Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coming Soon Vol. 28

J Boog EP [Wash House Music Inc.]

Okay so, seemingly right now would be an absolutely brilliant time for Hawaiian Reggae supernova J Boog to do an album with his name now more in the lights than ever and his quality levels basically jumping off the scales. Well, while his next album hasn’t been settled as of yet, Boog is attempting to capitalize on his current popularity with a six track EP set from his very own (I THINK) Wash House Music. Of course, the song which most are going to be coming to hear, ‘Let’s Do It Again’ on Don Corleon’s Major Riddim is present and it’s joined with five other nice tunes (including the Special Delivery helmed ‘So Far Gone’ as well) to help hold us over until the inevitable boom drops.

Potential Rating: 4/5
Releases on January 25

“Songs For Reggae Lovers 4” [VP Records]

J Boog probably should’ve been lined up for the next and fourth installment of VP Records' underrated "Songs For Reggae Lovers” series, but despite the fact that he isn’t, I don’t think anyone is going to notice or complain about it with the names lined up here. Over the course of two discs ”SFRL4” serves up a GORGEOUS thirty tracks full of the likes of Romain Virgo, Etana, Busy Signal, Jah Cure, Capleton, Tarrus Riley, Luciano and even Gyptian. More still, the elders are well represented by the likes of Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Tyrone Taylor, Barrington Levy and of course Beres Hammond. And, admittedly, I haven’t been paying the greatest amount of attention to this series, but they’ve managed to deliver a shot each and every year from 2008 now (that’s 120 songs in four years by my almost certainly incorrect calculations), so if you really love Lover’s Rock then the first big release of 2011 has just strolled in for you.

Potential Rating: 5/5
Releases on February 8
CD + Digital

Sadiki & Delly Ranx - “Fi Di Dancehall” [Skinny Bwoy Records/Zojak Worldwide]

Next up is a most unlikely of duos as Reggae and Dancehall (and Lover’s Rock) veterans Sadiki and Delly Ranx team up for a combined album release for Sadiki’s Skinny Bwoy Records imprint, ”Fi Di Dancehall”. Being not the biggest of fans of either artist, I was somewhat surprised at not only the very fact that it existed, but also that it’s quite decent actually. The album’s twelve tunes are mixed between solo efforts from both (each having four) and four more combination tracks as well so fans of both artists are certain to want to have a big listen and even if you aren’t, you may find something you like as well.

Potential Rating: 3.5/5
Releases on February 8

“Riddimentary: Diplo Selects Greensleeves” [Greensleeves]

Okay, I don’t know a lot about Diplo and doing very very brief research I believe I discovered that he was actually a part of the Major Lazer stuff that people go crazy over. However, I do know a nice compilation when I see it and I suppose it’s time for Greensleeves to roll out another release like such as they did not too long ago with the world renowned Jah Shaka. This time, the aforementioned Diplo helms ”Riddimentary” which is a nice fifteen track set, before Diplo offers up a mix. In typical retro Greensleeves fashion, the set includes the likes of John Holt, Barrington Levy, Hugh Mundell, Clint Eastwood, Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs and others as VP continues to search for (and find) various ways to use Greensleeves most ridiculous catalog.

Potential Rating: 4.5/5
Releases on February 8

“Dread & Alive: The Lost Tapes Vol. 5” [Soul of The Lion]

Next is a release which I think is the third of this lot as the always solid ”Dread & Alive: The Lost Tapes” series makes its return bright and early in 2011. If you don’t know the story behind this one, it’s tied to a comic book release (thus the cover) whose fifth installation apparently drops less than a week after this album. The previous two editions haven’t been exactly limited in terms of which artists have appeared, but I think a may be able to say that this most recent edition has assembled the BEST cast of characters of the lot thus far. Achis! Who’s on the album? Natural Black, Cocoa Tea, Louie Culture, Glen Washington (alongside Jhaytea), Ginjah, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Yvad, Mr. Vegas and even Achis Reggae favourite Dyanmq. Achis! Is that it? No! Also on board is ‘Hardest Way’, Beenie Man’s cut of Truckback’s WICKED Springblade Riddim AND ‘See Dem A Come’ a little heard Arrows produced tune from none other than Buju Banton.

Potential Rating: 4.25/5
Releases on February 1

The Question Riddim [Germaica Digital]

I wasn’t actually going t o pull this one for a little while after it released because I’m almost certain that it isn’t very good, but . . . Yeah, these days with actual, genuine Dancehall being a VERY endangered species, anything I hear that sound, I start to smile. Germaica has relicked the old Answer Riddim, renamed it the Question Riddim and threw a few different artists on that I haven’t heard of . HOWEVER, also involved are both Jah Mason (who does an update of his own with ‘Fire 2011’) and Ward 21, both of who have tunes which appear to be MAMMOTH. And I was also happy to see Shadu and ‘Rebellion’, because I’m pretty sure that the latter generally has ‘The Recaller’ attached to his name as well.

Potential Rating: N/A
Releases on January 28

Hi-Kee - “Self Reliance" [True Sounds Records]

Next we have an entry which comes as somewhat of a surprise as Hi-Kee kind of gets a jump on expectations by already delivering his debut album, "Self Reliance”. To my knowledge, Hi Kee does the vast majority of his work in Europe and the fact that he delivers for a European label in True Sounds isn’t much of a surprise at all, but as someone who has relatively recently began to take a SIGNIFICANT notice of his musical whereabouts, I was actually caught ‘off-guard’ by this release, but happily so. I was familiar with a few of the tunes here, such as vibes from Reality Chant, Maasto, Bassrunner and of course Teka and Rootdown and I think I like it even more than I thought before so definitely check this one out when it drops.

Potential Rating: 4/5 [I may actually review this album pretty soon]
Releases on February 4 [February 14 in Latin America]

2011 Calypso Compilation: “Its Showtime” [Faluma]

And lastly - Because we definitely wish that Soca would be a MUCH MUCH more visible category within the digital market, that same set of circumstances applies to Faluma, probably the most popular Soca digital distributor in the world (at least for now) (oh and Faluma! Remember the rocket launcher!!!). Despite seemingly pretty long stretches of inactivity, thankfully the label is still alive and in the latest piece of evidence of its existence, Faluma is serving up one of their more interesting sets in quite some time. The latest edition of the Calypso compilation which they quietly run, ”It’s Showtime” is at hand and it’s featuring old school vibes from some pretty big names. Denyse Plummer, Tony Prescott, Nicole Greaves, Anselm Douglas (three times) and even Lil’ Bits make appearances on an album CLEARLY highlighted by ‘Calling Meh’, the new BIG Pan track from the most divine and wonderful Destra Garcia.

Potential Rating: 4/5
Releases on February 4

In Stores Now
De Tin Pan Riddim [Mastamind Productions]

Someone in Soca who isn’t with Faluma who certainly has no problem with the digital market is Shawn ‘Da Mastamind’ Noel who constantly gets things done and is getting 2011 started by releasing his latest . . . master class - De Tin Pan Riddim. Besides pushing up and comers such as Lyrikal, Ricardo Drue, Naki (who I think may be a CUTIE) and Third Bass (who may not be an actual up and comer), this release IMMEDIATELY increases the digital presence of bonafide Soca stars Nadia Batson, Skinny Fabulous and Patrice Roberts. And the riddim itself, with a slight feel of old school, but very modern as well, is a beautiful thing as Da Mastamind continues his rather sizable efforts to make Soca a much better place, year in and year out and good for him on it definitely.


“Sankie Pon Dem” [Island Network]

And to keep the Soca thing going next we have a compilation release from the well established and well discussed Vincy Soca Dans crew, “Sankie Pon Dem”. To my knowledge, they actually release a compilation every year, but this one seems to have gotten just a bit more steam behind it (you can actually purchase this one internationally apparently) and rightly so because the boys and girls of VSD had a pretty big year last year. The album basically assembles the biggest hits of the members of the crew, Jamesy P (who supplies the hit title track), Fireman Hooper, Luta, Tabia and DJ Tarrus and even Jamaican Dancehall ace Beenie Man makes a special cameo as well. Hopefully we can someday see something like this one go digital as well, but until then I’m not complaining about what we do have.


P.U.M.P.A - "Driven By Music" [PUMPA]

And to wrap up the Soca like portion of this post is a very interesting release from arguably an even more interesting source. The name Pumpa isn’t one which immediately rings a bell with me, but upon just a little further research, I found that I was quite familiar with his work and he has a brand new album out now by the name of ”Driven By Music”. Okay, Pumpa (I THINK) used to sing with the Xtaushun Band from out of St. Thomas and he also used to sing with Daddy Jones which is where I actually knew him from because he had a pretty nice hit a few years back with Daddy Jones by the name of ‘Mokojumbie’ which did so much damage that it even made it onto one of VP’s ”D’Soca Zone” albums (#6). So, while VI Soca (not named Jalena) isn’t a focal point of mine, I was so happy to see this release about and widely available as well. Like most Soca albums, it’s a bit on the short side at just ten tracks, but in those tracks it features one or two familiar moments to me such as ‘Private Dancer’, ‘Wifey Material’ and ‘In De Fete’ (with five hundred other people) and it also features ‘Trully’, which is, I BELIEVE, a combination with none other than VI Reggae superstar, Pressure Busspipe. I don’t have this one as of yet, but I’m SERIOUSLY thinking about picking it up and maybe y should do the same (and maybe it’s just me but Pumpa sounds just a little bit like Grenada insanity Lavaman, vocally).

CD + Digital

The Snowflake Riddim [Jah Snowcone]

It would only make sense that one would get the Snowflake Riddim from Jah Snowcone. The venerable producer returns with his first release of 2011, for a riddim which dropped just late last year. This piece is kind of R&B/traditional Gospel vibed with the heavy saxophone and kind of melancholy nature of the vibes. As is the norm for him, Snowcone assembles a very respectable roster of artists for his project including Nadine Sutherland, Lutan Fyah, Turbulence, Nesbeth and even Achis Reggae favourite Pashon Minott (see note).


{Note: Having not actually heard it, I cannot say for sure, however, it appears that at least on the digital version that we heard, that Pashon’s tune, ‘Hush Hush’, isn’t actually on the release and instead, someone has mistakenly placed ‘New Love’ by Serenity in its spot so if I am correct (and I hardly am) be careful with that one}

Troy Anthony - “Next Generation” []

Always impressive Bermuda native Troy Anthony is releasing (I THINK) his second studio album to date, ”Next Generation” and I’m kind of looking forward to hearing it. I’ve always enjoyed singles from the versatile and talented Anthony, but I’ve never really given a full album the chance and I think I’ll change that here. I know he’s kind of Xtianny and over the course of the album that may make it into something I’m just not good with, but again, he’s well shown himself to be talented, so who knows. "Next Generation” comes with two big combinations featuring the legendary Luciano and Roger Robin from out of the UK as well and like I said, I’m well looking forward to this one. [On a side note, Troy Anthony’s first album was called ”Rise Up” and now he has ”Next Generation” - Can you get more Reggae cliché than that??? His next album almost certainly will be called ”Times Getting Red” or something like that].


"Shaolin Singles & Dubs" [Necessary Mayhem/Zojak Worldwide]

Curtis Lynch Jr. and company at Necessary Mayhem aren’t wasting any time with getting the new year started with their very first digital release of 2011 as they link together two very big artists, Blackout JA and Jah Mirikle on a very nice release based on their new Shaolin Temple Riddim, which is a remake of an older Junjo Lawes produced riddim most well known by a tune from Barrington Levy of the same name. Blackout JA is featured alongside recent NM find Chantelle Ernandez (who I might tell you a little more about later this month) on the big tune ‘We Are Strong’, meanwhile the St. Lucian born Mirikle goes solo on another big track, ‘Mystic Control’. Also included is a clean version of the riddim, as well as a dubbed out version also. I’m very high on both of these artists (all three actually) and of course the label can do no wrong by me these days, and this WICKED old school riddim is yet another testament as to why that is.


“Bien Glacé 3” [DeeJaySlamBB]

And finally, sticking with the Zouk that we set up yesterday (and by “yesterday”, I mean tomorrow because it’s Monday night while I’m writing this) (actually I finished that Fanny review like two or three days ago now) - While Section Zouk may’ve been shy with releasing their big compilation last year, one of my favourite Soca producers, Dee Jay Slam, certainly was not and the third compilation of his bi-annual release, “Bien Glacé” is available in stores now. Of course, a rather large reason why I like Dee Jay Slam’s music is because he’s the main producer of my favourite Zouk singer, Kénédy. She appears here (in all of her 100% wonderfulness) with her increasingly MASSIVE ‘Enmé Mwen An Kreyol’ tune and she’s joined by another of my favourites, Thayna (twice), Teeyah, Lylah (yes, ‘Pour Le Meilleur‘ is on the album), KIM and others (including Kaysha even) as well.

CD + Digital

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