Reggae and soul have since the 60s had a fruitful and productive relationship. Rocksteady is for example more or less based on U.S. soul and the genre and its groups and artists were influenced by The Impressions, The Temptations and Al Green, just to mention a few.
Reggae adaptations of soul hits have been too many to mention and several of them have been extremely popular, one of the most notable examples is probably Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths’s cover of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted & Black, which reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart in 1970.
France’s Undisputed Records has now put out a compilation where contemporary reggae artists cover soul songs, several of them bona fide classics originally issued in 60s.
It’s an excellent compilation that gives these nuggets a fresh and modern reggae treatment. It also presents these gems to a new audience, an audience that might not have been exposed to their parents or grandparents favourite songs.
Of course it’s hard – or impossible – to outshine the original versions. But Marina P certainly gives Wendy Rene’s I Wish I Were That Girl a run for its money. Same goes for the big voiced Maikal X and his cover of Bobby Bland’s I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me).
Other highlights include Diana Rutherford’s powerful version of Ann Peebles’ Trouble, Heartaches and Sadness and Faye & Mystic Loic’s swinging take on California Soul, originally sung by The Messengers, but made famous by The 5th Dimension and later by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell and Marlena Shaw.
Chezidek & Skarra Mucci’s Sunny, originally performed by Bobby Hebb, is also strong, even though it might have been even better without the fragile voice of Chezidek. Skarra Mucci alone would probably have been a wiser voice.
Don’t miss out on this compilation. It’s lovely that Undisputed Records takes reggae back to some of its roots.
There’s a new Ziggi in town. His last name is Recado and he has got a brand new reinvented sound on his third album. It’s an adventurous blend of reggae, soul, hip-hop, funk and rock.
One thing that has remained from his previous albums is his vocal style. It’s rebellious, cool and edgy.
Most of the production is handled by Ziggi Recado himself and the majority of the tracks are recorded together with his live band The Renaissance Band. And the live feeling is present through most of the album.
Ziggi Recado celebrates musicianship and careful production. There are pleasant surprises on almost every single track.
Just listen to the beautiful and organic Can’t Stop Me Now built around a laid back rock guitar. It starts with guitar, moaning saxophone and funky drums. Then it’s just Ziggi Recado and the guitar. Along the way it adds organ, percussion, drums, bass and strings. You’ve to wait over three minutes until the song is complete in its instrumentation.
Real Talk showcases his vocal capabilities, when he sings both in a high Prince style and then switches to his usual singjay approach.
Reggae purists also get their share too. The heartfelt single Mary produced by Special Delivery, the Omar Perry/Tippa Irie duet Jah Alone on Curtis Lynch’s Gorilla riddim and the pumping Maikal X duet This Year are contemporary one drops in fine style.
Whether or not you like the genre mixing of distorted funk rock, psychedelic Prince-styled soul and reggae riddims you have to be fascinated by this bold, remarkable and unexpected set of songs.
Ziggi Recado has been available in the Netherlands since April and is released internationally on June 20th.
Holland has done very well in the world cup. Yesterday evening, the orange heroes defeated Uruguay with 3-2. However, it has also been great times on the reggae front for the Dutch. Ziggi Recado and Smiley has released good material recently and production team Not Easy At All was in part responsible for the acclaimed Judgement Time by Chezidek. And now label Rock N’ Vibes releases Genesis by Maikal X, his debut album.
And one thing is certain with Maikal X – he is a gifted singer with a good voice that is reminiscent of the late and great Dennis Brown as well as his adepts Frankie Paul, Luciano and Bushman. And he manages his voice well on this 14 track set with mainly one drop rhythms on live instrumentation.
Maikal X has already released one of the best tunes this year – Get Away – produced by Curtis Lynch on an updated version of the Police in Helicopter rhythm. This tune is unfortunately not included on Genesis. However, included are singles The Best in You and Here She Comes, a reggae version of Daryl Hall and John Oates 80’s classic Maneater. A nice version that will surely appeal even to the more inexperienced reggae listener.
The production is mainly done by Berteaut “Mr Rude” Fleming. It is smooth and polished and reminds of Don Corleon and Kemar “Flava” McGregor. And it’s probably no coincidence that the great Don Corleon has handled the production duties on The Best In You.
Lies borrow heavily from Coxsone Dodd’s classic rhythm Breaking Up and Born To Die is based on the powerful Collie Weed rhythm, released earlier this year.
Maikal X has also included three strong combinations – Peetah Morgan, Luciano and Irie Love. The duet with Luciano is a surely a nice tune, but the vocals are too similar. Perhaps it would have been better to include a singer with a different expression. The combo with Irie Love is bouncy thing with a 80’s flavour and the tune with the Morgan sibling is the albums strongest and well in line with Get Away.
Three months ago Sweden-based Safari Sound released a mixtape titled Bad People Deya! Move, Move, Move! filled with hardcore dancehall.
Now they are back with the more roots-oriented Rock N ‘Vibes Mixtape. As the title suggests, it offers material from Duth artists Maikal X and Ziggi Recado.
But the mix offers a lot more than that. All in all almost 50 heavy tunes and DJ Shirkhan and Sammy K has selected some of the best songs this year, including Get Away with Maikal X, Music in My Soul by Sizzla and Dread with Protoje.
Download the mixtape here and check out Genesis and Same Difference, the brand new albums from Maikal X and Ziggi Recado.
Safari Sound är tillbaka med ett nytt mixtape. Förra året släpptes Back With A Blast och i dag släpps uppföljaren Bad People Deya! Move Move Move! den första av åtminstone tre utlovade mixar i år. Titeln har Safari Sound hämtat från Aidonias senaste gimmick ”move move move” och Stephen ”Di Genious” McGregors nya rytm Bad People.
Mixtapet är dancehall rakt igenom och innehåller flera exklusiva spår och dubplates, bland annat från stjärnor som Million Stylez, Joey Fever, Mr Vegas och Maikal X.
Låtlistan är tvärfet. Mixen dessutom helt kostnadsfri. Finns alltså ingen anledning att inte ladda ner ett av vårens bästa mixtapes.
Här laddar du ner mixen som separata låtar, och här kan du ladda ner den som enskilt spår.
Brittiske stjärnskottet Gappy Ranks sigandes nyligen till skivbolaget Greensleeves och i sommar släpps hans första platta Breakfast in Jamaica. Gappy Ranks är just nu aktuell med singeln Stinkin’ Rich, en låt som gör succé världen över.
Som försmak till nya plattan bjuder holländske dj Waxfiend och Jamrock Radio på en mixcd full med material från Gappy Ranks. Här finns hela 26 låtar på flera olika rytmer. Många av låtarna har dessutom inte släppts tidigare. Det hela kryddas med ljudeffekter och inspel från Maikal X och Suppa Kid. Mixen laddar du ner här.
Dj Waxfiend har tidigare släppt briljanta mixar med Busy Signal och Assassin, mixar som fortfarande finns tillgängliga här.