Friday, August 27, 2010

PAMA INTERNATIONAL - Pama International

Pama Intl's self-titled debut CD was originally released back in 2002 featuring an all-star cast, of members from the likes of Steel Pulse, Galliano, Pop Will Eat Itself, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Style Council, Big Boss Man and UK skasters The Loafers, Special Beat, Intensified and Ska Cubano. From day one this collective immediately set out their soul-induced ska, rocksteady and reggae stall filling the album full of the eclectic sounds of old school meets new.It has been deleted for some years now but has been made available once again, and for the first time digitally. The CD and download come with 5 bonus versions, taken from the now also deleted Pama Intl-Dub Store Special ep, which came out in 2005 and was mixed by Groove Corporation. These tracks also feature Lynval Golding (The Specials) and Lee Thompson (Madness).

Track listing
01 Life Circus
02 Truly Madly Deeply
03 I Love You Too Much To Ever Stop Lying
04 Second Chance
05 Earthquake
06 What's Going On?
07 Love We Give
08 You Make Me High
09 Evening Time
10 Thank You
11 If You Want Me To Stay
bonus tracks
12 Second Chance (G.Corp mix)
13 Second Chance version (G.Corp mix)
14 Earthquake (G.Corp mix)
15 Dub Quake (G.Corp mix)
16 Evening Time (G.Corp mix)

For my full review of the album visit

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blue King Brown 'Worldwize pt1'

Blue King Brown ‘Worldwize part1’
A radio friendly intro kicks off ‘Northside’ (14 vocal cuts) …then.. “Say Peace” the first ‘full’ track enters the arena in absolute fine style , a high Power tower skanking melodic cut which straight away signals what Is truly a quality album being offered here. A multi genre tour de force!
Next tune featuring guest artist Voodoo Dred takes the vibe down a different street whilst your still recovering from the superb “Say Peace” you’re treated to the electro street sounds style “Hammer” complete with a cool rap and pounding riddim track this tune is made for TV music channel broadcast , it’s a winner commercial style. “Womens Revolution” by special guest Queen Ifrica with Blue King Brown is Jamaica! It’s written all over it and as you’d expect with the Queen the vocal is ‘The Sound Of Now’ and it hit’s ya with positive vibes everytime one listens with a wonderful end section to the tune featuring a really cool piano solo and we’re only three songs in and one feels like they’ve been on a musical roller coaster for 10 minutes that just keeps on rollin! But hold on…
there are multi tempos and varied vibes on this album -slow tempo -acoustic style and digital dub/funk tinged tunes all with first class vocals, real live sound drums ,effects just where you’d like to hear them ,we have violins ,pianos... What’s being offered here is a tune and a style - a fashion - for everyone; Reggae, Electro soul, Rap, Good old funky funk ,Club style and somehow it all seems right ,it works.
..and that’s just side1 ,for you see the album has a ‘side2’ so to speak ‘The Southside’ (7 dub cuts) a bonus disc- a mini album in it’s own right- and for the whole this side2 interests me personally more due to it’s homage to the dub form with dub cut versions of their own tunes that appear on the ‘Northside’ side; “Sunshine Dub” and “Ride On” which are superb old time style dub versions , there’s special guests Sly & Robbie with “Say Peace” and the piano led dub “Free Your Mind” which has a wonderful bass line that hooks ya in fine style in fact all these dub versions mixed with fine attention to detail . So then.. could it be described as The Northside (side1) the commercial radio friendly and TV music channel hit machine – The Southside (side2) the after show chill out disc. Well it’s easy to sum it up like that but there’s much more to this album, the melodic structures ,the chords and the bass lines chosen ,the singing ,the writing , all the work that has gone into this recording deserves them a hit and some serious recognition by the people outside of the usual arena. The Ultra creative and diverse Blue King Brown, they’re from Australia and they’re coming fi conquer. Great production. Great multi vibes. Music fans Go get it! Radio people Go get it!
More info @

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Bullets - Sweet Misery

Sweet Misery is the fantastic new album from The Bullets. The band is the brain child of Aggrolites organist Roger Rivas who has brought together some of L A’s finest reggae musicians from the likes of Ocean 11, Irie Beats and more to produce this classic early reggae sounding album.
The cover of the album shows the band looking slightly menacing, wearing shades and standing around an old pickup truck and with a name like The Bullets this may lead you to believe this band’s sound is going to be dark and dangerous, but never more so have looks deceived for what the album is, is a collection of tender soul-infused reggae love songs and classic skinhead reggae styled instrumentals, that have warmth and emotion oozing from them abundance.
The band are tight and sound like they’ve been playing together for years while lead singer Malik Moore has a touch of Ken Boothe about him with his impassioned vocals especially on the anguished ballad ‘Sun Drenched Witch’ and the beautiful dreamy ‘On That Side’ that begs the question is it better to be lovers or friends. Opener ‘Crystal Necklace’ is another vocal tune worthy of a mention and has a more up tempo beat. Lyrically we are still in undecided love territory, but its never mushy or weak just telling the story it as it is.
The instrumental cuts are as you’d expect from something bearing Rivas name organ skipping and pulsing driven skinhead reggae style grooves that make you wanna move your feet, much like Lee Perrys Upsetters. So if you’re a fan of the Aggrolites your obviously going to love this but don’t expect a carbon copy, this band has had their rough edges smoothed off, is a little less dirty and possesses a much sweeter soul vibe.

Visit for more about the band plus find a free download of the single Viva Tirado.
Also go to musicaloccupation to hear Roger Rivas talk to Gabe Pressure about this project.

Horace Andy - Serious Times

The new Horace Andy album 'Serious Times' sees him return with a 14 track album (the 15th being a dub) of all new songs on all new riddims that have been composed and produced by Andreas 'Brotherman' Christophersen the much respected producer who has also worked with artists like Luciano, Anthony B, Sizzla, Capleton, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Junior Kelly, Cocoa Tea and many more. All these new cuts see him return to his roots, the roots that are also the roots of reggae music and with the help of some veteran roots musicians like Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace (drums), Dean Fraser (saxophone), Nambo Robinson (trombone) and Bongo Herman, Sticky Uziah Thompson and Sky Juice (percussion), they have come up with a finished product that has that authentic and natural sound of early days, golden times roots reggae.
The passing years since Horace first started recording back in the late ‘60’s don’t appear to have tarnished his unique vibrato voice, that despite its frail feel is as still as strong as ever, if that makes sense! This is a very strong set from one of reggaes legends with no real skip button reaching weaknesses. Stand out tracks for me are "False Witness", "Cool It Down", "Trodding" (which was featured on the Bodo Riddim album), "Rumours of War" and "That Light".
A fine album from one of reggaes finest performers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Laurel Aitken THE Godfather of Ska

Laurel Aitken was born in 1927 in Cuba of mixed Cuban, Jamaican descent. At the age of eleven his family moved to Jamaica settling in West Kingston.
After an early career working for the Jamaican Tourist Board singing mento songs for visitors arriving at Kingston Harbour, he became a popular nightclub singer at the Glass Bucket Club. There his repertoire consisted of singing songs in the Nat King Cole/Louis Jordan style of that time before he incorporated the sounds of boogie, R&B and soul to his set.
In 1957 he cut the R&Bish "Roll, Jordan Roll.", but his big break came a year later with the release of the "Little Sheila"/"Boogie in my Bones" a double A sided single, which also happened to be the first single ever released on a new upstart label called Island Records and the first Jamaican popular music record to be released in the United Kingdom.. "Little Sheila" spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Jamaican charts, helping cement his popularity with Jamaican music fans.
Despite his growing rise in popularity in Jamaica in 1960 he decided to leave and move to England, settling in Brixton, London. His decision was based on the fact that throughout the 50's, wave after wave of Jamaican’s had left their home land to settle in post-W.W.II England, where job opportunities were promised for those who wanted them. With this influx of Jamaican immigrants came also a demand for Jamaican tastes in the UK and Laurel had been told that he could make it big overseas. Whilst in England he heard of a label that had been releasing bootlegs of unavailable Jamaican recordings to meet this new demand. Aitken was obviously outraged at this so sought and found the responsible parties. In a meeting with them he rightly expressed his displeasure and negotiations finally brought about the birth of a new label Blue Beat. He released some fifteen singles with the label before returning to Jamaica in 1963. Once back home he recorded for Duke Reid, with backing from The Skatalites on tracks such as "Zion" and "Weary Wanderer", but he soon returned to England were this time he released records with many various labels such as Pama, Ska Beat, Nu Beat, Direct Records, Doctor Bird and EMI Records. Among the many classic tracks he cut for these are "Fire in Mi Wire," "Bartender," "Jesse James," "Landlord and Tenants," "It's Too Late" and "Pussy Price” all of which led to a wider recognition outside of both Jamaica and the UK.
It is though in the UK where his position as one of ska's leading artists is revered the most and he gained a loyal following not only among the West Indian community, but also among mods, skinheads and other ska fans earning him the nicknames The Godfather of Ska, and later Boss Skinhead.
In late 1979 and early 1980 with the rise again in ska music thanks to the likes of 2 Tone Atkien again found popularity which saw him play with The English Beat and tour with the mod band Secret Affair, where he was backed by the punk/reggae band the Ruts! Towards the mid to late ‘80s he teamed up with British ska band Potato 5 and recorded several albums and singles and in the ‘90’s he performed with such diverse acts as Japan's Ska Flames, Germany's Busters and America's Toasters.
There is one thing with Laurel Aitken that can never be denied, he was never afraid to work. As ska music has rollercoasted in popularity over the years he has always been there ready and willing to perform and put on a great show and to keep the spirit of ska alive and he was performing concerts almost until his death from a heart attack in 2005. Prince Buster might be the best known ska artist much in the way that Bob Marley is the first name on most people’s lips when talking about reggae but throughout is long career he rightly earned that nickname as THE Godfather of Ska.

Dance Crasher - 100 Greatest Rocksteady Tracks

If you haven’t already visited the great web site that is Dance Crasher then go check them out now, as they are selecting their top 100 greatest Rocksteady tracks. So far they’ve worked their way down from number 100 to 21with the top 20 hopefully to be posted soon.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what is in it and what is not as some great picked some great tracks have already been chosen.There are sound bites to go with all the tracks so go and take a look now and even leave a comment as I’m sure this chart will keep people talking for ages!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Folkestone Skabour Festival

Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th September sees the
Skabour Festival
taking place at Folkestone, Kent, UK
It’s a 3 day ska event with the main events on an open-air stage at the harbour and gigs at the Quarterhouse and Lanterns. In addition to the Saturday night performance from INTENSIFIED others booked to play include The Beat, Skatonics, King Hammond and Arthur Kay and the Originals.
Also top DJ's will be suppling great sounds including long time Springline friend UNCLE FEE as well as PORTOJAM, TOAST, ENTHUCOL (Hopefully with SIR MARCUS DOWNBEAT on the mike inna HOT BOMB HI FI stylee!), TINY T and the SWING EASY
Screenings of 2Tone movie Dance Craze, Ska dance demonstrations, scooter show and ride out will also be taking place over the weekend.Further details from