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.

New 12 inch Single Release From The Roots Hitek Label

Side A features veteran UK Sound System Roots Rocker Errol Bellot with a tune Creation Song, originally advertised as a 10" now out on a 12" single with 3 cuts, a vocal piece followed by a dub version and then a Horns Solo Dub featuring Digistep on Saxophone and Melodica all dubbed out in sound system style.
the riddim is also featured on Tenastelin "Rasta Ancient" this is part of a series of tunes Errol Bellot has laid down at Roots Hitek Studio, more in the very near future.

Side AA features guitarist /singer/songwriter King Saint from East London in a collaboration with Roots Hitek
3 versions of a tune called "One Jah ", a straight vocal version eschewing unity and clear purpose among mankind, folowed by an Instrumental cut then an acoustic Binghi mix with King Saint on Riddim And Lead Guitars, Kheru"Jahman" Dan
on funde and Kette drums and Saxophone from Digistep plus backing vocals from Sista Beloved, Sista Fanti and Princess Carifa with additional percussions ,music and mix from Roots Hitek . 
This release is available now from Dub Vendor and other leading outlets

Side A
Errol Bellot - Creation Song
Roots Hitek - Kananga Waata
Roots Hitek/Digistep - Kananga Horns

Side Aa
One Jah - King Saint
One Afrika Dub - Roots Hitek
One Jah(Binghi Cut) King Saint/Roots Hitek

One Jah One Afrika