Two years ago Barcelona-based singer, singjay and rapper Sr. Wilson dropped his ultra-solid second album Paso firme. Now he has a third album out – 24/7. It’s recorded together with The Island Defenders and offers an intriguing blend of rub-a-dub, ska, hip-hop and latin.
The set comes with nine vocal tracks and three dub versions and Sr. Wilson delivers his smooth vocals in both English and Spanish/Catalan. He effortlessly rides the rhythms whether rub-a-dub, latin or ska. Check for example the hot-blooded Pedro el permanente where he spits lyrics over an intense beat with memorable keys and an absolutely lethal break with smattering percussion and a roaring organ.
Other standout cuts include album opener Hungry Man, the pulsating title track and the slick Tonight, which also comes with a catchy break.
Sr. Wilson has once again proved that he is one of the most exciting artists on the European reggae scene.
Following last year’s excellent mixtape Back to Rub a Dub, versatile singjay Sr. Wilson and talented producer Genis Trani have once again collaborated with great effect.
On the twelve track Paso Firme Sr. Wilson shows his full range as an artist and he sounds comfortable with anything that Genis Trani provides him him. He can sing and he can deejay. He sounds like I Roy, Shabba Ranks and Yellowman. Not at the same time though.
Genis Trani has provided him with solid riddims, ranging from superbly executed rub a dub over on ¿Quién Viene? via slick lovers rock El Instante to booming hip-hop on El Muro. Sr. Wilson and Genis Trani can also do pop and contemporary dancehall as showcased on the uplifting Feel Good and the melancholic My Teachers.
Judging by the arty album cover this set might be confused by an album from an indie rock band like Weezer. But never judge an apple by looking at the tree and don’t judge no honey by looking at the bee, as Freddie McGregor once sang. Paso Firme is personal and fresh reggae well-above average.
It’s hard to keep up with album releases and when reading best of 2014 lists I have found a few gems. One of those is Back to Rub a Dub by singjay Sr. Wilson and producer Genis Trani. The album was selected by one of the best from last year by House of Reggae and that site also awarded Sr. Wilson the title artist of the year.
Sr. Wilson and Genis Trani are both from Barcelona. Genis Trani has previously produced and written a number of strong albums, for example Jahmali’s excellent We I Open from last year.
Sr. Wilson carries an old school flow and is heavily inspired by singers from the early 80s dancehall era and together with Genis Trani he has on Back to Rub a Dub embarked on an journey back to a time when Henry “Junjo” Lawes and Prince Jammy ruled the dancehalls and when Roots Radics pushed forward their taking no prisoners kind of riddims over at Channel One.
This 16 track album, or maybe mixtape is more accurate, is built on well-known and much versioned riddims. Sr. Wilson sings and deejays like he was Don Carlos, Sammy Dread or Barry Brown and Genis Trani has produced it with style and fashion.
Mixtapes like this has been done before, but this one superbly executed from start to finish. It’s currently available for free download over at Eternal Miusik. Check it here.
UK-born reggae veteran Mikey General has teamed up with Spain’s Reggaeland label for his latest and 12th studio set Hailelujah Song, an album recorded in Kingston and Barcelona, packed with 15 organic tracks played and executed by multi-instrumentalist Genis “Genious” Trani and producer Marcus Reggaeland.
First. I’m not a huge fan of Mikey General’s high-pitched nasal singing style. It’s kind of complaining and moaning and is better suited for singles rather than full-length albums.
Second. This is not necessarily the case with Hailelujah Song.
Third. This is Mikey General’s most solid album in years. And probably also the best full-length I’ve heard from Reggaeland.
Hailelujah Song has taken two years to finish and the result is a positive and mostly laid-back album filled with smooth UK lovers rock vibes, slightly rougher Jamaican roots reggae and contemporary and radio-friendly reggae. Highlights include the Sly & Robbie-tinged Rastafari Never Dies, the up-tempo Sr Wilson combination Quicker They Run and the uplifting title track.
It’s obvious that both Reggaeland and Mikey General have been inspired on their journey together and this album definitely showcases the best from both parties.