December 07, 2006

Reggaemixes on Firecorner site

Check these wicked mixes on the Firecorner website:
Adrian Crestani showcases the vocal talents of Errol “Flabba” Holt – better known as a bass player with the Roots Radics band and for being part of the Morwells but he cut some stunning vocals in his own right. Some heavy roots tunes! And as usual plenty of DJ, dub and next vocal cuts thrown in. This isn’t a complete discography but is a great overview of a fine singer who was overshadowed by his equally fine bass playing skills.
click here:
also loads of other mixes for downloading!thanx to Mr T for the linx!

November 27, 2006


One of my favourite records of all time is Brainfreeze, on which Dj Shadow and Cut Chemist show off their infamous skills by only using funk 7"s. The result is, how could it not be, a remarkable set that is both very well crafted as utterly enjoyable because of the selected tunes, which are often great, but hard to find funk 45's. This album combines the best of both worlds: a compilation great funk and some serious scratching skills that never fail to keep it within the flow.

This record already saw the light of day back in 1999 and a lot has happened since then. A whole heap of scratch records were released after Shadows 1996 record "Endtroducing". Some good, but most of them boring. What's the fun of a scratch record when the craft is produced so gently and smoothly you don't hear the difference between actual scratching and a sampler anymore? Though all of them are undoubtly made with true craftmanship, most of the records fail to make an impression on me since they all sound like downtempo, instrumental hip hop or triphop that are build up from small and mostly unrecognizable samples. I like it a bit rougher, like the Brainfreeze album on which you can hear more than a "bassdrum snippet" and find yourself baffled once you find out that you're listening to three tracks running simultaniously. Luckily, there are still artists around that do it "Lock it Down stylee". Here are the ones that impressed us most:

Hailing from California. His solo album "Sunset Scavenger" is pretty good, but Zeph is even better when he links up with others. Must checkout albums are:

- Breakbuilders part 2: the next best thing after BrainFreeze. A serious contender, using discofunk and funk records that are more modern then the deepfunk Shadow and Cut Chemist use. The result is an amazing mix which makes it impossible to stay put. It sometimes sounds like early electro because of the focus on drums. Essential record.

- Hip Hop Bebop 2006
: made together with dj Mason of the mighty Haul & Mason duo, this album focusses on jazz entirely. The result is equally impressive as Breakbuilders, but with a total different feel to it. The focus is more hip hop and the album sounds like Guru's Jazzmataz albums at times, but is rougher in every way. The samples, to these ears, are pretty obscure, but can easily be found on the net with a little big of googling.

Mister Aul
Has it's base in France. We never heard of him before, but we were utmost impressed when he linked us on myspace. There are good tunes to be found on his myspace site, but you'd better check out his own website, which is full of goodies. Though trying to make "real songs" with his samples, Mister Aul also seems to enjoy the rough edge of which we stated the necessity above. Every track on his site is equally impressive.

Afrodisiac Soundsystem
ASS consists of Jed and DJ Haul, who also formed Afrodisiac Records. Their reissuing and remixing of some super rare West African funk tracks that Jed had brought back from a 5 month long record hunting expedition through Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, and Mali is splendid. They turn Fela into hiphop and hiphop into afrobeat, with just a flick of their wrist. Great album for afrobeat lovers with a wish to hear some obscure tracks and also great for those hiphoppers/early electro freaks that like to hear a different beat.

November 26, 2006

WARPIGS CREATE PARANOIA: Uncovering Black Sabbath covers pt 1

These last months, I stumbled upon some remarkable cover versions of the dark groove godfathers Black Sabbath (formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 under the name Polka Tulk Blues Band). Now we all know how great & important this band was, right?.... even if the evil singer made a pact with the devil and has now its own tv show.....Of course there were influential to every band in thew world who uses a rock guitar, but these creators of immortal riffs also have bestowed their wisdom upon German Schlager Stars.

Norbert Berger ('45) and Jutta Gusenburger ('48) are both born in the German town of Völklingen. From 1965 on they appear together as Cindy & Bert and in 1973 topped the charts with Immer wieder Sonntags (also appears on Vic van der Reijt's brilliant compilation of german songs Van Du tot Dadada). The Darker side of the duo is shown in their version of Black Sabbath classic Paranoid. Der Hund Von Baskerville was released as 7 inch B-side to Holly Holy on Cornet records in 1970. Just spotted that one for 125 bucks on ebay. The song in itself has a real psychotic feel to it (as it should) and the dog in the video surely increases the paranoia. Even if you hate Cindy & Bert's music(Can you imagine?) , you have to check this video below. You will be happy to hear that this German duo are still performing today.(thanx 2 chiswick for pointing out this one!)

November 22, 2006


Dubstep, a small subgenre in electronic music that sounds like slowed down drum 'n bass or two-step and mainly coming from London, is taking over the world. Rapidly. We're not going to boast here: apart from the odd song or two, we at Lock it Down never heard before of this kind of music. There is no shame about it, it's a London underground thing which kept to themselves a lot. Sure, nowadays, when even all papers in Holland are writing about this new craze and dubstep is all over the internet, you'll find people boasting about it like they were the first ones to discover it. But where were all those people when the artists, that are now receiving great reviews, were performing mostly to other dubstep artists in the scene? We at Lock it Down are honest: we weren't there. And that is just a damn shame, because, frankly, dubstep is the best thing that ever happened to electronic music as it is.

Smoothly combining the roots of Jamaican dub with its grandson drum 'n bass, two-step and grime, dubstep is taking things further where many people thought things couldn't be stretched anymore. The recipe is simple: slow down, speed up and go low.
We'll define that for you: slow down the riddim but make it so that you can dance twice as fast to it and make the bass sounds even lower and "wobble" it more as ever. Difficult? Yes. The riddims might sound complex to unexperienced listeners: I went to a dubstep party where most of the people there couldn't understand how to dance to the slowed down beat. Only after the dj (Kode 9) plugged and perfectly mixed a record that was twice as fast as his record already playing, the crowd understood that dubstep is also suitable to dance that old-fashioned drum'n bass stylee to. And thus it became a great party after all, that gained dubstep a lot of new fans. Myself included.

Being an avid fan of reggae dub, electronic dub, drum 'n bass and electronical music like IDM (terrible name!) I found myself somewhat bored after a couple of years. The "amen break" has been sampled to death, electronic dub artists seem to do nothing else but either copy themselves or Zion Train, and IDM, nowadays, is all about producing lame beats with acoustic guitars and rappers or taking it way too far in timing beats and breaks. And then I heard dubstep...It fitted perfectly with what I was searching for: innovative beats, massive sound, heavy bass and something new in general. Here's a small overview of "must hear" artists and "must see" sites.
Convince yourself.

Kode 9
Heavyweight producer who's involved in a lot of the records you hear nowadays.

20 year old wonderkid who supposedly wrote about 1500 tracks already, but Skream! is also responsible for one of the best dubstep albums released up till now.

Not from the UK, but hailing from Scandinavia, this guy's one of the most innovative dubstep artists.

Very creative when it comes to building riddims. Also the one that brings the bass down lower then everyone else.

Dubstep's first superstar

Digital Mystikz
Pioneers and leading producers of this scene. Very creative, with both strong takes on old style dub as new-style dub techno.

Dubstep record company number one

Dubstep record company number two

Dub Police
Dubstep record company number three

Dubstep forum

All there is to it: you'll find it here. The newest productions, gossip and shows.

All the newest mixes, productions and mash-ups can be downloaded from this site.

Of course there is a lot more to be found on both the web as on vinyl. To name just a few to bare in mind are: Wavescape, Taken and Various. But these links will give you a nice start. From there on, you're lost.

September 27, 2006


By far the finest, most danceable, most retro, most remarkable and, above all, funniest 7" I encountered recently is courtesy of vocal trio "The Dansettes." This strictly limited edition 7" (500 copies worldwide) called "Oh my!" is a wonderfull piece of music that is both appealing as it is impressive. The New York based Dansettes smoothly combine early Stax hammond grooves with the typical Tamla/Motown vocal trio sound, blend it with sugarcoated pop and also manage to put some of that fine New-Orleans drum patterns into their music. The result is an ultra poppy, "where did I hear this before" sing-along that is utmost pleasing, but play it some more and you'll discover the sheer brilliance of it. They make it sound so easy but the way they mix, switch and blend styles in this song is far from easy. I read somewhere that the best popsongs are the ones that are easy listening but hard to play. Indeed they are and this 7" is a fine example of a truly great pop/soul/funk song.

The Dansettes owe a heavy credit to the The Bourbon Dynasty, who layed down the rhythm (instrumental is on the b-side) and the mighty Daptone who recorded the song in their infamous studio, but as long as they can keep it together I'm eagerly awaiting more 7"s. Untill then, I'll just play this gem over and over and over again..

Go have a listen here

September 06, 2006


Breakout, a funk combo hailing from Hannover Germany just released a heavy, heavy 7" on Melting Pot, the same label that also brought us the mighty Lefties Soul Connection.

Although the single sounds like it is recorded by a tight funk outfit, Breakout works a bit different: they transform old dusty records with the help of up to date technology, a bunch of musicians and the knowledge of modern music into something new. Quite a long route for a song to come together. Certainly when the result, in this case, is not far from the real deal: a heavy funk stomper which fits perfectly well with your original funk 45's. But you'll never hear Lock it Down complain about that, certainly not when a song is as good as this. It rocks!

Check the sound of Breakout here

September 01, 2006

A Hammond in Your Garage: Das Aldi Combo

Das Aldi Combo from Groningen has just released their seven inch The Dirt on the Ground on Butterfly Records. Insane Hammond-Garage Sound from the Northern part of the Netherlands! The Combo includes members of soul punkers Green Hornet, sixties-garage The Firebirds and polka-skaband Jammah Tammah. Influenced by souljazz like Jimmy McGriff, Rock & Roll, a ballad or rather something by The Cramps...
check samples:
The Dirt On The Ground, Thinking Black (Ike Turner)
Bside-Human Fly (The Cramps), Bag of Bones
More info & sound on their website:
or Myspace:

Upcoming Reggae Release Fest

Some of our favourite labels are about to release interesting stuff, so be warned!
First, there's the new Soul Jazz compilation: 100% Dynamite! Dancehall Stylee. Artists include:
Early B, Lady Saw, Tippa Irie, Ladybug(The Bug & MC Warrior Queen), Anthony Redrose (Tempo), Digital Mystikz, Kiprich, Fat Eyes, Powerman, King Tubby, Shinehead(of course, Billy Jean), King Baucho, Beenieman, Michigan & Smiley (Diseases), Dillinger, Wayne Junior, Pompidou and Cecile.

Then, the Blood & Fire Label re-issues the classic Yabby You album Deliver Me From My Enemies with loads of bonustracks. Classic Roots in a righteous way! Releasedate: Oct 23. (info from from Dance Crasher site!)

1. Deliver Me From My Enemies
2. Deliver Me From My Enemies Version
3. Judgement Time
4. Blood A Go Run Down King Street
5. Love In Zimba
6. Zion Gate
7. Lonely Me
8. Stranger In Love
9. Pound Get A Blow
10. Pick The Beam11. And Amlak (One God)
12. Jah Vengeance / Yabby You & Trinity [12" mix]
13. Free Africa / Yabby You & Trinity [12" mix]
14. Babylon A Fall / The Prophets [12" mix]
15. Falling Babylon / Tony Tuff [12" mix]
16. Pick The Beam / previously unreleased dubplate Mix 1
17. Pick The Beam Version / previously unreleased dubplate Mix 2

Finally, the Pressure Sounds Posse strikes back with another great compilation of tracks produced by Tommy Cowan: Life Goes In Circles (Sounds from the Talent Corporation 1974 to 1979). Releasedate: Oct 2.
1.Jerusalem - Devon Irons (Extended Version)
2.Love Comes And Goes - The Abyssinians
3.Love Comes and Goes Version - The Abyssinians
4.Ghetto On Fire - Jacob Miller
5.Mother Country - Little Madness
6.Mother Country Dub Side - Little Madness
7.School Tonight - Desi Roots
8.The Way - Augustus Pablo
9.City Of The Weak Heart - Earl Zero .
10.Dub The Weak Heart - Circles & King Tubby
11.The Road Is Rough - Leroy Smart
12.Life Goes In Circles - Dennis Brown
13.False Rumour - Two Rasta Man
14.False Rumour Version - King Tubby
15.Please Officer - Earl Zero
16.King Tubby's Version - Talent Crew
17.Speak Softly Love - Ken Boothe
18.Hit Song - Roman Stewart
19.Natty Sings A Hit Song - Dillinger
20.Dub Songs - Dillinger and King Tubby

August 21, 2006


Reggae legend and Culture frontman Joseph Hill is no longer with us. Joseph suddenly took ill and passed away in Berlin Germany on the morning of August 19, 2006 while the group were in the middle of a European tour. Hill (born: January 22, 1949) enjoyed a lengthy career in reggae music and will be greatly missed by both fans and peers. The group plans to finish its current European tour and honor all other commitments with Joseph's son Kenyatta standing in on lead vocals as a tribute to his father. In coming days additional information will be posted on this website and Culture's website and Guestbook entries can be made here

July 21, 2006


One of our first blogs ever, dealt with the issue of the revival of Joe Gibbs as an imprint in business. At the time we were very pleased that some hard to find gems were made available again, but the new Crazy Joe Europe imprint apparently decided to take it to the next level. Sure, they said, it's nice that the "African Dub" series are, deservedly so, in print again, but there is more! More?? Yep, and the chance that you've heard these tunes before are pretty slim (the Royals recorded for Joe Gibbs??)...My oh my, this is good material..All music on "Reggae Jeggae" was recorded inbetween 1968 and 1969 and at the time released as "Amalgamated" 7"s. Nowadays, they are worth a fortune if, and I mean IF, you are lucky enough to find only one of them in good condition, let alone the whole bunch. Info on their releases is not the strongest point of the Crazy Joe Europe imprint, so couldn't tell you if there are some unreleased songs on this comp, but that really doesn't matter since this is so good a record with so much great songs, both classics as obscurities, that it leaves me with just one possible recommendation: ESSENTIAL.

01_Drumbago & The Blunders_Reggae Jeggae
02_The Versatiles_Lulu Bell
03_Hugh Malcolm_Mortgage
04_The Slickers_Mother Matty
05_Errol Dunkley_Love Brother
06_The Reggae Boys_The Wicked They Must Survive
07_The Destroyers_Rock The Clock
08_The Immortals_Bongo Jah
09_Ken Parker_It's Allright
10_Jackie Robinson_Let the Little Girl Dance
11_Tyrone Taylor_Delilah
12_The Soul Sisters_Wreck A buddy
13_The Pioneers_Who The Cap Fits
14_The Creations_Get On Up
15_The Immortals_Jane Anne
16_The Royals_Never See Come See

Listen to some snippets here

July 08, 2006


Hot times like these call for hot tunes to accompany the beer/cocktail/bbq laden days we are about to spend lying on a sunbed in the garden. Luckily for us there is lots of great music coming at us in the near future. Check these fine gems:

A friend of mine just got himself a nice beamer so he is able to watch some nice vids projected on a big white wall out in the yard without getting all sweaty (sunburned, but not sweaty). He's lucky: A great dvd about the life of majestic producer Lloyd 'Jammy' James, "King at the controls" just hit the streets. Here is a small preview of this VP produced gem:

For those of us that don't wanna watch videos in a hot steaming room: this dvd comes with a nice "best of King Jammy" cd that works perfectly well sipping a Caiparinha under your inflatable palm tree. Here is the tracklist:

Mr. Landlord – Half Pint
Carpenter – John Holt
Agony – Pinchers
Punany – Admiral Bailey
Music Lover – Shabba Ranks
I Love King Selassie – Black Uhuru
Father Jungle Rock – Nicodemus
Water Pumping – Johnny Osbourne
Boom Shack – Junior Reid
Deh Wid You – Super Black
Children of the Ghetto – Cocoa Tea
The Exit – Dennis Brown
Run Down The World – Nitty Gritty
Sleng Teng – Wayne Smith
She's My Baby – Leroy Gibbons
Rock Them One By One – Eccleton Jarrett
Let Off Sup'm – Leroy Smart
One Scotch – Admiral Bailey & Chaka Demus
Serious Time – Admiral Tibett
I Know The Score – Frankie Paul

Our good friens over at SoulJazz also keep 'em coming like an ever flowing stream. This time it's "studio One Scorchers part 2" that sets the room on fire. A fine blend of instrumentals coming from the mother of all reggae studios, this is. As ever, the quality is high, there are some familiar and some unknown tracks and the sound is, as always, superdeluxe. Thanks to Pete Reilly for providing this gem and the tracklist. Also thanks to Dancecrasher for the sleevepicture.

Here is the tracklist:
Dick Tracy - The Skatalites
Frozen Soul - Soul Vendors
Joe Grazer - Vin Gordon
Black Wax - Pablove Black
Father Forgive Him - Cederic Brooks
High Locks - Pablove Black
Nimble Foot - Roland Alphnso
Sidewalk Doctor - Vin Gordon
Cousin Joe Pt. 1 - Sugar Belly
A Big Car - Jackie Mittoo
Sound Almighty - Soul Defenders
After Christmas (12" mix) - Jackie Mittoo & Pablove Black
Race Track - Brentford All Stars
Jamaica Bolero - Tommy McCook
Black Is Black - Im & David
Gumbay Jump - Dub Specialist

June 21, 2006


Ever since we started introducing our little blog on the myspace website, we get a lot of, daily, invitations from bands that like to be added as our friend. A lot of them get turned down, simply because they don't qualify as "Lock it Down" proof. Yes sir, we're a tough nut to crack.

But every once in a while a band does get through and make it onto our list of friends (cocky, eh?), and sometimes one of the groups even succeed in impressing us just a "little" bit more than the average band that does so. Prince Wadada was the first, but we invited him after we heard his tracks. So that makes AIFF the second, but actually the first, "ultra impressive" find since we didn't know they existed untill they told us so.

A quick glance over the band members of this afrobeat group tells us there are two members of the dutch groove combo "Soulsnatchers" involved in this project, but the two don't sound alike. Whereas the Soulsnatchers indulge on the heavy, rambling "deep funk" sound, AIFF takes it easier, make the whole lot sound jazzier and therefore more groovy and a hell of a lot more sophisticated. Sure, there are the odd Fela Kuti influenced parts, but what makes AIFF more favourable than all the other afrobeat combo's out there is their sound. It's more "acid jazz with an afrobeat touch" than the common "afrobeat with a bit o' jazz" style we hear so often. And that make 'em...alright, alright... not unique, but shure 'nuff exciting since we haven't heard a decent acid jazz record in an updated formula for quite some time now and got a bit bored with all the Fela clones out there. AIFF seems to have found a way to incorporate both styles, and a bit more, into a sound of their own and that is quite an achievement by itself.

To put it in their own words: "it's only a matter of time before our afrovirus will infect you."

"Afrovirus"....... Amen to that!

check here

June 15, 2006


Jamaican music lost another of its stalwarts on Saturday night when Ruddy Thomas collapsed on stage while performing as part of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission show in Portland.

"He was performing his hit song "Loving Pauper" and in the middle of the song he collapsed," Boris Gardiner, Thomas' friend of many years and himself a veteran musician, told the Jamaican Observer saturday night.

Read more here

June 07, 2006


It's good to know that in times like these, wherein the majority of producers and fans of reggae music solely seem to focus on roots reggae or fierce dancehall tracks, there are still some people out there with a love for both lovers and rootsreggae. Former Wizkidz production member, Oxman, is one of them. This SoulJazz Soundsystem mc already showed his love for loversrock by compiling the beautifull Studio One Lovers cd on SoulJazz Records, but now takes it a step further on his new imprint: Dill-Ox international. His first riddim, Lolo Bell, proves to be rough enough for the roots-reggae adepts with its fat, thick bassline and heavy one-drop, but by ensuring his riddim was topped by none other then Chezidek, Daville and JanetLee Davis, Oxman created loversrock in a 2006 stylee: an updated, rougher edged, yet comfortable familiar sound that is more than welcome. This music somehow feels like a homecoming party: long gone, but good to be back. Being a fan of both loversrock as well as rootsreggae, Oxman also recorded Prince Malachi and Mark Wonder, who ride the riddim in a more rough 'n tough, conscious roots kinda way.
The combination of the two styles works splendid and make a set of "Lola Bell" 7"s very worthwile to purchase. We sure hope to hear more of this promising new label in the future.

Check out the "lola bell" lovers side with these artists riding it:

Daville - A good woman

Chezidek - Gwaan so gwaan so

Janetlee Davis - My everything

June 05, 2006


For those that liked the first part of African Music On The Rise: here are three more interesting artists. In the meantime we'll just keep on searching and who knows, maybe we'll present part 3 in the near future.

Prince Wadada
Prince Wadada, a reggae dancehall artist born in Angola but currently residing in Portugal, already shared the stage with musicians like Damian Marley, Gentleman, Patrice, Lee Perry & Apha Blondy. Adding to his career are participations with Germaican records and Digitaldubs Sound System. The basics rights of the people are the main focus of attention in his work. His discography already shows three albums recorded which are all sung in either Portugese or Angolian dialect.

We are deeply in love with: "Aldeia" (featuring Bezegol)
Check sound here

Zolile Matikinca aka Zoro was born in the township of Guguletu outside Cape Town, South Africa. The apartheid regime labeled his adress Native Yard 9. Being the first-born son in a musical family, music came natural. At the age of six he started singing in choirs, but kept listening to his uncles banned reggae collection.
In 1989 Zoro was shot by a policeman, when he tried to stop the police from hitting a woman. This paralyzed him from the waist and down. Through determination and faith, a year later, he finally got the strength to leave the wheelchair and walk again. Through the nineties Zoro established himself as a major reggae voice in the Cape Province. Together with the Chronic Clan he created a trademark sound of conscious dancehall and R&B from his studio in Guguletu.

We are so into: "Azania"
Check sound here

Wagëblë was formed in 1997 in Thiraroye, one of the most unfavourable suburbs in Dakar. The rappers Eyewitness, Waterflow and Begun met at various battles in Dakar and quickly understood that they had the same point of view on music, life and the problems Senegal was facing. The group managed to record one track for a senegalese compilation before Begun left the group in 2002, to persue a high school education in the United States. Back in Dakar, Eyewitness and Waterflow met up with Fred Russel, a norwegian talent scout looking for artists for potential projects. They decided to record an album together with norwegian producers Rumblin and Crizmo, resulting in their debut ”Wagëb’ Rap New Generation”, released in Senegal in 2003.
In December 2004, their follow up album was recorded in the house of Eyewitness, with equipment brought over from Norway. The record is dedicated to their motherland, Senegal, and is a snapshot of the daily life of the majority of it’s population.

We prefer the track "Senegal"
Check sound here

June 03, 2006


After two great compilations on African music focussing on the nowadays vibes instead of looking back, both African Rebel as Lagos Stori Plenti were good for a very positive shout-out on this blog, we figured it's also time for Lock it Down to look ahead. So instead of reviewing an album already released, we now bring you an update of artists that should fit perfectly well on a future comp. Trust us, if these tracks were to be released on a compilation, it would be a killer. For the lazy ones amongst you: stop reading, because this topic involves a lot of forwarding, a lot of reading and a lot of listening. Cha, what else is new...

check 'em out:

Fafadi was born in June 1975 in Ziguinchor, a town in Senegal’s southern region of Casamance. At nine years old, Fafadi started singing with his family, who were inspired by the music of Toure Kunda, a traditional Senegalese musician also from Casamance. Added to this was the influence of Reggae from Gambia. These two music styles combined to create Fafadis unique musical style. From 2000 to 2004, Fafadi was featured on many albums including Toure Kunda, Bideew Bou Bess, Bibson, and Samuel Winchester, a Jamaican man based in Senegal. In Novemeber 2004, Fafadi released his first album, Vitamine A, which focused on the topics of love, peace and Allah.

We prefer the track "Siga."
check sound here

Ahlou Bi
Ahlou Bi is a hip-hop, dancehall duo founded by Sang B and Ras Narone, formed in 1993 in Pikine, a suburb of Dakar, Senegal. The focus of their message is on the injustices of discrimination, the power of God, and love for all humans. While the majority of youth in Senegal gravitate towards hip-hop music, African Akhlou B broke away from this trend to find a style that would stand out and spread their message. Dancehall reggae became their primary sound, but to it they added some real African flavours. A vibrant mix of singing and toasting.

We prefer the track "Drugsida."
check sound here

Meta & The corner stone
Meta, born in Senegal, reggae artist and also a very skilled hip hop artist, moved to the U. S. in the spring of 2000, residing in Detroit. Meta's powerful writing and his deep singing voice have gained him great respect and recognition both nationally and internationally. Meta speaks 7 languages fluently and has been very innovative in creating new ways of communicating by combining two or more languages together thus creating his own "patoie". When Meta first began performing on the streets and stages of Dakar, many people were very resistant to this style of music along with the political content of his lyrics. In the year 2000, when Meta released his 1st album, "Yalla Suuren" (God Bless) the government tried to ban the album release. Despite the opposition Meta succeeded. Meta since then has performed on many stages, along with numerous interviews for television shows, radio shows and newspaper media in Africa, France and the U.S.

We prefer the track "Struggle" (familiar riddim, ain't it?)
check sound here

Gokh-bi System, aka GBS A, was formated in 1994 with three members: Mamdou Ndiaye, Pape Bathie Pouye and Diasse Pouye, who all grew up in the same neighborhood, or to be more exact: practically in the same house. The original sound of the group was based on rap backed by synthetic beats. Two years later, the group fused a traditional sound with the rap through the music of the ekonting, played by Sana Ndiaye, and traditional drums, played by Backa Niang. Not long after, the group invited Abdou Sarr to bring an additional energy to the music through local dance styles. GBS has been performing internationally since 1999, in Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, and the United States. Currently, GBS is the most well known African hip-hop group in the United States, the result of 8 US tours in 22 states in five years.

We prefer the track "Unity Laobe"
check sound here

As Malick
As Malick El Hadji Malick Mbaye, aka As Malick, is a young artist who grew up in HLM de la Gueule Tapee. In 1993, As Malick started his first musical group, TMT, with neighbourhood friends in the suburb of Thiaroye/Pikine. Later in 1993 he joined another band in the same neighborhood called Gestu Gui. In 1998, As Malick decided to embark on a solo career. By the year 2000, he had joined up with two other R&B singers, Seydiman and Carlou D to form the group Ska Blue. It was working with Ska Blue that broadcast As Malick’s beautiful R&B and Reggae voice across Senegal. This recognition came without having a record on the market, but through being featured on numerous other artists’ albums. Many of the songs that featured As Malick were hit singles in Senegal. In 2003, As Malick recorded his first hit single entitled "Yaye Bagn." In 2004, As Malick released his long awaited first solo album: Benene Vibes.

We prefer the track "Number One"
check sound here

Wa Flash
A group of friends who share a passion for music, the members of Waflash live in a town called Thies, 60 miles east of Dakar.In 1988,Senegal experienced a crisis in which students went on strike to demand better materials for their studies. As a result, many students did not go to school that year. This became an opportunity for the members of Waflash to focus their attention on music. As a result, in 1990, Waflash completed their first recording. The music of Waflash is a mixture of African, European and Asian music styles that speaks to the themes of love, environment, women, and a united Africa.

We prefer the track "Linke Diyo"
check sound here

For now, we'll leave it at that. This list doesn't yet make up a complete compilation album, merely a good start, but hey: undiscovered artists are hard to find! Recommendations are, ofcourse, always welcome. In the meantime make sure you are on the lookout for tracks of Awadi (no website, no myspace, no record: but killer group!) who made a crucial appearance on the "roll back malaria" dvd.

May 27, 2006

The Soul Snatchers: Funky Dordrecht!

Check out The Soul Snatchers from Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Founded rock solid on the well oiled rhythm section of clean drums and thumping bass, the dangerously growling Hammond organ and the reverbing sounds of the Gretsch guitar find their way to your soul blindly. Add to that the two- or threeheaded horn section and the tormented throat of female singer Jojo (or a guest vocalist) and one nearly orgastic climax after another rolls out of the speakers. For everybody who already enjoyed the Lefties Soul Connection from Amsterdam........
In the spring season of 2006, the Soul Snatchers first 7 vinyl record will be released on the german Social Beats label, containing Get Yourself To Get Her on the A-side and Sniffin & Snatchin on the flipside. Later that year, the band is planning to record a full album with lots of self written songs.
check out their Myspace and listen to more tracks:

May 09, 2006


Sure thing: it's been a while since the last post on this little blogspot of ours, but hey, what can I say? As much as I like writing stuff about music, there is one thing I prefer above that: travelling! So when I'm asked to accompany some nice folks on a journey to the beautiful Istanbul (for free!!), I'm game! Yeah, I knew you'd understand...
But the good part is: whatever country, city or village I'm in: there is always a story to be found. Apart from the fact that Istanbul is a great, hip, young 'n' attractive city (go visit!) there is great music to be found. Here is a nice gesture:

Doublemoon Records is a multi-award winning label residing in Istanbul, offering us all kinds of great music: from sufi-electronica to groove alla turca, from jazz to gypsy funk, from oriental hip-hop to anatolian blues. A rich blend indeed! East2West is a compilation that brings together tracks from the Doublemoon catalogue offering a great insight into the music of Turkey and particularly Istanbul. Three volumes of this compilation were already set loose on the world and every one is a winner. For those of you who still think Turkish music is just a lot of notes played on awkward instruments, here's an overview: It's hip, it's modern, it's different, it's dub but not quite, it's reggaeton but not quite, it's hiphop but not quite, it's....well you've got it by now, don't cha? Go listen!

More great news reached me the day after my arrival in Holland. The sequel of my favourite compilation of 2004 is finally out in the open. K industria's Barcelona Raval Sessions was to me THE revelation of all compilations released in the last 5 years or so. I think I've stated my love for Barcelona already somewhere else on this blog, but for those that don't know: it's my kinda town. Especially the Raval area is great for wandering about. Raval is a multicultural, busy "barrio" with great shops, nice bars, shabby prostitutes and a fine blend of good people. When strolling through it you'll soon find out that there is music coming at you from all over: the bakery, the butcher, the barber, the cars: from every corner sounds are a blasting! And all these sounds were nicely captured on Barcelona Raval Sessions, covering a wide area of reggae, rai, hip-hop, mestizo, house, tribal and everything inbetween.

Well now, I reckon that you understand that Barcelona Raval Sessions 2 was eagerly awaited by yours truly, but it turned out to be a bit of a bummer at first...Murphy's law? Cd one is, besides a handfull of good tracks, filled with mediocre housy tunes, "same old-same old" hip hop and dancy dubshit that fail to grab my attention. Worst track by far is a truly awfull remix of flamenco greats Ojos de Brujo's "Ventilaor"...But, thankfully, this compilation is double cd package. And, thankfully, this second disc is worthwile all the way! Great, future classic, tracks by DJ Awal, Trilogy (beautiful blend of flamenco, Habib Koite-like guitar playing and Tom Waits styled singing), Beat Nation, Daara J (long time Lock it Down favourites) and especially Pirat's Sound Sistema make up for the loss. Barcelona Raval Sessions 2..a bit of a bummer comp consisting of great music...contradiction intermino?

April 21, 2006


"Flower power is at its peak in Haight Ashbury, the Rolling Stones are answering Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band with their own psychedlic masterpiece and Folonho ‘Ginger’ Johnson releases this long overlooked gem of funky African music in London.
Two years later at the famous Rolling Stones’ concert in Hyde Park, Ginger and his massed drum ensemble would make a memorable appearance on ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ but first would be African Party.

Ginger first came to the UK in the 50s and by the sixties was a cult fixture on the mod scene. His sound was one of complex African polyrhythms funked up guitar, flute and above all a jazz horn section. Remind you of anyone? Did Fela and Ginger meet, maybe even jam together? Who knows but one thing is for sure, this album represents an African response to Afro-American interest in African music from groups like Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, recorded in London at a time when everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Fela Kuti, Bob Marley to Gilberto Gil would be passing through (not to mention the homegrown talents).
The title suggests that it would have been marketed as a bit of a novelty record and Ginger’s association with bands like Edmundo Ross’ makes one suspect that this Nigerian drummer would do what it takes to get by but any thought of compromise in the music itself is swiftly countered by the ten tracks of ebullient, funky and percussion-heavy proto Afro beat.

Respect to Cyclone Releasing Corp. for unearthing this gem. Commiserations to the person who paid over $150 last year for an original copy."

Review by Damian Rafferty I couldn't have stated it better myself. Check out this awesome record, it won't let you down.

April 19, 2006


Sad news from Tanzania where Faza Nelly, one of the founding members of Tanzanian rap group X Plastaz, passed away. Nelly had been admitted to hospital with wounds inflicted by a knife that a psychotic neighbour had used to attack him. Doctors had hope of curing him, but the damage to his lungs proved too severe.

In his travel with the group he got to see different parts of the world such as Belgium, UK and Brazil. He was booked to perform in Gabon (West-central Africa) in early June, and a music video featuring him rapping on top of the holy mountain of the Maasai (the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai) was about to be released in Tanzania along with the new single 'Hiyo' which is also on the new Kunta Kinte Clothing mixtape (see the X Plastaz Myspace page for audio).

April 08, 2006

Encounters of the Dutch Rare Grooves: Tony Sherman

I always loved the band WAR (with or without Eric Burdon), and was very pleased to encounter this seven inch (on the BASF label) with Tony Sherman's version of WAR's Slippin' into darkness on the flipside...Tony was born in Haarlem, Netherlands (his parents hailed from the Antilles) and made a few recordings under his own name, later he formed a band called The Shermans. Tonight is his second single (1974) and the A side is allright, but Slippin' ... really hits the spot. Funky Funky Holland! Definitely a candidate for the next Dutch Rare Groove compilation!
for more info on Tony check the NPI website:

April 04, 2006


While we're still at home enjoying "African Rebel" as, without doubt, THE best reggae compilation cd to see the light of day this year, the busy Germanz of OutHere records went back to Africa to cook up a fine new release: Lagos Stori Plenti. A comp with the finest hip hop Nigeria has to offer today. An yet again, it's killing. From the get go, a great tribute to Eminem by Terry da Rapman (I'm a Nigerian, do you trust me?) to the very end, this is good music all over. Though sometimes sounding a bit TOO much like their American brothers, there are a lot of standout tracks which add to flavour by mixing hip hop with local music and thus creating a new, exciting and utmost danceable "afrobeat juju Hiphop" kinda thing.

check it out here

April 01, 2006


The Hound was a radioshow that ran from 1985 to 1995, broadcasted in the New York area. All shows from that era have now been ressurected on the web, and we thank God on our bare knees, whilst praying our haaaaaaaail Maries, for that. The Hound is a superb, easy acces archive of great music, spanning from Hasil Adkins to Bo Diddley and ongoing via Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band to the Chantels (the girlgroup, not the reggae combo.)You can download complete shows, or single tracks as mp3's. Even more interesting is scrolling through the database by artist. In doing so, the true magnitude of this internet site is revealed in all its simplicity and it'll leave you downloading for hours! Don't say we didn't warn you!

here you go!

thanks to soulgeneration for the tip

March 22, 2006


Just got back from Spain, where I missed a great opportunity to see Gerald, main man of the Jazzman/Funk 45 label, in action at the decks. My excuse is valid though, as I was still recovering from a great "funk" night at El Planta Baja the night before. A heavily dreadlocked dj was playing some nice afrobeat and funk stompers when he suddenly decided, after a quick flinch at me for some reason I don't know and don't wanna speculate about, to pull out his reggae 45's and pop dem big riddims for the rest of the night. And it turned out to be a GOOOOD night!

Unfortunately the hangover afterwards was so big that I had to miss hearing these little babies on big speakers the night after. New tunes on the big label are:

Pow-wow /Chicken & Booze

This scorching boogaloo monster has been in high demand ever since it’s first release in 1967. A tribal intro drops into a miles deep latin funk workout that has never failed to rock a dancefloor. Backed with the Jazz club classic ‘Chicken & Booze’, this 45 will no doubt find a home in record boxes the world over.

listen Pow wow here
Listen Chicken & Booze here

Just take your time / Thoughts

North Carolina natives the Innersouls would never have recorded anything were it not for ex-racing driver Dick Plemmons, who booked the band to play at his son’s birthday party and was so impressed he bankrolled the recording of their only single! Locally famous for their multi-coloured afro’s, the band nonetheless failed to hit first time round so changed their name to ‘bite, chew & spit’ and promptly embarked on a long and direct road to obscurity..

listen to Just take your time here

March 21, 2006


The Jamaican Observer newspaper conducted a nice interview with Mikey Dread: legendary soundman, radiohost and producer. The interview is accompanied by a nice overview of the man's career. Read all about the Dread at the Controls here

More info on Mikey as singer can also be found on his own website.

Although as prolific a singer he might be, Mikey will always be best remembered for his graveshift radioshows and especially for the, self produced, jingles he used on them (which were sampled to death over the years). Get a taste of those funny little gems here

March 17, 2006

Clement Coxsone Dodd is still the Ruler!

Studio One and its producer Clement Dodd are essential in understanding reggae and music in general. The Heartbeat label released many essential Studio One compilations and albums and their website now features a 12:49 movie about the history of Jamaica & Studio one. Absolutely recommended!

click here to see the movie clip!

March 16, 2006

Re-issues Fania: Essential Funky Latin Grooves

A whole bunch of real nice albums (late sixties/early seventies) on the famous Fania label are re-issued & remastered on cd. If you're into latin or funky exotic music in general you should check 'm!

check them here:;;13

March 09, 2006


For those of you living in Holland: be sure to come and check out 100% DYNAMITE in Tivoli de Helling this friday. The previous three editions were a smash as the SOULJAZZ SOUNDSYTEM lived up to their reputation already set with comps like the DYNAMITE and STUDIO ONE series. Expect a lot of reggae, dancehall, roots, ska and funk. Inna DYNAMITE STYLE!


March 02, 2006

New Release Soundway-label: Panama!

Panama! Latin, Calypso & Funk on the Isthmus 1965-1975 (Soundway, 2006)
The people from Soundway are bringing us a new compilation of funky grooves. This time, not Mama Africa, but the overlooked Panama is the focus of the release. Check soundsamples and enjoy the quality groove of these tracks!
Los Exagerados-Panama Esta Bueno Y Ma-5:17 sample
The Exciters-Exciters Theme-3:46 sample
Bush Y Sus Magnificos-Nana Nina-2:59
Victor Boa Y Su Musica-Soy Solo Para Ti-4:10 sample
Freddy Y Su Afro Latinos-Maltrato-5:59
Papi Brandao Y Su Ejecutivos-Viva Panama-3:09 sample
Los Silvertones-Old Buzzard-3:05 sample
Los Fabulosos Festivals-El Mensaje-3:30 sample
(yep, it's Cymande's The Message)
The Exciters-New Bag-6:26
Bolita y Su Tentacion Latina-Descarga Tentacion-8:31 sample
Los Caballeros de Colon-Con Los Caballeros-3:07
Los Dinamicos Exciters -Let me do my Thing-3:24
Los Mozambiques-Viva Tirado-4:33 (hitversion by El Chicano)
Maximo Rodriguez Y Sus Estrella Panamenas-Mambologia-4:00
Lord Cobra and Pana Afro Sounds-Rocombey-3:41

Release date: March 24th 2006
Label link:

Update: The second volume of Panama is released! check here for more info!

February 27, 2006

In Memoriam: Raymond "Ray" Barretto

Drummer and bandleader: born New York 29 April 1929; married 1978 Brandy Rivera (three sons, one daughter); died Hackensack, New Jersey 17 February 2006.

Ray Barretto, the towering Puerto Rican percussionist who straddled the occasionally conflicting worlds of salsa and Latin jazz during a career that spanned more than half a century, died Friday. He was 76.
Barretto, who had asthma, was hospitalized last month in New Jersey, where it was discovered he had suffered a heart attack. He was also treated for pneumonia and later underwent quadruple bypass surgery. His condition suddenly worsened because of unspecified complications, according to longtime friend and family spokesman George Rivera, who declined to state a cause of death. "He fought to the bitter end," Rivera said. "There was never any doubt in his mind that he was going to play again. If he could survive, he was going to play, because that was his mission in life." (
Tracklist: El Nuevo Barretto; Mercy, Mercy Baby; Acid; A Deeper Shade of Soul; The Soul Drummers; Sola Te Dejare; Teacher of Love; Espiritu Libre.
Produced by Jerry Masucci & Harvey Averne
Listen HERE to Ray's Soul Drummers on the Home of the Groove blogspot!

February 08, 2006


The proud history of New Orleans is by now somewhat overshadowed by recent disasters, but to many, including yours truly, the city is and always will be the home of the groove. The city where jazz was born, R' & B' flourished and the upcoming sound of funk was treated with a typical "New Orleans Roots" point of few, and in the process creating the most exciting sounds in funk ever to see the light of day. The city also, where a lot of pioneering Jamaican producers got their influences from throughout the years.

One of the most interesting sites on the subject is Home of the Groove. A weblog that features rare, hard to find or just plain good New Orleans-related R&B and funk tracks with interesting background stories. While reading you can listen to the commented tracks as well. A great source of info indeed!

February 02, 2006

Check the Sample: Amen, Brother by the Winstons

The "Amen break" is one of the most frequently used sampled drum loops in jungle and drum and bass music. It consists of 16 beats of the drum break lifted from the song "Amen, Brother" as performed by the 1960s funk/soul outfit The Winstons. The song is an uptempo instrumental rendition of an older gospel music classic. The Winstons' version was released as a B-side of the 45 rpm 7" vinyl single "Color Him Father" in 1969 on Metromedia. The Amen break can be found in many different forms: looped straight as in old-skool drum and bass, or entirely dismembered and rearranged as in some tunes by artists like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin; it is used in literally thousands of drum and bass songs and (notably) many hip hop tunes, such as NWA's "Straight Outta Compton". The Amen break has also been used by more well-known musical acts including Perry Farrell and Nine Inch Nails, and can even be heard in the background of car commercials and television shows such as The Amazing Race and Futurama. The Winstons were a Washington D.C.-based soul act led by Richard Spencer, signed to Curtom in early 1968 and lasted there for one single, the rousing "Need a Replacement." They had a sound that was somewhat similar to the Impressions, but were unfortunate enough to have signed with Curtom before the label had national distribution, and the single never got the play it should have. A year after leaving Curtom, they hit for the Metromedia label with a huge single called "Color Him Father," which became a Top Ten R&B and pop hit, just missing number one on the R&B list, and also earned a Grammy for Best R&B Song. It was both a great tribute number and outstanding lead vocal from Richard Spencer, along with Ray Maritano, Quincy Mattison, Phil Tolotta, Sonny Peckrol, and G.C. Coleman. Mattison and Coleman were veterans of Otis Redding's band. The Winstons eventually toured as the backup band for the Impressions, but never again made any noise on the charts. And never got paid for their break.
Check for what they are doing at the moment.
Some of the tunes using the Break: 2 Live Crew - "Feel Alright Yall", 3rd Bass - "Wordz of Wisdom”, 4 Hero - "Escape That", Amon Tobin - "Nightlife", Aphex Twin - "Boy/Girl Song", Atari Teenage Riot - "Burn Berlin Burn”, Brand Nubian - "The Godz Must Be Crazy", Deee-Lite - "Come on In, the Dreams are Fine",Dillinja - "The Angels Fell", Eric B and Rakim - "Casualties of War", Funky Technicians - "Airtight", Goldie - "Chico: Death of a Rock Star”, Heavy D - "Let it Flow", Heavy D - "Flexin'", Heavy D - "MC Heavy D!", Heavyweight - "Oh Gosh”, J. Majik - "Your Sound", J. Majik - "Arabian Nights", Lemon D - "This is Los Angeles", Level Vibes - "Beauty & the Beast", Lifer's Group - "Jack U. Back (So You Wanna Be a Gangsta)", Ltj Bukem - "Music", Maestro Fresh Wes - "Bring it On", Mantronix - "King of the Beats”, Movement Ex - "KK Punani", Nice & Smooth - "Dope Not Hype", NWA - "Straight Outta Compton", Oasis - "Do Y'Know What I Mean”, Roni Size - "Brown Paper Bag", Salt-N-Pepa - "Desire", Scarface - "Born Killer", Schoolly D - "How a Black Man Feels".

Information was lifted from the excellent sites and
RECOMMENDED: Click here if you are interested in elevating your consciousness & understanding of music as it is today, then listen to Nate Harrison's oral history of the Amen break, placed into his cultural background!

February 01, 2006


BRENT DOWE, lead singer of one of the harmony trio The Melodians, which also includes Tony Brevette and Trevor McNaughton, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack shortly before daybreak yesterday.

Reports are that Dowe, who appeared to be in good health, fell ill at his Hughenden, St. Andrew, home yesterday.

One of the most memorable of many hits which he sang lead on was Rivers of Babylon, the adaptation of a Psalm which was included on the soundtrack of the 1972 film Harder They Come.

Dowe also sang lead on the songs Little Nut Tree, Swing And Dine and You Have Caught Me.

source: jamaican gleaner

January 31, 2006


And after all that reggae talk, it's time to go back to the basis: funk!
There are a lot of new gems out there that are very worthwile picking up from your local recordstore. Here are some highlights from the flood of 7"s:

Homenage/Laredo 77

Freestyle Records

Named one of Austin, Texas' 'Best Live Acts' by the Austin Chronicle, Brownout! performs the nastiest latin funk music today. This band of "party rocking legends" was resurrected from the same tequila soaked border town explosion that originated the highly acclaimed latin powerhouse Grupo Fantasma. Brownout! is an 8 piece ensemble complete with 2 guitars, bass, no nonsense percussion, and "2005's Best Horn Section" at the Austin Music Awards. Throwback but not copycat retro, their music is timeless and honest, keeping the spirit of 70s afro-latin and funk music alive while honoring their South Texas roots.

Listen to Homenage here
Listen to Laredo 77 here

Reverend Cleatus & The Soul Saviours
The slip/ white stiletto

Freestyle Records

Amassing a respectable amount of sweaty, rabble rousing gigs in every major & minor funk club since 2003, it’s hard to believe this is only the bands 2nd outing on vinyl. Heavy on the grit, the Soul Saviours lay down some puritanical breaks, with healthy servings of Hammond, thundering bass and sharp horns. Amen to that!

Listen to The slip here
Listen to White stiletto here

Ernie Hawks & the Soul IG's
Soulfull trip pt 1 / Soulfull trip pt2

Timmion Records

A totally massive number that's filled with snapping drum breaks, cool bongo bits, heavy funky flute, and some great Meters-esque organ lines! The tune's got a dark, sinister feel -- and was produced to perfection by Didier, with a 70s-styled sound that easily puts it at the top of the stacks! Essential -- and a record to match most of your best bits from years back!

Listen to Soulfull Trip pt 1 here

Funky Nassau
Bahama soul stew/look what you can get

Tramp Records

In the 1960's and early 1970's Henry Stone started to record some local Miami talent. He was strongly influenced musically by James Brown at that time. This you can hear when you listen to these two sides. "Funky Nassau" consists of 4 members (Albury, Orlando, Hepburn, Tayler). the horns came from the famous marching 100 of FAMU who played on most of the deep city and TK records in the early days. The A-side is a latin-funk monster of the highest order, while the B-side is midtempo, soulful vocal funk at its best. One of the finest funk 45s that ever came out of Miami, Florida.

Listen to Bahama soul stew here
Listen to Look what you can get here

January 30, 2006


Ever since german reggae-superstar Gentleman broke big in almost every chart throughout the world, it is clear: you don't have to come from "the island in the sun" to make good reggae. We knew it all along, but somehow the productions made in Jamaica were always better then those that were not. Fiercer, rougher, more to the point and always one step ahead. But somewhere along the line the competition got harder. Sure, Gentleman still records a lot of his work in Jamaica (and thus getting that dusty, hot weather, scratched equipment feeling that comes with it for free) but a lot (including the backing of one of the biggest hits of 2004/5: Tanya Stephens' It's a pity) was recorded in a neatly set up recording studio in Germany. And for a change, it didn't sound overproduced, out-dated or ultra slick, which was often the big issue with outer-Jamaican productions. No, these new recordings sounded like real REGGAE! No Bob Marley clones, no instrumental dub bands covering the seventies, no poppy takes on the original style, but good companions to the ruling Jamaican sounds of today. And to prove the point: Tanya hit big in Jamaica and went on to conquer the world on the back of just that german produced song, Gentleman hit big allover the world, ze germanz of Seeed were the best act performing on the Jamaicans laden 2004 edition of Two 77 Splash and the German based production factory Germaica were suddenly a force to be reckoned with.

Ofcourse there are always exceptions, but fact is that, apart from the english (whom often use a productions style I'm not very fond of...)no other country ever fully satisfied my needs for good reggae. Not even when I was visiting the good continent of Africa, was I blown away by new sounds.

However, ever since the Germans broke big, the floodgate of good productions seems to be wide open. More and more good reggae keeps coming at us from all over Africa, Germany, France and even...the Netherlands! Maybe the Germaicans opened up some eyes? Or is reggae THE new trend and is everyone just copying a style? Whatever it may be, the result is good new music, with everybody putting in some of his own and in doing so making reggae a true uniting force once again.

Here are some tips for your listening pleasure:

Various Artists: African Rebel Music (OutHere Records)

Presenting hits from 10 countries ‘African Rebel Music – Roots reggae and dancehall’ gives a first insight into the new reggae dancehall movement in Africa (including a very informative 24 page booklet). So far only two reggae artist have had real international success: Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy. A new generation has long arrived but although many of them are stars at home and regulars in their local charts, this compilation is the first chance for most of them to release their music internationally. Personale fave is the H20 featuring Zubz take on the mighty "WorldJam" riddim, produced by none other then Jazzy B of Soul II Soul.

more info and mp3's here

Ziggy: So Much Reasons (Rock 'n Vibes)

Hailing from the Netherlands and a future star on the rise. So Much Reasons, Ziggi's forth coming debut album is a hot mixture of dancehall and modern reggae and is set to be released on February 6th 2006. The album includes the hits "In My Head" featuring Shanaira Rey, "High Time", "Call Me", the remix of the international hit "Notorious" along side Turbulence and "Inna Mi Bed" featuring "Energy God" Elephant Man. You can listen to this youngster via the link below, but make sure to catch him on the stage as well. Who knows, in the future you might be one of those lucky bastards who can say that "I was there..."

More info and mp3's here

Various Artists: Sky is the limit (emi japan)

This one is a bit older (from 2002 actually) but still does the job quite well. The Japanese love reggae. The are notorious for paying huge amounts of money on e-bay for original 7"s and also famous for having the biggest collections of reggae music in the world. On top of that, the last dancehall queen contest in Jamaica (a BIG event!) was won by...a Japanese girl. Not to everybody's satisfaction, so much is clear after reading the dozens of forums complaining about it. This cd, however, shows us that they also know how to make hardhitting dancehall. Though some of the tracks are produced by Jamaican producers, it sounds like it was made for the Japanese market only. Seldom was dancehall this tough...The Japanese lyrics even make it filthier although I don't have a clue what they are singing about.

Listen here (reading info might be a bit tough i think..)

Various 7"s: Rasta Pickney (Old Capital)

And these nice gems come from: France! And they sound good. Not astonishingly different due to big Jamaicans artists riding the riddim (a.o Turbulence, Lutan Fyah and Lorenzo) but still very worthwile listening to because the french built riddim is heavy heavy heavy. This is a promising start of this new label. Keep an eye on these freshmen!

Info and mp3's here

January 26, 2006


The story of the mighty Studio One imprint, founded by legendary producer Coxsone Dodd in 1956 and home to many greats such as the Skatalites,Bob Marley, Jackie Mittoo and Sugar Minott is probably common knowledge by now (if not: watch the great documentary made and released by SoulJazz Records). Even if one has just a slight interest in reggae music it's impossible not to stumble upon Studio One, because sooner or later you're bound to hear a song, an artist or even a riddim that was originally created in the legendary studios on Brentford Road. Thanks to the hard work of many great labels such as Heartbeat and SoulJazz records we are able to listen to hard to find or unreleased gems. Thanks to avid fans such as Rob Chapman, we know what the original 7"s look like, which albums are bogus or bootlegged (for instance: all Trojan albums containing Studio One releases are illegal), and which items we should be on the lookout for.

The story about the label might be well known, as stated above, but how do you cover a fifty years period of reign in one documentary or even in a series of samplers? It can not be done. Luckilly there are thousand and thousands of interesting websites on the internet dealing with nothing but Studio One. A little bit of crawling keeps you informed and always yawning for more.
Two new interesting sites just hit the web:
Studio One heartbeat contains a timeline, wallpapers and some interesting links, but most of all: it contains every Studio One album released by the Heartbeat label and, here comes the good part: you can listen to all of the songs!

Studio One Style contains way too much information about 7"s, 10"s, 12"s, artists, new releases, old releases and more. It's good but unfortunately also for a great deal written in french. Not my strongest language I'm afraid..

thanks to dancecrasher for the links.

Also be on the lookout for two great new releases on the SoulJazz imprint containing nothing but goodies. These come highly recommended!!

Studio One Soul part 2
(click to see tracklisting and info)

and: Sound Dimension: Jamaica Soul Shake part 1

January 06, 2006

Psychedelic Deep Funk is Gonna Get You!

The Invaders - Spacing Out

Deep Deep Funk! If you like the sound of the NY Desco/Daptone label (eg Sugarman Three), you gotta dig this. All instrumental, funky congas & flute, an occasional latin touch, psychedelic echoes..... just how I like it Baby! Some say it's a bunch of Americans jamming in the Europe at the end of the Sixties, others claim it as hailing from The Bermudas, released in 1970. Mysterious origins always ad a nice touch to a rare (as in hard-to-obtain) funk album.....The original album on Duane Records seems to have been on ebay for $ 700 (personally I hate, and would never buy, any record over $ 50). The re-issue on BadAssss Records (mine is white-labelled) is way more affordable and probably sounds better......includes two versions of the James Brown classic It's my Thing and The Meters' monstertune Look a Py Py....

Tracklist It's Your Thing, Lost Time, The House That Jack Built, Look A Py Py, Bossa Blue, Spacing Out, Where We Are, Latin Lips, It's Your Thing Part Two.

Credits Congas: Sturgis, Trumpet: Ralph, Sax & Flute: Lloyd, Bass: Stan, Guitar: John, Drums: Mike, Engineered by Ian, Produced by Jean-Paul.

January 04, 2006


2006 is going to be the year in which M.I.A. and LADY SOVEREIGN are bound to hit the charts big time. And they deserve it, 'cause they know how to ride a riddim and how to be creative without selling out. Back in the eighties it was up to SISTER NANCY to do just the same. Although she hit big with the "Bam Bam" single on the mighty stalag riddim, she never made it into the big league. But recently she reappeared on the stage in the USA, showing the public her skills are still very, very good and...up to date!. SoulJazz Records (always a big fan of Sister Nancy tunes) recognized this immediately and are now the proud owner of her comeback tune, produced by Kid 606 and Dj Rupture. I'm certain this won't hit the charts, but I'm also certain that I'm very keen to play this 12" record in the dancehall. Because it competes with the sisters of today, big time!!! Listen here