Former Black Uhuru front man and lead singer Michael “Mykal” Rose has been productive in recent years. Last year he dropped two studio albums – Rasta State and Sidewalk Steppa. And now it’s time for yet another one – Strategy of Rome. This set has primarily been recorded in Denmark during a week-long break from touring.
And this is not the first time Mykal Rose collaborates with Ice Drop Records and producers Adil “Jahdil” Nadri and Søeren “Pharfar” Schou. In 2008 they did the excellent herb anthem Mr. Collie. That track is also featured on Strategy of Rome, but with a different version.
Mykal Rose is the originator of the slightly nasal Waterhouse vocal style and it’s by him also powered by several vocal scats – tu tu tweng and ding ding woy are probably recognized by more than a few. His voice is today just as powerful as it was back in the 70s when he created classics together with Black Uhuru and Sly & Robbie.
On Strategy of Rome the producers have created a crisp soundscape with heavy drum and bass supplemented by smooth harmonies and catchy melodies. It’s a journey where Mykal Rose showcases his vocal prowess over a varied set of riddims ranging from slick one drop and lightweight dancehall to early 80s roots. Best of the bunch is probably the insanely infectious, and slightly melancholic, On the Move Again.
Mykal Rose is after more than 40 years in the music industry still a force to be reckoned with.
UK roots and dub outfit Shades of Black return with a new album after a six year hiatus. Break Free follows their Michael Rose produced albums Great Expectations and Dub Expectations, released in 2008.
Shades of Black formed in the 90s and have put a number of solid roots numbers and their new album is no exception. It collects a hefty 18 tracks and the vocal talents of Paul Fox – who is one of the founders – along with Saimn-I, Jimmy Ranks, Jahman Dan and Michael Rose. Seven of the cuts are dub versions and one is an instrumental with horns provided by Moonshine Horns, a duo that deliver brass on several tracks.
Break Free is solid and tough UK roots with a mix of programming and live instrumentation. Michael Rose handles the microphone on the haunting Lion in the Flag, which has a synth reminiscent to the X-Files, and Paul Fox’ dramatic, soft and mystical singing floats nicely over a powerful steppers riddim on album opener Simmer Down.
Shades of Black has made an album echoing from the 90s when UK roots was the order of the day.
Californian Billboard Reggae Chart-topping reggae rockers Tribal Seeds drop their fourth studio album Representing on May 13, and the first single Fill it Up, featuring New Kingston, is already receiving airplay.
Representing holds twelve rock-infused reggae tracks and features Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite on the title track as well as Kyle McDonald of Slightly Stoopid on In Your Area. Reggae legends Don Carlos and Michael Rose show up on Blood Clot and Herb Stock respectively.
”This album promotes and inspires a positive and uplifting message which you can’t help but vibe to,” explains Tony-Ray Jacobo of Tribal Seeds.
Representing is a follow-up to Tribal Seeds’ 2011 EP Soundwaves and marks the band’s first full-length release since 2009’s The Harvest.
Michael “Mykal” Rose has mashed down babylon for quite some time now, both as a solo artist and as a member of Black Uhuru. He has put out a number of smashes over the years, including dancehall favorite Shoot Out, the haunting Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and the stomping World Is Africa.
On his brand new album Showdown Inna Bloody Town recorded for Californian producer Siahvash Dowlatshahi – probably best known for producing Earl Zero’s Market Place two years ago – Mykal Rose takes a new musical direction.
The eight track set, including four vocals and four remixes recorded with live instrumentation and Style Scott from Roots Radics on drums, has a distinct Ethiopian jazz flavor, especially album opener Gunfighter with its killer horns. Its funky instrumental version takes the Ethiopian spice blend one step further.
On Dutty Road Mykal Rose is back in his usual militant style and on an updated eerie version of Youth of Eglington he deals with violence and gun business in the U.S., especially in California.
Mykal Rose has been a leading light in reggae for almost four decades. He continues to be innovative and interesting and this set represents an artist that is still willing to experiment and try new musical styles and directions with an impressive result.
Showdown Inna Bloody Town is now available on digital platforms worldwide.
Michael “Mykal” Rose is one of the most consistent performers in reggae music. His career begun already in the mid 70’s and since then he has managed to put out great music for producers around the globe. His recordings in the 21st century us just as good as the ones he did in the 70’s.
In my opinion his tunes for producer Ryan Moore is among the best he has done, and well in line with his body of work produced by Prince Jammy or Sly & Robbie.
From Waterhouse to the World is a mix based solely on Michael Rose’s vast catalogue. It is solo vocals, duets, dub versions and instrumentals spanning over four decades. The mix is roughly chronological and starts off with some obscure Michael Rose vocals accompanied by their dub versions.
Then it is time for a few cuts from Black Uhuru when Michael Rose was handling the lead vocal duties. After that it is back to his solo performances.
As usual, From Waterhouse to the World is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound effects. If you like what you hear, please support Michael Rose, producers and the labels and buy the tunes. All of them are easily available on mp3 and CD. A bunch of them easy to find on vinyl.
Listen and download via the player below. You can also head over to Soundcloud for more mixes. Turn it up and enjoy the music!
Artist – song title
1. Michael Rose – We Shall Overcome
2. The Kay – Overcome
3. Michael Rose – Observe Life
4. The Upsetter – Observing Dub
5. Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie ( original version)
6. Prince Jammy – His Imperial Majesty
7. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
8. Sly & Robbie – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner version
9. Black Uhuru – Youth of Eglington
10. Black Uhuru – Youth
11. Michael Rose – Visit Them
12. Sly & Robbie – Visit Them Dub
13. Michael Rose – Friday
14. Michael Rose – Friday (horns mix)
15. Michael Rose – Burial
16. Michael Rose – Funeral Dub
17. Michael Rose – Freedom
18. Michael Rose – Freedom Dub
19. Michael Rose – No Burial
20. Michael Rose – Dub Burial
21. Michael Rose – No Hypocrites
22. Basque Dub Foundation – Midnight Organ
23. Basque Dub Foundation & Dub Terror – Dubbing Tonight
24. Michael Rose – Mr. Collie (Collieangel remix)
25. Michael Rose – Catch Up di Fire
26. Michael Rose & Hi-Kee – Catch Up di Fire
27. Michael Rose – Shoot Out
28. Michael Rose & Damian Marley – Shoot Out (remix)
Jag stötte på Naptali förra året genom rytmsamlingen Bad Boys. Hans Fire Burn, var tillsammans med låtar från Buju och Burro Banton, plattans starkaste och långt bättre än Inner Circles signaturmelodi. Låtens styrka låg dock huvudsakligen inte hos Naptali, utan i den kompromisslösa produktionen och den upphottade basgången. Men när jag sätter Naptalis debutplatta Long Journey i skivspelaren är jag ändå hoppfull.
Naptali är en duglig sångare. Hans hesa, lite nasala stämma, påminner stundtals om Michael ”Mykal” Rose eller en mindre intensiv Natty King. Men Naptalis sång saknar karaktär. Han gör sitt jobb och sjunger melodin perfekt, dock utan att imponera. Visst, det kan vara skönt att slippa wailande och olika röstkonster, men det blir lite som landsvägskörning – det händer inte mycket och är ganska tråkigt.
Long Journeys styrka ligger i rytmerna och melodierna signerade teamet bakom Oneness Records. Bästa blir det i ovan nämnda Fire Burn, duetten And They Cry och i tokpoppiga The Law Of Attraction, en låt vars refräng etsar sig fast och vägrar försvinna.
Det här är en fullt godkänd debut. Men framöver skulle jag vilja att Naptali tar mer plats och visar vad hans röst kan göra. Det behöver bli mer än rytm och melodi.