Veteran Jamaican deejay U Brown has teamed up with a number of French musicians, lead by producers Laurent “U-Man” Ugolini and Chalice Cooper, for his brand new set Let’s Keep On Jammin’.
The album showcases U Brown’s rhythmic and mesmerizing flow, as well as his not so fine-tuned singing, over a number of mostly live-played contemporary rub a dub riddims spiced with the usual dub and sound system sound effects.
He declares his love for reggae and praises Jah while riding the riddims and there are also plenty of references to the early days of dancehall – riddimwise, lyrically and melodically.
This set will definitely keep heads nodding and feet stomping for at least 50 minutes. Available now on CD and digital platforms.
King Lorenzo aka Lorenzo did a huge combination with Ras Mac Bean on the latter’s debut album Pack Up And Leave in 2004. Several strong singles followed and in 2009 his much anticipated debut album Movin’ Ahead was released. The album was an intense roots effort produced by reliable French crew Irie Ites.
Since that album not much was heard from Lorenzo. Until November last year when his sophomore album Stronger was released on digital platforms worldwide.
I had a chat with Lorenzo about Stronger, his relationship with European producers and musicians as well as his friendship with veteran deejay U Brown. Check the full story over at United Reggae.
In the past ten years or so there have been a number of musical celebrities choosing their favorite tunes for compilations. Some of these are mixes while others are straight various compilations. Two personal favorites are DJ Kentaro’s Tuff Cuts on Pressure Sounds and Barry Myers diverse Barry Myers Presents Scratchy Sounds on Trojan.
Now a new compilation of the same sort has hit the streets. The compiler for The Hit Sound of the Dub Pistols At Midnight Rock is Barry Asworth from The Dub Pistols. His love of roots and dancehall reggae traces back to the 70’s. His record bins are probably jam-packed with goodies.
Some of these are presented on this compilation that consists of material from the labels Hit Sound and Midnight Rock, operated by U Brown and Jah Thomas respectively.
The material Barry Ashworth has chosen is a blend of singers, deejays and dub versions mainly from the early 80’s and includes many magnificent tunes, whereof most are already easily available on other compilations.
Nearly all tunes are actually on the compilations U Brown’s Hit Sound, The Lion Roars and DJ Sounds From Uptown on Roots Records, the same label behind The Hit Sound of The Dub Pistols at Midnight Rock.
Both U Brown and Jah Thomas had a good feeling for deep, uncompromising bass lines, as is apparent here. Just listen to U Brown’s own Blow Mr. Hornsman Blow on the Take Five riddim or Early B’s amusing History of Jamaica on the Answer riddim.
If you aren’t familiar with the Hit Sound and Midnight Rock labels this compilation is a good introduction. But make sure to check out the compilations mentioned above as well. Because both labels dropped some rough and tough material in the heydays of early dancehall.
In the latest issue of Irie Up magazine Reggaemani’s editor Erik Magni contributes with an article on the biggest reggae festival in the Nordics – Uppsala Reggae Festival. The article is accompanied by great art by Stefan Gunnarsson from Reggaefoto.se.
Apart from several other great articles on reggae festivals all over Europe, you can read an in-depth article with the Berlin-based recording artist and producer Ras Perez, an interview with veteran deejay U Brown and several reviews of the latest releases from all over the world.
Irie Up is sold in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, Japan and North America. If you can’t find a copy in your local store, you can always order one from the magazine’s web page.