Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming Soon Vol. 19

Coming Soon
Repeat Riddim [Philadub Records]

This week we start with the latest effort from Achis Reggae favourites Philadub Records. Certainly best known as the maestros behind Lutan Fyah’s BIG 2009 album, ”Justice” (and there was also the Mighty Right Riddim, which upon further research, I mentioned on the very first edition of ‘Coming Soon’), Gardian and co. at Philadub are back again in a somewhat expected, but VERY nice way, The Repeat Riddim. Like the aforementioned Mighty Right, this riddim was featured on the ”Justice” album, on the tune ‘Show Me Some Love’, one of the most crucial selections on that crucial release. I believe I remarked just how COOL it might be if the label just went on their way and released riddim albums for each and every riddim on that set and, while it may take a decade or so at this pace (and hell, I’m not complaining), it appears that it isn’t completely out of the question and that’s a good thing. Joining the Fyah on the Repeat (and Gardian, of course), are the likes of veterans Lukie D, Anthony B, apparent Philadub favourite - Spectacular, Skilli Bangs and even a solo Andrew Wright (without Tippa Lee). The riddim is very strong, like most of Philadub’s output and again, should they want to do this (and drop a Lutan Fyah album every 4-5 years or so), I have absolutely no problem with it and I’m well looking forward to it.

Rated Potential: 4.25/5 (would be much higher if it had more tracks)
Releases on August 10

Ras Midas - “Fire Up” [JML Records]

Next in is a VERY big deal as the well respected ‘Rastaman In Exile’, Ras Midas, returns to the scene with a brand new 12 track studio set, ”Fire Up”. Midas is an example of an artist who I wished that I paid more attention to over the years because, although he most certainly hasn’t been the most active of vocalists (and not that we’ve expected him to be at this stage in his career), whenever I actually sit down and take a listen to what he’s done, no matter how old or new the material is, I always come away if not terribly impressed - Just feeling really GOOD! He definitely makes a very appreciable level of just upful vibes and just going through the clips on this one, it appears to be a quality which he has retained nearly FORTY years deep into his wonderful career. Midas has also been an artist with a very devoted following and I’m SURE there’re many people looking forward to this one, yours truly included (and Bredz is planning on buying it so, you might get a review out of me somewhere down the line).

Rated Potential: 4.5/5
Releases in a few hours
CD & Digital

Gappy Ranks - “Put The Stereo On” [Greensleeves Records]

Despite rather large and persistent rumours to the contrary, no - Gappy Ranks didn’t extricate himself from his Greensleeves deal (most THANKFULLY and INTELLIGENTLY) and has instead maintained his only slightly delayed course to his debut album, ”Put The Stereo On”. I most certainly am going to examine this at some point in greater detail (like a review), but this is a VERY big deal with the question being can you now package and sale an obvious talent like Gappy’s to the entire world. I can’t think, in the immediate past, of another UK artist who has had as much talk surrounding him and definitely there’re going to be a lot of eyes on Gappy and seeing just how well his album performs. While the reason most people know him, the well worn ‘Stinkin’ Rich’ has apparently been left off the album (which may be a pretty good idea), on board is the MASSIVE ‘Heaven In Her Eyes’ along with other interesting bits such as the recently videoed title track, a remake of Tenor Saw’s big hit ‘Pumpkin Belly’, ‘Rude Boy’, a cut of ‘Soul Rebel’ and another WICKED piece, ‘Heavy Load’. It is also worth noting that ‘Peckings Productions’ logo on the front of the album cover and heavier fans will know exactly what to expect when you see that - CRAZY old school vibes. Definitely looking forward to seeing what Gappy has to show after all of this hype and I have a good feeling on this one.

Rated Potential: 4.75/5
Releases on August 24
CD & Digital

Culture Brown - “Hot In The Street” [Bionic Dancehall Records]

Interesting isn’t it? Okay, last year you might’ve taken note of a project by the name of ”Poor” from the Canadian based Jamaican born chanter, Culture Brown. That release spanned more than thirty tracks over two discs and while it seemed that in doing that (which I’m pretty sure Brown paid for on his own coin) would have taken him out of commission for quite some time, apparently that isn’t the case at all as Culture Brown returns with a brand new studio album, ”Hot In The Street”. If my research is accurate (and it probably isn’t), the album was recorded a couple of years back in Switzerland and has been awaiting release since then and I guess the powers that be figure now is a good time (and they’re probably right). HOWEVER, listening through the clips and I don’t have much hope for this one. It seems to be more Dancehall and Hip-Hop and while I don’t have a problem at all with the former when it is done well (the latter either actually), I don’t know that Brown is the type of artist to pull this off. Although it is well worth saying that I’m not his biggest fan so, that certainly would have something to do with it and I suspect that there is a nice audience awaiting the release of this one.

Rated Potential: 2.5/5
Releases on August 1
CD & Digital

Burn Up Riddim [Hemp Higher Productions]

Well that didn’t take very long at all. We go from Culture Brown linking up with Bionic Dancehall in Switzerland, to another Swiss set, Hemp Higher, for a riddim, The Burn Up, which I think I heard all of two weeks or so ago for the first time (maybe even less than that) and it’s already about to drop for your consumption. This thing has a very electric feel to it and while that isn’t my personal favourite type of vibes, I can well see this one doing a big damage in Europe and it’s apparently already headed to the rest of the world as well. That’s not surprising at all when you consider the artists voicing the Burn Up. Besides the main attraction here, ‘Feels Like Music’, which features the Daseca Boys, Bugle & Serani, also playing around are the likes of TOK, Jah Thunder, Teflon, Deva Bratt and of course wicked wicked Swiss artist and Achis Reggae favourite, Cali P. Not too shabby none at all.

Rated Potential: 3.5/5
Releases on July 30
CD & Digital

Natty King - “Trodding” [Tad’s Records]

I know what you’re thinking so stop - ‘Achis. What the hell, this album came out last year and you even reviewed it. Did you bump your head again?’ No I didn’t bump my fucking head, I do realize that the ‘man from the east’, BIG singer Natty King released ”Trodding” about ten months or so ago. BUT, previously that album was only available digitally and in regards to the CD/Digital question, I’ve probably received more questions about this one than most others over the past year or so. Well, lets now end the other side of that question as Tad’s has apparently made a wise decision to drop the CD for the album. The album was essentially a compilation of tunes the King had voiced for Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor, so you can well be sure that it is a quality release, if you haven’t managed to pick up the digital just yet. And even if you have, you might just want to grab up the CD now anyone. The album was very strong - I reviewed it at 4.25/5 and now might give it the bump to a 4.5, so definitely check it out (and let’s just hope they get the cover right this time) (inside joke).

Releases Tomorrow
See Review

{note: The digital version of this album is available right now, courtesy of Zojak Worldwide}
{note 2: Also apparently releasing with it is Chezidek’s rather redundant “Herbalist” album}

Luciano - “United States of Africa” [VP Records]

Stop yourself again, because yet I know what you’re thinking, so I’ll be brief this time. Apparently this one got let out a bit earlier than it was supposed to, so if you didn’t grab it up in that week or so when it was around, you’ll have to wait about another week to get Luciano’s latest BIG album from VP Records, ”United States of Africa”. The good thing this time around, however, is that you’ll actually be able to grab up the actual CD so, yes, it’s still a very big thing that Luciano is back and the album is one of the best of 2010 as well.

Releases on August 3
CD & Digital

In Stores Now
Jahmel & The Rhythm Factory - “Reflections” [Roydale Anderson]

This one jumped up and caught my eye about a week ago and although I still haven’t gotten my paws on it just yet, I’m well looking forward to the latest release from sweet singing Jahmel, ”Reflections”. I had absolutely no idea that this thing was about to drop, but the world INSTANTLY becomes a much better place when Jahmel puts up a project, particularly one produced by his longtime accomplice Roydale Anderson (who, I believe, once commented on my blog - On the review for Jahmel’s most recent album ”Timeless”). This one sounds very solid and impressive, pretty much what you’ve come to expect from the veteran singer over the years and while, like most of what he does, it’ll probably go largely unnoticed, I’m still expecting a lot from this release in terms of quality and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it’s one of the real sleepers of 2010.


Pupa Leendi - “One Life” [Pupa Leendi]

Just in time for Spice Mas. Even though I’m definitely not the biggest fan of veteran Soca head Pupa Leendi, I was just so happy to see one of his albums available digitally for all of the world as he’s had at least one previously which wasn’t (and who knows how many more than that) and just in general, Grenada Soca artists aren’t the most visible on the international stage (unless I’m REALLY missing something, the only other one that I can think of who’s received a similar attention in recent years has been Berbice). Leendi, although unexpected, is a pretty good choice and he’s also one I’d recommend for fans not so much into Soca (which the lion’s share of my entire readership, I’m sure) because his style isn’t the kind of overpowering ‘jump and wave ‘ sound (which I love) for the most part, but it’s more groovy and kind of Calypso style. That’s not to say that he doesn’t get wild, because he does later on, but for the majority of ”One Life”, you’re going to get more of a laid back type of vibes (and that includes the downright intoxicating title track.


Jim Screechie Riddim [Equiknoxx]

Currently blazing the world over just as it has been for the past month or so is the latest creation of Equiknoxx, The Jim Screechie Riddim. What can I say? It’s an actual Dancehall riddim which is virtually an endangered species in this day and age. This isn’t Hip-Hop, it isn’t ‘crossover’, it’s just a BEAUTIFUL Dancehall riddim, one of the finest I’ve heard in 2010. Of course any and everything Equiknoxx means that Aidonia is on board and with him are the likes of Beenie Man, TOK, RDX, Timberlee (alongside Japanese artist Akané) and Versatile as well as up and comers like Kemikal and Lil Joe. HOWEVER, all of that being said, they’re all basically sifting through the ruins left by Spice as she basically relieves herself on the riddim, offering its most interesting and sneakily brilliant title track.


Major & Minor Riddim [Don Corleon]

Yes. I should’ve mentioned this one a long ass time ago, but it’s better late than never I suppose. Don Corleon is a fucking genius and one of the latest statements to such status was the Major & Minor Riddim(s). Of course you’re already familiar due to the fact that the piece just so happens to feature what has already become a bonafide hit in the case of Tarrus Riley’s ‘Wildfire’, but the downright sublime and COMFORTABLE piece also maintained the course and hasn’t been damaged in the more than capable hands of the likes of Lutan Fyah, The Professor, Wayne Marshall, Jah Vinci, Kris Kelli and a hotter than fire Achis Reggae favourite Ce’Cile. Hopefully this is all just redundant for you as you should already know it, but if you don’t, definitely grab up this wonderful piece right now.


Gunshow Riddim [Di Genius Productions]

This one is even older, but it isn’t my fault as Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor seems to be slowly but surely leaking out his back catalogue of riddims never to make it to compilation status. Just last week was the big and bad Catalogue Riddim and now we have the (even older) Gunshow Riddim (which I THINK came late last year but may’ve been a bit earlier). There’s absolutely nothing going on her in the way of frills and flare as what you get is a characteristically EMPHATIC riddim and you get it, largely, from the usual sources. The only name which may be unfamiliar (although at this point, maybe not) is Suhverto who checks in with the SCATHING ’People Dead’. And then (speaking of scathing) it’s the usual suspects for Big Ship, (vintage) Aidonia, Mavado and Ele. Each going extremely hard and violent and evil and it’s everything you love about McGregor’s Dancehall isn’t it?


Style Dem Riddim [Pay Day Music]

Next is the latest release from Pay Day, the very well done Style Dem Riddim, which dropped earlier this month. This piece is pretty straight forward (which is a quality expressed on most of Pay Day’s music and I mean that in a good way) and it plays well throughout its sixteen tracks (no riddim track though) (ehhh) for some really big artists. Of course it goes without saying that on board is Bounty Killer and Mavado, and with them they bring the expected likes of Flexx, Kibaki, Nymron and the Gyalliance. Wasn’t at all expecting TWO tracks from Lutan Fyah (the first of which, ’When Mi Shoob It’ is about as close to slack as I’ve ever heard the chanter) (the second of which, ’Good Eeeh’, is brilliant) and ’Rock & Come In Yah’ from a big under-known artist, Abajonai. Big release.


Darien Prophecy - “Art of Love” (EP) [Ambiel Music]

And lastly this week is a piece which, for some reason, I was REALLY looking forward to hearing before we got it. It’s UK chanter, Darien Prophecy, with a brand new four track EP set, “Art of Love”. I wasn’t really big on his last album “Natural Vibes” (it was pretty good), and I’ve never been the biggest of his fans, but for some reason when I saw this one and got a brief listen to it, I was WELL impressed and having since gotten it, I LIKE! I like so much, in fact, that I’m thinking about going back and giving the album a next listen (actually listening now and . . . Yeah not too bad), but hopefully that’ll vault business as this EP would seem to portend that a next LP is forthcoming and I’ll be looking forward to that one as well and hopefully you will too.


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