Thursday, August 30, 2012


’Occupy The Session’ is yet another first class release from the UK’s #1 label for new Dub. A summery tune full of bouncy bass it is sure to get people smiling and on toes skanking throughout the sumer of 2012.

Reggae Roast’s eleventh release is the first official production by label boss Jim Moodie. The track is a collaborative effort between Moodie and UK production legend Nick Manasseh and features one of the most respected singers of his generation; Earl 16. The release sets the tone for a string of productions under the already well established moniker ‘Reggae Roast’, but this time as a production outfit as well as a label and continues the trend for the movement releasing the highest calibre roots music with cross genre appeal through its ruff and tuff remixes.

Each remix takes the track in different directions showing the versatility of the labels sound. Adam Prescott and Noises (Black Butter Records) show why they are both hotly tipped for big things in 2012 and give the release significant cross genre appeal.

Earl 16 has become one of the most revered Reggae singers of his generation and has been an integral part of the Reggae music industry since the 70’s. His recordings have been produced by names such as Linval Thompson, Lee Scratch Perry, Augustus Pablo, Clement Dodd & Sugar Minott. He’s currently touring with Leftfield as the live front man for the band after guesting on a number of their
infamous tracks in the 1990s.

Nottingham’s Adam Prescott is an up and coming producer combining a crucial selection of rough and tough roots music with a modern injection of dubstep. He’s been making moves in the scene through his work with artists such as Charlie P, Kenny Knots, Brother Culture, Daddy Freddy, Dynamite MC & Jah Screechy. He has remixed for the likes of Mungo’s Hi-Fi, Riddim Tuffa, Solo Banton, Radikal
Guru, Iration Steppas, Linval Thompson / Vibration Lab, Dub Pistols and Tenor Fly.

Noises has been tearing through the club scene with a big, bass heavy sound that can only be described as banging. First noticed for his take on the Alicia Keys and Jack White’s 2008 Bond soundtrack ‘Another Way to Die’, he went on to claim a #1 spot on the ‘Trackitdown Dubstep Chart’ with huge BBC Radio 1 and 1 Xtra support from Annie Nightingale, Nihal, Rusko and others.

Nick Manasseh has been deeply involved in the development of the UK roots scene for the past two decades, championing his distinctive production style with many of the biggest talents of his generation. His productions have backed several Reggae Roast releases including previous single with Linval Thompson and Kenny Knots.
Reggae Roast is a leading light in the new generation of dub music. With DJ bookings across Europe and a steady release schedule featuring some of the hottest talent around, 2012 is set to be their biggest year yet.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming releases featuring artists such as Hollie Cook, RackNRuin and Congo Natty. More Fire!

Out now at Reggae Roast

Reality Shock Records The Ancient Times Riddim

Ancient Times riddim combines Nyahbinghi & Indian musical influences to create a powerful & epic acoustic anthem. All six pieces contain backing vocals by Soom T & the dub mix also features flute played by Maya, with all other instruments played & mixed by Kris Kemist. 

A recent addition the Reality Shock family roster, Soom T, is a Glaswegian renegade artist known for her eclectic vocal collaborations with the likes of The Orb, Asian Dub Foundation, Mungo's Hifi, Jahtari & many more. Soom T has already earned herself a seemingly cult status amongst underground music followers worldwide, performing to sell out crowds at shows in Mexico, Brazil, USA, Canada, Japan, China, India & all over Europe, whilst clocking up millions of hits on YouTube & even appearing on the BBC's Jules Holland Show. The Soom T phenomenon shows no signs of abating, with her first collaboration with Reality Shock's founder & producer Kris Kemist marking an exciting new chapter in the Soom T story. The result of this collaboration is best described as a musical journey to a higher dimension! Soom T delivers powerful & deeply spiritual lyrics based on a Hindu prayer, in her uniquely energetic yet melodic vocal style, complimented by a refreshingly organic acoustic instrumental track.

Next to feature on Ancient Times riddim is Reality Shock's homegrown superstar Solo Banton. With his song 'Rejoice', Solo gives thanks for the positive things in life & reflects upon the blessings that we all too often take for granted. Solo Banton has rapidly become one of Europe's most highly respected artists and has been described by some as "the best thing to happen to reggae music in years". Since the recent release of his Music Addict EP with Jahtari, Solo Banton continues to spread his musical messages to ever wider audiences & is gearing up to drop his highly anticipated second album on Reality Shock later in 2012 which promises to be some of his finest work to date. 

Following Solo is a piece by Afrikan Simba entitled 'Man of Today'. Inspired by his experiences in Ethiopia, Afrikan Simba speaks of the times we are living in, warning of evil forces which could lead us down a path of destruction if we do not work hard to take action to become self-sufficient. Afrikan Simba recently hosted his 4th annual Goodly Words festival in London and continues to tour at home & abroad, whilst also hosting a radio show on Voice of Africa radio 94fm and running his own music & clothes shop called 'Drum Beat' (639 High Road Leyton, East London). Amongst other projects Afrikan Simba is working on an album with Kris Kemist due to be released on Reality Shock next year.  

Turning over the record we find the title piece of the riddim, a beautiful piece sung by UK roots legend Aqua Livi. Ancient Times is a song about unity & oneness which describes a time when all tribes were united, living & working on one accord. Aqua Livi is devout Rastafarian & a special kind of artist from the original school of reggae music, with an authenticity & a spirit which has been liked to that of the late Dennis Emmanuel Brown. During the 80's & 90's Aqua Livi's band 'Urban Warrior' (later called The Roots I-mansion) enjoyed success, touring the world & being played extensively by the likes of Jah Shaka & David Rodigan. Aqua Livi even recorded an album for the late Coxsone Dodd at Studio One in Jamaica, although it sadly remains locked in the Studio One vaults to this day. After remaining relatively quiet in recent years, Aqua Livi is now working on an album with Kris Kemist entitled 'Most High Calling' due to be released later this year, introducing Aqua Livi's music to a new generation of reggae music lovers.

The final vocal on the riddim features Deadly Hunta as you've never heard him before! Reciting in Dub poetry style, Hunta delivers excerpts from Revelation:18, a biblical chapter describing the fall of Babylon, a prophecy which many believe to be symbolic of the events playing out on the world stage today. Deadly Hunta recently released a new album entitled "Speak My Mind", since which he has become one of the busiest artists in the Reality Shock family, spending much of his time on tour particularly in Eastern Europe. Seeing the energy he puts in to his live performances its easy to see why Deadly Hunta in such demand. He is currently working on his own label & brand 'Smoke Dawgz' due to be launched later this year.

The record ends with an instrumental dub version mixed by Kris Kemist, a powerful & meditative finale to our musical journey through ancient times.

Ancient Times is out now at iTunes and on 12”vinyl

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jamaica All Stars - “The Vineyard Town Serssions”

When people talk about Foundation artists they might not be the first names off of anyone’s tongue, but Skully Simms and Bunny Robinson are just about as Foundation as you are ever likely to get having been the first Jamaican artists to make home-grown R&B records for use in sound systems in 1953. Indeed Skully then went on to be one of the islands top percussionists performing in various bands from The Aggrovators to The Upsetters

Formed in the 1990s especially for Pierre Marc Simonin’s 'Portraits of Jamaican Music' documentary and despite the loss of members Justin Hinds and Johnny ‘Dizzy’ Moore over the past few years Skully Simms, Bunny Robinson and Sparrow Martin are back with the Jamaica All Stars to bring us a new album “The Vineyard Town Serssions” recorded in Kingston.
This album, as with 2004’s “Right Track”, takes listeners back through the history of Jamaican music with slices of Mento, R&B, Ska, Rocksready, Reggae and Dub.
Opener ‘All Rudies In Jail’ is a newly penned cut of classic sounding Rocksteady groove, with Simms and Robinson singing anti-violence lyrics that are just as relevant today as they would have been back in Rocksteady’s heyday of 1967.
‘Bam Bam’ voiced by Robinson and ‘Hooligan’ with Martin on the mic are the Mento cuts with the latter’s happy-go-lucky vibe disguising yet more pertinent lyrics. Simms closes what is effectively a first part of the album with ‘One Step @ A Time’ a bright slices of spiritual reggae with hints of calypso. The other two cuts in this unofficial first part poetically tip a hat to both deceased members of the All Stars, Hinds and Moore, with dub versions of cuts that featured both on “Right Track”, ‘On The Last Day’ (On The Last Dub) and their cover of the old Soul Vendors hit ‘Swing Easy’ (Swinging Dub).
The second part of the album is live with R&B and ska the order of the day on ‘Boogie Flew’, ‘Crying Over You’ and ‘Back To Zion’ which was also on their live 2003 album of the same name. Its then back in to the studio for ‘Sparrow's Rudy Piano’ a chirpy instrumental of the album opener to close things off.

With a compartmental feel to this album, with it containing both live and studio performances, it does give the feeling that this is more like two E.P’s that have been bolted together to create an album as opposed to one conceptual idea or project. That said the songs on both parts are lively and entertaining with these vintage performers, proving that along with the help of other Alpha Boys musicians, they can still write good music and by the sounds of the live performances know how to party.

The album at present is only available on CD at a very few selected outlets and from their live shows