Tag Archives: Top music 2015

Top 10 reggae reissues in 2015

The fourth and final list summarizing 2015 collects the ten best reggae reissues and as usual reissue giants like Pressure Sounds and Digikiller are represented, but also Hot Milk and VP’s subsidiary 17 North Parade.

The list below collects ten heavily essential items and the list could actually have been a bit longer since the year has been very strong when it comes to reissues. Just outside the top ten comes albums from Tetrack and The Inturns along with the hefty compilation Rastafari – The Dreads Enter Babylon. Included in the list are both single artist albums and compilations and it’s presented in no particular order.

Top ten reissues

If you’re curious about the albums – check out this Spotify playlist with nine of the sets. Enjoy!

Artist – title
Various – Mr Perry I Presume
Pressure Sounds continue to plug the gaps in reggae history and Lee Perry’s unreleased catalogue is obviously not completely drained as one might presume. This collection of dubplates, alternate mixes and unreleased cuts is just as essential as it is consistent.

Various – Gussie Clarke From the Foundation
Augustus Clarke helped to revolutionize Jamaican music and that’s brilliantly showcased on From the Foundation.

Various – King Jammy Roots, Reality & Sleng Teng
The three discs – including the DVD documentary King at the Controls – show King Jammy’s range and diversity as a producer as well as his unique talent for keeping up with the times and pushing the music forward.

Various – Next Cut!
Most tracks on this Bunny Lee compilation are raw, especially the dubplates, and most of these unique mixes are heavy, sparse and militant.

Various – Strong Like Sampson: Linval Thompson Presents the 12” Mixes
Nearly two hours of some of the most uncompromising early dancehall to be put on wax. The fearsome Roots Radics do not apologize for their sparse and heavy as lead riddims.

Mr. Spaulding – Twelve Tribe of Israel
I have listened to reggae for almost 20 years and I can’t say I have heard frequencies as low as these before. The bass line on cuts like Tell Me and Mankind are as deep as the Mariana Trench and custom-made for mashing down the walls of Babylon.

Gladstone Anderson – Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow
U.S. based label Digikiller has teamed up with France’s Only Roots for the reissue of pianist Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson’s rare Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow. But this album is more than that particular set since the set comes with its almost dub counterpart Radical Dub Session by Roots Radics.

Various – Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You
Don’t think for a second that you can sleep on this epic collection of mystic, powerful and anti-establishment music where Yabby You and his friends chant down Babylon again and again and again.

Jimmy Riley – Live It to Know It
This album has everything a great reissue should have – excellent music, discomixes, devastating dub versions, good audio quality, scarce material and vivid liner notes. It collects nothing but the best and it captures Jimmy Riley at his finest.

Various – The Midlands Roots Explosion Volume 1
Shines light on Birmingham and other cities that make up the Midlands as well as putting forward some of the lesser known acts that spent years performing and recording without achieving any level of success. The area was certainly a powerhouse of British reggae and this compilation includes many tracks worthy of wide exposure.

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Top 10 reggae EPs in 2015

EPs have been popular in reggae for some time now and this year I have selected my top ten favorites. The list includes several debut sets, for example Jamaican EarthKry, The Frightnrs from the U.S. and two bright shining Jamaican songstresses – Toian and Keida.

Top 10 Eps

Only single artist sets are included in the list and it’s presented in no particular order. If you’re curious about the music – check this Spotify playlist with all EPs. Enjoy!

Artist – EP title

Romain Virgo – Lifted
Blends consciousness and social commentaries with love songs and intoxicating rhythms and it bodes well for his new album.

EarthKry – Hard Road
Solid and very promising debut set from these Edna Manley alumnus.

Bitty McLean – Heart, Mind & Soul
Continues where his The Taxi Sessions left off. Bitty McLean sings his heart out over vintage Sly & Robbie riddims, originally laid at Channel One by the Hookim brothers.

The Frightnrs – Inna Lovers Quarrel
Killer release. Get ready for a rocksteady treat.

Nattali Rize & Notis – New Era Frequency
Contains heavy hitting tracks, both musically and lyrically, and brims with rebelliousness and emotion.

Brother Culture – The Flava
Brother Culture teams up with Reggae Roast for the seriously weighty EP. It comes with five deadly tracks, including the anthemic Soundsystem, and kicks off with bouncy 80s vibes on The Flava followed by the uncompromising Bring di Weed with its earth-shaking bass line.

Keida – Ebb and Flow
Showcases a mature singer comfortable with both up-tempo and hard-edged dancehall as well slower roots.

Randy Valentine – Still Pushing
Another beautiful set from Randy Valentine and after two EPs and several strong singles and one riddim album cuts I’m definitely ready for this emotive singer’s debut album.

Toian – Retrospect
Excellent and youthful debut from a fresh new voice.

Omar Perry – Be Cool
Produced by Sly & Robbie. And as usual with this ground breaking duo the set is well-crafted, expertly executed and with intriguing arrangements and song structures. And when Omar Perry shows no mercy on the microphone there is need to put up a fight against a set like this.

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