts like Soothsayers and King Solomon.

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Warrior roots on Adam Prescott’s debut album

coverProducer Adam Prescott is a fresh new addition to the UK digital roots scene. He has received guidance from Mark Iration of Iration Steppas and has put out tunes with the likes of Cornel Campbell, Michael Prophet, Ranking Joe and Johnny Osbourne.

And finally his debut album has arrived. It’s a bass heavy eleven track set showcasing a broad palette of styles and grooves with both vocal cuts and instrumentals included.

Warrior is sound system music and kicks off with the one and only Brother Culture, who chats over a militant steppers style riddim. From then and there it’s a deep and dynamic journey with veterans and newcomers rubbing shoulders – Rod Taylor, Charlie P, Donovan Kingjay, Dark Angel and UK rapper Karizma are some of the talents lending their skills to the project.

Two of the best cuts are however instrumentals and Onlyjoe’s Papa B does a tremendous job on the funky Throwback and the dark Prophecy.

This varied set is deeply rooted in the UK sound system tradition, yet Adam Prescott manages to add his own contemporary flavour to it. It’s no coincident that he’s receiving consistent airplay on BBC Radio One and Rinse FM as well as support from Sir David Rodigan.

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Lloyd Brown turns 50 and drops another consistent set

disc-3211-lloyd-brown-lb50Not many people can treat themselves with an album to celebrate their birthday. One who can is the celebrated and consistent UK singer and songwriter Lloyd Brown. He turned 50 in March and a few months later his 18 track album LB 50 was put out.

Lloyd Brown is one of the most productive singers in the industry and turns out at least one album each year. Last year he actually dropped two – New Veteran and Rootical. Both were critically acclaimed, with the Zion I Kings’ Rootical being slightly better with its spiritual messages and sparse arrangements.

LB 50 is Lloyd Brown’s 18th album and he has as usual invited several guest artists and has worked with a number of different producers, each with their own sound, which gives the album some versatility. It offers lots of reggae of course, but also a little bit of electro, dancehall and soul.

Lloyd Brown’s singing is always a joy and on LB 50 he is as comfortable and smooth as ever before. It sounds like he weighs every word and every syllable carefully before he sings them. His style is very well-crafted, easy-going and warm, and it’s impossible to him and songs like All About You, a rocksteady-tinged version of The Mighty Diamonds’ Country Living, the dense Million Dollar Baby, or the jazzy sound boy destroyer My Sound, with an introduction by David Rodigan.

Lloyd Brown has treated himself with an exceptional birthday gift, and this is yet another bright and harmonious set from one of most reliable artists in the reggae industry.

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No fillers on Raging Fyah’s second album Destiny

ragingfyah-destiny_01With the excellent single Nah Look Back Jamaican five piece band Raging Fyah took the acclaimed selector and radio personality David Rodigan by storm, and he put the single on his compilation Masterpiece, a double disc showcasing his formative years and what he believes could be the future of reggae.

Raging Fyah’s authentic roots-rocking reggae might well represent the future of reggae, even though their sound builds on traditional roots and the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Third World and Zap Pow. Soulful and mellow with a contemporary flare.

Destiny – which drops on June 17 – is a captivating album with mostly conscious and uplifting lyrics about overcoming obstacles and fighting for justice and equality. There is however no raging here.

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

Their debut album Judgement Day was released in 2011, but didn’t have the proper distribution. So Destiny comes in a box with the debut included. And what a box it is. Powerful, yet sophisticated, and blazing, but cool. Acquiring this box is a no-brainer if you ask me.


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Mostly masterpieces on new David Rodigan compilation

Masterpiece-David-Rodigan-Moscd336At the age of twelve a young David Rodigan was struck by one of the most well-known guitar riffs in rock history – The Kinks’ You Really Got Me. About a year later he was struck again. But this time it was a new beat – ska and Millie Small’s My Boy Lollipop. This was something new and exciting and a beat that has stayed by his side for his entire musical career.

On the new compilation Masterpiece – a series from UK label Ministry of Sound – David Rodigan tells his own musical story via 54 tracks spread over three discs. It showcases his formative years in the 60s and what he thinks could be the future of reggae. In between the compilation is crowded with reggae classics.

But this is not just a reggae compilation, even though the majority of the cuts comes from Caribbean sources. The compilation starts off with the sounds of 60s British pop and American soul, and then passing through four decades of the evolution of Jamaican music in many of its guises – ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall and the new roots revival.

And when listening to the album it’s clear that David Rodigan’s music taste is mostly about beautiful melodies and well-crafted songs. No hard or provocative dancehall is included. No Bounty Killer, no Beenie Man and no Vybz Kartel. Just sweet sounds and positive messages from Alton Ellis, Etana, Cornell Campbell, Dennis Brown and Marcia Griffiths. Somewhat surprising.

But there’s more. No Gregory Isaacs, no Slim Smith and no Garnett Silk. Mr Rodigan is however excused since the selection is more or less flawless with personal favorites like Johnny Osbourne & The Sensations’ See and Blind, Ini Kamoze’s England Be Nice, Desmond Dekker’s Beautiful and Dangerous and The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra & Bitty McLean’s Fu Man Chu.

I have also spotted a number of new nuggets – Liam Bailey’s When Will They Learn, Paul S.C.U.B.I Smith’s Word Smith and Raging Fyah’s Nah Look Back.

Masterpiece is a document of David Rodigan’s journey as an individual and a club and radio DJ. For more than 30 years many have listened and learnt from him. This compilation is a great way to do just that.


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Get to know the music that shaped David Rodigan

Masterpiece-David-RodiganUK DJ and radio personality David Rodigan has been on the scene for more than 30 years and counting. With an MBE and a host of prestigious accolades under his belt, he has been chosen to front the next album in the acclaimed Masterpiece series from Ministry of Sound, out for release 27th January, 2014.

As one of few DJs to have influenced and inspired the masses for over three generations, David Rodigan has managed to continously adapt to reigning trends while sticking to his favorite music – reggae.

Masterpiece – Created by David Rodigan is a document of his journey as a DJ, starting with his initiation into the sounds of 60s British pop and American soul, and passing through five decades of the evolution of Jamaican music in all its guises: ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall and the new roots revival.

“I have made other compilations,” says David Rodigan in a press release. “But I decided this should be a reflection of my life musically, including both the things I grew up listening to and the things I am currently enjoying.”

The selection has been broken down into three discs featuring a range of influences from The Kinks, Marvin Gaye, Etta James, Dusty Springfield, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Tessanne Chin, King Tubby and Ini Kamoze to name a few.

David Rodigan also gives a whistle-stop tour of the world, showing how the vibrant current roots reggae scene spans artists in Canada/Jamaica (Exco Levi), Italy (Riva Starr) and England (Liam Bailey).

“I wanted this third CD to be looking to the future,” he says. “We are progressing and not living in the past. There are people with new ideas and this music is not finished, there’s a lot more to come.”

A selection of tracks will be available as a 7” vinyl boxset, handpicked by David Rodigan.

The Masterpiece series is a concept fronted by artists and DJs of the highest calibre. It’s an opportunity for them to curate a three disc musical journey that depicts their own influences and inspirations which they can share with their fans. Predecessors in the series include Andrew Weatherall, Fabio & Grooverider and Gilles Peterson.

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David Rodigan loses faith in Jamaican music

In recent years, Jamaica has moved from characteristic reggae rhythms and become more influenced by hip-hop, R&B and house. A direction British legendary selector and radio DJ David Rodigan is not fond of.

I meet David Rodigan an early autumn afternoon at a hotel in central Stockholm, just around the corner from the venue where he will be performing at Stockholm Reggaeklubb eight hours later.

He is well spoken, polite and thoughtful. Picture yourself a selector, and probably nothing about it says David Rodigan.

He turns 60 next year. Impeccably dressed in blue jeans, white and blue striped shirt, wind coat and sneakers.

He has a cold, and his doctor has told him to talk as little as possible. But that doesn’t stop him from giving his view on the music coming from Jamaica today, music that’s not what it used to be.

– The development of Jamaican reggae is due to satellite television, says David Rodigan crassly and states:

– Jamaicans has been influenced by American dance videos.

“We’re getting mugged”
It’s clear that he is not fond of current music from Jamaica and describes the hit songs Hold Yuh and Clarks as novelty tunes.

– I can’t see the point of it anymore. This type of music is odd, he says, and continues:

– They’ve forgotten what Jamaica is famous for; the structure and melodic output of reggae.

We get into a discussion about contemporary Jamaican singers and deejays. I mention Mavado and that most of his performance at Uppsala Reggae Festival a month ago was off key.

– We’re getting mugged, David bursts out:

– They can’t sing!

Can’t see the point
He seems to have lost his faith in the Jamaican music industry and says that they have to change their ways.

– The music made is not Jamaican, and it doesn’t export. It’s lacking credibility which is a problem. And we don’t want another version of Real Rock. I mean, I don’t know what we had done without Dean Fraser, Christopher Ellis, Julian Marley or Stephen Marley, he explains, and continues:

– I don’t see the point of what’s being made in Jamaica now.

However, the Jamaican music industry isn’t the only one in trouble, since no one seems to buy music anymore. This is a subject that gets David going as well.

– The music industry has collapsed. No new records are being pressed, Jamaica is all about mp3’s which are lacking information. He continues:

– It’s empty, not mixed properly or mastered. There’s no substance, just a waste of time downloading them. Before there was an end product. Now there’s no vinyl, no CD and no licensing possibilities.

David Rodigan’s favourites
Some might criticize him for living in the past. But despite his harsh words, there are many artists he rates highly these days.

– Konshens, Etana, Tarrus Riley and Romain Virgo, he says and starts humming a Konshens tune but can’t remember the title.

David explains he’s always hunting for new stuff and that you’ve to move forward. He’s a big fan of Busy Signal and gives some examples of what he’s listening to.

– The Big Stage rhythm is nice, especially My Heart Says No by Cameal Davis. I admire Alborosie, he’s immensely talented and has various skills, producer, singer, technician.  Gappy Ranks also has some nice stuff. And the new Gentleman album and the new from Cornadoor. Million Stylez is also talented and has a unique style.

Di Trees from Aidonia and Tarrus Riley on the Go Go Club rhythm. It’s not a reggae rhythm, it’s basically house, but it’s good, it’s interesting.

And that’s what it’s essentially all about. It doesn’t have to be core reggae or dancehall. As long as it’s well crafted, well written and well produced.


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Reggaemani medverkar i RG Magazine

Den femte augusti är det äntligen dags för andra numret av Sveriges enda reggaetidning – Reggae Galore Magazine. Det nya numret innehåller en massa spännande, bland annat en intervju med legendariske dubmakarn Neil Perch, som Reggaemanis Erik Magni intervjuat, samt intervjuer med David Rodigan, Serengeti och Safari Sound.

Tidningen är dryga 80 sidor och trycks i en mycket begränsad upplaga. Vill du vara säker på att lägga vanterna på ett av de åtråvärda exemplaren är det bäst att förhandsbeställa redan nu. Priset är 99 kronor exklusive frakt.

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Från JA till UK med Echotone

Echtone”Certain people say it’s all about garage, it’s all about house. Respect those forms of music. But this music is not finished, this music is not finished!”

Så inleder selectorn och radio-djn David Rodigan franska Echotones nya mix UK Dub From the Roots. Och jag kan inte annat än att hålla med. Den här mixen borde få den mest inbitne reggaekritikern att gunga på höfterna och svänga sina lurviga.

Mixen innehåller nog något för alla. Det finns rootsiga riddims som None A Jah Jah Childen och Creation Rebel samt hårda digitala som Tempo och klassiska Sleng Teng.

Echtone imponerar genom att hitta udda låtar på klassiska riddims, exempelvis Super T med Wackiesproducerade West Bound Train eller Devon Russells Jah Holds the KeyRastaman Camp-riddimen.

Dessutom lyckas man väl med uppdraget att visa att dagens tuffa engelska dub många gånger bygger på riddims från 70-talets Jamaica.

Mixen klockar in på dryga 1 timme och 45 minuter och innehåller hela 83 låtar på totalt 25 olika riddims. Den kan enkelt laddas ner från Echtones sajt.


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