After the release of their joint EP Back To the Roots Jamaican gruff chanter Joseph Cotton and French DJ and producer Atili Bandalero dropped a fresh digital scorcher last year.
On Nightlife, which includes four new versions of material recorded for Back To the Roots, Joseph Cotton showcases his vintage flow over ten 80s styled digital riddims with different tempos and moods. It ranges from frenetic ska on Another Man, Back To the Roots and Nightlife to dreader and deeper cuts like album opener Chant Down Babylon.
Forward is almost festive with its anthemic chorus and on Money Code the duo borrows from Yellowman’s Body Move and Barrington Levy’s Money Move.
Digital albums like Nightlife may sound simple in its arrangements, but if you listen closely it offers a lot of details. And this set is offers both good vibes and clever production.
The European digital reggae scene is thriving and a number of strong albums have been released in recent months. First it was Tonto Addi’s debut set Dancehall Showcase, then it was Dr. Ring-Ding’s playful Dig It All and just a few weeks ago French trio Stand High Patrol dropped their smoky A Matter of Scale.
Another strong and vital set is French producer, DJ and beatmaker Atili Bandalero’s Closed Circuit; an album where he has invited seven deejays and singjays to showcase their talent over nine tracks. It was put out in mid-December last year and is now available for free download over at Bandcamp.
And there are at least nine good reasons to head over there – Prendy’s Tomorrow, Speng Bond’s Sweet Like Sugar, Joseph Cotton’s Kicks and Have Fun, Green Cross’ Boom Skeng, Gappy Ranks’ Gone, Biga Ranx’ Video Game and the two tough cuts where Joseph Cotton, Biga Ranx, Green Cross and Baby Boom take turn on the microphone.
Closed Circuit is rooted in the mid-80s digital reggae scene. The arrangements are straightforward, the tempo often high and sometimes it feels like you are listening to a reggae-oriented soundtrack to a Nintendo video game. Listen to a few familiar samples on Biga Ranx’ Video Game and you’ll know what I mean. Especially if you were growing up in the 80s.