Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rootz Underground

Rootz Underground have been performing together for around 10 years starting with small underground club shows in Kingston at venues such as The Village Café and Red Bones all the way to the largest stages in Jamaica including Sunsplash, Rebel Salute, Welcome to Jamrock, Reggaelution, Sumfest and Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues repeatedly.
The band consists of six core members Stephen Newland (lead vocals), Jeffrey Moss-Solomon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Colin Young (bass), Leon Campbell (drums), Paul Smith (keyboards, vocals) and Charles Lazarus (lead guitar) and together over the last decade they have won many fans and the respect of their contempories for their explosive live shows and projecting a collective energy that captivates audiences with its pure intention. In 2008 they toured America extensively on joint bills with foundation powerhouses such as Gregory Isaacs, Israel Vibration, The Wailing Souls, Dean Fraser as well as acts such as Anthony B and Tarrus Riley. They have played both the Raggamuffins Festival as well as The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in California and most notably they also released their debut album “MOVEMENT”. This 19-song album was a much lauded combination of moody Jazz influenced guitar solos, nimble keyboards, ethereal segues, delay effects, traditional African/Jamaican hand drums all topped off with rock music sensibilities that produced some hard-hitting grooves, intense builds and smooth transitions back to the one-drop reggae rhythm.
Their second studio album entitled “GRAVITY” has just been released and continues this eclectic mix of styles and you can read a full review of the album at…..


Monday, July 12, 2010

Lincoln “Sugar” Minott Passes Away

It is with great sadness that Springline has to report the passing of reggae and dancehall superstar Lincoln “Sugar” Minott. He was 54 years of age. It was only a couple of months ago that this blog celebrated the life and some of the works of Sugar and despite suffering from a persistent heart problem, Angina Pectoris, his death has come as a complete surprise.
Earlier this year 4 of his best albums from his heyday in the '80s were re-released as part of the reggae legends series and a brand new album ‘New Day’ was scheduled to be released on the 21st of July, though no news as to whether this is to be postponed is as yet forthcoming.
As well as being a performer Sugar also put a lot of effort into nurturing new talent with his own Black Roots and Youth Promotion labels. Former Youth Promotion artist Junior Reid said: "Sugar Minott was a man who gave a lot of strength to the music although he got no love from the business.”

We here at Springline would like to take this opportunity to say thank you Sugar Minott for all the great songs you have made given us and the joy they have brought us. You truly were a legend and you shall be sorely missed.


Live Loving Review

Reggae Legend Review

Friday, July 9, 2010

Soul Unsigned Summer 2010

The summer seems to be well and truly here now, especially in the UK were we’ve managed almost 3 or is it 4 weeks of unbroken sunshine and hot weather and what better soundtrack to go with it than this collection of sizzling soul, jazz, funk, house and disco complied by DJ Mike Thompson for www.soulunsigned.com/
The album is a real melting pot of global artists delivering some great old skool sounding tunes. First up is Dutch DJ Leyo with ‘Barcelona Boogie’, a great slab of early '80s sounding Brit funk. If you like groups like Hi Tension, Beggar & Co, or Freeze then you’ll love this. That early ‘80’s funk theme continues with ‘Boogie’ from Uptown Funk Empire taken from their excellent album of last year ‘Empire Strikes Back’. French songstress Clarisse Albrecht takes off on a sultry Latin groove for ‘Você Me Dá’ a song that’s so cool it’s hot! Duane Williams gets all sensual with ‘Yes My Love’, an '80s feeling soul ballad, before Canadian Maiko Watson gets the groove back with ‘Some Kinda Love’ from her album ‘Sweet Vibration’.
Cool Million are a Danish German duo and their tune ‘Back for More’ features the vocal talents of Eugene Wilde, whom some may remember him gracing us in 1984 with the ballad "Gotta Get You Home Tonight". This time though the tempo is upped for a fresh and movin’ vibe. The DJ Danny Hybrid led Soopasoul bring ‘Do Me Wrong’ to the table from the album ‘Twin Stix’. It’s more of a JB inspired funk workout this with the horns reminded me in parts of ‘Mr Big Stuff’. Afro Funk appears on the menu next from New Zealander Fredericks Brown who is now based in New York he goes all Fela Kuti for the mightily rhythmic ‘Betrayal’.
Despite the title of this album proclaiming It’ self as 2010 some of the tracks are from last year but Marilyn Ashford Brown’s gospel soul ‘Jesus In Me’ takes 1st prize for oldest track and is from her 2007 album ‘Still Standing’. Despite this with all the tracks on the compilation having that old skool sound anyway you’d never know and it fits in just fine. Following on from Marilyn is Cornell Stone with a piece of Luther Vandrossish - 2step heaven and ‘Fairy Tale’ from his 2008 album ‘Have You Ever Heard’. Liverpool based musician George Mcshane’s alter ego Judderbass then bring us back to today though still very much with funk from the past on ‘Everybody Knows’. The original version appeared on Unsigned Vol2 but its here again though this time remixed by compiler of this album Mike Thompson. Canadian producer Sasha Proctor and singer songwriter Alana Bridgewater make up the next act Kwality Kontrol with their uplifting 2008 dance floor filler ‘Don’t Stop’. DJ Dealer’s ‘Cool Loving’ featuring Lisa Millet receives some Ralf Gum treatment on what is a thumpin’ energy, disco house, scorcher. Finally closing things down nicely is London‘s FLOetic Lara and ‘Under Love’. This is house, soul, jazz, poetry of the highest order that leaves you wanting to put this whole album back so you can start all over again.
It’s hard to tell when you listen to this album that you are in fact listening to a compilation of tunes from the last 3 years and not some mix tape from the mid ‘80s, one thing is for sure though if you like a bit of nostalgia for Caster Soul Weekenders, Day-Glo tops and tiny shorts, while blowing hard on your whistle then this is for you. I also don’t know what it is about this type of music that always makes me think of summer and parties even more than reggae, but just like ice cold Pimms this makes a perfect summer party accompaniment.
Check out the soulunsigned web site for more classic sounds.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jahdan Blakkamoore Free Podacst Mix of New Album

Jahdan Blakkamoore has made available for free download via yousendit.com a mix tape / podcast of his forthcoming solo album ‘Babylon Nightmare’ which is due for release soon On Lustre Kings. The label is an American based Culture Reggae label that helped develop artists like Jah Mason, Turbulence and Lutan Fyah early in their careers, while also voicing heavyweights of the era like Sizzla, Luciano, Capleton and the like. From that point Lustre Kings became the first label to join artists from Yard with artists from Trinidad like Marlon Asher and Kharri Kill, and Virgin Islands artists Midnite, Pressure, Niyorah and NY and Cali based artists like Jahdan and Rankin’ Scroo on the same riddims. Jahdan has remained a staple on the Lustre Kings roster since around ‘03, and you’ll hear samples of “Babylon Nightmare” on this mixtape,
Jahdan Blakkamoore is a vocalist who connects between the dots that are Reggae, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Dubstep and various Tropical phenomenons' happening around the globe. Jahdan’s natural abilities lend themselves well to his hybrid style, as they are by-products of his upbringing.
He Moved to Brooklyn from Georgetown, Guyana at 9 years old. His upbringing saw him engulfed with various Caribbean influences and these eventually lead to him becoming a Reggae / Dancehall artist in the Hip Hop industry. He was picked up as a rookie for Branford Marsalis and DJ Premier’s “Buckshot LeFonque” project quickly led to his next feature, his intro, hook and verse on Brooklyn’s classic Reggae / Hip Hop anthem, “ Sound Boy Bureill” by Smif n Wessun (and its En Vogue beat remix). Both still get played today all time during throwback sets in the club and on the radio. Jahdan’s list of Hip Hop collaborations goes on, Dead Prez, Bumpy Knuckles, Kardinal Offishall, Afu Ra, ra ra…!
Overtime Jahdan has made a name for himself as a Brooklyn ambassador known for overlapping circuits that stretch worldwide. In 2009 Jahdan collaborated with Major Lazer on a song called “ Cash Flow” over ML’s “Say It Aint The "T-3 Riddim”. While Diplo was looking for the right Jamaican artist to voice the “T-3″ riddim (several had voiced it already) the moment he heard Jahdan’s “Cash Flow” on it, that was it, the tune made the album.In the same year Jahdan’s first solo release, an experimental dubsteppish LP with Dutty Artz called “Buzzrock Warrior” with the massive tune, “The General” as its lead single.
Now, in preparation for the Babylon Nightmare LP, Andrew “Moon” Bain, the head producer behind Lustre Kings, who also put out Jahdan’s group, Noble Society’s LP, “Take Charge” (Itunes Best Reggae Album of 2008) put this mixtape together so go get some....even if just to check out what should be a single, the mighty "Down In The Ghetto"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This Is Northern Soul! (Part 2)

Today there are regular northern soul events in various parts of the United Kingdom, such as The Nightshift Club all-nighters at the Bisley Pavilion in Surrey and the Prestatyn Weekender in North Wales. In an article entitled The Return Of Northern Soul in The Times in August 2008, broadcaster Terry Christian argued that northern soul was undergoing a distinct revival in the late 2000s. Christian cited the popularity of regular revivals of Twisted Wheel soul all-nighters at the original venue (in Whitworth Street, Manchester) plus the Beat Boutique northern soul all-nighters at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester. Many of those who ceased their involvement in the late 1970s have now returned to the scene and regularly participate in such events. As of 2009, Paul O'Grady has included a Northern Soul Triple in his weekly BBC Radio 2 show. He plays three northern soul hits, often at the request of his listeners.
In the book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: the history of the DJ, the authors describe northern soul as "a genre built from failures", stating: "...Northern Soul was the music made by hundreds of singers and bands who were copying the Detroit sound of Motown pop. Most of the records were complete failures in their own time and place... but in northern England from the end of the 1960s through to its heyday in the middle 1970s, were exhumed and exalted."
The music style most associated with northern soul is the heavy, syncopated beat and fast tempo of mid-1960s Motown Records, which was usually combined with soulful vocals. These types of records, which suited the athletic dancing that was prevalent, became known on the scene as stompers. Notable examples include Tony Clarke’s "Landslide" (popularised by Ian Levine at Blackpool Mecca) and Gloria Jones’ "Tainted Love" (purchased by Richard Searling on a trip to the United States in 1973 and popularised at Va Va’s in Bolton, and later, Wigan Casino). According to northern soul DJ Ady Croadsell, viewed retrospectively, the earliest recording to possess this style was the 1965 single I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops, although that record was never popular in the northern soul scene because it was too mainstream.
Other related music styles also gained acceptance in the northern soul scene. Slower, less-danceable soul records were often played, such as Barbara Mills' "Queen Of Fools" (popular in 1972 at the Golden Torch) and The Mob’s "I Dig Everything About You". Every all-nighter at Wigan Casino ended with the playing of three well-known northern soul songs with a particular going home theme. Commercial pop songs that matched the up-tempo beat of the stompers were also played at some venues, including The Ron Grainer Orchestra’s instrumental "Theme From Joe 90" at Wigan Casino and The Just Brothers’ surf-guitar song "Sliced Tomatoes" at Blackpool Mecca.
As the scene developed in the mid and late 1970s, the more contemporary and rhythmically sophisticated sounds of disco and Philly Soul became accepted at certain venues following its adoption at Blackpool Mecca. This style is typified musically by the O'Jays' "I Love Music" (UK #13, January 1976), which gained popularity prior to its commercial release at Blackpool Mecca in late 1975. The record that initially popularised this change is usually cited as The Carstair's "It Really Hurts Me Girl" (Red Coach), a record initially released late in 1973 on promotional copies - but quickly withdrawn due to lack of interest from American Radio stations. The hostility towards any contemporary music style from northern soul traditionalists at Wigan Casino led to the creation of the spin-off modern soul movement in the early 1980s.
As venues such as the Twisted Wheel evolved into northern soul clubs in the late 1960s and the dancers increasingly demanded newly discovered sounds, DJs began to acquire and play rare and often deleted US releases that had not gained even a release in the UK." These records were sometimes obtained through specialist importers or, in some cases, by DJs visiting the US and purchasing old warehouse stock. Some records were so rare that only a handful of copies were known to exist, so northern soul DJs and clubs became associated with particular records that were almost exclusively on their own playlists. Many of the original artists and musicians remained unaware of their new-found popularity for many years.
As the scene increased in popularity, a network of UK record dealers emerged who were able to acquire further copies of the original vinyl and supply them to fans at prices commensurate with their rarity and desirability. Later on, a number of UK record labels were able to capitalise on the booming popularity of northern soul and negotiate licenses for certain popular records from the copyright holders and reissue them as new 45s or compilation LPs. Amongst these labels were Casino Classics, PYE Disco Demand, Inferno, Kent Modern and Goldmine.
The notoriety of DJs on the northern soul scene was enhanced by the possession of rare records, but exclusivity was not enough on its own, and the records had to conform to a certain musical style and gain acceptance on the dance floor. Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" has been rated the rarest and most valuable northern soul single.
Many songs from the 1960s that were revived on the northern soul scene were reissued by their original labels and became UK top 50 hits in the 1970s. These includeThe Fascinations' 1966 single "Girls Are Out To Get You" (UK #32, 1971), The Newbeats' 1965 American hit "Run Baby Run" (UK #10, Oct 1971), Bobby Hebb's "Love Love Love" which was originally the B-side of his 1966 U.S. #1 "Sunny" (UK #32 August 1972,) Robert Knight's "Love On A Mountain Top" of 1968 (UK#10, November 1973), R. Dean Taylor’s "There’s A Ghost In My House" from 1967 (UK #3, May 1974), Al Wilson's "The Snake", Dobie Gray's "Out On The Floor" (UK #42, September 1975) and Little Anthony & The Imperials' "Better Use Your Head" (UK # 42 July 1976).
A variety of recordings were made later in the 1970s that were specifically aimed at the northern soul scene, which also went on to become UK top 40 hits. These included: The Exciters’ "Reaching For The Best" (UK #31, October 1975), L.J Johnson's "Your Magic Put A Spell On Me" (UK#27, February 1976), Tommy Hunt’s "Loving On The Losing Side" (UK #28, August 1976) and "Footsee" by Wigan’s Chosen Few (UK #9, January 1975).
"Goodbye Nothing To Say", by the white British group The Javells, was identified by Dave McAleer of Pye's Disco Demand label as having an authentic northern soul feel. McAleer gave a white label promotional copy to Russ Winstanley (a Wigan Casino DJ and promoter), and the tune became popular amongst the dancers at the venue. Disco Demand then released the song as a 45 RPM single, reaching UK #26 in November 1974. To promote the single on BBC's Top Of The Pops, the performer was accompanied by two Wigan Casino dancers.
In 2000, Wigan Casino DJ Kev Roberts compiled The Northern Soul Top 500, which was based on a survey of northern soul fans. The top ten songs were: "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" by Frank Wilson, "Out on the Floor" by Dobie Gray, "You Didn't Say a Word" by Yvonne Baker, "The Snake" by Al Wilson, "Long After Tonight is Over" by Jimmy Radcliffe, "Seven Day Lover" by James Fountain, "You Don't Love Me" by Epitome of Sound, "Looking for You" by Garnet Mimms, "If That's What You Wanted" by Frankie Beverly & the Butlers, and "Seven Days Too Long" by Chuck Wood.
A large proportion of northern soul's original audience came from within the 1960s mod subculture. In the late 1960s, when some mods started to embrace freakbeat and psychedelic rock, other mods - especially those in northern England - stuck to the original mod soundtrack of soul and Blue Beat. From the latter category, two strands emerged: skinheads and the northern soul scene.
Early northern soul fashion included strong elements of the classic mod style, such as button-down Ben Sherman shirts, blazers with centre vents and unusual numbers of buttons, Trickers and brogue shoes and shrink-to-fit Levi's jeans. Some non-mod items, such as bowling shirts, were also popular. Later, northern soul dancers started to wear light and loose-fitting clothing for reasons of practicality. This included high-waisted, baggy Oxford trousers and sports vests. These were often covered with sew-on badges representing soul club memberships.
The clenched fist symbol that has become associated with the northern soul movement (frequently depicted on sew-on patches) emanates from the Black Power civil rights movement of the 1960s in the United States. The symbol is related to the salute given by African-American athletes at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City. On his visit to the Twisted Wheel in 1971, Dave Godin recalled that "...very many young fellows wore black "right on now" racing gloves ... between records one would hear the occasional cry of "Right on now!" or see a clenched gloved fist rise over the tops of the heads of the dancers!"
The northern soul movement is cited by many as being a significant step towards the creation of contemporary club culture and of the superstar DJ culture of the 2000s. Two of the most notable DJs from the original northern soul era are Russ Winstanley and Ian Levine. As in contemporary club culture, northern soul DJs built up a following based on satisfying the crowd's desires for music that they could not hear anywhere else. The competitiveness between DJs to unearth 'in-demand' sounds led them to cover up the labels on their records, giving rise to the modern white label pressing. Many argue that northern soul was instrumental in creating a network of clubs, DJs, record collectors and dealers in the UK, and was the first music scene to provide the British charts with records that sold entirely on the strength of club play.
A technique employed by northern soul DJs in common with their later counterparts was the sequencing of records to create euphoric highs and lows for the crowd. Many of the DJ personalities and their followers involved in the original northern soul movement went on to become important figures in the house and dance music scenes. Notable among these are Mike Pickering, who introduced house music to The Haçienda in Manchester in the early 1980s, and the dance record producers Pete Waterman and Ian Levine.
Northern soul has influenced several notable musicians. Terry Christian — in his 2008 article about northern soul for The Times — wrote, "There's an instant credibility for any artist or brand associated with a scene that has always been wild, free and grassroots." Soft Cell had chart success with covers of two popular northern soul songs, "Tainted Love" (originally recorded by Gloria Jones) and "What?" (originally recorded by Judy Street). Soft Cell member Dave Ball used to occasionally attend soul nights at Blackpool Mecca and Wigan Casino. Moloko's video for "Familiar Feeling" is set against a northern soul backdrop and was directed by Elaine Constantine, a longstanding northern soul enthusiast. The video was choreographed by DJ Keb Darge, who rose to prominence at the Stafford Top Of The World all-nighters in the 1980s.
So there it is a story of 'Northern' Soul, a movment without whom club culture today would pherhaps not be as it is. A scene that has unearthed and brought to popularity some of the best lost soul sounds ever and some horrendous ones that should have been left well alone! But even when you go to a 'northern' night one thing is for sure that with most songs coming in at under 3 minutes long if you don’t like the one that is playing another killer tune won’t be far away and the feeling of freedom and abandonment on the dance floor will always take you higher!


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Zion Train have released episode 6 of their Dub Conference series which features Abassi All Stars and Ital Noiz. (read more at United Reggae)
This and the other Conference releases are available in the Wobblyweb shop at...


The releases are all on coloured vinyl 7 inch! but they have just made Volumes 5 & this latest release available for FREE dowload as mp3s. For those of you who have left the wonderful world of vinyl you can get them here......Many thanks to all at Universall Egg




News in from Zion Train who have been busy with gigs in the UK (Brighton, Sunrise Celebration with the Chai Wallahs, Norwich, Hitchin, Oxford and Birmingham not forgetting the great Volksfest in Plymouth), Ireland at the Life Festival, Germany in Freiburg, Italy at Fete De La Musique in Senigallia and Festival Van Ludovico near Naples and Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece – all during the last month..phew! Is that they have been working on a new album scheduled for release in 2011. The project has been going well and they hope to have a single released this autumn – entitled 'Rainbow Children', an update of the Aswad classic.
Before all that though they are going to release a various album in September titled 'Best Of Deep Root' on Universal Egg, which will feature the best of the early Deep Root releases on CD and double LP....

You can still catch Zion Train live thought this month with confirmed dates at

Sun, 04 Jul 2010Zion Train live at Beatherder Festival, Gisburn, Lancs, England http://www.beatherder.co.uk/

Fri, 09 Jul 2010Zion Train live at Nowa Reggae, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain http://www.nowareggae.com/

Fri, 16 Jul 2010Zion Train live at Colours Of Ostrava, Czech Republichttp://www.colours.cz/

Fri, 30 Jul 2010Zion Train live at Finale Di Pollina, Sicilia, Italy

For more details on this and anything else from the Zion camp visit any of the following


02/07 London Brixton Hootananny - free! w/ JStar
17/07 Cardiff
30/07 Salisbury Arts Centre
15/08 Boomtown Fair, Buckinghamshire
22/08 Green Phoenix festival, Newcastle
28/08 London The Railway

10/07 Nowa Reggae Festival, nr.Barcelona, Spain
17/07 Llangollen Festival
18/07 Guilfest
23/07 Carlisle The Victoria Club
24/07 Wickerman
07/08 Run To The Hills scooter rally, Derbyshire
08/08 Fordham Festival
11/08 Broadstairs Folk Festival
13/08 Vintage @ Goodwood
14/08 Boomtown Fair, Buckinghamshire
03/09 Mansfield The Mill
04/09 Eden Festival

07/10 Cardiff The Globe
Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/85314
09/10 Bristol Fiddlers
10/10 Norwich Arts Centre
15/10 Liverpool Eat Your Greens
16/10 Newcastle The Cluny
17/10 London Dingwalls w/ The Sidewalk Doctors & Tighten Up Crew
Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/85402
22/10 Exeter Cavern
Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/83758
23/10 Guildford Boileroom
Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/85425
17/12 Folkestone Quarterhouse
Tickets: www.quarterhouse.co.uk/whatson/2010/12/17/pama_international_meets_mad_professor
18/12 Cambridge Junction
Tickets: www.junction.iristickets.co.uk/tickets/buy_step_1.php5?fb=2392&L=en#2392
23/12 Manchester Band On The Wall
Tickets: www.bandonthewall.org/events/2818/

04/07 London Brixton Ritzy
17/09 London Big Chill House - Skylarkin club night
05/11 Oxford The Cellar Bar - Skylarkin club night
17/10 London Dingwalls w/ Pama Intl & Tighten Up Crew


PAMA INTERNATIONAL have just announced that they have teamed up with the legendary dub champion MAD PROFESSOR, for an album and 2 tours. Work has begun on a dub version of Pama Intl's Outernational album at Prof's Ariwa studios. A Strictly dub affair is promised. The album will be called 'Rewired! In Dub' and to coincide with the Oct'10 release Pama Intl will be taking to the road with Mad Professor mixing the band live. They say they will be giving a free digital copy of the album away with every advance ticket sold. Full tour dates below.

For the London show on October 17th at Dingwalls, Camden, London they we will be joined by Rockers Revolt latest signings The Sidewalk Doctors and the superb Tighten Up Crew. We've just made 50 £7.50 early bird tickets (usual price £12.50adv) available for this show www.wegottickets.com/event/86229 Grab them quickly though!
If you're a promoter and would like to book them for this tour they still have some dates available on the October run (8, 14, 21, 24) and December (16, 19, 21, 22). Email sean@rockersrevolt.com for details.


PAMA INTERNATIONAL played their debut show in France last month and by all accounts it couldn't have gone any better. They played to a sold out crowd at Radio Nova's “Les Nuits zébrées de.” show at La Bellevoise in Paris. you can now hear the show streamed & see some photo's here www.lesnuitszebrees.com/artiste_nz.php?id_artiste=248

Also The Pama Outernational album is now available on general release in France - distributed by Harmonia Mundi, and is picking up a huge amount of airplay. The band are hoping to make a return trip very soon.

As well as debuting in France this month see's their Spanish debut, at the mighty NOWA Reggae Festival (near Barcelona) on 9th & 10th July. The festival is now in its 5th year and is located on beautiful landscape on the beach of Vilanova. The line up includes; Mr. Vegas, Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Trinity Sound, Third World, Intensified and Trojan Sound System and more. There is still a chance to book tickets for this event booking so for more information go to http://www.nowareggae.com/