Thursday, February 3, 2011

What I'm Listening To: February

The Drop Leaf Riddim [Don Corleon Records - 2005]

Only youuuuuuuu! Clearly one of the best riddims of all time (with absolutely no qualification) - This week the dominant thing on my players (and it was last week as well) was the album for super producer, Don Corleon’s, opus from way back in 2004/05, the immortal Drop Leaf Riddim. While coming through in what would have been the end of Riddim Driven’s and Greensleeves Rhythm Album Series heydays, Corleon (who had multiple releases on the latter) chose to put this one out on his own and through In The Streetz Records (and the same with his two subsequent follow-ups, the Seasons and Heavenly Riddims, respectively) and although fairly difficult to find for most people, it still carried quite a bit of strength in actual album form. Why? Because it was absolutely beautiful. There were the big hits from the likes of Jah Cure, Gentleman, T.O.K and Sizzla (whose song, ‘It’s Ok, in my opinion still, was completely horrible) and tunes such as ‘Your Best Friend’ by Morgan Heritage and ‘I Believe’ by Maxi Priest which were arguably just as strong. Also on board were Bounty Killer, Luciano, Tanya Stephens and Anthony B and a clean track (and Jeffrey Star) and all of that in just twelve tracks which was remarkable and with that “intoxicating” track made this one arguably one of the greatest riddim albums of all time.

“Inna Di Road” by Chezidek [Greensleeves Records - 2007]


Credit for bringing this seemingly older than actually is Massive B produced release from the outstanding Chezidek definitely goes to his 2010 release ”Judgement Time” (which I’m actually listening to even more these days, but I’m tired of writing about it so I didn’t include it here). I think that, following that album, I’ve a pretty healthy newfound respect for all of Chezidek’s music these (with the exception of ”Rising Sun”, of course) and as of late I’ve turned such respect in the direction of ”Inna Di Road”. Definitely the big attraction here was arguably the biggest tune of Chezidek’s entire career, the MASSIVE ‘Call Pon Dem’, but there was also another pretty sizable hit in ‘Leave The Trees’ and just general goodness to be found on songs such as the title track, the heavy ‘Me Nah Run’, ‘Troublemaker’ (LOVE LOVE LOVE that song now!) and a whole heap of others on what . . . Maybe I won’t go that far (you know what I’m thinking) - But this was an EXCELLENT album and one of Chezi’s finest altogether to date.

“Len Out Mi Mercy” by Merciless [Annex - 1995]

'Len Out Mi Mercy'

So yeah - I know you’re probably laughing at me right now for having dug up this old and obscure piece of an album - But I don’t care, I don’t like you that much anyway. As for how Merciless”Len Out Mi Mercy” album (the bastardized version of what would ultimately become still his only remotely serious release to date, ”Mr. Merciless” from VP) made its way onto my players in January 2011 . . . I don’t know. Perhaps it has to do with the Dancehall withdrawal I’m currently experiencing. Still, I am going to at least attempt to make a case for it. If you didn’t know, regardless of what you may hear from just about everyone, Merciless used to be WICKED! He still is actually, but years and years of poor choices, musical and none musical, have definitely outshone that fact as of late. Things were a lot different a decade and a half ago, however, and this set for Harvel ‘Gadaffi’ Hart of the once mighty Annex Records remains a standing highlight of that time. ”Len Out Mi Mercy” shared most of its top moments with the far more well known ”Mr. Merciless” such as the title track, ‘Talk Already’ (madness!), ‘When The Almighty Come’ and of course ‘God Alone’ alongside Action Fire and Little Hero. But, it also happened to contain at least two tracks which are unique to it, ‘Killer From Birth’ which is a bit tune and a personal favourite of mine, the truly ridiculous (“make sure ah nah my name you call”) ‘Scotland Yard’. And fuck you if you’re still laughing (damn album had like four riddims on it, just used over and over)!

“Twilight Sound System Presents Rasta International” [M Records - 2006]

Brando - 'Greater Than Great'

I found this near gem buried on a hard drive that I had been meaning to clean out for the better part of a year or so and when I did, it struck me that ”Rasta International” from Dutchie label M Records (who also put out a very underrated Turbulence album, ”I Believe”, back in 2005) contained a HUGE tune. I didn’t jump there, however (as I was actually considering this one for a vault review), and thankfully I gave the rest of the album a healthy listen because it also contains stellar efforts from the likes of Queen Ifrica, Natural Black, Lutan Fyah, Admiral Tibet, Mikey General and Luciano. Also on board were two tracks from veteran Fred Locks who wasn’t the only name on board to get a double dose on the album. He was joined by a BLAZING Ras Brando who served up ‘Greater Than Great’ and the DEVASTATING ‘The Conquering Lion’ over M Records’ KNOCKING Binghi Riddim.

“Pressure Is On” by Pressure [Tsuni Records - 2005]

'Zion Is Home'

If you’re simply tired of me writing about this album, you can thank Blaak Lung who provided me with the most recent album I slapped a review on, ”Be Ever” (and how interesting and coincidental is it that the producer of this album is also the producer of the next album that I’m going to be reviewing), which contained a tune by the name of ’Prepare’ (big tune), which was a combination between Blaak and Pressure Busspipe. On that tune Pressure says a lyric which I was sure I’d heard before, so I hopped back over to his debut album, the Dean Pond produced ”Pressure Is On”, to find the tune - Which turned out to be the best on the album, ‘Zion Is Home’ . . . And I got stuck! Each and every time I crack this one open, for whatever reason, I find something new to like and that song is . . . actually almost the entire album is LYRICAL PERFECTION. These days I find myself, more and more, complimenting Pressure on just how strong he’s become lyrically, but maybe he hasn’t come that far at all because this is outstanding. And I’ve certainly dissected this album, and done so ad nauseam, but seriously it’s 2011 and it’s been on shelves for nearly six years at this point - You NEED it in your collection.

“Revolution” [EP] by Queen Omega [Special Delivery - 2008]


On the same drive that I found the aforementioned ”Rasta International” (which I would subsequently clear of ~ thirty gigs of old music to ~ four now) I also found this very nice piece which I didn’t actually remember listening to (stuff just gets BURIED). Well, I dusted it off and gave it a spin. With exception of the title track (actually including the title track) everything on ”Revolution” from SPECTACULAR Trini Reggae Empress, Queen Omega and Special Delivery (who also did her ”Destiny” album) was very familiar. ‘Big Up Papa’ was her cut of the old relick of the Dis Ya Time Riddim, while the other tune, ‘Good Cannabis’ was her offering from the Je T’aime Riddim. Of course the big deal here, however, was the title track which was a combination of Queen Omega alongside German Reggae star, Gentleman (who I find myself writing about more and more these days for some reason) (biggup Protoje) and a MASSIVE tune.

The G-Shock Riddim [D&H Records/Subkonshus Music - 2011]

Tiwony - 'Leaders'

And finally, the newest thing you can dominating on Achis Reggae airwaves as of late has been the captivating new G-Shock Riddim from D&H Records from out of France and Subkonshus from Jamaica. The link is quite obvious when you dig into things. The riddim is an excellent (and actual) Dancehall riddim (Dancehall one-drop riddim too) and it carries a very varied roster of artists. On one side you have names such as Konshens, Delus, Fambo, Nitty Kutchie, Singer J and up and coming very impressive wordsmith Darrio. And they’re combined with names such as Tiwony (who is FUCKS UP the riddim’s biggest tune, ‘Leaders’ and does mostly in English), Straïka D (also mostly in English), Mad Killah and even the Red Eye Crew (mad!) on a big tune. I absolutely love the mix on this one and it’s just into February, but it’s probably my favourite riddim of 2011 thus far. Yeah.

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