Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reggae Roast Label T-Shirt & Print

London based label Reggae Roast have just launched a new T-shirt and print featuring a design inspired by some of the most iconic Reggae labels to have released music over past 60 years from Jamaica to Europe and beyond making it a must have for any Reggae music enthusiast.

The T shirts come on the highest quality 100% cotton shirts complete with Reggae Roast labels.

The prints are beautifully presented on the finest quality artist paper, embossed with the number print it is. There are only 100 of these prints going a will surely be a collectors item in years to come. They are available framed or unframed.

Link to Buy:

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club

Charles, has been a dedicated soul boy from a tender age. In fact, he was raised on the sounds of sweet soul:
"My father came over from Guyana in the West Indies and he brought a load of records over with him. There was always Ray Charles playing in the house, The Platters, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. My Dad would play all this old stuff. In fact I was very close to getting called Otis when I was born! One of my earliest memories is my mum and dad dancing around the kitchen to Ray Charles' I've Got A Woman. I remember the look of sheer joy and exhilaration on their faces. I was hooked!"
After achieving mainstream success with his poetry, and then acting and TV presenting roles in cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, Robot Wars and TV's longest running soap opera Coronation Street - as the taxi driving, soul music fanatic Lloyd Mullaney - Craig's reputation as a fun, funk loving soul boy was cemented with the public. In 2001, as the BBC prepared to launch the new digital radio station BBC 6 Music, he was asked to present a show. Over ten years on from the début broadcast, the show is now the award winning station's longest running, and has the biggest share of audience too, a very impressive result for what was originally thought of as a 'niche' programme!
It wasn't long before promoters of club nights and festivals were asking for Craig to bring his 'Trunk Of Funk' out on the road, and countless DJ slots across the UK and into Europe included; Mostly Jazz Festival, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Kendal Calling and The Big Chill, Vintage at Goodwood and even the world renowned Glastonbury Festival. It was only natural that Craig and Freestyle Records would join forces to bring forth this album album - the closest thing there is to having Craig come round your house and start the party off! Asked to sum up his feelings about his first DJ compilation album and the vibrant global music scene it reflects Craig said:
 "This CD contains 19 rip snorting, bass drum banging, brass blaring booga-bloody-loo, big beats, bass lines and blooming brilliant vocals. From as far away as Australia with The Bamboo's ultimate party starter Amen Brother, to The Excitements coming out of Barcelona and some cover versions that have surely got to be better than the real thing, like Nostalgia 77 & Alice Russell'stake on The White Stripes '7 Nation Army'. And T Bird and the Breaks 'The Clap Hands Song', not to mention The Incredible Bongo Bands' skin shredding version of The Rolling Stones 'Satisfaction'. Bands like Smoove & Turrell from the north-east and The Haggis Horns. All these tunes are guaranteed to tear the roof off any venue festival or house party in the known universe.....

1. Amen Brother - The Bamboos
2. Wait a Minute - The Excitements
3. The Clap Hands Song - T Bird & The Breaks
4. Hard Work - Smoove & Turrell
5. Seven Nation Army - Nostalgia 77 ft Alice Russell
6. Insane In The Membrane - Prince Fatty ft Horseman
7. A Time For - Lack Of Afro ft Wayne Gidden
9. Killing - The Apples
10. Singalong - Treva Whateva
11. More Than Dancing -  Federation of the Disco Pimp
16. The Snake - Al Wilson
17. Shaft In Africa - The Mighty Showstoppers
18. Dragging Me Down - Speedometer ft Martha High

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Zion Door

From Roots Lab Intl and Springline Jamaica Recordings comes another fine release, this time featuring the melodic reggae sounds of Steve Steppa on a new 11-track album (available on DDL and CD). It begins with ‘Another Morning’, kicking off with a slow drum intro before going into the classic roots sounds of percussive keyboard and gentle reggae rhythm. ‘Don’t You Vex’ has a lilting musical style which is more akin to lovers’ rock and its predecessor rhythms and introduces some intriguing vocal manipulation that makes itself known on other tracks too. A couple of tracks are accompanied by good old-school ‘versions’ – ‘Version Tree’ in particular standing as a tight rhythm track with Steve Steppa on melodica over the top of the original backing track. ‘Version Zone’ is a serious dub, while the curious concept of ‘Urban Camping’ introduces an atmospheric keyboard sound to a brooding melody. The album closes with a delightful ‘Zion Door’, sounding very much like something from the dawn of reggae, with a structure suggesting the earliest influences of mento and calypso. With excellent production from Gibsy Rhodes throughout, this is new reggae in the old tradition with an influence from classic-era soul, and nothing wrong with that combination at all.
JohnFenwick (                                                                                              Steve Steppa: Zion Door, release November 5th, Roots Lab Intl / ComeFiConquer Publishing


Sound Of Now Magazine

Free download PDF magazine or browse as 'flick page' mag online.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ripple - Sure Is Funky

Ripple were an interracial Michigan soul-funk band who are best know for their 1973 hit 'I Don't Know What It Is but It Sure Is Funky' which peaked in the US Pop charts at #67 and the US R&B chart at #11. It has also proved popular as a break beat among the hip hop fraternity being sampled by the likes of  Special Ed on ‘I Got It Made’, Kid ‘N’ Play’s‘Rollin’ With' and on a remixed version of ‘Everything’ by Mary J. Blige in 1997.
They were something of an eclectic bunch with an array of influences that left their debut self titled album sounding more like a hastily put together compilation as it drifts from kick ass funk through soulful leanings, akin to a less distinctive variant of Stevie Wonder to pop inclined tones, which all in all left them neither too raw nor too slick. Maybe they would have been better to stick with funk as the other popular song from this set ‘Funky Song’, another heavily sampled classic (Ice Cube’s 'The Death', MCLyte’s 'Funky Song' and many more), proves for when they are in this vein they really create a groove to make ya move with a vibe that does exactly what it says on the tin.

1   You Were Right On Time
2   Be My Friend
3   I Don't Know What It Is But It Sure Is Funky
4   I’ll Be Right There Trying
5   Get Off
6   See The Light In The Window
7   A Funky Song
8   Willie, Pass The Water
9    Dance, Lady Dance
10  Ripplin'

100% Dynamite Xmas Party

Soul Jazz Records is having its Xmas party on  Saturday 8th December 2012 

100% Dynamite returns to Electrowerkz for one glorious night only of Reggae, Funk, Soul, Dancehall, Dub and more. Soul Jazz Sound System DJs + Guest + MC Oxman. 

Tickets are £5 only. Open 9pm-4am

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Martha High - Soul Overdue

Martha High's impeccable soul credentials are beyond question. She was a member of  The Jewels, who in the mid 60s were part of The James Brown Revue, and also released two 45s produced by James Brown. Although The Jewels eventually disbanded, Martha continued to be a part of the live James Brown show for the next 30 years! It's Martha's voice that graces JB classics such as 'Say It Loud - I'm Black & I'm Proud' 'The Big Payback' amongst many others.
Soul Overdue is an incredibly apt title for a project that has been over 40 years in the making, and it shows that Martha's voice remains undiminished, her youthful vocal clarity and style quite simply dazzles, as she shows a host of young pretenders the way it should be done!
Kicking off with a high octane rendition of ‘No More Heartaches’, Martha and Speedometer prove to be a perfect match as the bands super tight musicianship provides a formidable backdrop to her searing, soaring vocals. In comparison, the more subtle, tender moments on this album, in particular the heart wrenching version of Etta James' 'I'd Rather Go Blind' had already been proven as a show stopper live, and now that it has been committed to tape, with The Voxettes added backing vocals, and Andy Fairclough's masterful organ playing, it must surely be one of the finest examples of contemporary bluesy soul around.
The entire album has garnered masses of love & support and seems destined to be one of the most exciting & vital new soul releases for many years. 

"An album that captures one of soul music’s most powerful voices. 4 Stars!"  Mojo magazine

"A beautifully measured album full of vim and vigour" Blues & Soul magazine

"Martha was good enough for ‘The Godfather’ – she’s good enough for me. Funky heaven!"  Peter Young, Jazz FM

Mungo's Hi Fi ft Afrikan Simba, Dixie Peach & Charlie P - Leave The Oil Alone / Skidip It Up Dub

A Mungo's Hi Fi Ft Afrikan Simba & Dixie Peach - Leave The Oil Alone
B Mungo's Hi Fi Ft Charlie P - Skidip It Up Dub

This is a rare combination track from two legends of the UK roots scene, offering a deep meditation on the madness of the global oil industry and the specific evils it is perpetrating in Simba's home country, Nigeria. The flip side features an exclusive dub of Charlie P's ‘Skidip’ on the same riddim.

Label: Scotch Bonnet Records
Format: 7” Vinyl | Digital Formats
Release Date: 12th November 2012

Digitaldubs ft. YT – Sound System Culture

A Digitaldubs ft. YT – Sound system culture
B Digitaldubs – Dub echoes riddim

With rough and tuff production from South America's number one sound, YT's eulogy to reggae culture will send dibby dibby DJ’s running. The B-side features the clean riddim track. Warning - this track could sound naff if not played on a real soundsystem!

Label: Muzamba
Format: 7” Vinyl
Release Date: 12th November 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sahra Indio The Tru I


« Big Fish Swim In Universal Order »

Late summer dusky vibes on offer here with the recently released 13 tracker from Sahra Indio
A lavish project and brainchild of the community arena’s Digikal Roots who undertook the mammoth task along side Sahra of presenting a uniformed and flowing set of songs yet at the same time giving the listener a varied blend of styles to be entertained with. The album’s rise to release took the long way round, to say that it went round the houses is an understatement , it’s been round the world and back with various musicians and engineers all adding their own spice to the blend. Sahra’s vocal delivery throughout the album never faultering, in fact I would be bold enough to state that she has probably the strongest and - in contrast- the smoothest singing voice in the current arena.

What is pleasant to hear in these songs is the use of traditional instruments that you would hear in rock or pop music for instance on ‘Finish Line’ which has a short but effective lead guitar solo one wouldn’t expect to hear on reggae, then again we didn’t expect to hear that on Bob Marley albums did we.. also the drum track leans towards the traditional rock structure but fits perfectly along side the message from Sahra during this piece; never give up, keep pushing yourself forward and give thanks for the opertunity to do so, the song structure itself lending an ear towards the commercial positiveness of Morcheeba style yet staying firmly in reggae territory complete with a warm organ wash throughout the mix, this track should be a single.
In contrast yet strangely in uniform is the track ‘Testify’ which contains lead guitar almost throughout the mix yet blended deeper, a tune featuring a wonderful jazz inspired saxophone joyfully playing in tandem with the guitar, there are flutes, acoustic guitars and an up tempo one drop riddim track full of percussive elements and touches, an uplifting and very sincere love song with Sahra professing her love for her other half and again, sung with absolute authority.

‘Right Fight’ ; a semi acoustic number underpinned throughout by a nyahbingi riddim track and an acoustic guitar which regularly surfaces to give lead lick duties, throughout the mix is a warm synth wash giving the track it’s film score ambience, Sahra’s thought provoking lyrics in protest stance against the negative system we find ourselves living along side, unashamedly reminding us of what we are all aware of and what we as a society have let happen. If there is ever a documentary film worthy of a tune from today’s reggae and world arena it’s this tune.
Another up tempo one drop calling is the ‘very reminiscent of’ Peter Tosh vibed ‘Pro Marijuana’ with it’s more traditional reggae sound both in riddim track and back in the mix keyboard work and strong bass run, one of those tunes that sway ya body in fine style and at the same time has you singing along with the chorus, an uplifting and positive nod to the herb. The song  finishing with that late summer dusky ambience of crickets chirping in the bush, the original Bush Mama in control of the soul.

One of the star tracks of the show for me both in music and in lyrics is ‘I’m Not The Only One’ and It’s dub version, Engineered by foundation producer Don Fe this is a pure steppers delight, a from time reggae vibe and mix. I have to admit a fondness for Don Fe mixing, when he’s left alone to dub up a mix he rarely fails to deliver and on the dub cut of  ‘Im Not The Only Dub’ he springs straight into Prince Jammy territory pushing the vintage envelope; riddim snippet out - then in – then out – then in at the start of the track and a dub cut resplendent with that instantly recognizable ‘abrupt stop’echo style ( I refer to albums such as Johnny Osbourne in dub and Uhuru in dub from the early 80s) he uses sounds awesome,with vintage organ washes and reverbed percussion elements panning  throughout Don Fe reminds us of where he’s at in the arena.

The ‘Eastern Aroma’ riddim is deployed for the track ‘DNA’ an instantly recognizable Digikal Roots riddim track, another  Digikal Roots riddim is used on ‘Natural Living’ with it’s trademark old style Digi Roots sound mix complete with brass stabs and it’s ‘Impact’sound clarity, a rolling bass line and vintage organ gluing the whole thing together, this is an easy going Sunday morning skanker.

Finishing the album off is the acoustical breezy ‘At The Awa Bar’ a song that seals the late summer dusky ambience in fine round the campfire style pre gig gathering. Lovely.
A feel good album with a sincere message. Commercially it’s gold. This is an album tailor made for the ordinary reggae fan, there is a style and fashion to suit many an ear.

Gibsy Rhodes (SpringlineJamaica)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Toasters – Pool Shark

The Toasters were one of the first American bands in the so called third wave of ska and did much to popularize the genre on the underground scene there in the mid- to late '80s. Their sound is very much inspired by that of the sounds of 2-Tone but without the punky, new wave overtones and so it veers more to a traditional ska and rocksteady feel, but as you’d expect from a band that hails from the eclectic city of New York there are other subtle influences that crop up throughout their music.  

Read more at.........


The early sixties bore witness to a mass British youth movement that promptly acquired the universally acknowledged name: Mod. Between 1962 and 1966, Mod culture dominated both the fashion and music landscape, with the look and sound of young Jamaica playing a significant role in its development.
Along with American R&B and Jazz, Ska music remained consistently high on the Mod agenda and it is this much loved genre that provides the focus of this collection.
Annotated and supported by the widely respected Mod Culture site, ‘Trojan Presents Mod Ska’ features 40 favourites of the original sixties scene, originally issued in the UK as such seminal record labels as Blue Beat, Island and Doctor Bird, 17 of which make their CD debut.

Trojan Presents ‘Mod Ska’

DISC #1:

1.                     Blazing Fire - Derrick Morgan
2.                     When I Call Your Name - Stranger & Patsy
3.                     Suzie - Top Grant
4.                     Doctor Kitch - Lord Kitchener
5.                     Wayward African - The Afro Enchanters
6.                     Luck Will Come My Way - Winston Samuels
7.                     Big Bamboo - Lord Creator
8.                     I Shall Wear A Crown - The Richards Brothers
9.                     Miss Dreamer - Stranger Cole
10.                  My Boy Lollipop - Millie
11.                  What A Life! - Sugar & Dandy
12.                  Two For One - The Vagabonds
13.                  Show Me How (To Milk That Cow) - Tony Washington
14.                  Garden Of Love - Don Drummond & The Skatalites
15.                  Number One (aka Drive It Home) - Eric Morris
16.                  Kitch You’re So Sweet - Lord Kitchener
17.                  Cork Foot - Baba Brooks & His Band
18.                  Want Me Cock - Owen & Leon Silveras
19.                  Stagger Lee - Jackie Edwards
20.                  Two Roads - Roy & Yvonne

 DISC #2:

1.                     Sea Cruise - Jackie Edwards
2.                     But I Do (Honky Tonk Ska) -  Tony Washington
3.                     Jo Ann - The Movers
4.                     Mount Zion - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
5.                     I’m In The Mood For Ska  - Lord Tanamo
6.                     King Size Ska - Baba Brooks
7.                     Something You’ve Got - Alton Ellis & The Flames
8.                     Time Will Tell - Winston Samuels
9.                     Contact - Roy Richards
10.                  Ska-ing West - Sir Lord Comic & His Cowboys
11.                  Doreen - Ben Levy
12.                  Storm Warning - Lynn Taitt & The Boys
13.                  The Higher The Monkey Climbs - Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
14.                  Faberge - Baba Brooks
15.                  Copasetic - The Rulers
16.                  Rudies All Around -  Joe White
17.                  Rudy Girl - Sonny Burke
18.                  Cool Down Your Temper -  Junior Smith
19.                  Do The Teasy - Joyce Bond
20.                  Let’s Do Rock Steady - Dandy


More than that of any other nation, the development of Jamaica’s music has been shaped by its producers.  Over the past 50 years, these entrepreneurial individuals have not only found local talent and issued their music, but also established studios, retail establishments and even pressing plants, so significantly contributing to the advancement of the island’s recording industry.
Their number have included such luminaries as Duke Reid, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Bunny Lee and Leslie Kong, all of whom developed their own distinctive sound, as evidenced on this collection.
‘Trojan Presents The Producers’ highlights the work of these and 36 other influential and popular Jamaican music makers and by so doing also illustrates the development of the island’s music over the past half-century, from Ska to Dancehall, with an incredible 26 of the recordings making their CD debut.

Trojan Presents  ‘The Producers’

DISC #1:

1.                Mash It, Part 1 – Owen Gray
2.                Million Dollar Baby – Chenley & Annette
3.                No More Wine From The Glass – Higgs & Wilson
4.                Up And Down – Winston Samuels
5.                The Chase – Yvonne Harrison
6.                Stepping Razor – Peter Tosh & The Wailers
7.                Put Down Your Fire – The Kingstonians
8.                Chain Gang – Winston Francis
9.                Easy Come, Easy Go (alt. version) – The Pioneers
10.             Reggae Girl (extended mix) – The Tennors with Karl Bryan
11.             Action Line – The Versatiles
12.             Musical Beat – Roy Samuels
13.             Fatty Fatty (x-tended version) – Clancy Eccles
14.             Cool Down – Winston Hinds
15.             Who Cause It (aka Why Everything Crash) – The Lyrics
16.             How Can I Love You - Ken Lazarus
17.             Cry A Little Cry – Dobby Dobson
18.             I Am In Love Again – Claude Sang
19.             Work It – The Mellotones
20.             Lollipop Girl – Derrick Harriott

 DISC #2:

1.                Teacher Teacher – Dennis Alcapone
2.                Dunce Cap – Herman The Teacher
3.                All That We Need Is Love (ext. version) - Alton Ellis & Big Youth
4.                I’d Love You To Want Me – Horace Andy
5.                Concrete Rock – Ansel Collins
6.                Swept For You Baby (extended mix) - The Heptones & U Roy
7.                Let Locks Grow – Barrington Spence
8.                I’m Your Puppet (extended mix) – Jimmy London & Skin. Flesh & Bones
9.                Jah Fire – Niney (as George Boswell)
10.             Too Good To Be Forgotten – John Holt
11.             Run Joe – Lloyd Charmers
12.             Feel Like Jumping – Marcia Griffiths
13.             Black Beauty – The Mindbenders
14.             Only Jah Love For I – Mystic Eyes
15.             I’m Not A Queen / Duck Boy - Marcia Aitken & Trinity
16.             The Same Song (ext version) – Israel Vibration
17.             You’ll Never Know (12” mix) – Gregory Isaacs
18.             It’s A Good Day – Pat Kelly
19.             Reggae On Broadway – Johnny Osbourne
20.             Principle – Charlie Chaplin


The late sixties witnessed the development and rise to musical dominance of Reggae, with this new, dynamic style rapidly usurping the more languid sound of Rock Steady, which had reigned in Jamaica since 1966.
Early Reggae recordings were noted for their tempo and energy, but by the early seventies, the tempo had slowed significantly, with the mellow vibe commonly associated with the sound gradually established.
In more recent years, the inaugural, high-energy version of the genre that acquired a strong and dedicated following among Britain’s original Skinheads has become accepted as a sub-genre of its own, with the style acquiring the label, ‘Boss Reggae’.
‘This aptly-titled 2CD set highlights 40 of the most popular in the style, and with 18 of the tracks new to CD, this is most definitely the Boss of all Skinhead Reggae collections!


 Trojan Presents ‘Boss Reggae’

DISC #1:

Reggae Hit The Town – The Ethiopians
A Live Injection – The Upsetters
John Jones – Rudy Mills
River To The Bank – Derrick Morgan
Drink Milk – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Rhythm Hips – Roland Russell
Sufferer – The Kingstonians
Reggae In The Wind – Lester Sterling
Strange – Dobby Dobson
Throw Me Corn – Winston Shand & The Sheiks
How Long (Will It Take) – Pat Kelly
Worries (A Yard) – The Versatiles
Rich In Love – Glen Adams
On Broadway – Slim Smith
Love Was All I Had – Phyllis Dillon
Hang ‘Em High – Richard Ace
Loving Reggae (aka My Love And I) – The Maytones
Come Into My Parlour – The Bleechers
Walking Proud – Martin ‘Jimmy’ Riley
Liquidator – Tommy McCook & The Supersonics

DISC #2:

Moon Hop – Derrick Morgan
Red, Red Wine (extended version) – Tony Tribe
Moon Walk – Sprong & The Nyah Shuffle
Reggae In Your Jeggae – Dandy
Music Box – The Big L
Too Experienced – Owen Gray
Black Panther – Sir Collins & The Black Diamonds
Jungle Fever – George Lee
Rocco – The Rudies
My Love And I – Millie
Dog Your Woman – Patsy & Peggy with The Cimarons
Ghost Rider - Musical Doctors
Pack Of Cards – Nat Cole
Revenge Of Eastwood, Vers. I & 2 – The Prophets
Lead Them – Desmond Riley
Memory Of Don Drummond - Don Drummond Jnr.
No More Heartaches – The Coloured Raisons
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – Gene Rondo
Queen Of The World – Lloyd & Claudette
Leave Pum Pum – Pama Dice

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eclipse - Corrupted Society

Over the past couple of years Bristol Archive Records has been successfully turning the spotlight on Bristol’s and the South West’s lost reggae heritage and having received a host of plaudits for this they recently launched a new sister label, Reggae Archive Records, with similar ambitions of bringing many lost great artists and records from other UK towns and cities back into the public domain. Already on this label they have released a 12” from London band Tribesman and the various artists’ compilation “Fashion In Fine Style - Significant Hits Volume One” and they are now embarking on the short trip up the M5 from Bristol to Birmingham to release the album “Corrupted Society” by Eclipse.

Read a full review at.....

Monday, September 24, 2012


Released on the 3rd September 2012 via Phoenix City / Cherry Red Rcds (on CD/Ltd.LP/Digital)

2 Tone Records debt to 1960's Jamaican music is vast.  Without the likes of Toots & The Maytals, Prince Buster, The Pioneers and Dandy Livingstone, 2 Tone's stars The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat and The Bodysnatchers would not only be void of a huge part of their sets, but the genre that checkered the national would be an all together different affair. With this in mind Phoenix City All-stars present a truly unique celebration of one of Britain's most iconic labels.  Taking some of 2 Tone's greatest songs and replanting in 1960's Jamaica. The resulting tracks are truly authentic sounding Blazing 60's ska, akin to The Skatalites, the sweetest sounding rocksteady and early reggae that make for wonderfully inspired interpretations.  Performed by an all-star band plus legendary guest vocalists Dave Barker (the voice of Dave & Ansell Collins) and AJ Franklin (The Federals and The Chosen Few).  
Produced by Lenny Bignell (The Sidewalk Doctors) and Sean Flowerdew (Pama Intl), who has previously toured and recorded with members of The Specials, The Beat, Madness and The Selecter as well as Jamaican greats – Dennis Alcapone, Dave & Ansell Collins, Rico Rodriguez, Dawn Penn and Derrick Morgan, making him ideally placed for this unique reinvention.

"An unbeatable repatriation of 2 Tone to the young sounds of Jamaica"
“2 Tone meets Studio One”


View a sampler on Youtube

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Double A Side from Roots Hitek - CALLING ME HOME, MASH A BARRIER

 Side A

features the roaring LIONESS FONTS with a song CALLING ME HOME it is also the title track of her forthcoming Album on the ROOTS HITEK label, this prolific songwriter has had releases on many labels across Europe and beyond and has a pile of recordings due for release from various producers like Peckings, Jah Youth(Roots Ambassador) and others. This is followed swiftly by part 2 featuring PRINCE LIV-I-JAH of the Roots Ambassador Sound Systyem with a track entitled DON'T WATCH DA CLOTHES ,this version also features lovely sax phrases by I Jah Saloman. Part 3 of the riddim is then dubbed out in a rockers style, by Roots Hitek in the dub realms studio,

Side AA
features IDREN NATURAL with track MASH A BARRIER, on a long overdue release with Idren Natural Meets Roots Hitek a follow up to digital download favourite Roots Reggae Journey (a favourite of the Mexico dub masses) these bredren have long featured in combination on Sound System and Roots Reggae Promotions all over Europe and now studio works are coming to light, a showcase album looks very likely in future.
This side also features a dub version DUB A BARRIER, with Part 3 a instrumental BUSS ALL BARRIERS, the Riddim features bredren Jacek on bass guitar, Digistep on saxophone and flute and Kheru Jahman Dan on Kette drums, with all other instruments and mix by Roots Hitek at the dub realms.

By The Rivers - Don't Say You Love Me

Don’t Say You Love Me’ started life as a text from a girl stating she loved the founder and drummer Jordan Birtles. After he proclaimed, “don’t say you love me”, the captivating chords and the infectiously addictive vocal melodies all came together to create this instant youthful classic. The single’s B-Side also includes a haunting remix of ‘Vulture’ by the Fun Lovin’ Criminals Dub Side Project Radio Riddler, and a beautiful acoustic version of their first ever single ‘One Word’.

One Word’ in it’s original form boasts play outs on Huey Morgan’s BBC 6 Music radio show and Lauren Laverne BBC Radio 2 which in return led One Word to reach number 21 in the iTunes Reggae single charts, towards the end of 2011.

The boys have spent the last two years storming through sets on stages at high-profile festivals up and down the UK and Europe. From playing the BBC Introducing Stage at Scotland’s T in the Park to Leicester’s Summer Sundae and Strawberry Fields festivals. Culminating in a support slot for 2-tone legends The Specials on their 15 date UK arena tour playing 10,000 capacity venues back in October 2011. As well as previously supporting the likes of Dawn Penn, Maxi Priest, John Holt, Neville Staples, The Buzzcocks, The Beat and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals.

1.    Don’t Say You Love Me
2.    Vulture (Radio Riddler Remix)
3.    One Word (Acoustic)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Disco Devil - The Jamaican Discomixes

By the latter half of the seventies, disco-mixes – extended versions of tracks - were de rigueur throughout popular music. The trend was particularly suited to Reggae, as vocal cuts could be spliced with DJ or Dub cuts to create long-playing versions singles. And there was no greater exponent of the disco-mix format than Lee ScratchPerry.

From 1976 to 1980, Perry created some of the most outstanding 12” singles ever to see issue and the very best of these works are collected here on this long over due collection.

Aimed not just at Perry enthusiasts, but also those wishing to discover the very best in Roots Reggae sounds, this is undoubtedly the finest collection of Reggae disco-mixes yet to see issue.

DISC #1:

1.Norman – Max Romeo & The Upsetters
2.Bad Weed – Junior Murvin
3.I Forgot To Be Your Lover (aka To Be A Lover) – George Faith
4.Know Love – Twin Roots
5.Rainy Night In Portland – Watty Burnett
6.Disco Devil – Lee Perry & The Full Experience
7.City Too Hot – Lee Perry
8.Words – Sangie Davis & Lee Perry
9.Roots Train - Junior Murvin & Dillinger

DISC #2:

1.Open The Gate – Watty Burnett
2.Neckodememus – The Congos
3.Rasta Train – Raphael Green & Doctor Alimantado
4.Ketch Vampire – Devon Irons & Doctor Alimantado
5.History (Of Civilisation) – Carlton Jackson
6.Sons Of Slaves – Junior Delgado
7.Party Time – The Heptones
8.Free Up The Prisoners – Lee ’Scratch’ Perry
9.Garden Of Life – Leroy Sibbles

Available on Trojan Records

Black Roots On The Ground

Having featured on a trio of excellent compilations, had their singles collated into a Reggae Anthology and had a deluxe edition of their “All Day, All Night” album from 1985 re-released by Bristol Archive Records in the last couple years, one of the UK’s best but under exposed reggae bands Black Roots have reunited to deliver “On The Ground”, their first new material in some 25years.

Read a review at.....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dubatak Sound System

An unique combination of reggae, dub, rub-a-dub, stepper and dancehall unites producers of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in the sound system and label DUBATAK, that since 2007 launched independent productions created and finalized in their studio in Rio de Janeiro. Today this music is amplified by a very powerful handmade sound system.

Started in 2006 initially by sound engineer and singer Mateus Pinguim and the producer Jeff Boto, they where soon to become a trio with the addition of producer and selector Prince Leo.
In 2008, the label Dubatak launched its first Album, “É Só Querer”, interpreted and produced by Mateus Pinguim, with launch parties in many Brazilian cities.
In the following year came their second release, “Braziliang”, a single on vinyl 7”, pressed in Germany, with the title song mixed by the Chinese Jiang Liang, further to the instrumental version (side B).

In June 2010, the label launched another 2 singles, “Dancehall Culture”, with Jamaican singer Earl Sixteen that became a hit at many of the main Reggae and Dub festivals across Europe. The second one, “High Grade”, interpreted by the English singer Ruben Da Silva, scored on mixtapes and was really well praised by selectors and listeners all over the United Kingdom
In March, 2011, the label launched another 7” on the same Experienza Riddim, with the English singer Tippa Irie, pioneer of the UK Reggae scene, and on side B, the Brazilian revelated singer Dada Yute, singing “Black Woman”.

Come September 2011, Dubatak finally launched the Experienza Riddim Album, with musical cooperation coming from Jamaica, England, Mexico, France and Brazil. This vinyl only album included a new version of the song “Voice like Thunder”, released in 1984, and recorded again on 2011, by the veteran group “The Viceroys” and Derajah, one of best singers from Jamaica’s new generation.

With its own studio, the “Control Tower Studio”, located in Rio de Janeiro, the label has already produced dubplates and exclusive songs with international artists such as the Jamaicans Johnny Clarke, Ranking Joe, Bushman, Andrew Tosh, Horace Andy , Scottish voicstress Soom T, the French group “Les pigments Libres” and the Mexican singer Bocafloja, among others. In Brazil, they have already recorded with singers such as Jimmy Luv, Funk Buia, Arcanjo Ras, Jr. Ramos and Comando Selva, among others.
Dubatak has already played in events and festivals in the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain and in Brazil, with names such as Tippa Irie, Deeder Zaman ( Asian Dub Foundation), Mungos Hi-fi, Jahtari Sound, YT, Soom T, King Tubby Sound System, Jahspora Sound and Ras Bernardo.

In order to promote new Brazilian Reggae productions, Dubatak launched the compilation named “Reggae Rua Volume 1” in April 2012 with 11 big tunes interpreted by the new generation of reggae singers from Brazil. To find out more visit:
New releases

In mid-July (2012) Dubatak launched 3 singles on 7” vinyl featuring the first 6 tracks from the new album “Old Feeling Riddim", interpreted by Ranking Joe, Soom T, Thriller U, Ruben da Silva and presenting the Jamaican singer I-Kushna, who was in Brazil in 2011 recording and performing alongside Dubatak crew. His passage was recorded on the video clip for the track "Healthy Lifestyle", filmed in “Morro do Salgueiro”, community on the north of Rio de Janeiro city.

The full album with 15 tracks includes Swedish singer Diegojah, the Jamaican singer Peter Ranking and the brazilian singers Mateus Pinguim, Rica Caveman, Hélio Bentes and Guilherme Adonai is expected for release in October 2012, and certainly will mark the history of the conscious crew.

DBTK 006 
A) Ranking Joe – Vitamine G
B) I Kushna – Healthy Lifestyle

DBTK 007 
A) Soom T – Chaos in the sun
B)Thriller U  – Dem Cold

DBTK 008 
A) Ruben da Silva – Hurry come up
B) Old Feeling Riddim

These singles are available from Dub Vendor and other leading outlets 

Persephone Laird AKA Queen P The West Coast Rocksteady Heroine

The lead singer of Ocean 11, Persephone Laird AKA Queen P, has over the past 20 years, dedicated herself to singing and performing the hits of a young Jamaica and the hits that led to a world well known reggae takeover.

Formed in the early 90's,with the likes of fellow the LA Ska scene contemporaries such as Fishbone, The Untouchables, Hepcat and Sublime - Ocean 11’s prime directive has always been staying as true to the roots as they could. Recording with forgotten techniques they were doing it their way, in honour of Lee Perry before the modern day Pro Tools DIY musicians and before artists knew they could do it on their own........ Ocean 11 did! Recorded, sold and played worldwide before labels decided to start calling. Eventually the band hit big with commercials and soundtracks through Sony music, performing all their own original compositions written by Persephone Laird.

This dedication led to them being able to record and play with many of the artists that truly inspired them. Queen P's voice was a shiny beckon of vocal prowess recognized by not only their peers but many of the legends they tried to honour such as Phyllis Dillion, Derrick Morgan, Patsy Todd, Lee Perry, Skatalites and the vocal groups of Rocksteady era. Derrick Morgan, now close friend, required them to play their music as to pass the torch. Jesse of the Aggrolites said, he never would have played this music without hearing Ocean 11 music and specifically Queen P's dedication to Phyllis Dillon, which is a key factor to the audience appreciation of her artistry.

The band's hit "Best of Love" was featured on a high profile comp with the likes of No Doubt and Sublime which highlighted the amazing artists that were making music interesting around this time. Queen P's vocals on this tune set it apart from many of the others featured as a stand out track of classic Jamaican sounds unlike anything else on the comp. It was even noted by none other than Bradley Nowell of Sublime as a favourite tune in fact. 

This helped foster a relationship between the 2 bands that lead to further musical ventures, such as Brad's wife asking to manage the band personally, and more musical collaborations. Over the many years as the band's mystic grew, along with its fanbase, Queen P continued to develop as an artist because her passion never wavered in her goal to truly honour the greats of the past. She has always worked tirelessly to pay it forward - taking the music to another generation.

Ocean 11 became busy in the real world since that time and over the past couple of years Queen P was able to fulfil even more of her dreams. She played with the likes of Dennis Alcapone, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, Pat Kelly, Ken Boothe, Leonard Dillon and more. She made some calls bringing together an absolute all-star line up including members of various bands such as Hepcat, The Debonaires, Jump with Joey, The Expanders and more. The passion goes on today playing and recording with various groups, artists and mentors as well as mentoring other young artist's herself. 

The next step in her plan is to further highlight the best and the brightest of the new young crop while paying tribute to all the amazing bands that have come out of the West Coast music scene, an area that has played a big part in maintaining the more traditional sounds of Jamaica than anywhere else. It is has been said by others that have helped her to understand her mission is a realistic one. Like Chris Murray (selected vocalist on Solid as A Rock) and Chuck Foster, of a 30 year term on Reggae Central. Queen P learned from him and is now in the works to record his own written track for a well received album of Chucks music! Full Circle!

Queen P is currently being backed an amazing young group of East LA musicians called The Delirians. These kids blew everyone away with their solid playing and are a group of musicians who really know how to play their instruments and her hope is to continue carrying the torch and spreading Rocksteady love around the world. 

See her here doing a cover of Moonlight Lover

Performingwith the The Delirians

WithPat Kelly

Listen to  "MissUnderstanding" with Ocean 11 

Youcan also join her on Facebook

Interview With The Revivers

Back in the mid-nineties there was something of a flourish of Ska/Reggae bands in California. Some just saw it as a passing fad but now some 15 years on there is still a very close knit and energetic scene there with many bands out regularly plying their trade. The Revivers are just one of those bands and their dedication to “reviving” the sounds of early Jamaican Reggae from the late 60’s and early 70’s has not gone un-noted. They have supported some of Reggaes true legends like Michael Rose, The Mighty Diamonds and Ska pioneer Eric “Monty” Morris as well as with fellow “revivalists” Hepcat, and The Aggrolites. Due to their authentic sound they have also supplied backing for the likes of The Wailing Souls, Ras Michael and most recently Pat Kelly. They are now about to release a single through Reggae Club 69 and with all this in mind I took a chance to catch up with them and find out more… 

You formed in 2009, how did you all meet?

-We have all known each other for years before forming The Revivers. Tom (organ), Mike (lead guitar), Tony (vocals), and I (Mano, rhythm guitar) all met in High School when we formed The Debonaires in 1995. Tony stopped playing with Debonaires a few years later, but we stayed in touch, and eventually he and Brent (drums) became good friends and wanted to start a new band. Brent had been a fan of the Debonaires for years; he is the youngest in the group, and helped form The Revivers. We had a few line-up changes, but asked Mark (Bass) from the Skeletones to play bass for us, and that sealed the deal. We had all been a part of the Southern Ca. Ska/Reggae scene since 95 and have played in various bands, so we formed the Revivers as more of a fun side project at first for the love of the music.

There appears to be quite a vibrant Ska/Reggae scene in California why do you think that is?

I think when it first started to make waves in the early/mid-nineties; it was a trend with younger fans just like anything else, Punk, Rockabilly, etc. It was something new and different for the younger audience, and a lot of the original Ska/Reggae legends were still alive and touring as well, like Desmond Dekker, Laurel Aitken, The Skatalites, and Justin Hinds to name a few. This spawned a huge influx of traditional style bands, particularly in Southern California, which was solidified and promoted heavily through Luis Correa at Steady Beat Records.He would record bands, put out compilations, and promote shows regularly, which really gave the scene some uniformity and consistency. Everyone would dress their sharpest, the music was great, and all around, the Ska/Reggae scene was unifying people from different racial and economic lines. Ska and Reggae fans tend to develop such a deep love of the music and feel such a connection to it that they become lifelong fans, which is why I think the scene continues to survive today. Many of the bands and fans from the nineties heyday are still around today.

Despite having been together for three years now you have only brought out one 10” E.P and now this new single for Reggae Club 69, ‘Reggae Fever’ b/w ‘Medical Operation’ any plans to go in the studio and record more for an album?

Our plan for the near future, after we play some gigs to promote the new 7" release, is to focus on writing original material for our first full length release. We plan on making it like an LP, with the A side being originals and the B side being covers of boss Reggae tunes.

Boss Reggae or as it’s sometimes known ‘Skinhead Reggae’, do you find being labelled a Skinhead Reggae band causes you any problems? Here in Europe I feel there is still a stigma attached to the skinhead name.

-There is definitely still a stigma that comes along with the term skinhead here in the States as well. Within the Ska/reggae scene it is understood and accepted that original skinhead culture has nothing to do with racism, however I constantly have to explain that to people who have no idea. We don’t necessarily go around boasting that we play Skinhead Reggae, but like Bob Marley said, “Who feels it, knows it”.

Your shows contain many authentic renditions of classic hits and obscure rarities, have you tried to model yourselves on any particular group?

-It’s interesting because a lot of our favourite groups were really the same combinations of musicians who had different studio names for different producers The Dynamites, GG All Stars, Harry J All Stars, Mudie’s All Stars, The Crystalites, The Upsetters are some of our favorite groups. I’d say we definitely try to go for the Jamaican style sound of Skinhead Reggae vs. the UK bands, but we like many of those groups too. In fact, referring back to the California Ska/Reggae scene, it's actually very similar to how it was in 60's Jamaica as far as how a lot of the musicians have played in various groups together with different names. If you were to trace the musicians and bands from today back to the early 90's you'd see it's almost like a family tree, and all of the musicians have a strong connection and friendships with each other just like a family.

You have been the backing band for the likes of The Wailing Souls and Ras Michael did you have to change your sound at all for these acts?

-Yes we had to adapt to each groups different styles, which can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. As I mentioned, we have all played in several groups in the past, Mike, Tom and I have backed up other artists as well, such as Ken Boothe, Dennis Alcapone, Derrick Morgan, Stranger Cole, The Maytones, The Cables, and Prince Buster, so we were a little more accustomed to learning material and being patient and accommodating while working with these artists, who can be quite particular about their backing bands and how their music is performed. The Revivers most recently backed up Pat Kelly on Sep 17 in San Francisco, which we were selected for specifically because that is the style of Skinhead Reggae that we usually play. So we didn’t have to change up our style much for that gig, except for a few Rocksteady tunes, which we love as well.

So far your career has definitely seen you more as a live band than a recording band with many gigs across the United States any plans to visit Europe or The Far East?

One of our main goals as a band is to tour Europe. We've heard great things about the scene out there, and are familiar with a lot of the bands that come from there. We've had the opportunity to go in the past, but couldn't because of people's family/career responsibilities. It’s been hard to coordinate enough time off at the same time to make a worthwhile tour possible so far, but we haven't given up yet! We're trying to make it possible summer 2012.