Saturday, May 8, 2010

Check It Vol. X

Stevy Mahy - Beautiful (Single) [BCaribbean]

Okay so, first of all this week is something I told you about a little while ago in the last Video Drop - Stevy Mahy’s beautiful single . . . ‘Beautiful’ from BCaribean. Although I’m still somewhat torn on whether or not this song actually constitutes what it means to be ZOUK (I’m still a baby, mind you), but it is most certainly captivating. The song has slowly been building a nice momentum and unbeknownst to me, it was actually released on a digital single back in February. So, while I’m learning more about Ms. Mahy and hopefully we’ll be seeing her deliver a full length album later this year (which would be her first to my knowledge), I’m thinking that the likes of Kénédy, Thayna and Goldee may need to make a bit of room, because I may have just found another favourite in Stevy Mahy. This tune is RIDICULOUS!

TMoore EP [Flava McGregor Records/No Doubt Records]

The secret weapon. If you know you are at all familiar with the name T.Moore in the context of Reggae music chances are, that you pay EXTREMELY good attention because up until now, the songstress has largely been a bit of a secret weapon for the greatest Reggae producer in the world, Flava McGregor. Well, now he’s apparently ready to unveil just a bit ‘more’ of what T.Moore’s been up to and is doing so on easily the largest scale she’s been on to date with her very own EP release. This piece features five tunes with Moore taking on various familiar McGregor productions (like The Classic, The Ghetto and The Sweet) as well a couple of tunes which aren’t as well known. One of those lesser known efforts, the absolutely delightful ‘6 Streets’, is probably my favourite tune on the EP altogether, but it joins EXCELLENT pieces in as ‘Done Losing My Time’, ‘You’re My Love’, ‘Caught You In A Lie’ (which is excellent) and ‘Diamond In The Ruff‘, which are also top notch. 2010 may just prove to be a breakout year for the very impressive young singer and she really couldn’t have chosen a better source of support than McGregor at this point.

{T.Moore's EP is available exclusively through Flava McGregor's Website}

Bad People Riddim [Di Genius]

It’s definitely a problem that I’ve kind of been ignoring the releases from ‘that other McGregor’, Stephen, because he certainly hasn’t stopped pushing new riddims out consistently, it’s just been the case that I haven’t found myself so frequently responding to what he’s up to for some reason or another. However, with the Bad People Riddim, one of his most recent drops and his latest to reach the digital market, I think he’s probably delivered one of his best in quite some time, if not ever. This thing was CARNAGE, but in a good way (at least for the most part). And of course when there’s madness, a certain type of artist is typically involved . . . Such as Aidonia whose riddim title track is the best tune on the nineteen track set. ‘Donia is joined by the typical cast of characters from Di Genius such as Mavado of course, Busy (twice), Beenie, Ele, Teflon and the regular camp with Chino, Laden and Bramma (whose 2010 gets increasingly potent with every drop). And there’re also a couple of surprises on the riddim, most notably the fact that [Baby] Cham has not one but two selections here (both of which are WICKED) and also present is Frisco Kid (seems like a damn shame that Kartel isn’t here, doesn’t it? But dem cyan fren again). Surely this one will get big attention at the end of the year for riddim of the year honours and although I DEFINITELY hope it’s outdone by December, unless I’m really overlooking something, it’s probably the best Dancehall riddim I’ve heard in the past five months.

High Horse Riddim [Dejavu Lifestyle Music]

From the most well known, to the almost completely unknown. I don’t know who in the hell Dejavu Lifestyle Music is, I can’t tell you what they’ve done in the past and I can’t tell what they’re working on at all or where they’re from. Also, their release here is probably likely to go largely unnoticed, buried on digital pages and not exactly brimming with big names (which is why I write this thing after all), HOWEVER, if they never do another thing ever again, they’ve definitely made a big impression on me with their WONDERFUL High Horse Riddim. Okay, there was a riddim from last year which I’ve grown to call the Genesis, from Chris Hart’s Blackblood Music label. The riddim underpinned Lutan Fyah’s HUGE tune ‘Genesis’ (best tune of 2009, in my opinion) and the High Horse Riddim reminds me of that piece so much. Not surprisingly, Lutan Fyah is ‘back’ on this riddim as well. Thriller U (alongside the BIG Prestige) is here as well, Fantan Mojah is also present, as is Nature and soulful St. Ann native, Bryan Art. Apart from those artists (and the last two are certainly not ‘household’ names), the High Horse features a variety of up and comers and unknown artists such as Nazzle Man, Mystic Roots and Omari. This one, as I said, may not jump off the page at potential listeners, but floating on right by it certainly isn’t the smartest thing in the world to do.

Bank Inna Mi Pocket Riddim [Romeich Records]

Certainly you have something from Romeich Wear in your closet, maybe a shirt or something. And even if you don’t, you can STILL (believe it or not) pick up the new riddim from the music branch of the very popular clothing line, the Bank Inna Mi Pocket Riddim. This thing certainly isn’t the best thing that I’ve ever heard (and it does contain a HORRIBLE tune, I‘m not going to tell you which one it is, however), but it’s decent and it has a few nice tunes on it as well. The riddim is highlighted by efforts from Bounty Killer, Kiprich (who checks in with the CRAZY ‘Stamma’) and Stein and it’s a nearly hardcore Dancehall riddim (literally if they would have turned the bass up just a bit more, I would’ve been hooked), something which, for better or for worse, will almost ALWAYS grab my attention and keep an eye out for Romeich’s future endeavours as well, on and off of the shirt rack.

Little Espion - On Mond Reyel [Little Prod Section Artistique]

It seems like it took a minute for it to get going, but French Creole Reggae, in terms of releases is flaming hot these days with releases coming down on the highest levels, from all across the board. The latest to jump out is Gwada veteran Little Espion (and his insane mustache) with what I think is his second album, On Mond Reyel. This twenty track is VERY solid. Espion has always seemed to kind of fall outside of the major artists on the scene, but I’ve definitely respected his skills and I’ve tried to keep an eye on what he was up to as well and for me On Mond Reyel is a big deal. All the more so is it crucial because of the tune ‘Pace Nou Inme Mizik’, which just so happens to feature the brutally wicked Saïk. Also joining in on the fun is Big Jay and Kurtis (who I don’t know a damn thing about, but he was on the first album Kon Sa Sa Ye). Haven’t seen this one on CD as of yet, but I’m looking forward to it as it should be very solid.

Bitty McLean and Sly & Robbie: Live In Tokyo [Taxi]

I haven’t been a big fan of Bitty McLean’s for a few years now (ever since he left ‘Bond Street’), but I’d argue against anyone who said that he wasn’t a very strong singer and artist in general. He also has quite the following and because of that, this release, which may be a first for him in terms of being a live album, is a VERY big deal to a lot of people I’m sure. As for me, I saw the fact that it had both ‘Baby Tonight’ and of course ‘Walk Away From Love’ (“it’s not that I don’t love you! You know how much I do”) and that was all the convincing that I needed. And on top of that, it’s with Sly & Robbie and you really don’t need much more than that and I’m suspecting this one is selling VERY well right now.

Rocky Dawuni - Hymns For The Rebel Soul [Aquarian Records]

Although I don’t have this record just yet, I have a REALLY ’curious’ feeling that this album is going to be excellent for some reason. I haven’t paid much attention to Rocky Dawuni over the years, but his new album Hymns For The Rebel Soul has got WINNER written all over it. The veteran from out of Ghana (where he’s reportedly quite a star), delivers here a very rich sounding vibes and with titles like ‘Download The Revolution’, ‘Master Plan’ and ‘Freefall’, you know I have to hear it. Supposedly the actual disc doesn’t release (outside of Afrika) until later this month, but I think I’ll be helping myself to the digital and doing so in fairly short order. Very nice feeling about this one.

Annette Brissette - Lift Your Head Up [TAC/Zojak Worldwide]

A little birdy told me that I should have a listen to Annette Brissette’s latest release, Lift Your Head Up (and then she sent me the album), because she herself was quite fond of it and she thought that I’d enjoy it as well. So she was right first of all (biggup Zoe), she was definitely right. Brissette is the type of artist that I’m almost embarrassed that I don’t know a lot about (maybe it’s because her name is INCREDIBLY difficult to spell), but over the years, anytime I’ve ever encountered her music, I’ve been pretty impressed actually. There’s no different on this very kind of smoky-room/club type of sounding Reggae album. This very mellow piece (complete with Brissette’s vocals which come off as like a female version of Horace Andy at times) is just SOLID and it’s also SOMETHING DIFFERENT. So, while I’m still working my own way through it (current favourite is ‘The Love Of Jah’), I can rather confidently say that if you’re looking to add a bit of colour to your collection, definitely pick up Lift Your Head Up.

Anthony B - Memories Vol. 1 [Bornfire Music/Zojak Worldwide]

UNFORTUNATELY (as hell), there doesn’t exist a comprehensive greatest hits album for Anthony B just yet (which is a shame really), but apparently he’s not waiting around for someone else to do it and is, instead, taking matters into his own hands as Anthony B is going to release Memories Vol. 1 through his own Bornfire label as well as the beautiful boys and girls of Zojak Worldwide digitally. Of course the “vol. 1” portion of the title would suggest that there’ll at least be a “vol. 2” and perhaps a series after that. Regardless, however, it’s certainly getting off to a pretty nice start in my opinion. When I saw this one, my eyes kind of jumped because I would assume that the artist himself would have had quite a bit of input in how it was built, and it’s so interesting always to see how an artist perceives themselves and their own work. Here, Anthony B mixes in a few hard to find pieces (including ‘Where Is The Love’ alongside Kartel and Ninja Man), with a few of my own favourites like ‘God Above Everything’, of course ‘Mr. Heartless’ and the BIG ‘Waan Back’. On top of that, don’t be too fast to skip either ‘Key To Your Heart’ (alongside Courtney Melody) and Bloodshed as well, across the Lava Splash riddim. Hopefully the series continues in some fashion, but like I said, it’s a pretty solid start here.

{This album will be available digitally very soon, if it isn’t already}


  1. Just recently started listening to Rocky Dawuni, good artist and his last album is nice... some real good tunes. Also, his Book of Changes album was well done also, it mixed alot of AfroBeat and traditional Ghanaian vibes with the reggae.

  2. Cool things JC, I'll have to check that out yeah.