Friday, December 31, 2010

Roots Riddims 2010 - a broad selection of tunes

In a few hours the year will be over and 2011 will be there. The new roots / conscious side of reggae didn't get much of my attention this year, simply couldn't find the time to start mixing and, even before that, listening. As usual the year was filled with criticism on the 'state of modern reggae', though often not fully backed up by insight knowledge on what actually has been released. I too hope to see improvement in musical compositions (more bass, more quality control, more musically challenging riddims; same hopes I had last year I realize now that I write 'm down), but at the same time heard numerous tracks these last couple of weeks when catching up on the year that I enjoyed a lot and made me move my feet! Jamaica still got lots of vocal talents that, with a right flow and lyrics, can also lift a weaker riddim up to a nice tune all the same. Did 2010 bring tunes among the best I've heard? No. Does that have to be the case? No! I just want to enjoy music, it doesn't really matter if I've heard better in the past, if it pleases me at that moment it's good enough for me. Usually I make up lists each year of the best tunes and all, but since I only just started checking most of the 2010 output out I decided to not do that, but just list a whole heap of riddims (with a link to a youtube clip of one of the tunes on it) and some loose tunes that I found 'potentially interesting' on first listen for a variety of reasons (riddim, vocal, flow and vocal melody, lyrics or combinations of these) and in varying degrees. When I heard 'm and thought "ok, with the right vocal this could possibly work, let's check out a next cut on it", then I put it on the list. So as said, not all memorable and such, but I really had enough of that discussion, I've heard things I like and that's all that counts, for the rest: listen and decide for yourself. My wishes for the new year musically (reggaewise that is) have been mentioned, so that leaves me wishing all visitors of BMC's Reggae Blog a great and musical 2011. Respect!

This is the list of riddims and tunes, in alphabetical order (I have my preference, but keep it to myself this time), check it out, maybe there's a few riddims and tunes to your liking. Even if it's only one, well, then enjoy that one cause better one than none, right? Riddims range from very soft lovers style to more slow roots to heavier vibes. Enjoy!

One last note, I picked riddims and / or tunes with Jamaican involvement. That can mean a JA production, but also other productions with mainly Jamaican vocalist, I didn't limit myself to productions from the island alone.

Roots Riddims and Tunes (JA or with one or more JA artists) 2010:

Best Trick riddim - Weedy G
Lutan Fyah:

Big Stage Riddim - Penthouse
Romain Virgo:

Billie Jean Riddim - Irie Ites

Boops Riddim - Juke Boxx
Tarrus Riley:

Bread Fruit Riddim - Flyroots
Mix (Luciano!):

City Life Riddim - 2 Hard Music
Queen Ifrica:

Coming In From The Cold - John John

Dunza 2010 riddim - Maximum Sound

Entitlement Riddim - Leaf Life

Eternity Riddim - Techniques
Beres Hammond:

Everlasting Riddim - Pow Pow
Natural Black:

Feelings Riddim - Don Corleon
Tarrus Riley:

Ghetto Steam Riddim - Cut Stone Records

Give Thanks Riddim - Cash Flow
Tarrus Riley:

Go Fi Her Riddim - Penthouse
Romain Virgo:

Good Ova Evil Riddim - Sankofa

High Horse Riddim - Dejavu Lifestyle Music
Fantan Mojah:

Hit Riddim - Super 100 Entertainment

Home Sweet Home Riddim - Swallowbird Production

Hustlin' Riddim - Bost & Bim
Peetah Morgan:

Jaguar Riddim - Weedy G
Fantan Mojah:

Jam 1 Riddim - Necessary Mayhem
Busy Signal & Million Stylez:

Love & Life Riddim - Heart To Art Music

Major Riddim - Don Corleon
Tarrus Riley:

Minor Riddim - Don Corleon
Lutan Fyah:

Mirror Riddim - Goldcup

Nah Bow Down Riddim - Reality Chant
Natty King:

Nine To Five Riddim - Breadback
Lutan Fyah:

No Hypocrite Riddim - Rogland
Turbulence & Kananga:

Party Time - Irie Ites
Glen Washington:

Rebellion Riddim - Maximum Sounds
Tarrus Riley:

Roll Out Riddim - Irievibrations Records

Screw Dem Riddim - African Beat
Million Stylez:

Serve & Protect Riddim - Penthouse [may have been late 2009]
Romain Virgo & Etana:

Shoulder Move Riddim - Lenky
Buju Banton:

Snowflake Riddim - Snowcone
Lutan Fyah:

Songs aka Jah Jah Give Us Life Riddim - Joe Frasier
Big Youth:

Soul Riddim - Oneness

Stagalag Riddim - Juke Boxx
I Octane:

Take A Lick - Irie Ites
Lutan Fyah:

The Light Riddim - Courtney Johnson

Tranquilizer Riddim - Free Willy

Water Pumping Riddim - John John

You Don't Need Me Riddim - Joe Frasier

Zion Gate Riddim - John John

50 Pound Riddim - Loud Disturbance
Admiral Tibet:

Loose tracks:

Kymani Marley - New Heights (Don Corleon)

Mr. Vegas - Sweet Jamaica (Vibes Mix) feat. Shaggy & Josey Wales (Clifford Ray Music)

Pressure - Shield and Guide (Xterminator)

Peetah Morgan Ft Fiji - Rock & Come In (Don Corleon)

Spragga Benz - Shotta Culture

Spragga Benz - No Way No How ft. Marcia Griffiths

Tarrus Riley - My Mother (Cannon)

Tarrus Riley - Nyahbinghi Pickney (Bombrush)

Happy New Year all!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

So Di Ting Set - BMC's overview of Dancehall in 2010 - Part I

With 2010 rapidly coming to an end, I realized I heard a lot of dancehall this year, ranging from aweful (plenty of that coming out sadly) to very good, but as someone who's not your latest hot dancehall selector I usually kinda get overflooded with all the riddims and singles released in high tempo (quality control anyone?) and loose track of what I rated and enjoyed. With that in mind I decided to, as I did in 2008, mix some of the riddims and tracks I rate together in mix-CD style to hear that 2010 dancehall I enjoy without having to skip or sit through tracks. With that I don't follow the trends of what's the hottest, latest or most hyped tracks, I just included tunes I like for various reasons (some hits, some not). There's riddims and tunes I simply highly rate but also some that might not be the best riddim-wise, but have wicked vocal flows and / or are funny tracks lyrically. I wont go into Which tune falls in which category, that you can decide for yourself. I will say that just by selecting the tunes I found that in my opinion Vybz Kartel and Mavado had the best of dancehall this year (again), Kartel mainly for his funny lyrics and great flow and vocal-lines and Mavado for overall quality over quantity. My opinion still, feel free to disagree. As you notice I also do not pick sides like Gaza, Gully, Alliance or so, just music me deal with!

The mix isn't your typical dancehall mix either. No hyped up screaming or loud sirens all over the place. There's plenty of soundsamples in here, don't get me wrong, even a siren or two, but I tried to make the music make the mix, not the effects. Has numerous 'older' tunes in dancehall standards (from all over the year) too, so probably not of interest to the up-to-date dancehall fan. Still, I'm sure there'll be others in it like me, so uploaded it anyway. Must admit there's plenty of autotune in the mix as well. I dislike the effect and find it totally unnecessary (can't sing? then don't try!), but kinda got used to it over the years since it's present in more tunes than there are tunes without it. Ah so it go, can't say I didn't warn you! :-)

This is part I of my overview of dancehall in 2010. Part II soon come. Enjoy and drop me a comment when you've enjoyed the effort.

Tracks in order of appearance (WARNING: NOT FOR THE ROOTS-ONLY HEADS):

So Di Ting Set - BMC's overview of Dancehall in 2010 - Part I

Badda Don riddim
1) Mavado - Jah Is Coming Soon
2) Bugle - So Dem Born
3) Beenie Man - Big Woman Ting
4) Gyptian - Watch Gyal

Mad Collab riddim
5) Vybz Kartel - Clarks (feat. Popcaan, Gaza Slim)
6) Bounty Killer - How We Do It (feat. Elephant Man)
7) Mavado - Straight (feat. Chase Cross, Flexxx, Kibaki)
8) Bugle - Poor People Classic Anthem (feat. Agent Sasco & Bounty Killer)

9) Vybz Kartel - Clarks Again
10) Vybz Kartel - Jeans & Fitted (feat. Russian)
11) Trevor Off-Key ft. Chedda - Fake Jeans Admit It

Roof Top riddim
12) Mavado - House Top
13) Beenie Man - Under Curfew

Catalog riddim
14) Agent Sasco - Dem Sick
15) Terror Fabulous - Catalog
16) Aidonia - We A Tek It Off
17) Capleton - StageShow
18) Chino - No Gyal
19) Spragga Benz - We Nuh Wear
20) Elephant Man - Worry Dem

21) Tony Matterhorn - Again and Again (feat. Serani)
22) Busy Signal - Nuh Fraid

Baheba riddim
23) Voicemail - Baheba
24) Mr Vegas - Guide Me
25) Vybz Kartel - Party Night

26) Stein - Cane Row
27) Leftside - Ping! Ping! (Emergency)

Duss riddim
28) Vybz Kartel - Can't Satisfy
29) Vybz Kartel - Leadeth Me (feat. Jah Vinci)

Flash Forward riddim
30) Sizzla - Remember Jah
31) Capleton - Nuh Kill Out No Artist

Cosa Nostra riddim
32) Shabba Ranks - Nuh Follow
33) Million Stylez - So Di Ting Set
34) Spragga Benz - See It Yah
35) Mr Lexx - Dem A Pree
36) Agent Sasco - Me A Go Fi Mine

37) Mavado - Change Right Now

Gangster City riddim
38) Vybz Kartel - Thank You Jah
39) Jah Vinci - Oh Jah Jah
40) Popcaan - Gangster City

41) Mavado - The Messiah

Trailer Reloaded riddim
42) Konshens - Dem Ah Talk
43) Tiana - Can't Talk

Stage Mix riddim
44) Beenie Man - Pree We Fah
45) Mavado - Can't Believe
46) Mad Cobra - Draw Me Out

007 riddim
47) Gyptian - Come Ina Me Room
48) Shabba Ranks - Woman Needs

49) Vybz Kartel - Cake Soap
50) Kiprich - Caah Get Brown
51) Vybz Kartel - Fuck Pon Him
52) Vybz Kartel - Dancehall Hero

Sex Appeal riddim
53) Mavado - Hold Me
54) Aidonia - Cyaan Done
55) Bounty Killer - Get Gyal Everyday

56) Busy Signal - Yes Dawg

Hold Yuh riddim
57) Gyptian - Hold Yuh
58) Lady Saw - Me Hold You
59) Da'ville - Blowing Up My Phone

Total playing time: 79:38 min

Click play to listen (128kbps quality):

Enjoy and drop me a comment when you rate the effort, would be nice to hear / read.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Gregory Isaacs passed away at age 59

Sad sad news reached the reggae world today: the Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs passed away early this morning when he lost the battle with cancer. One of my all-time favourite singers together with Delroy Wilson and Dennis Brown. Surely they'll have a big musical reunion up there! Gregory could voice cultural / reality lyrics as convincing as the smooth lovers lyrics he got ladies filling the first rows at all his stage shows with. Great voice, great flow, great original and poetic lyrics, great artist. I've always had a special soft spot for his lovers tunes from the early 80s with the Roots Radics (the albums The Lonely Lover, More Gregory, Night Nurse and Out Deh), of which a nice selection that I made years ago can be heard by clicking play in the below player (strictly lovers stylee):

(if you want to listen these 30 min of Gregory meets the Radics later you can download it here, though I gotta admit, the music is excellent, the mixing nothing special as I made it a long time ago, so this is a 'for the music only' kinda thing)

It must be said that Gregory's 70s and 80s output is overall very impressive if you ask me. Classic albums of the roots era like Extra Classic, Mr. Isaacs, Soon Forward, Cool Ruler, In Person etc. were nicely followed by amongst others the aforementioned albums with the Radics after which Gregory kept releasing some quality albums in the digital years of the later 80s like Warning, Victim, Watchman Of The City, Red Rose For Gregory, Feature Attraction and more. It is true that he made his fair share of weaker albums from the late 80s on (though still some highlights too), but on a day like this there's only room for focussing on the good stuff if you ask me. A true legend left us, but he left behind a catalogue of wicked music that will please many generations to come. RIP Cool Ruler, you'll be missed. My condolences to his family, friends and fans. Lots of strength to you all.

As an impression of his prolific carreer here's a discography of studio albums of original material as it is posted on wikipedia with a few titles added I found missing from that list (there's numerous compilations, live albums and probably some other studio titles missing here, but this list is still pretty close to complete when it comes to his studio albums):

* In Person (1975) Trojan
* All I Have Is Love (1976) Trojan
* The Best Of Vol. 1 (1977) GG's
* Extra Classic (1977) African Museum
* Mr Isaacs (1977) DEB
* Cool Ruler (1978) Front Line
* Soon Forward (1979) Front Line
* Slum (Gregory Isaacs in Dub) (1978) Burning Sounds
* Gregory Isaacs Meets Ronnie Davis (1979) Plant (with Ronnie Davis)
* Showcase (1980) Taxi
* Lonely Lover (1980) Pre
* For Everyone (1980) Success
* More Gregory (1981) Pre

* The Early Years (1981) Trojan
* The Best Of Vol. 2 (1981) GG's
* Night Nurse (1982) Island/Mango
* Out Deh! (1983) Island/Mango
* The Sensational Gregory Isaacs (1983) Vista / Burning Sounds
* Let's Go Dancing (1984)
* Two Bad Superstars! (1984) Burning Sounds (with Dennis Brown)
* Judge Not (1985) Greensleeves (with Dennis Brown)
* Private Beach Party (1985) RAS
* Easy (1985) Tad's
* Double Dose (1986) Blue Trac (with Sugar Minott)
* All I Have is Love Love Love (1987) Tad's
* Victim (1987) VP
* Watchman of the City (1987) Rohit
* Come Along (1988), Live & Love
* Red Rose for Gregory (1988) RAS
* Warning (1989) Firehouse
* I.O.U. (1989) RAS
* Feature Attraction (1989) Mixing Lab
* Dancing Floor (1989) Munich
* No Contest (1989) Greensleeves (with Dennis Brown)
* Call Me Collect (1990) RAS
* Set Me Free (1991) Vine Yard
* No Intention (1991) VP
* Boom Shot (1991) Shanachie
* State of Shock (1991) RAS
* Past and Future (1991) VP
* Pardon Me! (1992) RAS
* Rudie Boo (1992) Star Trail
* Unattended (1993) Pow Wow
* Unlocked (1993) RAS
* Midnight Confidential (1994) Greensleeves
* Dreaming (1995) Heartbeat
* Not a One Man Thing (1995) RAS
* Private Lesson (1996) Heartbeat
* Mr. Cool (1996) VP
* Maximum Respect (1996) House of Reggae
* Hold Tight (1997) Heartbeat
* Hardcore Hits (1997) Ikus
* Dance Curfew (1997), Acid Jazz - with Dread Flimstone
* Kingston 14 Denham Town (1998) Jamaican Vibes
* New Dance (1999) Prestige
* Turn Down The Lights (1999) Artists Only
* So Much Love (2000) Joe Gibbs Music
* Future Attraction (2000) VP
* Father & Son (2000), 2B1 - Gregory Isaacs & Son
* It Go Now (2002), 2B1
* Life's Lonely Road (2004)
* Give It All Up (2004) Heartbeat
* Rat Patrol (2004) African Museum
* Masterclass (2004) Greensleeves
* Revenge (2005) P.O.T.
* Substance Free (2005) Vizion Sounds
* Hold Tight (2008) Mafia & Fluxy
* Brand New Me (2008) African Museum

With Gregory's passing 2010 is becoming sadder and sadder for us lovers of foundation reggae. We already lost Yabby You, Bobby Melody and Sugar Minott this year, and now Gregory Isaacs, what a sad realization. RIP to all a dem. Now let us all play some Gregory in respect to the man's work. I'll start with his album More Gregory, cause we'll always wanna hear More Gregory!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BMC presents Tarrus Riley & Friends - a showcase

Ask me the question what my favourite modern reggae artist at this moment is and I wont need much time to think about an answer: Tarru
s Riley. With three albums (Challenges, Parables and Contagious) and numerous singles out he has shown to be an excellent recording artist on both roots and dancehall riddims (ok, gotta admit, I'm don't rate his debut-album Challenges that high). Lyrically great and special in comparison to quite some of his colleagues (whether it's cultural or lovers themes), wicked vocal-lines and flow and great voice. He reminds me a bit of a modern version of the late great Alton Ellis. Big singer. Next to that, he also has an excellent live show, touring the world with the Black Soil band featuring Dean Fraser, one of the better backing bands out there. To show my appreciation for the man's work I made a mix, which soon became a double-episode clocking in close to 80 mins, with my favourite Tarrus tracks, sometimes in combination with one or at most two other tracks on the same riddim to keep the focus on the repertoire of mister Tarrus Riley. Mix is in the usual BMC style; no full tracks, one continuous mix with added soundsamples: promotional style! See below for the tracklist and sources of each tune and check the cover-art I again made for this one.

Support the man Tarrus Riley by buying his albums, singles (when the tracks do appear for sale, which isn't always the case these days) and visit his show. All well worth it!

For a little teaser of the mix, check the message below this one and press 'play'.


1) Tarrus Riley - System Set (Parables album track)
2) Tarrus Riley - Wildfire (Don Corleon - Major & Minor riddim)
3) Jah Cure - Respect (Don Corleon - Major & Minor riddim)
4) Lutan Fyah - Come Over (Don Corleon - Major & Minor riddim)
5) Tarrus Riley - Love's Contagious (Contagious album track - Coming In From The Cold riddim)
6) Gyptian - Life Hard (John John - Coming In From The Cold riddim)
7) Tarrus Riley - Parables (Parables album track)
8) Tarrus Riley - Nobody Knows (Don Corleon - Feelings riddim)
9) Pressure - Coming Right Back (Don Corleon - Feelings riddim)
10) Denyque - That Place (Don Corleon - Feelings riddim)
11) Tarrus Riley - Living The Life Of A Gun (custom extended mix) (Cannon)
12) Tarrus Riley - Good To Be There ft. Chalice (Cannon)
13) Tarrus Riley - Life Precious Gift (Joe Frasier - Chi Chi Bud riddim)
14) Terry Linen - No Time To Linger (Joe Frasier - Chi Chi Bud riddim)
15) Tarrus Riley - Dangerous Diseases ft. Michigan (Cannon)
16) Tarrus Riley - Protect Your Neck (Fat Eyes - Midnight Hour riddim)
17) Tarrus Riley - Spen Shell Fly aka Sweet Jamaica (John John - Zion Gate riddim)
18) Sizzla - Music In My Soul (John John - Zion Gate riddim)
19) Tarrus Riley - Lion Paw (Parables)
20) Tarrus Riley - Marcus Teaching aka Love Created I (Cannon - Jah Live riddim)
21) Duane Stephenson - August Town (Cannon - Jah Live riddim)
22) Tarrus Riley - Superman (Contagious album track)
23) Tarrus Riley - Young Heart Reminiscing (extended) (Peckings)
24) Tarrus Riley - Getty Getty No Want Ee (Don Corleon - Changes riddim)
25) Alaine - Without You (Don Corleon - Changes riddim)
26) Tarrus Riley - Start A New (Contagious album track - Nylon riddim)
27) Etana - Chatty Mouth aka Loose Talking (Jukeboxx - Nylon riddim)
28) Tarrus Riley - She's Royal (Parables album track - She's Royal riddim)
29) Lloyd Brown - Show Me That You Love Me (Joe Frasier - She's Royal riddim)
30) Tarrus Riley - Why So Much Wickedness (Contagious album track)
31) Tarrus Riley - Micro Chip (Parables album track)
32) Tarrus Riley - Good Girl Gone Bad ft. Konshens (Contagious album track)
33) Tarrus Riley - Who's Responsible (2 Hard Music - City Life riddim)
34) Elephant Man - Let Me Be The Man (2 Hard Music - City Life riddim)
35) Tarrus Riley - Low Di Trees ft. Aidonia (Russian)
36) Tarrus Riley - Mi Homeland (Jukeboxx - Stagalag riddim)
37) Assassin - Bam Bam (Jukeboxx - Stagalag riddim)
38) Romain Virgo - Ghetto (Jukeboxx - Stagalag riddim)
39) Tarrus Riley - Far Away (Don Corleon - Love Potion riddim)
40) Tarrus RIley - Beware (Parables album track)
41) Tarrus Riley - I Sight (Contagious album track)
42) Tarrus Riley - Forever More ft. & Alaine (Don Corleon)
43) Tarrus Riley - Back Biter (Don Corleon - Far Away riddim)
44) Pressure - Hear My Cry (Don Corleon - Far Away riddim)
45) Tarrus Riley - Poverty Nuh Inna Fashion (Maximum Sound - Rebellion 2010)
46) Johnny Clarke & Fantan Mojah - Rebel With A Cause (Maximum Sound - Rebellion 2010)
47) Tarrus Riley - Children A Pree Wi (Jukeboxx - Boops riddim)
48) Busy Signal - Government Gone Luu (Jukeboxx - Boops riddim)
49) Tarrus Riley - Pull Up Selector ft. Jimmy Riley (Taxi - Tune In riddim)
50) Tarrus Riley - It Will Come (Contagious album track)

Click play:



Friday, August 6, 2010

SOON COME: BMC presents Tarrus Riley & Friends


The recent gig of Tarrus Riley in Amsterdam's Paradiso (see topic below) motivated me to do a mix of his tunes in the same style I used for my older Turbulence mix: plenty of own tunes, combined with some other artists on the same riddims. Tarrus' being my favorite modern artist at the moment (taking Turbulence's spot at that) is a good enough reason for me to showcase the man's work to those that don't know him well or do know and enjoy his works too. Tunes from albums and singles mixed in the usual BMC style (no full tracks!, want to promote his works). I'm starting on it real soon, so for now a little teaser, sneak preview style, with some of the tunes I'll use in the mix.

Soon come!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tarrus Riley live in Paradiso, Amsterdam (review)

I don't have much time to make new mixes at the moment. A lot of ideas, just not the time to realize 'm. Sorry about that, hope to get one out there real soon again. Still, did find the time to attend Tarrus Riley in concert yesterday (august 2nd) in Amsterdam and wrote a little review about it:

Wow, what a great show from this big artist yesterday in Amsterdam's finest venue, Paradiso. He once again proofed to be the biggest modern roots artist around at the moment. 100% professional, positive, spreading a message of one love and unity and all this via great music. Backed by the Black Soil band feat. Dean Fraser the show started for an almost empty Paradiso, an estimated number of around 50 people present at the time. Still, although the almost echoing emptiness of the venue gave it a strange feeling, the band started with some lovely dubby instrumentals (one on Real Rock riddim) and gave it their all. The drummer was having a lot of fun, hitting hard and groovy and musically the band started of very strong. Dean Fraser as the clear leader of the band with bass, drums, 2x keys, percussion, guitar and sax in it, gave each musician the chance to do some soloing, including himself and after three tunes he called out Tarrus. By that time the crowd reached its peak at about 200 people I think. A sad low number, mainly due to very late annoucement of the show and holidays, but it didn't stop Tarrus from giving it his best. A great show followed, with as a positive side-effect of the low turn-out, a very intimate vibe. Three backingvocalists entered the stage, shortly after followed by Tarrus. Starting with Lion Paw he went through his albums and singles, big tune after big tune. Only one song that I wasn't familiar with, all others I knew and own, so a great show of recognition. Very strongly played with a very enthousiastic and motivated Tarrus, interacting with the crowd (even went in the crowd at some point), bringing the tunes in a very convincing way showing he is not only strong on record, but knows how to bring 'm live too. Tracks that passed by included (not in this order):

Lion Paw, Love's Contagious, Human Nature, Start A New, System Set, Micro Chip, Living The Life Of A Gun, One Two Order, She's Royal, Back Biter, Wildfire, Beware, Stay With You, Far Away, Getty Getty No Want Ee, Parables, Good Girl Gone Bad en Children A Pree Wi (mixed with Tosh's Can't Blame The Youth). And I probably forget a few there. Think that Africa Awaits was played too and he did a few lines of his beautiful track Superman.

To get an idea, check this video (not from the show in Amsterdam!):

Music great, Tarrus great, vibe great, show great! Big artist, big band, big show. He played Amsterdam earlier this year in de Melkweg and a friend of mine who attended that show and this one too concluded that this show in Paradiso was at least 10 times better, despite the low turn-out. After the show he came to meet & greet the people, also something I don't see too often with reggae artists. Great evening.

Some Tarrus links (not of yesterday's show):

BOOM! :arrow:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Damian Marley & NAS - Distant Relatives - a review

Wow! What an album. A project working out to excellence if you ask me. After three solo-albums (Mr. Marley, Halfway Tree and Welcome To Jamrock) for his next release Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley teamed up with rapper NAS, continuing their succesfull collaboration on the track Road To Zion from the Welcome To Jamrock album. As Marley told Rolling Stone: "We're trying to have a sound that's reminiscent of both of us, but not exactly like either.", they succeeded in that; this album is the perfect example of crossover projects turning out to excellence. There's reggae and dancehall influences, hiphop influences and some soul and R&B influences too. Conscious, top quality lyrics all the way, in line with their intention of an album heavily revolving around Africa with their commentary on the continent and on global social issues. The album contains samples from various African musicians and proceeds will go to projects in Africa. Marley stated: "A lot of charity albums come off corny; we want this to be something you'd play in your car." Well, it's more than that, I'd play in the car, at home, on the bike, in the club and where not. Wicked vibes and superb production too, sound is heavy! NAS, who has been a big player on the hiphop scene ever since his first excellent and now classic debut album Illmatic, sounds right at home on the more reggae and dancehall styled backing tracks and Jr Gong likewise on the more hiphop-styled beats. Having both of them singing on each track as opposed to doing separate tracks makes this the special project it turned out to be. Damian's singing and delivery is perfectly timed and musically continuing where he left off with Welcome To Jamrock. NAS' flow and laid back yet strong rhyming makes this a very diverse set, a true winner for fans of dancehall, hiphop and if you ask me fans of just good music. Besides all that, as said, the album is lyrically very very strong too, lyrics that are included in the booklet and can be read at the distant relatives website.

The opening track, As We Enter, shows both on an uptempo beat based on Mulatu Astatke's Yegelle Tezeta, letting every listener know: the album just started, join us on this journey. Jr Gong starts "As we Enter, Come mek we take you pon the biggest adventure". Great opening, one of my favourite tracks on the album. Bass in full effect right from the start.

On the second track the two are joined by Somalian poet and rapper K'Naan for one of the couple of collaborations with other artists on the album. The track is called Tribal War and uses the vocal-melody-line of 70s reggae classic Tribal War by Little Roy (Earl Lowe). "Tribal war, we nuh want no more a dat, everyone deserve to earn and every child deserve to learn." A next track relying on a reggae classic, track 8 on the album, is Land Of Promise with riddim and vocal parts taken from the late great Dennis Brown's Promised Land, originally recorded with Aswad. The track is preceded by a piece of interview with Dennis Brown taken from the 6-part documentary on reggae called Deep Roots. Other collaborations on the album are with Jr Gong's brother Stephen 'Raggamuffin' Marley on Leaders ("This one’s for all the leaders,

leader, lets all change the world") with a soulful live-band backing track and on In His Own Words with a nice acoustic guitar opening to which a groovy hiphop beat is added when NAS starts his first of his two verses in the track ("I still give thanks for Him, have faith for Him, no matter what His name’s called"). Another guest appearance on the album is for Lil Wayne on My Generation, track 12 about making a change, which contains elements of the song Generation by oldest Marley brother Ziggy from his 1991 album Jahmekya ("Now mi love fi see the schoolas dem a graduate, a study hard and save the party for the holidays"). Besides As We Enter, Tribal War, Land Of Promise and My Generation also Nah Mean (#10) and Patience (#11) contain elements of older tracks. Nah Mean, a ruff track on a strong hiphop beat is based on Kurikut√© by Sara Chaves and is among my favourite tracks on the album ("Yo Yo Mr. President, what you doing for my residence?, yo Mr. Minister, why you being sinister?"). Most sung sentences in this one are followed by a strong Nah Mean!, wicked track. Patience has a hook taken from Sabali by Amadou & Mariam and has Jr Gong with two verses of strong lyrics ("The average man can't prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of, and still won't research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of") handing over the mic to NAS for the final 3rd verse on yet another slow, drumcomputer beat.
On Strong Will Continue (#3) the two are backed by a darker, slower beat with cello and heavier electric guitars lasting about 6 minutes commenting on being strong enough to face your battles ("It's a journey, some will get left behind, 'cause in life you can not press rewind, get it right, you only have one first chance, to make one first impression that lasts a lifetime"). Friends (#5) and Dispear (#7) are two tracks with sampled vocal intros. The first goes into a beautiful slow, almost nyabinghi styled track about true friendship ("Your real friends will serve you long, acquaintances will fade, your real friends wont do you wrong, real friend don’t change"), while Dispear goes into a hard dancehall riddim, two wicked tracks showing the diversity of this set. Count Your Blessings (#6) has a soulful sunny good-mood vibe to it with live instruments and gets funky for the pieces with NAS on the mic, where he amongst others chats about his at that time unborn son. A tune about being thankful for what you've got, great track ("I’ve got love and assurance, I’ve got new heath insurance, I’ve got strength and endurance, so I count my blessings").
The album closes with one of the most beautiful tracks on the album, a next track with K'Naan, called Africa Must Wake Up: "Africa must wake up, the sleeping sons of Jacob, for what tomorrow may bring, may a better day come". Excellent tune, great closer, lyrically perfectly in line with the album's intentions and in the closing part of this over 6 minutes lasting song NAS tells the listeners one more time with what philosophy they started this project:

"We want to thank you all, to anybody out there, this is NAS, Damian Marley, distant relatives, we're all distant relatives, no matter where you from, where you live, how near, how far, Africa, China, Japan, Afghanistan, Israel, we're all fam, we're all distant relatives, so that's why we came together, one of the reasons myself and Damian came together, cause we all come from one place and that's Africa, that's right, you too, and you, the whole world, we're all family, we're just spread out all over the place, so to all my distant relatives, let's take it back home."

As you can tell, I love it and wanted to share my enthousiasm with you all via this extended review. An excellent album, future classic if you ask me and more than worth getting. Hard to pick favourite tracks, but if I had to choose I'd say As We Enter, Nah Mean and Africa Must Wake Up. Don't miss this one. Go deh!

Support the project and quality music and buy it, get your copy now.

NAS and Damian Marley are currently touring the world with what I've read about it a very strong show supporting the album. Go see 'm if you can, dates can be found on .

(picture is taken from my own copy of the CD, gotta have the physical disc, not only to support the artists, but also to have the booklet with lyrics and info on used samples etc.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

VIDEO: Junior Byles - Live at Rebel Salute 2004

Legendary performance in 2004 at Rebel Salute, Jamaica after his absence on the scene for some 25 years. Now booked for a festival in France (Garance) this summer.

Part I:

Part II:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slowing It Down - 2009 slow and sweet roots style mix (JA)

Respect all massive and crew! Been some very slow months at BMC's Reggae Mixes. Family-life and work took up most of my time lately, so this last mix with tunes of the previous year took some time to finalize. But here it is, Slowing It Down, which as the title suggests, is a mix of JA productions inna slower, sweet rootsy style, perfect for the nice spring weather we're currently having on this side of the globe. A bit late to still come with a 2K9 mix, but on the other hand 2010 didn't bring that much official releases of modern roots tunes from the island yet (plenty on mp3, but I refer to the old-school vinyl release here). We've seen Don Corleon with the Feminine and Feeling riddims and No Doubt with the Classic riddim plus a few others from US or EU, but we'll save those for a next mix. For now we're officially closing the reggae year 2009 with the following easy going mix with the usual BMC-recipe: one continuous mix of original 45s (!), no full tunes, added sound samples and source-info given so you can go and track down these tunes yourself. Enjoy people! Drop a comment when you appreciate the efforts.

01) Stevie Face - Proverbs 6 (No Doubt - Sweet)
02) Etana - Happy Heart (No Doubt - Sweet)
03) Daville - Soldier Girl (No Doubt - Sweet)
04) Ginjah - Prayer (No Doubt - Sweet)
05) Beres Hammond - See You Again (No Doubt - Sweet)
06) Beres Hammond - See You Again [acoustic version] (No Doubt mp3-promo - Sweet)
07) Alaine - Love ..... Loud & Clear (Fresh Ear - Relationship)
08) I Wayne - What Will They Do (Fresh Ear - Relationship)
09) Gyptian - True Confession (Flava Squad - Addiction)
10) Konshens - What A Life (Flava Squad - Addiction)
11) Lutan Fyah - Products Of The Future (Flava Squad - Addiction)
12) Etana - Badmind (No Doubt - Rock Steady)
13) Fantan Mojah - Rising (No Doubt - Rock Steady)
14) I Wayne - One Hit Wonder (No Doubt - Rock Steady)
15) Cocoa Tea - Sweeter (No Doubt - Rock Steady)
16) Capleton - Save Dem (No Doubt - Rock Steady)
17) Lutan Fyah - Nah Mix (Acoustic Vibes - 3D)
18) Jah Mali - Who Goes There (Acoustic Vibes - 3D)
19) Anthony Cruz - Woman 24-7 (Shan Shan)
20) Alborosie feat the Tamlins - Inna The Garrison (No Doubt - Ghetto)
21) Petah Morgan feat Busy Signal - Unfair (No Doubt - Ghetto)
22) Konshens - Insanity (No Doubt - Ghetto)
23) Anthony B - Cold Blooded Murder (No Doubt - Ghetto)
24) Lutan Fyah - Gangsta Living (No Doubt - Ghetto)
25) Richie Spice - Who Dat (No Doubt - Ghetto)
26) Etana - Mocking Bird (No Doubt - Ghetto)
27) Tony Rebel - Bless Di I (Bright Star - Chaka Vibes)
28) Queen Ifrica - Stranger (Bright Star - Chaka Vibes)
29) Marvelous - Card Dem A Draw (Bright Star - Chaka Vibes)
30) Cersy Tea - Only Jah (Bright Star - Chaka Vibes)
31) Lutan Fyah - Dem A Fake (Armzhouse - Star 9)
32) Richie Spice - Jungle Out There (Armzhouse - Star 9)
33) Mavado - Jail House (Big Ship)
34) Konshens - Music (Tads)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

MIX: Rasta Rock - 2009 roots & digital stylee (EU & US)

Another modern roots mix with strictly 2009 tracks. No Jamaican productions in this one, mainly EU productions (Netherlands, Germany, UK), with a few from the US. Roots and digital are the main ingredients for this one, variety of artists, producers and styles. Wicked tunes in this one people, trust me. Same recipe as always, one continuous mix, no full tunes, added sound samples and source-info given so you can go and track down these tunes yourself.

artist - title (label - riddim)

01) Courtney John - Lucky Man (Peckings - Lucky Man)
02) Lady Lex - Don't Know Why (Peckings - Lucky Man)
03) Jah Faith - No Bother Grumble (Jan-Disc)
04) Black Emeralds - Humble Dub (Jan-Disc)
05) Mykal Rose - Hypocrites Warning (Heartical - Tonight)
06) General Levy - Life Hard (Heartical - Tonight)
07) Basque Dub Foundation - Midnight Organ (Heartical - Tonight)
08) Don Carlos & Million Stylez - World Crisis (Ink A Link)
09) Prezident Brown - Rasta Rock (African Beat - Bubbler)
10) Perfect - Can't Touch Me (African Beat - Bubbler)
11) Burro Banton - Too Dutty (African Beat - Bubbler)
12) Bubbler Riddim Version (African Beat - Bubbler)
13) Lukie D - Send Dem Come (Maximum Sound - Praise Jahovia)
14) Fantan Mojah feat Zareb - Good Meditation (Maximum Sound - Praise Jahovia)
15) Mr Vegas & Konshens - Help Me Praise Jahovia (Maximum Sound - Praise Jahovia)
16) Busy Signal - Uniform Bad Bwoy (Maximum Sound - Praise Jahovia)
17) Million Stylez & Joey Fever - Young Gunz (Necessary Mayhem - Come Down)
18) Tippa Irie - Tippa On Da Mic (Necessary Mayhem - Come Down)
19) Papa Levi - Speed Rappin' (Necessary Mayhem - Come Down)
20) Pinchers - Bandelero (Necessary Mayhem - Come Down)
21) Mr Williamz - Real General (Necessary Mayhem - Come Down)
22) Joey Fever - Back With A Blast (Fast Forward - Love My)
23) Everton Chambers - Walk In Peace (Fast Forward - Love My)
24) Samuel Lancine - They Don't Know (Fast Forward - Love My)
25) Love My Riddim Version (Fast Forward - Love My)
26) General Levy - Jah Jah Bless (SouLove - Jah Jah Bless)
27) ASK - Burnin Babylon (SouLove - Jah Jah Bless)
28) Jah Melodie - Seek King Ras Tafari (Roots Tribe)
29) Slimmah Sound - Dub Version (Roots Tribe)
30) Luciano - Protect I Jah (Silly Walks Discotheque - Aspire)
31) Lutan Fyah - Wreckage (Silly Walks Discotheque - Aspire)
32) Million Stylez - Born In The System (Bassrunner - Prison Break)
33) Fantan Mojah - Hot (Bassrunner - Prison Break)
34) Mykal Rose - Fight I Down (Bassrunner - Prison Break)
35) Chezidek - Vampire (Massive B - Declaration Of Rights)
36) Burro Banton - What U Fightin For (Massive B - Declaration Of Rights)
37) Kyle Sicarius - Tribulation (Roots Tribe)
38) Slimmah Sound - Tribulation Dub (Roots Tribe)
39) Barry Issac - Swell Headed (Reggae On Top)
40) Reggae On Top All Stars - Swell Headed Dub (Reggae On Top)

Listen and / or download here:

Thanks for checking it out!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

MIX: Can't Conquer We - a UK & EU modern roots mix

Here's one for the dubheads out there! Roots from the UK and mainland EU with plenty of old-school dubs, even more BASS and overall wicked vibes. Digital style, classic roots style, heavy UK steppers style, it's all here! All mixed in the usual BMC-way: one continuous mix, no full tunes, added sound samples and source-info given so you can go and track down these tunes yourself. Variety of singers and producers, one hour of niceness. Two older tracks in here, Dixie Peach's Slaughter and the Disciples Vintage 10", late 80s tunes that fitted in just nice, so were included.
The intro and Old Time Something by Solo Banton are taken from promo-mp3's spread by Reality Shock for the Reggae Got Talent competition. A nice initiative that I took part in by contributing the first 20 minutes of this mix. No results in on that yet, postponed to unknown date, but the total mix was finished and I wanted to get it out to the people, cause I'm very pleased with this one: IT NICE! So here it is, for one and all to enjoy, 60 minutes of heavy dub vibes, not for the weak-hearted! Enjoy.

1) Intro by Solo Banton (Reality Shock promo-mp3)
2) Reggae On Top All Stars – Soldiers Of Jah Dub (Reggae On Top 10”)
3) Kenny Knots – Never Get Burn + Dub (Reggae On Top 10”)
4) Lyrical Benjie – Rastaman Style feat. Disciples Riddim Section + Dub (King Shiloh LP)
5) King General feat. Bush Chemists – Wicked Them Wicked + Dub (Conscious Sounds CD)
6) Solo Banton – Old Time Something + Dub (Reality Shock promo-mp3)
7) Fu-Steps – Wicked Men + Dub (Vibes Creator 7”)
8) Dixie Peach & The Offbeat Posse – Slaughter + Dub (Jah Tubbys 7”)
9) GCorp meets The Mighty Tree feat. Messenger Douglas & Juggla – Perilous Time [Vibronix Mix] + Dub (Endulge 10”)
10) AmP & Echo Ranks – Mr Warmonger (AMP 7”)
11) Earl Sixteen - Can't Conquer We + Dub Creator - Hornsman Dub (King Shiloh 12")
12) Disciples - Worship mix 2 (Disciples Vintage 10")
13) Messalie - Struggling + Dub (Inner Sanctuary 12")
14) Jah Mason - Don't Cry + Don't Cry Dub Wise Part 2 (Jah Warrior LP + 10")
15) Princa Alla - Big Disgrace (Entebbe 10")
16) Norman Grant & Twinkle Bros - Justice + Dub (Entebbe 10")
17) Tony Roots - Chanting (Reggae On Top 10")
18) Barry Issac - Beware + Ancient Dub (Reggae On Top 10")
19) Vibronics - New Wolrd Dub (Deep Roots 7")
20) Errol Bellot - Ancient Warrior (King Shiloh 12")
21) Iyah-One - Ancient Melodica + Dub Warrior (King Shiloh 12")
22) Michael Rose - Solid Ground + Solid Dub (MRecords CD)
23) Fu-Steps - Coz We Are Youth + Dub (Orcast 10")
24) Echo Ranks - Long Time + Version (Scoops 7")
25) Culture Freeman - The Fittest + Dub (Conscious Sounds 10")
26) Kenny Knots - Unbreakable (Roots Garden 7")
27) Dark Angel - People Come To + Dub (Roots Garden 7")

Comments appreciated.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

BMC's Reggae Mixes

wishes everyone a


with lots of


We hope to bring some nice mixes again in 2010, old and new!

Thanks for all the support in 2009 and keep visiting, listening and commenting in 2010.

Have a good one all,