Tag Archives: Special Delivery

Solid debut album from Chronixx

The Dread & Terrible ProjectIf you are into reggae and dancehall and haven’t heard about the young and versatile Chronixx you have probably lived in a cave or under a rock for the past year or so.

This relaxed singer has released a string of strong singles and excellent additions to one riddim compilations. A few of these are included on his debut album Dread & Terrible, a ten track set – seven vocal cuts and three dub versions – that offers tough reality roots, hip-hop-inspired dancehall and early skinhead reggae reminiscent of vintage Joe Gibbs or Clancy Eccles.

Four different producers have been involved in the project – John John, Overstand Productions, Special Delivery and ZincFence. And the 21 year old Chronixx has also been heavily committed. He has written all the songs and has also been instrumental in composing, recording and mixing all the tracks. Really impressive for such a young talent.

There are plenty of prolific Jamaican artists (Sizzla, anyone?), but Chronixx isn’t one of those artists that jump on each and every riddim offered. His output has been rather scarce compared to several other singers and deejays. And that’s a good thing in this digital age when iTunes and other e-tailers are swamped with poorly produced and poorly mastered singles and albums.

Chronixx and a few others from his generation have chosen a different path, a path that is guided by quality rather than quantity. Chronixx and his management could probably have rushed an album, but I’m glad they didn’t. Dread & Terrible is solid, and that might not have been the case if it had reached the streets a year ago.

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A decade of reggae greats from Irie Ites

album-various-artists-irie-ites-a-decade-of-reggae-musicFrench label and production house Irie Ites celebrate a ten year anniversary this year and part of the celebrations is a glorious compilation titled 2003/2013 A Decade of Reggae Music.

It collects 14 tracks on a broad variety of riddims and remixes, including Chezidek’s militant Bun Di Ganja on a relentless version of the Strange Things riddim, Ras Mac Bean and Morgan Heritage’s uplifting Lion is King, rock stone voiced dancehall deejay Bounty Killer’s Push Over on a version of the rock steady classic Stop That Train and Lutan Fyah’s catchy Take a Lick.

Irie Ites has together with labels and producers such as Heartical and Special Delivery put France on the reggae map. These three labels have put out some of the most consistent albums and riddims for the past ten years. And this compilation is together with Heartical Story Vol. 1 & 2 and Special Delivery’s The First Decade (2001 – 2011) a strong statement of the burgeoning and innovative French reggae scene.

 

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Jah Sun’s best yet

To me, the Californian reggae was for a longtime synonymous with ska/punk bands such as Sublime and Reel Big Fish. But that’s of course far from the truth.

There is a thriving reggae scene in both southern and northern California with artists, bands and producers like Messenjah Selah, Blaak Lung, Lustre Kings, Dub Vision, Groundation and Itation Records.

And then there is the former teenage rebel and street thug Jah Sun, who got a conscious awakening when he heard Bob Marley for the first time.

His third album Battle the Dragon – and the follow-up to the 2010-released EP Gravity – is produced by a host of mostly European producers and features – just like his previous outings – several combinations. This time guests include Gentleman, Alborosie, J Boog, Peetah Morgan, Stevie Culture and Perfect.

Battle the Dragon collects 15 tracks of up-tempo contemporary roots reggae with influences from latin, such as Amoré, a tune that resembles Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise, and dancehall, where the auto-tune drenched title track, and the pulsating Alborosie-combination Ganja Don, are the most obvious examples.

But these influences aside – Battle the Dragon is European modern one drop, and if you are familiar with the pounding and engaging production style of Bost & Bim and Special Delivery you’ll get the picture.

This is Jah Sun’s best album to date, and you ought to check out Jah Children, which echoes of the scorching Diseases riddim, the hammering Plastic City and the radio-friendly Where is Your Love.

Battle the Dragon drops on 30 January as digital download.

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Gappy Ranks drops new album in February

Earlier this year UK-based singjay Gappy Ranks dropped his debut EP Rising Out of the Ghetto as well as his debut album Put the Stereo On. Two very different efforts. While the former had a contemporary dancehall approach, the latter relied on vintage riddims from Studio One, Treasure Isle and Bunny Lee.

Now Gappy Ranks has scheduled a new album release. In February Hot Coffee Music will put out Thanks & Praise, an album that is said to be modern and uptempo, probably in the same vein as Rising Out of the Ghetto. It’s produced by Notice Productions, Special Delivery Music, Macro Beats, Jazzwad, Bass Runner, Clay Records and Gappy Ranks himself. Included are singles such as Stinkin’ Rich, Thanks & Praise, Longtime and English Money.

Thanks & Praise is scheduled for release on February 15th.

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Romain Virgo knows how to please a crowd

Sweet voiced newcomer and wonderchild Romain Virgo is on his first European tour and last Friday he visited a cold Stockholm.

Romain Virgo enters the stage a few minutes past 1.00 am dressed in a down jacket and backed by French sound and label Special Delivery Music. He hits off with Mi Caan Sleep and the energy that he conveys during the first minutes sets the standard for the show. The jacket is pretty soon changed to a more practical shirt.

He performs almost all songs from his self titled debut album and also kicks in some recent singles such as a lethal cut of the recent relick on the Stalag riddim (Stagalag). The crowd seems familiar with most songs and when the bass hits in No Money the floor is boiling.

It’s hard to believe that Romain Virgo is only 20 years old. He knows how to manage his voice and can also handle a crowd, especially the ladies, for whom he dedicates most of songs.

Romain Virgo has proved himself on album and on stage. Hopefully he can get across to a wider audience and have a hit similar to Gyptian’s recent Hold You. The world is eagerly waiting for him and his music.

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