July 18, 2009

New Reggae Releases on Pressure Sounds

The mighty Pressure Sounds label strikes again with two upcoming reggae releases:
First up is Delroy Wilson's album Dub Plate Style (release date 8th August 2009), a collection of Delroy Wilson tunes from 1978 produced by Bunny Lee, but remixed by King Jammy at King Tubby's. Most of the songs you might have heard, but according to the people at Pressure Sounds, these Jammy mixes really make the difference...and I quote: A little rawer.... A little sparser....alittle heavier....and much, much deeper…
That does sound promising! For more info check here and here.
The next release is planned for Sept 19th, and is called Sound System International by King Tubby & The Dynamites. Early King Tubby dubs from tunes by The Dynamites, as produced by Clancy Eccles. Well, since I love the great King Tubby, I'm sure we'll not be disappointed by this set. For more info check here.

New reggae release: Queen Ifrica - Welcome To Montego Bay (VP)

One of the top conscious female reggae stars of the moment, Queen Ifrica has released her second album (on cd and vinyl, although with a different tracklist) last month on VP records. Last years debut, called Fyah Mumma was already a strong album, including the big hit Below the Waist, and this new recording brings us more massive cultural reggae tunes. Born Ventrice Morgan (Daughter to Jamaican Legend Derrick Morgan), began her career in 1995 after shining at a local talent contest in her hometown of Montego Bay, Jamaica. This led to major stage performances in her country including the esteemed Reggae Sumfest as well as a union with Tony Rebel's Flames Crew in 1998. The new album, Welcome to Montego Bay features 13 songs (14 on vinyl), mixing spiritual anthems, lover's rock tunes and social commentaries. Including her hit tune about child molestation Daddy (produced by Kemar McGregor). Althoughy my lock it down-buddy CS really dislikes this new album, the tunes Don't Sign (Moviestar riddim, produced by Donovan Germain) and Keep it to Yourself (Secrets riddim, produced by Donovan Bennet) work pretty ok for me.......(But yeh..it doesn't get as good as on Fyah Mumma....)
Check her Myspace here for soundsamples.
01. T.T.P.N.C (cd only)
02. Montego Bay

03. Coconut Shell
04. Lioness On The Rise
05. Yad To The East
06. Far Away
07. Don't Sign
08. Daddy
09. Keep It To Yourself
10. Calling Africa
11. In My Dreams
12. Streets Are Bloody13. Daddy (Spanish Version) (CD only)14. Fyah Red ft Gentleman (LP only)15. Vibes ft Shaggy (LP only)16. Child Slavery (LP only)

July 14, 2009


You know the feeling when a plan, that looked so great and absolutely invincible on paper, is finally unleashed and set in motion only to come back as a huge disappointment and completely different than what was expected? Ofcourse you do, and so do I, but the other day I sadly experienced this emotion in the quickest way ever.

While checking a list of up and coming tunes, my eye immediately focussed on the name Nneka. Not only because it was a bit strange to see this Lock it Down and personal fave "new queen of soul" appear on a list of dubstep releases, also because the name was linked to Chase & Status, who, apart from also charting our fave list for many reasons, apparently have remixed her epic "Heartbeat" tune. Quite an exciting combination!

Or is it?
On paper the link-up seems like a match made in heaven. Nneka is doing very well on the soul 'n 'pop circuit and is succesfully touring the continent, spreading her positive message through songs that emerge from her ever growing songwriting talent. Chase & Status recently succesfully reinvented themselves by drifting away from their crushing raggajungle anthems, releasing hit after hit (with influences taken from both dubstep as well as rock and everything in between) and firmly establishing themselves as a "hype to watch and be cool with."

Unfortunately, as you might have expected from the introduction, the final result "isn't all that." No, let's be honest: it's horrible. And no one is to blame, really, because a tune like "Heartbeat" really can't be remixed without damaging it. It's one of those rare tunes that is complete. It's a finished product, just the way it is. Any alteration means damage. Sure, it doesn't help much that Chase 'n Status decided to give the tune a "rock feel" that completely robs the tune of its swing , funk and air. Topping it of are the corny synth parts and the screaming guitarsolo's that intersperse with Nneka's singing which are simply devastating to what was left of the tune. That said, I must say I do like Chase 'n' Status idea behind it. I'm always pro "thinking outside of the box" and that is exactly what Chase 'n Status did with this remix: they took a different approach. Come to think of it, that is what I always liked about them, really: you never know what to expect from these chaps. And let's face it, how can a collab by two faves ever turn out out any good? It seems impossible. Moreover, both parties can prove me wrong whenever they want to, since the song is doing its rounds succesfully on the dubplate circuit and is rapidly becoming a fave among both the bigger dj's as well as the ever growing horde of dubstep fans.

So was this remix really such a bad idea? No, it wasn't. I personally don't like the result and would rather listen to the original at any time and at any dance, but the tune does spin its rounds and gathers both Nneka and Chase 'n Status some more interest from both camps, which is always a good thing. Musically speaking, however, I'd have to say it wasn't worth the effort. I wonder if a remix done by Joker, 2000f or L.D would have made a better match. I think it would have...

July 12, 2009

Smartin’s Dubstep Anthem mix july 2009

Somewhat hesitant, I present you a little dubstep mix I made last night with the stuff I got on vinyl. Of course, I’m certainly no expert, most records I got from my good friend Cold Sweat (Dub Infusions/Planet KL), and his skill & knowledge on the subject surpasses me easily. However, that (and my limited mixing abilities) shouldn’t stop me making a mix of music I like. So here it is, old tunes to most of you hipsters in the scene, but still sounding nice……...the classics never go out of style….….that’s what they say….
Caspa - Cockney Violin (Dub Police)
Caspa - Ohh R Ya (Dub Police)
Skream - Trapped in a Dark Bubble (Tectonic)
TC – Where’s My Money/Caspa Remix (D-Style)
Silkie – Cyber Dub (Disfigured Dubs)
Silkie – I Sed (Deep Medi)
Uncle Sam – Round The World Girls/Tes La Rok Mix (Souljazz)
Conquest – Forever (Dub Police)
Martyn – Broken ( Souljazz)
Tes La Rok – Livin Fire (Dub Police)
Darqwan – Maximum Respect (Planet Mu)
Unitz – The Drop (Dub Police)
Rusko - Jehova (Dub Police)
Sub Scape – Bad Man (Dub Police)
The Others – Africa (Dub Police)
Caspa – Jeffrey and Bungle (Dub Police)
The Others – Hear This Style (Boka)
Digital Mysticz – Thief in da Night (Souljazz)

July 11, 2009

Tropical Latin Soundway Mix by Beto

Soundway has been one of our favourite labels, always uncovering hidden gems in dusty and hot places. The Colombia and Panama 1 & 2 compilations were done by Roberto Gyemant, and rank among my favourite re-issues of the last years. Roberto, or Beto, also made a nice little 40 min. mix of his stuff, now available for listening on the Soundway website. Includes tunes from the former mentioned collections, as well as other South American rarities.
Check the tropical sounds here.

July 10, 2009

New Vampisoul releases: Sensacional Soul Vol 2 and La Nueva Banda De Santisteban

Various - Sensacional Soul Vol 2
32 groovy Spanish soul & funk stompers from 1965-1972! Soul turned Spanish pop into the fuel that ignited the dance floors and parties of Spain. Spanish soul became hugely popular, and during the second half of the 60s was the dominant music genre in a country still under Franco’s dictatorship. Apart from artists that imitated the purest sounds from the US, others took risks and tried subgenres such as progressive R&B, freakbeat soul, sunshine soul or psych-pop with soulish influences. This new volume offers a fantastic selection of all of them, including tracks by hit acts such as Los Bravos, Los Pekenikes, Manolo y Ramón (aka Dúo Dinámico) and obscure bands such as Jae’s Soul and Conjunto Brillant’s.
Tracklist: Hey, Hey Bunny (Los Gatos Negros), Sintonía En Soul (Jae's Soul), Bugulú (Los Albas), Las Bellas Ilusiones (Conjunto Brillant's), Abandonado (Karlo Y Su Conjunto), Tú Lo Tienes, Mi Amor (Los Go-Go), Soul 2 (Chus Martínez), Higher & Higher (Ossie Lane),Rudy’s In Love (Los Bravos), Perdóname (Las 4 Monedas), El Saltamontes (Los Roberts), La Vida Es Un Juego De Azar (Gino), Limón Y Sal (La Nueva Banda De Santisteban), Donkey (Henry C Martin), Stone Free (Los Brisks), Camino Cortado (Los Roller), El Sol Es Una Droga (Los Kifers), Lo Que Puede Ocurrir Con El Café (Henry), No, No, No (Los Pops), La Máquina Infernal (Lone Star), I Don’t Know What To Do (Conexión), I’m Walkin´ High (Evolution), Para Siempre (Wagon), Polución (Los Pekenikes), (Los Ros), Lágrimas, Sonrisas (Manolo Y Ramón), Darkness (Joe Cogra Group), Pilé Beat (Ritmo Pilé), Boom Boom (Peter Soto), East Side Story (Los Talismanes), El Fuego (Los 5 Diablos), Es Mejor Dejarlo Como Está (Alex Y Los Findes).

La Nueva Banda De Santisteban - Sabor a Fresa
Reissue of this 1971 classic. An exotic cocktail of jazz, Brazilian music, flamenco influences and spaghetti-western soundtracks. Born in Madrid in 1943, raised on copla and popular Spanish song genres, with a solid classic formation, initiated in jazz and in love with Brazilian music, Alfonso Santisteban is, among many things, different. He was a session musician and composer for hire from the early 60s for stars of flamenco pop, author of countless soundtracks, many of them patchy, some remarkable. Santisteban also wrote innumerable melodies for an incipient TVE (Spain’s public TV broadcaster) hungry for a liberal modernity. He decided to pay this pleasant toll in order to gain moments of total creative freedom. The Sabor a Fresa album (Belter, 1971) is re-released by Vampisoul under its original title for the first time, with the addition of an extra track from an ultra-rare 45 of the Enseñar a un Sinvergüenza soundtrack.
Tracklist: Sabor A Fresa, Brincadeira, Zorongo, Persecución, The Suitcase, Manías De María, No Te Acuerdas De Mí, Tierra Mojada, Un Día De Lluvia, Nuestro Ayer, Vuelve A Tu Ciudad, Limón Y Sal, Soledad (Bonus track not on original LP).
Text ripped from the Vampisoul website...check it here for more info.

DJ Cliffy - Black Rio 2 Promo Mix

Summer is finally upon us! And while the BBQ fumes from the holiday weekend may be dying down, one can never have enough tunes to serve as the soundtrack for outdoor summer fun. With Black Rio 2, DJ Cliffy digs deep into his crates of samba, soul, funk and more to bring you a selection of overlooked Brazilian jams that will be sure conjure images of a tropical setting no matter where you are. For a taste of the flavor, check out this half hour mix featuring tracks from the compilation. To top it off you can also head over to http://www.blackrio-2.com/ to download the track "Our Sound" by Guimaraes E O Grupo Som Sagrado. Black Rio 2 is out now on Strut.


Sonia Santos – Poema Ritmico Do Malandro
Emilio Santiago – Bananeira
Pete Dunaway – Supermarket
Os Diagonais – Nao Vou Chorar
Avan Samba – Ibere
Zeca Do Trombone E Roberta Sax – Coluna Do Meio
Balanca Pova – Novo Dia
Renata Lu – Faz Tanta Tempo
Bebeto – Princesa Negra De Angola
Cry Babies – It’s My Thing
Guimaraes E O Grupo Som Sagrado – Our Sound

Download here or here

July 09, 2009

Soulfull Folk: Terry Callier on Cadet 1972-1973

Chicago-born Terry Callier (may 24th, 1945) was a childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and recorded his first album in 1963. However, this debut for the Prestige label, The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier, was not released untill 1968 because supposedly the producer (including the master tapes) disappeared for a few years, staying in an Indian Yaki reservation. At the beginning of the seventies, Callier signed with Cadet (a sublabel of the Chess powerhouse) and released three stunning albums which mixed soul, folk and jazz with Chess producer Charles Stepney's tastefull orchestration. Stephey already produced the experimental sound of The Rotary Connection and would later have massive succes with Earth, Wind and Fire. Guitar hero Phil Upchurch plays on all three Callier recordings and the overal sound of the albums is deeply melancolic but sweetly transcendental. This is not music you listen while doing something else, for the poetic truth and beauty of this work reveals itself only to the attentive listeners. Imagine Marvin Gaye meeting up with Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley and there you go........

Terry Callier's first album for Cadet, Occasional Rain was released in 1972. All originals, including the classic Ordinary Joe. Backing vocals by Minnie Ripperton.
Tracklist: Segue #1 - Go Ahead On, Ordinary Joe, Golden Circle, Segue #5 - Go Head On, Trance on Sedgewick Street, Do You Finally Need a Friend , Segue #4 - Go Head On, Sweet Edie-D, Occasional Rain, Segue #2 - Go Head On, Blues for Marcus, Lean on Me, Last Segue - Go Head On

Terry's second album, What Colour is Love, was released on Cadet in 1972. Again all original songs, including You're Goin' Miss Your Candyman, as sampled by Urban Species in Listen. Also one of my all-time favourite album covers ever.
Tracklist: Dancing Girl, What Color Is Love, You Goin' Miss Your Candyman, Just As Long As We're In Love, Ho Tsing Mee (A Song Of The Sun), I'd Rather Be With You, You Don't Care.

Terry Callier's final and most soulfull 1973 album for Cadet, called I Just Can't Help Myself. Sounding like a stripped-down Marvin Gaye, including a splendid version of Duke Ellington's Satin Doll and the John Coltrane tribute Can't Catch The Trane (together with Alley-Wind Song already recorded in 1969).
Tracklist: (I Just Can't Help Myself) I Don't Want Nobody Else, Brown-Eyed-Lady, Gotta Get Closer To You, Satin Doll, Until Tomorrow, Alley-Wind Song, Can't Catch The Trane, Bowlin' Green.
Terry Callier continued to record and release records till 1982, when he took over resposibility of raising his 12 year old daughter and started working as a computer programmer at Chicago University. Musically dormant during most of the eighties, he was rediscovered in the nineties and started releasing albums again. His latest effort, Hidden Conversations, was just released on the Mr Bongo label.