Tag Archives: Lenky Marsden

The Courtney John Project represents the future

future-the-courtney-john-projectI’ve recently spent some time listening to The Courtney John Project’s hard-hitting debut album Future. And if someone told me that this album was the work of smooth falsetto singer Courtney John and lovers rock giant Beres Hammond’s daughter The Wizard, I’d tell him or her to get the hell out of here. But this dubstep-flavored album is made by these two masterminds together with Grammy Award winning instrumentalist Steven “Lenky” Marsden, the one responsible for the ground-breaking Diwali riddim a few years back.

This hypnotic album showcases what the members describe as a brand new genre called rootstronic. It’s a little bit of everything with pounding drums and heavy bass lines – dub, roots, electronica, grime and hip-hop.

Future sounds like it has been produced and recorded in an abandoned industrial building in central Kingston. The beats are grim and intense with bodybuilders beating the drums and hitting the bass with sheer power. It’s the evil and lost soundtrack to movies such as The Matrix and Blade Runner. It is the future.

The ethereal voices of Courtney John and The Wizard echo between the thick walls of sound. Their version of Errol Dunkley’s Black Cinderella is a stroke of genius and so are the two cuts that use the haunting organ from the immortal Truths and Rights riddim and the schizophrenic Very Special with its bombastic tom-tom drums taken from the battlefields in Lord of the Rings.

Think that there isn’t any experimental and innovative music coming from Jamaica anymore? That all music from Jamaica is about chanting down Babylon or showing off a brand new Benz or Beamer? Think again. When you’ve listened to Future you’ll feel like you’ve been run over by a train.

To be honest, it wasn’t instant love for me. But then again, the future is usually intimidating. You need to get acclimatized and then you’ll learn to understand its beauty and truly appreciate it.

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Richie Spice impresses on Book of Job

Richie Spice is one of the most consistent album artists from Jamaica in recent years. Almost all of his four studio albums have had a very high standard. And his new album – Book of Job – is no exception.Richie Spice - Book of Job

The title hints of the Bible and, according to the press release, Richie Spice chose the name because of “his commitment to creating uplifting music, which is as unwavering as Job’s faith was while enduring his many hardships.”

Book of Job is certainly a very conscious album with mainly two themes represented –praising women and praising God.

Richie Spice has previously worked with well acclaimed producers such as Clive Hunt and Bobby “Digital” Dixon. He also cut the masterpiece Di Plane Land for Kemar “Flava” McGregor in 2008, a tune that was included on the album Gideon Boot released the same year.

For Book of Job he has teamed up with skilled producer Donovan Germain, but the album also includes producers Raging Fyah, Shane Brown and Steven “Lenky” Marsden.

The album includes 12 tunes, all on well executed one drop riddims. And this suits Richie Spice’s raspy and rugged voice very well. It also contradicts quite nicely to the clean and powerful backing vocals.

Some of the tunes are previously released, while others are new efforts. The catchy Yap Yap is reminiscent of Old Macdonald Had a Farm and the anthemic Soothing Sound, on the Indiscretion riddim, is among the album’s several highlights.

Book of Job is soothing your soul and you don’t want to turn it down. It’ll keep the fire burning and make you want to play reggae music night and day, as Richie Spice might have put it.

The album hit the streets on Tuesday March 15th.

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