Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Double Up': A review of "Africa Redemption" by Pressure

"It's a cold world, but the whole world haffi witness Africa Redemption." 

2014 has been 'so nice' to so many people when it comes to Reggae music and, with the year's final quarter rapidly approaching, it figures to get even nicer to fans who have already been treated to some truly SPECTACULAR displays of the genre. Along with the annual occurrence of up and comers coming up higher and a whole heap of older names assuming a lessened role in the consistent activity of the music, we've also witnessed a not so guaranteed but extremely powerful display on the album side. To my opinion, though the likes of Ras Muhamad, Midnite, Ziggi Recado, Rob Symeonn and a healthy roster of artists (like Addis Pablo) (biggup Addis Pablo) have turned in downright scintillating efforts -- and we are expecting more and more from Etana, Duane Stephenson and, of course, Sara Lugo, and such -- leading the way remains another favourite of ours, Pressure Busspipe, whose MASSIVE "The Sound", is still the year's finest. On that amazing release, the St. Thomas standout put on a dominant exhibition of the calibre he has risen to in recent times in becoming, in my estimation (and yours too), one of Reggae music's currently most talented names. It was as complete of an album as I've heard in a few years and each and every time I return to it I still walk away with the feeling that I've just heard something entirely SPECIAL from beginning to end. It was one of the best albums that I've ever heard. And clearly I was not the only one with that thinking as a very powerful (and probably clear) case could be made that "The Sound" now sits as Pressure's most popular album to date and, the last time that I checked, it had also performed quite well commercially, which is always nice to know. Now, as we've talked about in cases such as those of Alpheus [new album, "Good Prevails", in stores now], it is always so interesting to see what happens to an artist when they take that next step after attracting a whole heap of new attention, particularly via a big album. The focal points becomes whether or not the new fans who got caught up in the hype of the initial project will return for its successor and whether or not that new album, in terms of quality, can maintain that high level also. In those aspects, Pressure is very interesting because he's already a big name and one which I would call a 'household' one in many Reggae circles, so just about anything that he does will receive a significant amount of attention and… it should go without saying that, given his recent form, it should also be a very strong piece of work as well. Now we just have to wait for that next album. 
"The Sound" [2014]
You can probably expect a new album from Pressure in 2016-ish or something like that… or maybe he could just make it very easy on all of us and do another new one this year. The very unlikely latter is the route taken by the chanter as, for the first time in his career (with his debut, "The Pressure Is On", now being nine years old), Pressure pushes two albums in a single year - chasing "The Sound" with "Africa Redemption". This album, at least to my knowledge, has spent at least a couple of years 'in the works' as, if I recall correctly, the first time I recall hearing about it was back in earlier 2012 (which would have been perfect!) (biggup Perfect). But I think that the next best thing after potentially being an artist's first album in a couple of years (following "Coming Back For You" in 2010), is coming just months after their most well known set to date. 

Along with being the latest in a very strong line of album releases, "Africa Redemption", Pressure's fifth album to date, also continues an immaculate line of collaborations for Pressure as well. Pressure and his monstrous gifts have been fortunate to be developed in the presence of some amazing maestros. His previous four albums have been vibed by Dean Pond (twice), Don Corleon and "The Sound" was the first (and hopefully not the last) to have come from the flaming I Grade Records. To have those types of links and credentials through just four albums is something remarkable even on paper and, if you've followed along, you know that the actual results have been as strong as you would have expected them to be. While the quality of "The Sound" was incredibly impressive, it was not slightly unexpected as a whole. This time around things have not changed as helming "Africa Redemption" is the well reputable Baby G and his Yard Vybz Entertainment label (distributed by the wonderful people at Zojak Worldwide). And while this link, superficially, may not have seemed as apparent as those with Pond who really did a lot to develop Pressure's talent early in his career, Corleon who produced the first giant hit of Pressure's career in 'Love & Affection' or I Grade Records, the VI's biggest label, something which becomes very "apparent" very early in this album is just how comfortable vocalist and producer are in working with one another. That's also something that would be reflected in how long it took for this album to arrive and, presumably, any changes they may have made to it. As a listener, I wasn't expecting the best Pressure album I've ever heard (and, this quickly, I don't know that I would have even wanted it, although…) but, as I alluded to, it's still a NEW PRESSURE ALBUM and that it is more than enough to get my attention and I surely was expecting another high-level showcase of one of the largest caches of talents to be found in Reggae music today.
And I got exactly what I was expecting. Checking in at seventeen tracks and more than an hour in length, "Africa Redemption" was a bit longer than I would have hoped and it does have it's moments (one in particular) where you wish that they would have gone in a different direction, which is almost always the case on an album this large. That would, however, surely NOT include the album's intro which precedes the first tune and title track. The intro is actually pretty good and while I do confess that I typically do enjoy intros that are so well done (probably my favourite album intro ever came on Turbulence's "Hail To The King", where it was absolutely the best song). As for the eponymous track, it is clearly being hailed as one of the signature spots here as not only is the song a previous single, it also features someone else who is enjoying a mighty 2014, sitting Achis Reggae AoTY, Chronixx. On the surface such a combination is full-on appetizing and in actuality it does not disappoint with Pressure, particularly, unsurprisingly putting forth an outstanding lyrical display. With that being said, however, I am more fond of the album's second full song, the Damian Marley produced 'Freedom Fighters' (biggup Chezidek). I hope that I won't be the only one to make this connection, but 'Freedom Fighters' sounds directly like something out of the vaults of Sizzla Kalonji, especially at the chorus, but Pressure makes it a sublime set all of his own and a giant moment as well.

"All my warriors for a cause let di battle feel you
Dem weh barefoot know how cut-glass bottle feel
BABYLON FI KNOW HOW CHAIN AND SHACKLE FEEL
I tell you what's the deal
You treat your dog much better than a human being
Better yet, you turn and feed your dog a human meal
That's how mi get fi know the system is so unreal
Rastafari bust di seal

Freedom fighters weh firm and strong
Freedom fighters weh live as one
Facing great trials and tribulations
Freedom fighters weh brave and bold
Freedom fighters weh young and old
Freedom fighters weh nah sell dem soul

Hey, Black people you no worry none at all
Just gwan, take yuh time, YOU NUH HURRY NONE AT ALL
Mi no sip, neither nyam dem curry none at all
WI NO TEK BOX THEN ACCEPT 'SORRY', NONE AT ALL
Selassie I ah shock dem wid di real thunder ball
One, two Nyahbinghi inna mi African shawl
Nuff a dem never listen when The Most High call -
EVEN WHEN IT'S ALL WRITTEN ON THE WALLS" 

Right behind 'Freedom Fighters' is another big effort in the grimy 'Where I'm From'. While this tune didn't leave me with any type of lasting vibe, just listening to it and appreciating it in the moment is very easy and it kind of sits as this seemingly instantaneously vibed display across the classic riddim. And then there's the BOOM!

"Praises be - To The Ever-living who resideth in me
Whose energy flow amongst the land sky and sea
Anyhow you know yourself then there's no need to worry
Then King James couldn't trick you wid no Bible story
I read the Bible, but some things don't fit my ethnicity
EXPERIENCE IS THE TEACHER AND I KNOW, NOT BELIEVE
Babylon you make a mockery, you thief
Babylon you too greedy, you a vulture, you see it
Rob from di needy and di poor and give di wealthy and rich
DEM SAY SLAVERY DONE BUT IT NO MENTALLY ABOLISHED
Conquering Lion break di chains and free us all from bondage
YOU ALONE CAN HEAR THE CRY NO MATTER WHAT THE LANGUAGE IS
IF ONLY WI CAN BREAK DI WALLS OF RELIGION DOWN
IF ONLY THOSE WHO ARE LOST CAN, ONE DAY, BE FOUND
If only they would see that Blackness govern the crown"

The single best song my ears hear on the whole of "Africa Redemption" is the MAMMOTH 'Lead I Home' and it falls into the quality level of some of the finest songs I've EVER heard from the chanter (and I have dozens of favourites from Pressure, so that is saying a lot coming from me). Aside from the dominant torrent of lyrics, I also really appreciate the PRESENTATION of this song which gives it this LARGE feel that is well fitting for a composition of this nature. BOOM!

The next batch of tunes (biggup Batch) from "Africa Redemption" actually features a pair of songs which're likely to receive a great deal of the attention paid to it, 'Belly Full' and 'Mental Disturbance'. The former is very interesting as it has kind of a [softer] Hip-Hop type of vibes to it, but it features Pressure alongside the vocals of the late and great Garnet Silk. The song is a BEAUTIFUL one about going through and experiencing the struggles in life and how people manage to make their way through. It is simply one of the nicest listens on the entire album and a standout to my opinion. 'Mental Disturbance' has its own set of circumstances which makes it compelling even prior it hearing it. Making contributions here are both the aforementioned Damian Marley and Reggae super star, Tarrus Riley. Again, just lining that up in your mind -- a combination with Damian Marley, Tarrus Riley and Pressure Busspipe -- is fantastic and a piece like this will leap to the top for that reason, if for no other. Fortunately, this one plays out well as, although I do favour songs more than it, 'Mental Disturbance' is a huge tune with Pressure's star shining brightest alongside the instrumental which is given a Dub treatment in its latter stages - an excellent touch. Pressure is also sure to check his lists and in doing so he provides “Africa Redemption” with its obligatory song for Mama, 'Dear Mamma'. This selection took no time at all to grow on me as, apart from the immediate thought (it is a delightful track to listen to), Pressure really does dig in and eschews the typical line of thanking Mama because of who she is (and there's nothing wrong with that) and, instead, puts a great deal of SUBSTANCE and DETAIL behind his gratitude. And lastly here is a song which probably won't receive a quarter of the hype that either 'Belly Full' or 'Mental Disturbance' will but, at least for me, is stronger than both, the glorious 'Parents'. This song is a comprehensive praising from Pressure which absolutely DAZZLES! 

"All your life you've been doing things the only way you know
Unity is strength cause that's the only way to go
People dying all over the world, so watch the seeds you sow
Nobody is too smart to stop learning as they grow
I keep thanking Jah for life, not knowing what tomorrow brings
Even though it's hard, I just stay humble with HIM
Make a joyful noise, lift every voice and sing
Jah Jah, You're the King of all Kings!" 

The tune also features one of the nicest riddims on the entire album and if not for ‘Lead I Home', I may have made the case for this being the best song here altogether.

If 'Parents' didn't lift your spirits then (it's time to get some new spirits for yourself), surely 'I'm Grateful' will do it. Having heard it more than a few times at this point I smile each and every time I hear the opening to the tune. And that is the direction of the song as well - being happy and putting a smile on your face. I always take pieces like this just a little further because I think when you combine the notion of being happy (a prevailing notion) with an inherent level of humility then what you have is someone basically saying to be thankful for what you have. You may not have everything or not even everything that you want, but you do have something to be thankful for, even if it is for waking up that day and that is a SWEET approach behind a song which is just as pleasant. And definitely biggup Baby G and a masterful guitar player who explodes on this song. In next is a song that I was really looking forward to hearing, the ganja song for "Africa Redemption", 'My Herbs'. The final combination on the album, 'My Herbs' carries Jah Mason alongside Pressure and, as expected, the two make for a DYNAMITE pairing. Cruzan chanter, Volcano, held a similar role on 'Herbsman Town' from "The Sound", a song which I loved and this piece is nearly on those levels as well. The only thing I did not like about this one is the interlude which comes ahead of it which is essentially… half a minute of listening to someone coughing and was just unnecessary in my opinion. But what follows is amongst the very best this album has to offer and I knew it would be (and so did you). And I will mention 'Just Like Dat' here, though I'd probably prefer to save it for the next lot. This song is a decent lover's piece which kind of begins the trend on which "Africa Redemption", surprisingly, ends (this is the part where our friend Sam Gray will probably begin to tune out) (biggup Sam Gray). It has a different sound to it from everything ahead of it but, as he has shown in the past, love songs are not a dearth of quality for Pressure. 

The final round of tracks on "Africa Redemption" follow suit of 'Just Like Dat' for the most part and it was, as I said, somewhat surprising. The first of them, 'Right Love', is an R&B song. This isn't my favourite song on this album (it isn't even close) and it never really sounds like Pressure is fully immersed in the song. It may just be my speakers (or my ears), but it sounds like the vocals are somewhat separated from the riddim at times. HOWEVER, despite not being his best, the wordplay featured on 'Right Love' is often damn impressive ["Long time mi fi get yuh inna mi villa. Gal mi know she you a thrilla. And I've never seen such beauty before. And when I look into your eyes it's like I see my future wife, I'd be a fool to see the signs and ignore"]. 'Love Me So' is a similar track with a very nice and catchy vibes. It does not quite register on the same levels as 'Right Love' in my opinion but it isn't terribly far behind. 'Many Moods' is probably better than either of the two songs just ahead of it. It is more complex and has one of the most infectious sounds on the second half of this album. Finally is a song which is even better and is nearly as good as some of the class of "Africa Redemption", 'Feeling Fine'. It echoes 'I'm Grateful' in some ways as the artist strikes a wildly entertaining way in which to take the listeners on a day in the life of Pressure Busspipe. 

"Dance done and now mi gone pon di beach
Glad fi si di whole a mi friends dem ah reach
Bad Ras bring in two brand new jet ski
And di bikers dem ah wheelie and bust stunts inna di street
Mi waan know dat gyal yah inna Brazilian two-piece
Mi hear seh she a tourist weh come from Middle East
Di fragrance from di ting weh mi ah bun, it smell sweet
Mi friend, Jam2, give mi a Roots wine fi beat

Enjoy life, it's your life
Only happiness, alone, can cure life"

In general, I do not have a problem with these songs at the end of the album, but I do think that it would have been better to kind of sprinkle them into the body of the album, rather than to save all of them for the end. 
Overall, it's difficult to not compare them, coming from the same year, but I won't talk about "Africa Redemption" in direct reference to "The Sound" (because I don't have to at this point), what I will say, however, is that this album is a more than merely suitable next album and if you are a fan who first took notice at "The Sound" (you should really dig up "The Pressure Is On"), you will not be disappointed. More familiar fans, I shouldn't have to tell you this (but I will anyway), if you do give it time and really tune it in, you're sure to be impressed by "Africa Redemption", particularly (unsurprisingly), on a lyrical aspect. This may actually be a level or two below what Pressure is fully capable of, but the writing on this album soaring! He presents some very broad and general ideas and breaks them down to the smallest detail and that is something which should be highlighted for you throughout "Africa Redemption". Pressure is one of the greatest lyricists of this generation and that is reflected on just about everything that he does these days, but it is highlighted on this album. So, while "The Sound" continues to set the pace when it comes to Reggae albums in 2014, "Africa Redemption" steps up and proves itself to be something significantly greater than a sidekick as Pressure Busspipe turns in a double not to be forgotten. Well done.

Rated: 4/5
Yard Vybz Entertainment
2014
Digital

Review #525

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sara Lugo Hits Me With Music! And Then, We BOOM!

"See how they're moving
Feel how it's grooving
WATCH OUT, WE'RE COMING
Ready to rock steady"
-'Rock Steady'
"Hit Me With Music" by Sara Lugo [Oneness Records]
1. 'The One'
2. 'Really Like You' featuring Protoje
3. 'Hit Me With Music'
4. 'Black & White'
5. 'Soldiers of Love'
6. 'I Wish'
7. 'Play With Fire'
8. 'Learn To Grow' featuring Ras Muhamad
9. 'Never Ever'
10. 'Love The Children'
11. 'More Love'
12. 'High & Windy' featuring Kabaka Pyramid

So we can now call it, by far, the greatest two-day stretch of my entire life, so I thought that I'd tell you about it. First of all, it was Friday when we got yet another MASSIVE addition to what has been one of the most amazing years in memory for Reggae albums when the news reached that Achis Reggae and EARTH favourite, all kinds of delightful German Reggae/Jazz hybrid Sara Lugo was set to deliver her sophomore set and the follow-up to 2011's downright glowing "What About Love" , "Hit Me With Music" [BOOM!] [BREAK SOMETHING!] [DESTROY COMMON SENSE!]. Like its older sibling (which you already have and I don't need to tell you about anymore) (but you know that I will), this shot comes via the professional fire-burners at Oneness Records from out of Germany who have virtually locked up and stocked up and away the discussion for 2014 European Label of The Year in the first week of September and, also like the first album, this album should prove to be a most remarkable display of Lugo's truly one of a kind blending and shaping of genres and sounds which are not normally put together the way she does it. It's always so interesting to hear her in her 'element' and how organically and seamlessly she puts things together PERFECTLY.
Looking through the track list, it offers quite a few reasons to smile including the three combinations. Unsurprisingly Kabaka Pyramid makes an appearance on 'High & Windy', the duos cut of the ReggaeVille Riddim which may just be Sara Lugo's most recognizable tune to date. Also here is Ras Muhamad whose contributions to "Hit Me With Music" are the same infectious results which lit up his BRIGHT "Salam" album [in stores now] [right now], 'Learn To Grow'. And, finally, I was also very happy to see Protoje's name here as well as he joins on 'Really Like You'. There're so many other songs here which I'm well looking forward to hearing as, particularly, clips of the title track, 'Black & White' and 'Soldiers of Love' sound full-on SPECIAL and I cannot wait to hear them… or the other nine songs on the album (… even though I've heard two of them already) (I want to hear them again!). 
And, personally, we've always been enthusiastic for Sara Lugo's work. She's a lovely human being and she has one of the most intoxicating and CLEAR voices that Reggae music has ever seen and I've been looking forward to a "Hit Me With Music"  -- a second Sara Lugo album -- from… even before I heard the first one! Her career and her music is so interesting and compelling and continuing to watch her progression has been one of the most joyful experiences in being a fan of this amazing genre over the course of the past half-decade or so. So biggup Sara Lugo and be sure to join everyone else with a semi-functioning (and even some of us with a COMPLETELY NON FUNCTIONING) brain and pick up her new album, "Hit Me With Music" from Oneness Records, when it arrives in stores digitally and physically on October 17th. Time to get excited.


…Okay and, quickly (because I know she'd hate me mentioning it) (and I'll likely be punished for it) (so be it, won't be the first time) (cannot be the last), most of my attention recently has been focused on what made the double day so magical - my wonderful Wife delivered our second child on Saturday, another completely healthy girl. WHAT! BOOM! I'm a person who has done, literally, TRILLIONS of stupid things in my life (a number which grows by the half-second) but I did one thing right. She is an amazing, AMAZING person [Bredz, stand up!] and my spirit is smiling today!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coming Soon From General Jah Mikey!

"Jah Mission Is Timeless" by General Jah Mikey [I-Grow Records]
With Etana set to blaze things with her senior set, "I Rise", October figures to be a fine one for Reggae fans (like pretty much every month this year has been as well) and it has just gotten a little sweeter as also set to arrive is a brand new album courtesy of long time veteran, General Jah Mikey, "Jah Mission Is Timeless". It was just last year when GJM linked with the flaming Zion High Productions and the Zion I Kings for his first album in… a really long time, the downright delectable "Original Yard Food" ["Sometimes thing set a way. Can't forget how to pray"]. That set apparently caught more attention than mine and yours because "Jah Mission Is Timeless" comes via I-Grow Records from out of France (I think). 
"Original Yard Food" [2013]
"Jah Mission Is Timeless" is actually a mix of vocals and dubs and instrumentals, featuring six different tracks , with musical mixes of each (similar, somewhat, to what Jah Solid Rock does). I'm always interested in albums like this one which follow more big named and successful material and I hope this album really does well with returning newer fans who were introduced to the artist via the very popular and well-received "Original Yard Food", just a year and a half ago. 

Will the new album prove to be a good follow-up and please the crowd returning for a second serving of General Jah Mikey? I'm sure that it will, but find out officially when "Jah Mission Is Timeless" from I-Grow Records arrives in stores, physical and digital, on October 1st

Monday, September 1, 2014

What I'm Listening To: September

"Black Gold" by Duane Stephenson [VP Records - 2010]

It definitely has been quite awhile from the last time I picked up "Black Gold", the sophomore solo release from Duane Stephenson but in the name of getting excited for his next set, "Dangerously Roots", which arrives in stores later this month, I've well gone back and had a much needed next listen. Stephenson has this kind of 'dramatic' approach to his delivery which almost always gives his music something in the way of separation from 'the pack'. He can sing almost anything and make it sound so crucial and so important that it kind of lingers with you for awhile when at or near his best. There were some particularly fine examples of that to be found on "Black Gold" with some of the most sterling being 'Sufferer's Heights', definitely 'Fire In Me' and 'Cycle Goes On', 'Jah Works' and Stephenson's cut of the Classic Riddim, 'Soon As We Rise' - along with many more. "Black Gold" was really a fine album and though I don't think that it has aged well in terms of its popularity, there was so much wonderful material on this album and you should, like me, definitely dig it up today. 

CD + Digital 
"Most Wanted: Glen Washington" [VP Records - 2011]

Sometimes you just FALL into songs and find yourself wholly incapable of stopping them and that has well been the case for me in regards to the absolute madness that is 'Kindness For Weakness' via the downright masterful Glen Washington. Though you'll find it on other albums, consistently the most readily available for me is his "Most Wanted" set. This very short-lived (but very useful in my opinion) series from VP Records and Greensleeves has come and gone, but as someone who was increasingly becoming a fan of Washington's at the time, this was and remains its high-point for me. The compilation didn't only contain one song and, instead, 'Kindness For Weakness' was surrounding in a few other big tunes such as 'Burning Fire' [TEARS!], 'Jah Glory', the sweetness that was 'One Of These Days' and others. It would probably make for a nice vault review someday, but until then (or unless then) this album is not far from my players these days. 

CD + Digital
The Freedom Fire Riddim [Independent Works - 2014]

Biggup Independent Works for bringing through the golden Freedom Fire Riddim which has recently made it to a full digital release and has caught my attention. I believe this track actually originated a couple of years back or so as it contains at least one song with which you might be familiar, 'Words of The People' by Righteous Child. Joining the RC is a very nice cast of vocalists which includes Shuga, Torch (whose contribution, 'Blazing', is exactly what its title indicates), Exco Levi and an all conquering Busy Signal with the downright masterful 'Nah Follow Dem' which continues the blaze for the keeper of the fireball. The label is also kind enough  to feature a dubbed out version of the Freedom Fire Riddim which is an excellent touch here in my opinion. A very nice release. 

Digital  
The Top of The Hundred Riddim [Kirkledove Records - 2014]

We're also looking at the Top of The Hundred Riddim from the fine people at Kirkledove Records. This track, too, may be a couple of years old, but it, too, is FANTASTIC. With a hint aimed at really old school Dancehall, the Top of The Hundred is candy to my ears and though I may not be entirely crazy about every song it carries, it does feature a few magical moments. Those come via the likes of Tanto Metro & Devonte (and I've never been a fan of theirs, but you give full credits where it is due and it is in this case), Exco Levi, Shuga and Lutan Fyah. Solid efforts also come from Red Rose and Kenyatta Hill as well and, of course, Kirkledove's sterling instrumental.

Digital 
"Roaming" by Tian Winter [Precision Productions - 2013]

Finally, the last thing on my radars this month comes courtesy of my very pregnant Wife who has found herself at the musical mercy of the likes of Mr. Vegas, Lady G ["Yuh eat??? Yuh cook? How you fi answer question wid question???"] and Tian Winter. As it turns out, two of her favourites from the third are found on his 2013 album from Precision Productions, "Roaming". They are the title track and the awfully infectious 'Good Time'. The album also featured a few other exceptional releases from the always interesting Winter (who took his… eight-hundredth Groovy Monarch (or whatever they call it) crown in Antigua) such as 'Daring You', 'Superstar' with CP, 'Adrenaline' and personal favourite 'Throw Back'. But who cares what I think. Biggup my Wife and check out "Roaming" from Tian Winter or one of his other several very similar albums (his music is just so easily accessible and digestible). If you like this one (and you will), you'll likely like them all. 

Digital

Friday, August 29, 2014

Coming Soon #85: Fox Catcher

If you pay any attention to music on the digital side, particularly the music we cover around here, then you've certainly ran into the work of the ultra-active Fox Fuse who constantly have something new just around the corner. Today we take an exclusive look at what exactly is on the horizon, in September, from the very active and very colourful distributor. 

{Note: If anyone at Fox Fuse wanted to thank us by… oh maybe sending us free stuff, especially the first entry on this post, we wouldn't complain about that}

{Note 2: I'm behaving the worst. I'm behaving the worst. I'm behaving the worst. I'm behaving the worst}

{Note 3: They have many, many more on the way as well and we cut this list. It probably could have stretched to TWENTY just for September alone}

"Wine To This" by Fucha Kid

Apparently the fine people at FF are taking a Farmer Nappy/Stein interest into the career of Antiguan based Guyana born Fucha Kid as after releasing his sophomore set, "The Crossover", about twenty minutes ago, the label is now dealing with an EP which, as far as I can see, is a compilation featuring some of the artist's tracks from the 2014 season. If you are not fully familiar with the work of Fucha Kid, I would definitely say that his brand of Soca, very much, comes from a Dancehall base and that appears to be evident throughout this six-tracked release. I'm actually familiar with a few of these tunes such as 'Carnival Backpack' and 'Bumpa Explosion', but it is one which is new to my ears, 'Everything Tun Up', that I'm most looking forward to hearing. 

Releases  on September 9
The Wreck It Riddim

The union of Stadic Studio and Wetty Beatz came together again to produce more WONDERFUL madness for 2014 and that is precisely what they did with the gorgeous Wreck It Riddim. For the most part, this is GRIMY, nose-bloodied type of Soca which is headlined by Fay-Ann Lyons, but also features the well dependable likes of Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous [MAD!], the stinking behaviour of Lavaman and Royall. Triniboi Joocie, who I've never listened to much, also manages to impress with his 'Must Be In Dat'. 

Releases on September 2
The Moombahton Riddim 

Madmen Productions originally gave us the electric Moombahton Riddim a few years back now send it up digitally for your consumption. The big tune on this track came from Kes with 'Socializing', but artists such as General Grant, Skinny Fabulous and even Mr. Vegas (biggup Mr. Vegas) also turned up with sizable efforts as well. 

Releases on September 16
The Love People Riddim
The Love People Riddim which came up back about a year or so ago was outstanding. It was a creation of Millbeatz Entertainment and it now comes to a full digital release courtesy, of course, of Fox Fuse. Just as a composition, it was FANTASTIC and though I wasn't in love with every song that I heard on it, it did definitely carry a hammer in Isasha's golden 'Live & Learn'. King David also stood up well with the stirring 'Sea Lots'. Both of those songs are included here as are efforts from both Prophet Benjamin and Stephynia. Still, likely most interesting here is the fact that the digital set also contains an instrumental of the Love People Riddim, which should be divine (there is a guitar somewhere on that thing which is so, SO nice!) 

Releases on September 23
The Girl Scout Riddim 

Fox Fuse goes back even further to deliver this blast from the past from Martian Music. The Girl Scout Riddim was a lovely, slightly enthused piece of Groovy Soca music and it, fittingly, featured three of the biggest female names in the business as the great Alison Hinds led a pack which also included Patrice Roberts and Nadia Batson. It was probably Batson's 'Admiring Me' which did the biggest damage here for me but Hinds' 'Soca Queen' was right behind it and not too far in the back was Roberts' infectious 'Jack It Up'. A very high quality set here which should still be excellent four or five years from its release date. 

Releases on September 16
The Ghost Town Riddim

Also coming from Martian Music, who continues to turn their catalogue to Fox Fuse (a good idea) is the Ghost Town Riddim from just last year or so. This track actually features a TRULY ridiculous combination featuring Nadia Batson and Lavaman which leads the way here, 'Di Most [Unruly]' (biggup Mr. Hooper). A pair of spicy exports also do exceedingly well as Tallpree and Boyzie also make appearances in this ghost town. 

Releases on September 23
The Oil Drum Riddim

Nadia Batson, Boyzie and Lavaman also take control on the Oil Drum Riddim, also from Martian Music. Batson and Boyzie actually team up for 'Wildness' while notorious drunkard Lavaman turns his attention to some 'Strong Rum and Beers' - a song which requires you to be most careful because it will likely take a MASSIVE head injury or full on brain-death to get that song out of your head. 

Releases on September 9 
The Double Up Riddim

And because we know you love Mars so much, also coming from Martian Music is the SWEET Double Up Riddim. This track was a joy to listen to and only featured three songs -- from Devon Matthews, lyrics machine Ms. Alysha and bona fide cutie Megan Walrond -- also featured is a clean version of the riddim which seems unfortunately rare in Soca music despite today's post. 

Releases on September 16
The Bad Influence Riddim

Nadia Batson picked up the Bad Influence Riddim and smashed it over her beautiful head with, so Martian Music named the riddim after her song. What was left over they passed to Lyrikal and Ki, who actually teaches courses on feting should you require instruction. 

Releases on September 9
"Carnival: A Story About A Story"

Did you catch all of that. If you missed any of it, Martian Music and Fox Fuse were kind enough to put a big bow on the package and deliver it in a compilation style on "Carnival: A Story About A Story", which is a pretty good idea in my opinion. If you haven't noticed, it was all about Nadia Batson (and it should always be about Nadia Batson) (and that ass) who makes five appearances on this set by my certainly incorrect count. But Lavaman, Isasha, Tallpree, Boyzie and others also check in as well. 

Releases on September 30
"On Top Of Toronto" by Delee

While I can't say that I know much about Delee, I can say that I do recall coming across one of his songs a few months back by the name of 'Lonely Tonight', which was excellent. That song and a pair of others show up on an EP Delee does for DMP Records. One of the other selections, the Reggae-fied 'Not In Love' also sounds very nice, but even if it isn't, 'Lonely Tonight' should be worth the price of admission here. 

Releases on September 23
'Use Me' by Nathan Marcelin

Check the cool 'Use Me' coming from Nathan Marcelin and Millbeatz Entertainment, which I didn't actually remember hearing but apparently isn't very old at all. Just a very nice and breezy type of vibes which is sure to find a place… stuck in your head. 

{Note: After stealing about three different pairs of my Wife's 3D glasses, I couldn't get this cover to work properly]

{Note 2: Biggup my Wife}

Releases on September 29
The Resurrection Riddim

And finally, after allllllllll of that misbehaving, you definitely do need something in the way of cleansing and offering you that are our friends at JahLight Records with the Resurrection Riddim. This sterling track carries a trio of tunes, two of which come from staples of JLR, Righteous and Kwesi Fontinelle. For his part , Righteous gives us the title track (basically) and one of the highlights from his 2013 EP from JLR, "Rise", 'Rise Up', while Fontinelle, who recently gave us his own EP on the label in "Reconciliation", tells all to 'Step Out In Faith' - a nice song which did not appear on that EP. The third song? 'Behold' comes from the very interestingly named Berhane Selassie and from the long clip that we heard (because Juno essentially cues the entire song and calls it a clip) - it sounds VERY good and I can't wait to hear the full record. And biggup JahLight for suddenly being so active in 2014. 

Releases on September 9