Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On The Springline - Free Triple Album Review

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pablo Moses – A Revolutionaries Dream

Pablo Moses turns 60 this year and is one of Jamaica’s greatest roots reggae artists whose Rastafarian ideology combined with unprecedented political frankness is delivered in a high pitched, horn-like voice. Pablo is one of the only, if not the only, reggae artists as far as I'm aware to have only ever released his own material by never having covered anyone else's song.

Originally born Pablo Henry in 1953, Jamaica he has released a number of records over the years, but is probably best known for his phenomenal 1975 début “Revolutionary Dream”, produced by Geoffrey Chung and engineered at The Black Ark by Lee "Scratch" Perry and included the hit single ‘I Man A Grasshopper’.
His 1980 follow up, “A Song”, was well received by his fans and music critics alike and was a subtle answer to the fire his début effort. The following year saw the release of his third album, “Pave The Way” which only helped swell the ranks of his fans across the world as his  Rastafarian themes and the crusade against injustice, inequality, greed, racism, war, the pillage of nature struck a chord and were universal in their scope.

In 1983, Moses signed with Alligator Records to release “In The Future” which continued with the same political and social message but saw a musical change from pure roots reggae as rock stylistics and the use of electronic instrumentation like the synthesizer and vocader. Moses expanded and deepened his sound and rhetoric with 1985's “Tension” and 1987's “Live To Love”.

1990 saw a switch to Profile records and the release of “We Refuse”, a lyrical response to the political climate of the eighty's seen as good times by those who've closed their eyes to the underlying realities of poverty and racism, now unravelling in the '90s. Moses, at the time said of the album '' I say what I've said all along, only in a modified mood, more straightforward. I refuse the Babylonian ways of society, the bully-istic attitudes. Jah made everyone with different cultures and colours just as he made different types of birds and plants for beautification." It was also an attempt to reach out to the "now generation" of younger reggae fans who’d grown up listening to the dancehall style and slackness with Moses adding “I try to adapt to changing styles of music. I'm trying to reach the dancehall crowd not just with the beat, but with a message that is cultural and sociologically connected, with songs like "Bad Boy" and "Charlie". The album also featured “Love Is A Thing”, a duet with his young daughter Tashe, and the songs “Under Your Spell” and “In South Africa”.
The album was produced by Pablo Moses and premier reggae keyboardist Robbie Lyn, and mixed by Steven Stanley and Geoffrey Chung.

Then in 1993 there was another label change to Musicdisc of France with the release of “The Confession Of A Rastaman”, an album that followed in the same vein as Revolutionary Dream, A Song and Pave The Way in one. Then three years later emerged the album “Mission” which was cited as one of his best works since Revolutionary Dream. During his association with Musicdisc , he released a compilation “The  Best of Pablo Moses” with songs taken from the LP’s Live To Love, Tension, In The Future and We Refuse plus a re-release of Revolutionary Dream in Europe and North America simultaneously on Shanachie Records. In 1997 Pablo re-released “In The Future plus Dubs”, through Tabou I and Nite an Day, in Europe, then all went quiet for some 13 years before he triumphantly returned with “The Rebirth” in 2010. The album saw him work with a golden reggae team that included drum and bass masters Sly and Robbie, saxophonist Dean Fraser, percussionists Skully and Sticky Thompson, keyboardists Robert Lyn and Franklin ‘Bubbler’ Waul as well as guitarist Dwight Pinkney, with all delivering 13 rootsy tracks including several serious tunes such as ‘So Much’, ‘Jah Will Make a Way’, ‘More Than You Can Chew’ and ‘They Can't Undo’ that recalled Pablo's great work from the late 70's.

There is unfortunately no news of another album from Pablo Moses on the horizon but never the less he still remains one of the most original and out-spoken roots reggae artist in Jamaica after more than 30 years, who is still capable of throwing out lyrics that are Sociologically, Political and Culturally Connected. He however does tour and has appeared extensively in Canada, U.S.A. South America, Central America, Europe and Scandinavia and some Caribbean Countries as well as making various festival appearances.
So all that’s left to say is many happy returns and thanks for all the great and inspiring music throughout the years and may one day your dream become a reality.

Dreadsquad ft Everton Chambers - Better World

This limited edition 7" is born out of Dreadsquad's massive remix of the Damian Marley and
Skrillex combo 'Bun Dem' and is his first release on Scotch Bonnet.
It has collector's item written all over it featuring 80s cult hero Everton Chambers and is the only track on this riddim to get pressed on vinyl!  The  b-side features an exclusive dub mix.

Available now from ScotchBonnet.net

Mungo's HiFi ft Soom T - Bong Bong EP

The "Bong Bong" EP is a foray into the world of digital reggae. The much requested title
track takes Sister Nancy's 'Bam Bam' bang up to date in a smoky fashion. Soom's singing abilities
shine through in the ultra modern '31st Century Song'. 'I Need Weed' and 'Boom Shiva' are familiar
tales about the good ole chronic which appeared on Jahtari's "Ode to a Carrot" . These versions are
from a much earlier recording session and have a different edge.

Available now from ScotchBonnet.net

Mungo's Hi Fi ft Soom T - Listening Bug EP

"The Listening Bug" EP showcases the Mungo's Hi Fi sound that does not fit straight into the reggae mold.
It's electronic with a LFO bass driven flurry and minimal meandering melodies. Track 'Jump up' quickly is
full of eastern mystique before cutting to a hard hitting rap style mixed in with Eek-a-Mouse. 'Run
Fool' is dark, jittery and hard, while 'War Song' has a sound that would not be out of place as the next
James bond theme tune.

Available now from ScotchBonnet.net

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ramon Judah - Only Wicked People

Just like London buses, you wait ages for one then two turn up together, Reggae Roasts charismatic front man and lead vocalist Ramon Judah after taking 5 years to release his first single with the label has just released his second in as many months.  Production is again by Conscious Sound (AKA Bush Chemist) as they take a unique twist on Yami Bolo’s ‘Jah Made Them All’ whilst riding on a take of the classic ‘Every Tongue Shall Tell’ riddim.

Completing the single are a straight riddim cut, a 80’s digital style re-lick from Scotland based Riddim Tuffa Sound plus regular Reggae Roast contributor Adam Prescott injecting a touch of dubstep.

15th Afro Roots World Music Festival

For the 15th year in a row, Jose Elias and local non-profit organization, Community Arts and Culture will be putting on the annual Afro Roots World Music Festival in Miami, Florida on August 3rd.

The line-up is predominantly Latin flavoured but there will also be many African artists taking part such as Ibrahima Dioubate and Fatala an ensemble started by Ibrahima Dioubate a renowned balafonist from the country of Guinea whose family linage of balafonist goes back five hundred years when they were musicians for the Royal Court. Dioubate is currently working with guitarist and producer Jose Elias, on an album that fuses the traditions of Guinean Folk music with modern instrumental components.
Also there is an appearance from Venus Rising, a West African inspired, multi-ethnic, female drum and dance troupe dedicated to creating works that uplift and inspire, C.K Ladzekpo a performer, choreographer and composer who is the director of the African music program at the University of California and a member of a famous family of African musicians and dancers who traditionally serve as lead drummers and composers among the Anlo-Ewe people of south-eastern Ghana in West Africa and the distinguished Afro Polyphonic World Orchestra (APOW).

On the reggae front there will be performances from Itawe, a Colombian who has been living in the US since the age of 14 and is the front man of Latin Band Miami New Times but is now to release a reggae based solo debut filled with songs of revolution, freedom and love entitled “The Solution” plus local heroes DJ’s Lance-O and Kulcha Shok who have become synonymous with reggae music in South Beach over the past few years thanks to their club nights.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Galak Spiritual EP

Hundred years have released the debut EP from Parisian singjay Galak Spiritual. The release is the first on the new label and comprises five tracks, all combining the artists trademark blend of reggae, hip hop and dancehall.

With vocal turns and productions from many of the Unit 137 collective and onlyjoe band, whom Galak has worked with closely over his time in London. The release is an exciting insight in to the versatile artists body of work, and is a small taste of big things to come, as a debut album looms in the not too distant future.

The release will be launched in London on June 14th at the Bussey Buildings in Peckham, alongside Unit 137, Gorgon Sound and Lionpulse Sound, and then in Paris on June 15th at Le Bloc alongside Dirty Zoo.

This release is available digitally and on CD through Hundred Years and other outlets.