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!