Now he is involved in another project with a vintage sound. But it’s not swirling roots like Back on the Controls, almost the opposite actually. Shake It! is Dutch band The Upsessions’ fourth album, and it features 14 tracks in the ska, rocksteady and early reggae vein, largely inspired by Desmond Dekker, The Maytals and The Skatalites.
They teamed up with Lee Perry while on tour in Germany and he has injected his distinctive half-sung/half-spoken style to several of the songs. It certainly adds a rough flavour to the otherwise smooth, yet often up-tempo, material.
Just as many albums in this vein Shake It! blends vocal cuts with instrumentals. And the set ranges from the calypso-tinged and risqué The Big Bamboo Treat and Punani Strike via the funky 100.000.000 Tons of Reggae and Funky Lumpini to skanking dance floor crashers like the title track and Hold Your Wining.
I’m getting kind of tired of writing this over and over, but there’s yet another strong album coming from the Netherlands. And I have a feeling other strong sets are on the way.
Dutch/Surinamese singer Joggo recently made his album debut with Modern Rockers vol.1. He came across strong three years ago with Beware, a cut of Massive B’s haunting Kingdom riddim.
Since then he has made some equally impressive singles, like Gun Down (included on the album) and the summery All My Life on the Love You More riddim put out last year.
Modern Rockers vol. 1 is mainly produced by Jah Decko of Dredda Records and includes eleven tunes, where of the majority is previously unreleased.
There’s hardly a dull moment. Catchy choruses and lots of nanana’s and yeah, yeah, yeah’s are some of the ingredients. Just listen to Peace & Love, You Don’t Know or the strong album opener DJ play Me Some Roots.
The harmonies and backing vocals are close to 70’s Steel Pulse and Aswad, while the arrangements and music is in the modern roots vein with live instrumentation.
Joggo’s singing is devout and direct. He has a sincere desperate tone in his voice and sings with great confidence.
Modern Rockers vol. 1 is an impressive and promising debut, and I hope to hear more from Joggo in the near future.
Dutch singjay Ziggi Recado has recently put out his third full length album in Holland, and on June 6 it drops worldwide. Reggaemani has spoken to a reggae star that has travelled new paths and is now also acknowledged as a producer.
Photo by Bill Tanaka
Ziggi Recado – formerly only Ziggi – rose to prominence in 2006 when he put out his Rock N Vibes produced debut album So Much Reasons. Since then a lot has changed for this 30 year old singer.
He has now three albums and one EP on his list of merits. On top of this he can now also label himself as a producer. On Ziggi Recado – his new self-titled album – he is recognized for the major part of the production. And this is something that seems to have had great impact on his sound.
New sound, instant success
Because Ziggi Recado is not an ordinary reggae album. It is a fusion of reggae, soul, pop, funk and rock. Surprisingly no dancehall. If you have heard the Cody Chesnutt & The Roots inspired first single Get Out you probably get the feeling.
“I’m happy about it. It’s the best Ziggi album ever. It’s different from my previous albums. I produced a lot of it and I think I turned it into a great reggae album,” says Ziggi Recado over the phone.
The album have been an instant success in his home country, hitting number 1 in the iTunes Reggae Charts, number 41 in the general iTunes charts and also debuted as number 51 in the Dutch album top 100 charts. Not bad for a reggae album. And Ziggi seems pleased.
“I’m very happy that the album has become a success in Holland. It remains difficult for black music in Holland and it’s hard to get attention,” he says, and continues:
“In Holland people know me as a reggae artist and many have looked forward to this album. It was anticipated,” he concludes.
Important not to be boring Ziggi Recado certainly is a diverse effort, and Ziggi himself believes that it can attract more people. Important for him is also to show something new and to be interesting.
“For me it’s important not to be boring. No traditional way, no traditional sound. The last CD was more traditional. I needed to do something different and I think it really stands out. I have created something new,” he believes.
The new album was a natural progression according to Ziggi.
“When I did my first album I had just started doing music. I now know what I want to do. It is a progression for me,” he says, and adds:
“This is me right now, but I want to keep evolving and developing.”
Influenced by life
When I ask Ziggi about his influences I thought that I would get a bunch of artists or groups. I for instance thought of some hip-hoppers or soul outfits. But no.
“What influenced me is probably my family. The clock was ticking and I was having my second child. He was one month old when I started to record the album. It motivated me to get something done. Life was my motivation I guess,” he suggests.
The album was recorded with The Renaissance Band and they worked very close.
“It was a pure feeling. I’d get an idea for a song and then create it and get the picture together with my band. I’m lucky to have done the production with my band. They know what I want. I was free. We work very well together.”
Wants to work with Wyclef
Ziggi reveals that he would like to produce other artists as well.
“I’ve done a few productions in the past, but this is the first time that I’ve done a whole project. Now people can acknowledge me as a producer,” he says, and continues:
“I’d like the opportunity to work with Wyclef. I’m a huge fan. And Shabba [Ranks], the legacy, the great.”
Even though the album already has done well in his home ground, he is very down to earth with his expectations on the international release.
“I try to except the least. I Hope for the best and expect the worse. But people should like it. I’ve got positive reactions so far. But nowadays with music it’s hard to tell. The most important is to take my music to a higher stage, and then I’ve reached my main goal.”
If you’re curious on the new album – listen to the K-Salaam & Beatnick produced promo mix below.
Leah Rosier is a Dutch singer that today released her debut EP digitally through the Dubbhism label. Born in Amsterdam she started playing reggae on piano and guitar by the age of 12. According to the press material her first influences were American light reggae acts such as No Doubt and Sublime.
Those influences seem very far away on The Real Leah, an EP consisting of six tunes, where of three versions of the tune Irie, among them a nasty dub version.
Her singing is relaxed and suits the bouncy, electronic backing on tunes such as the Sleng Teng inspired Teng Jam very well.
An album with production crew Not Easy At All is planned to be released later this year.