Tag Archives: Yellam

Yellam’s musical train is loaded with rub a dub

unnamedFrench singjay Jr Yellam has grown up. A few years ago he dropped Jr and now he has put out his second album The Musical Train, a set preceded by the EP Get On Board, which was released about a year ago and featured the massive Rub a Dub Anthem on Irie ItesDiamonds riddim.

The Musical Train is not eclectic, but slightly diverse with influences from soul, hip-hop and blues. The majority of the cuts are however strictly late 70s and early 80s rub a dub with the mighty Roots Radics providing the lethal riddims. France’s Irie Ites are behind the controls together with London-based mixing engineer Calvin “So So” Francis.

Many of these early dancehall anthems are bona-fide scorchers benefitting from the rock-solid backing and the dense sonic landscape that has been carefully created.

The Trinity and U Brown combination Try is pure fire and so is the infectious album opener Galong, which was also released as a single about two years ago. Heaven’s Door is a sentimental story and something of a tribute to the late ace drummer Lincoln “Style” Scott, who was an integral part of Roots Radics. He was found dead – probably murdered – at his home the day after Yellam returned to France.

Yellam has matured musically and stylistically and to further grow he needs to work on his English and improve pronunciation.

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Eclectic EP from Yellam

yellam-getonboardFrench singjay Yellam – formerly Jr. Yellam – recently dropped a new EP as a taste of what’s to come on his second album The Musical Train, slated for release during the first quarter 2016.

Yellam has previously collaborated with French production crew Irie Ites, one of the best and most consistent production teams from Europe. On Get On Board they have produced four of the five tracks, including the massive Rub a Dub Anthem on their Diamonds riddim.

The EP showcases a variety of styles. Rub a Dub Anthem is tough vintage dancehall with clear influences from legendary producers like Linval Thompson and Henry “Junjo” Lawes, while the two exclusive tracks on the set – Step Up and Beggin’ – show a somewhat different approach. The former is up-tempo and dancehall flavored, while the latter is atmospheric with a hip-hop vibe.

Not included on the effort is the single Galong, which is in the same vein as Rub a Dub Anthem. I hope that Irie Ites have taken Yellam further in that direction, but the two new tracks clearly illustrate another path.

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