Mr. Williamz has joined forces with Green Lion Crew on the aptly titled album The General Comes to Town. A brutal ten track showcase set where Mr. Williamz is joined by veterans such as Dean Fraser, Lone Ranger, Joe Lickshot and Pinchers along with more recent talents like Addis Pablo and Gappy Ranks.
Every track comes with a version; either dub or another vocalist. Mr. Williamz’ flow is as usual flawless and the beats and riddims he rides are ultra-solid and rock-hard. Check for example Never See Her Again and – in particular – its haunting dub version The Robbery with wobbling bass and introduction by no other than veteran drummer Horsemouth.
Other standout cuts include the title track, which is a version of Ini Kamoze’s World a Reggae, and its spaghetti western themed version with melodica provided by Addis Pablo.
With this album Mr. Williamz and Green Lion Crew can tackle any sheriff. The town will be under siege when they drop these sonic bombs.
Irish production and DJ duo DJ Obese and Jay Sharp, better known as Dirty Dubsters, have dropped a new full-length set collecting a hefty 15 tracks spanning several bass heavy genres, including reggae, dub, hip-hop, jungle and house.
The duo doesn’t pull the breaks and Special Request is a dancefloor extravaganza from start to finish with its clever samples, massive drum beats and fat bass grooves.
The album hosts a ton of collaborations, including fierce performances from the versatile Soom T, rockstone-voiced Blackout JA and the stylish Mr. Williamz, just to name a few. The first single off the album – Big Sound – certainly earns its title with a driving bass line and Screechy Dan and Chip Fu showcasing their skills on the microphone.
A blazing and genre-crossing album showcasing how multifaceted reggae is.
After 15 years in the business French sound system O.B.F drop their debut album Wild. It collects twelve exclusive tracks and offers a mix of vocal cuts and dubstrumentals.
Wild is a rough and intense effort to say the least. It’s the hardest kind of futuristic digital UK roots with potent bass lines blasting through the speakers and the haunting synths set a dark and dread atmosphere.
The energy level is high throughout the set and a top selection of mostly internationally recognized artists – the UK, France and Jamaica are covered – showcase their talents on tracks like the excellent Ladies Anthem, performed by I-Leen, and Mr. Williamz’ swinging Poor Man Life.
Two deejay legends also step up to show the youths how things are supposed to be done. Lone Ranger revisits his Style and Fashion and the gruff Burro Banton is heated as usual on Leave it Alone.
A dangerous album directly aimed at burying soundbwoys at any dance.
UK deejay Mr. Williamz has over the years mostly recorded for fellow Londoner Curtis Lynch of Necessary Mayhem fame. And now the pair has released a full-length set.
Curtis Lynch has managed to create what every artist wants – a signature sound. It’s easy to recognize a Curtis Lynch production thanks to its heavy wobbling bass lines, sparse arrangements, grim organs and clever samples. He has created his own contemporary take on 80s dancehall.
And Mr. Williamz’ debut album Set the Standard has all those ingredients.
Mr. Williamz chats old school style over the 15 tracks, of which four are previously unreleased. It’s hypnotic and engaging at the same time. He deejays about ganja and romancing over tough beats, fresh relicks and tons of sonic wizardry.
With this album Mr. Williamz and Curtis Lynch set a new standard for how contemporary dancehall can sound in the 21st century.
Scotland’s own Mungo’s Hi Fi have remixed five Major Lazer tunes. They have re-shaped them, re-structured them, re-built them and now released them for free over at Soundcloud.
The results are smashing, intoxicating and very enjoyable. Just listen to the ska version of Busy Signal’s energetic Watch Out For This (Bumaye), the digi-reggae version of Get Free, featuring Amber from U.S. rockers Dirty Projectors, or the rocksteady-tinged Smooth Sailing with Mr. Williamz carrying the swing.
Check the Soundcloud link here and get a taste.
In 1985 vocalist Wayne Smith and producer Prince Jammy revolutionized reggae music with Under Me Sleng Teng, the first fully computerized riddim. From then on nothing was to be the same on the Jamaican music scene.
The genre digital reggae is usually referring to reggae produced in the mid 80’s to the early 90’s, and this genre has had much exposure during the last couple of years. Several great, and often obscure, titles have been reissued by labels such as Dub Store Records and DigiKiller. You have to have a heavy wallet if you want the original 7” instead.
Luckily enough there are a number of producers, musicians and artists that have been inspired by digital reggae and produce their own material with a contemporary touch, often with devastating bass lines.
One such outfit is Scotland’s Mungo’s Hi Fi, a soundsystem that now follow up on their 2008 album Soundsystem Champions with Forward Ever.
On this 16 track set they have invited 14 guest vocalists – mainly from Europe – to showcase their skills on dub-infused bass heavy riddims. Sometimes in a ska style, such as the versatile Soom T’s jazzy Bad Bad Boy, or the dubstep wobbling Dem No Like It where Omar Perry handles the microphone.
Forward Ever also includes classic riddims. The Sugar Minott dubplate Scrubadub Style is based on his tune Dancehall Style and revitalizes the Heavenless riddim.
Mr. Williamz rides another relick. This one is the Diseases riddim. He chats on technology improvements and how it has affected the music business.
With this fascinating and forward-thinking set Mungo’s Hi Fi shows how digital reggae sounds in the 21st century.
Forward Ever is available as CD, 2xLP and digital download.
British deejay Mr. Williamz has dropped several scorching tunes for producer Curtis Lynch in the past years. A few months ago he also put out his debut EP titled Last Night. In mid July he performed at Swedish reggae festival Öland Roots. I saw him strolling around the premises after his set and asked for an interview.
Among other things we talked about the importance of dancehall culture. Check the interview over at United Reggae.