Kingston-bred singer Torch has been in the music industry for about ten years and already in 2005 he toured with the nowadays incarcerated Buju Banton.
And now – some ten years later – it’s time for his debut effort Self Reclaimed, an eight track set featuring the brilliant Bugle combination Fire Man a Bun, on Weedy G Soundforce’s powerful Gate 7 riddim.
Self Reclaimed is classic contemporary reggae with material recorded for a variety of producers, including Techniques Records and Frankie Music. It balances tough dubby sounds, such as Lion, with smoother efforts like Bangarang and the slick percussion-driven Africa Calling.
Another promising Jamaican talent to keep an eye out for.
Weedy G Soundforce might not be one of the most well-known production crews in Europe, but they have for the past years dropped more than a few floor fillers. Their trademark is something of a hip-hop and reggae cocktail. And the secret ingredient is energy. Lots and lots of it. And that makes their brand new 14 track compilation Rise stand out of the crowd.
Rise collects some of the biggest contemporary reggae and dancehall artists from Jamaica and Europe. Elephant Man, Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Perfect, Lukie D, Ward 21, Gappy Ranks, Cornadoor and Skarra Mucci all show up for this high octane extravaganza.
For the past few days I have had several of the tracks from Rise on repeat. The pulsating Busy Signal & Christopher Martin combination Lock Di Endz being one of them, Perfect & Teacha Dee’s We Nuh Afraid being another. But you also have Melloquence & Elephant Man’s Hold You, heavily inspired by Gyptian’s monster hit with the same, and J’se James & Skarra Mucci’s soca-tinged Burning.
Rise is an unusually well-produced and well-compiled Caribbean album jam-packed with energy and tons of fun.
The eccentric Perfect Giddimani showcases his extensive spectrum of styles on his latest album Better Off Dread, a 14 track set with production helmed by a number of different producers from around the world – House of Riddim, Weedy G Soundforce, Dreadsquad and Sly & Robbie, to mention a few.
This is his ninth album and it’s a wicked and wild cocktail of roots reggae, rock, pop, dancehall and hip-hop. And over the course of the album’s 14 tracks Perfect sings, raps, deejays, shouts and whispers. From total aggressiveness to sweet pop choruses and back again.
He also uses lyrics from Yellowman’s classic Nobody Move, Nobody get Hurt, borrows the melody from 80s monster smash hit We Are the World and relicks Augustus “Gussie” Clarke’s mighty Rumours riddim.
But that’s not all. He also makes rock-inspired dancehall as well as mento-inspired ditto.
Certainly this eclectic album would have been even better off without a few tracks. But one thing is sure, it never gets dull or boring.
Up and coming Jamaican hip-hop meet roots reggae and dancehall artist Damas has recently put out his debut album Natty Take Ova, a set executively produced by Switzerland’s Weedy G Soundforce.
Natty Take Ova collects twelve tracks spanning one drop reggae, dancehall, ska and hip-hop. A number of the tracks are already released as singles or have appeared on one riddim compilations, for example Easy Skanking on Puff Puff riddim, Money Move on a riddim with the same title and One Chance on Barriers riddim.
Weedy G Soundforce has produced a number of tracks, but onboard is also Pharfar from Denmark and Giddimani Records out of Jamaica.
This album showcases a fresh talent in the same vein as relative newcomers such as Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje and Chronixx, but Damas also shares similarities with a veteran like Lutan Fyah.
Listen to a cut like the bouncy Ghetto revolution to get the vibe.
I came across Jamaican born singjay Skarra Mucci about three years ago when I heard his take on Million Stylez’ riddim Love We a Deal Wit. Skarra Mucci’s cut – Everybody Bawling – was almost as great as Million Stylez’ title track.
A decent album from Skarra Mucci titled 912 followed the same year. Its follow-up – the crossover hip-hop effort Skarrashizzo – was naturally a big disappointment, when it reached the street in 2010.
Return of the Raggamuffin is Skarra Mucci’s latest album. And this time he has managed to get everything right. Almost anyway. The closing calypso track Suppa Star should have been left out.
But the other 16 tracks are way above par, and European producers such as Bizzari, Oneness and Weedy G Soundforce have made an excellent job with these riddims, including both fresh originals and relicks.
Some of the tracks are previously released, such as Jah Blessings on the solid Jaguar riddim, Love Mi fi Me the title track of Reggaeville’s first riddim and Herbman Anthem on Hyper Slam riddim.
Skarra Mucci’s energetic vocal style suits the intense and often minor key riddims perfectly. His style is at times like a deep-voiced Perfect or a more melodic Burro Banton and he has obviously studied deejay’s from the early 80’s to learn his craft.
Almost all of these 16 tracks would make it to the final in any contest, but the Delroy Wilson combination Movie Star, the 90’s dancehall-tinged tongue twister Raggamuffin and Big Dreams, where he shows some of his rap technique, are particularly tasty.
Skarra Mucci has more than made it up for the hip-hop detour with this relentless and first-rate effort.