Tag Archives: Steppers

Walking through the jungle with Digitaldubs

Digitaldubs fourth album opens with nyabinghi flavored digital drums and a slow and heavy bass line. After almost a minute a melancholic melodica kicks in. The mood is wet, warm and thick. It almost feels like I’m walking through a moist jungle.

That’s the atmosphere when Brazil meets Jamaica in a studio that could have been Lee Perry’s Black Ark.

On #1 Digitaldubs have invited renowned reggae legends Ranking Joe, Earl Sixteen and Brinsley Forde as well as local Brazilian artists Dada Yute, Jeru Banto and Tiano Bless. These are artists sing intense and earnest about justice, love and spirituality in English and Portugese.

That’s the same recipe as on some of their one riddim albums. On Diáspora riddim, for example, they voiced Lone Ranger and Sylvia Tella alongside Ras Bernardo and others.

On top of the vocal cuts there are of course also heavy roots and steppers instrumentals where the dub effects are very much present. Dub Echoes Theme with its hypnotic bass line and flyers style cymbals is a great example.

Digitaldubs has on #1 created a rich album with crisp production, but without sounding polished.

I’m thankful to ROIR for picking up this release from its Brazilian obscurity. If you like Zion Train and Dubkasm this album is a must-have.

#1 is available as CD, LP and digital download.

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Revelation Time – Steppin’ it inna UK style

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I should probably have thought about making a lovers rock mix. Instead, I have dug deep into my vaults of UK-produced reggae.

These tunes are heavy as lead and played by a bunch of musicians with a relentless attitude. Just listen to the hard hitting darkness in the Prophecy riddim. In its dub version it feels like you are walking in the dark woods surrounded by trolls and goblins. It’s a powerful experience.

In Revelation Time – Steppin’ it inna UK Style I have collected 24 tunes from some of my favourite UK producers, such as Bush Chemists, Neil Perch and Nick Manasseh. The styles are ranging from the raw darkness in Neil Perch’s productions to Vibronics somewhat jazzy English Girl performed by Boney L and Dubkasm’s meditative From the Foundation by Dub Judah.

As usual – Revelation Time is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound effects. If you like what you hear, please support the artists, producers and labels and purchase the tunes. Most of them are easily available on mp3 or CD. Vinyl might be a bit harder though.

Listen in the player below and download by clicking the link (right click, save as). You can also listen and download via Mixcloud. You might want lower your bass settings when you listen to this mix in company with non-experienced reggae listeners. Otherwise someone might get hurt.

Reggaemani – Revelation Time – Steppin’ it inna UK Style

Artist – song title (label – riddim)

1. Colour Red – Revelation Intro (Charm)
2. Fitta Warri – Gideon Youth (Universal Egg – Crisis)
3. Kenny Knotts – Wicked Man (Universal Egg – Crisis)
4. Abassi All Stars – Crisis (Universal Egg – Crisis)
5. Jah Free – Rod of Correction (Universal Egg)
6. Abassi All Stars – Dub of Correction (Universal Egg)
7. Dark Angel – Free da Minds (Roots Garden)
8. Manasseh – Version Minded (Roots Garden)
9. Colour Red – Run Come (Conscious Sounds)
10. Ghetto Priest – League of Nations (Conscious Sounds)
11. Bush Chemists – League of Nations Dub (Conscious Sounds)
12. Earl 16 – Stem the Tide (Universal Egg – Prophecy)
13. Junior Kigwa – Jah Before Us (Universal Egg – Prophecy)
14. Abassi All Stars – Prophecy (Universal Egg – Prophecy)
15. Dubkasm & Dub Judah – From the Foundation (Sufferah’s Choice)
16. Dubkasm – Foundational Dub (Sufferah’s Choice)
17. Ghetto Priest – This Time (Conscious Sounds)
18. Bush Chemists – This Time Melodica (Conscious Sounds)
19. Bush Chemists – This Time Dub 1 (Conscious Sounds)
20. Boney L – English Girl (Scoops)
21. Ranking Joe – Original Rastaman (Scoops)
22. Vibronics – Original Rastaman Dub (Scoops)
23. Prince David – Evil Fi Burn (Universal Egg)
24. Moa Anbessa – Forward Dub (Universal Egg)

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Reggaemani presents – Food for Your Soul

My first mix in 2011 is based on a bunch of tunes from 2010 that in my view didn’t get the proper recognition when they were released. I haven’t heard many of them in other mixes and thought they deserve some attention from me.

Therefore, Food for Your Soul might be a bit eclectic, since there are many forms of reggae music included. There’s the usual European one drop, such as the Camel riddim. But included are also the Lee Perry infused roots in Fundracar and Komlan’s Kali Kali, Zion Train’s steppers reworking of Rainbow Children and some raving dancehall in the Screw Dem riddim.

Most productions are European, several from Germany and France.

As usual – Food for Your Soul is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound effects. If you like what you hear, please support the artists, producers and labels and buy the tunes. Most of them are easily available on mp3, CD or vinyl.

Listen in the player below and download by clicking the link (right click, save as). You can also listen and download via Soundcloud. Turn it up loud and enjoy!

Reggaemani – Food For Your Soul

Artist – title (label – riddim)

1. Bunji Garlin & Faye Ann Lyons – No Gangsters (Supersonic Sound)
2. Bunji Garlin & Faye Ann Lyons – No Gangsters Instrumental (Supersonic Sound)
3. Bunji Garlin & Million Stylez – Long Time (Supersonic Sound)
4. Bunji Garlin & Million Stylez – Long Time Instrumental (Supersonic Sound)
5. Ghetto Priest – Evolution (Reggae Roast)
6. Ghetto Priest – Evolution (Richie Phoe dub remix) (Reggae Roast)
7. Fundracar & Komlan – Kali Kali (Renegade)
8. Fundracar & Komlan – Kali Dubwise (Professor Skank remix) (Renegade)
9. Alborosie & Wendy Rene – Tears (Megabass)
10. Jaba & Wendy Rene – After Laughter (Megabass)
11. Natty King – Don’t Be Foolish (House of Riddim – Camel)
12. Anthony Cruz – Who Dem (House of Riddim – Camel)
13. House of Riddim – Camel Riddim Version (House of Riddim – Camel)
14. Dixie Peach – Babylon (Own Mission – Bun Up)
15. Echo Minott – Nah Go Jail (Own Mission – Bun Up)
16. Own Mission Crew – Nah Go Jail Instrumental (Own Mission – Bun Up)
17. Ras Zacharri – I Don’t Know (Own Mission – Don’t Know)
18. Elijah Prophet – Can’t Trust Them (Own Mission – Don’t Know)
19. Own Mission Crew – Don’t Know Riddim Version (Own Mission – Don’t Know)
20. Zion Train & Brinsley Forde – Rainbow Children (Universal Egg)
21. Zion Train & Brinsley Forde – Rainbow Children Dub (Universal Egg)
22. Chezidek – More Trees (Cut Stone – Ghetto Steam)
23. Perfect – Tax Extortion (Cut Stone – Ghetto Steam)
24. Bosey – Ghetto Steam Instrumental (Cut Stone – Ghetto Steam)
25. Agent Sasco – Island Lover (Life Line – Set It Off)
26. Konshens – Simple Song (Life Line – Set It Off)
27. Nicholas “Niko” Browne – Set It Off Instrumental (Life Line – Set It Off)
28. Dreadsquad & Lady Chann – Money Ah Dem Good (Televison Tom Minimal Dub) (Superfly – Screw Dem)
29. Dreadsquad & Lady Chann – Money Ah Dem Good (African Beat – Screw Dem)
30. Top Cat – Buck Up (African Beat – Screw Dem)
31. Perfect – Reggae Music (African Beat – Screw Dem)

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New label from Frenchie

One of the greatest producers of contemporary reggae music – Frenchie – has set up a new label for roots and steppers. The new imprint is named Calabash and will only put out 10 inches.

The first four releases are lethal remixes of Jah Mason, Alborosie, Luciano and Yami Bolo produced by Russ Disciples. Frenchie himself sat in the executive chair.

− I tried to give him [Russ D] some guidance on how I wanted the riddim to sound. He is one of the best UK steppers musicians/producers today and as I’ve known his brother Lol Bell-Brown for years we made the link, writes Frenchie in an e-mail to Reggaemani, and continues:

− I’ve always thought that a lot of those UK roots productions had great riddims, but the vocals are sometimes not quite up to the standard of the music.

The first four releases are limited to 700 copies each. There will be more releases next year, mainly remixed by Russ D and some other producers in the same genre.

− I might do some myself as well, but it’s a different branch basically from my Maximum Sound imprint.

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Tough release from the Conscious Sounds camp

British label and producers Conscious Sounds – responsible for last years massive Broke Again by King General – seems to have an interesting upcoming release.

Jamaican/UK singer Cyrenius Black, a.k.a. Siddy Ranks, has recorded since the early 80’s and has now been picked up by dub/roots label Conscious Sounds led by producer Dougie Wardrop.

Cyrenius Black’s voice bears resemblance of Gregory Isaacs and his new album Jah Is My Rock contains 19 tracks, of which about half is tough dub versions.

Conscious Sounds are well known for their hard steppers and dub rhythms and this release is no exception. This album is certainly one to look out for this week.

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Heavy compilation from Universal Egg

Universal Egg, a label run by UK dub pioneer Neil Perch, releases a heavy as lead compilation in September. The album is called The Best of Deep Root and consists of 7 inch releases on the Deep Root label featuring artists such as Zion Train, Vibronics and Slimmah Sound spanning from1998 to 2005. All of the eight tracks come with a dub version.

The original 7 inches included on the album were limited releases and has been unavailable for many years. Through this compilation many heavyweight tunes will available again.

Some of my personal favourites include Time Bomb by System Error & Michael Rose and Rod of Correction by Jah Free.

The Best of Deep Root will be available on CD and 2 LP.

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