A while ago French producer and digi maestro Manudigital went to the Caribbean where he recorded yard sessions with both the older and younger generation of reggae artists. These sessions were published on Youtube and most have now been collected on the album Digital Kingston Sessions, a set collecting seven cuts recorded in Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.
This type of reggae – which originated in Jamaica in the mid-80s and went global with King Jammy’s game-changing Sleng Teng riddim – is raw and brash and the rhythms are fun and simple, yet often effective.
And for these digital sessions Manudigital has attracted originators like King Kong, Pad Anthony, King Everald and Derrick Parker, singers who recorded many tracks in the mid-80s when the digi craze swept Jamaica. He has also hired Trinidadian performer Queen Omega and she really kills it. She is a truly unique talent with one hell of a voice.
Manudigital also recorded Junior Cat, but for some reason that cut didn’t make it onto the album. Make sure to check the single and you’ll be swept away by his fast-chatting style and fashion.
Accomplished singer and singjay Sophia Squire has released a number of big tunes over the years. Some of her best were released last year, and were featured on one riddim albums such as Bob Locko, Diamonds and Gold and Gyal Season.
Now she has a fresh and full EP put out on France’s 149 Records. The EP features five scorching tracks where Sophia Squire’s nonchalant and confident singing style is showcased over well-crafted live riddims.
Reggae Life is a great set spinning while waiting for new full-lengths efforts from the likes of Queen Omega and Queen Ifrica.
On Friday it’s time for a two day reggae festival on the beautiful island of Öland in the southern part of Sweden.
Öland Roots started in 2004 as a reaction to the few cultural activities taking place on the island. During the past seven years several Jamaican artists have performed on the festival. Fantan Mojah, Michael Rose and Konshens are only a few of the acclaimed singers and deejays that have performed in the woods next to the beach.
And 2011 is no exception. The promoters have managed to book more international artists than ever before. Etana, T’Nez, Junior Kelly, Mark Wonder and Queen Omega come from the Caribbean. Alongside them there are several Swedish artists that have managed to rock the international reggae scene. Among them Million Stylez, Joey Fever and Hanouneh.
I’m psyched. Extremely psyched actually. To keep me sane I’ve compiled a playlist in Spotify with some of my favorite tracks from a bunch of this year’s artists.
You’ll find some big tunes here. What about Tough Life from Junior Kelly, Move From On Yah by Million Stylez or Queen Omega’s Jah Dawta.
Check out the playlist by clicking this link, and hope to see you on Öland this weekend.
Yesterday I came home from a three week holiday in the beautiful islands of Trinidad & Tobago. To me, T&T were the islands of steel pan, calypso and soca. But I was wrong. Reggae is a strong force on the islands and soca is mainly played during carnival season, which starts in late December and usually ends in March. The rest of the time, it’s all about reggae.
Before I went I knew that Franz Job and I-Sasha were from T&T. When I met people in the villages I found out that Marlon Asher, Queen Omega and Jamelody also originate from T&T. As well as Khari Kill and Million Voices, and probably many more.
However, the reggae tunes that I heard during my visit were Jamaican productions. Most popular riddims at the time seemed to be City Life and Cardiac Bass. Two great riddims that I’ve also played a lot during 2010.
Out of all T&T reggae artists that I know of, Queen Omega has been the busiest with three album releases. She has recorded a lot with European producers such as Bost & Bim with whom she dropped the lethal Jah Dawta on the Soprano riddim.
Marlon Asher is probably the best know artist from T&T due to his hit song Ganja Farmer included on The Biggest Reggae One Drop Anthems 2006.
The only reggae artist from the smaller of the two islands – Tobago – seems to be Franz Job, who now resides in London. In 2009 he dropped the masterful Babylon is Dead album with notable songs Country and The Country Boy Song. He is set to release his sophomore album in 2011 and has also started working with UK mastermind Curtis Lynch.
If you’re curious about some Trinibagoan artists – check out ten suggestions below. Most of them are easy to find on iTunes. Seven of the tunes are complied in the Spotify playlist below.
Reggaemani’s T&T reggae
Marlon Asher – Ganja Farmer
I-Sasha – Who Jah Bless
I-Sasha & Million Voice – Heavy Burden
Queen Omega – Good Cannabis
Queen Omega – Last Days
Queen Omega – Jah Dawta
Franz Job – Country
Franz Job – The Country Boy Song
Khari Kill – Bird Pepper
Khari Kill – Mary Grandson
För många – även för mig själv – har tyvärr den så kallade sjutummarn ”45an, eller sjuan” förpassats till en tynande tillvaro. Personligen älskar jag vinylskivor, men har aldrig fastat för singelformatet. Det har stundtals varit en smula problematiskt, eftersom reggae till stor till är, och har alltid varit, en genre som bygger på singlar. Lösningen har ofta blivit samlingsplattor.
För många är dock sjuan fortfarande kung i skivbackarna. Exempelvis för BMC, som satt ihop en podcast med namnet Nothing can touch the 45.
Den nya podcasten inleds ståndsmässigt med Ray Darwins Nothing can touch my 45. Inledningsspåret sätter ribban högt, men i vanlig ordning lever BMC upp till de högt ställda förväntningarna. Det finns otroligt många starka spår i den här mixen. Ska jag välja några som sticker ut lite extra får det bli Jah dawta med Queen Omega, Serious med Jahmali och Child molester med Assassin. Utöver dessa relativt nya namn, så väver BMC in gamla rävar som Big Youth, John Holt och The Ethiopians.
Ladda ner podcasten redan i dag så är helgen räddad.