Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coming Soon Vol. 33

The Mighty Sparrow - “Soca Anthology: Doctor Bird” [17 N. Parade/VP Records]

'Congo Man'

Certainly taking center stage this week is the latest offering from VP Records’ wonderful reissue/classic label, 17 N. Parade, which continues to impress each and every time they roll out a new release and this time, perhaps, they’ve outdone their own lofty standards. The legendary calypsonian, The Mighty Sparrow, is simply one of the greatest legends in all of Caribbean music and while, until now, the label has focused primarily on Reggae acts, they did make an exception for Byron Lee & The Dragonaires’ ”The Man and His Music” a year ago, which was largely predictable as VP had release just about all of Lee’s later albums, but in the case of ”Doctor Bird”, they’ve taken it a step further as they haven’t typically done a great deal of work with the Sparrow. This two disc set features a HEALTHY thirty classic tracks and, more importantly maybe, it also reportedly contains a potentially PRICELESS DVD which I simply must get my hands on. So if you keep telling yourself that it’s time to get to know the incomparable Mighty Sparrow and his brilliant way of story telling, on May 17, you’ll get what is probably the greatest opportunity there is to do just that.

Potential Rating: 100/5
Releases on May 17
CD + Digital

“Chino” [VP Records]

'Seal The Link'

So maybe I was wrong. Chino definitely hasn’t been amongst my favourites lights from the Dancehall. I kind of found him average and just didn’t generally get what all the fuss was about because, of course, average Dancehall music is the single worst thing in the entire world. And you know it. But, I’ve kind of settled with that as it’s been years ago and he’s just steadily been going along in his career without me paying attention. So I see that he signed a deal with VP Records to deliver his debut self titled album (outside of Japan, where he apparently has become a huge star) and I go and have a listen to some of the album and I had absolutely no idea that I had actually set through about seven or eight songs of the fifteen track set before I skipped anything. And even some of the tunes which I didn’t REALLY like were made decent for some reason or another . . . So either he’s improved by leaps and bounds, or I’ve just generally underestimated him (probably a combination of the both). As it stands otherwise, however, Chino’s album is probably one of the most anticipated of the first half of 2011 and if you’re one of the many who are counting down the days until its arrival, I can rather comfortably say that you will not be disappointed.

Potential Rating: 4.25/5
Releases on May 24
CD + Digital

“Sons of Jamaica: Sizzla” [Jet Star Records]

Under any other set of circumstances I surely wouldn’t have mentioned this . . . Thing, but it should be said that, ALREADY, I’ve received more than a couple of messages from readers about it. ”Sons of Jamaica” is apparently some type of ‘series’ from the once mighty Jet Star (now under new management and ownership, I believe) and having covered the likes of Freddie McGregor, John Holt, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and others, now turn their attentions to the greatest of all time, Sizzla Kalonji. Although not, at least not in my opinion, of the level of Penitentiary’s subterfuge, this one just doesn’t offer anything new and despite the fact that I’m entirely too lazy to reach into a box which is no more than a foot away from me to confirm or deny to absolute certainty, I’m pretty sure that all of this album’s tunes are efforts culled together from ”Black History”, ”Blaze Up The Chalwa” and other Jet Star releases, making it a pretty useless 'greatest hits' styled compilation . . . Oh and Sizzla - Anytime with the next album. Whenever you’re ready.

Releases on May 9

The Arrogant Riddim Vol. 2 [City Lock Studio]

While I do remember the first volume of the Arrogant Riddim from City Lock Studio existing, I don’t recall whether I actually liked it or not and because I’m too lazy to go and check, I’m just going to act as if that part - “Vol. 2” isn’t even there. I don’t particularly like this riddim, but I did feel compelled to mention it for two reasons. The first is that, if I didn’t include it, I would have only had three releases actually coming soon on a post called “coming soon” and that’s just dumb. The second reason you see it here is because it features a potential special combination, ‘Make It In Life’ (biggup Pashon Minott), which happens to feature South Afrikan star, Black Dillinger alongside Bugle.

Potential Rating: 3/5
Releases on April 22

In Stores Now
Colonel Reyel - “Au Rapport” [Step Out Productions]


If you were waiting on my permission to (you are a damn fool), feel free to go ahead and pick up the brand new (and debut, I think) album from the extremely talented singjay (I hate that word) from out of Guadeloupe, Colonel Reyel, ”Au Rapport”. Reyel has been riding high as of late with two sizable hits, ‘Celui’ and Toutes Les Nuits’ and both of the tunes appear on this album (as the first two tracks, actually) and are somewhat emblematic of what you can expect on the balance of this some glossy and polished set. The album also features a high energy dance track, ‘Dis-moi Oui’ which happens to link the Colonel with Gwada star Krys as well. I have heard through just about all of this and I would definitely recommend it for the crowd that went wild over Gyptian for the past couple of years (the track ‘Celui’ sounds a lot like ‘Hold Yuh’ to my ears) or so as it comes in similar to that vibes, with just a bit more edge. Also just speaking openly, Colonel Reyel is very very talented.

CD + Digital

Roundhead - “16 Rounds of Big Roundz” [Signature Records/VP Records]

You can disagree all you like and argue and do whatever you want but, to my opinion, in terms of actual SKILL in delivery and lyrics, Roundhead is . . . Probably top fifteen or twenty in relatively recent Dancehall history. I’ve always been impressed with the DJ at his best and while such days have been few and far between, that hasn’t stopped him from delivering what I think is his first full length set, the ridiculously titled ”16 Rounds of Big Rounds”. Like I said, I’m a fan, so when I saw this had reached (biggup John B), I was quick to jump on it, so we’ve heard quite a bit of this album actually. It’s not stellar and it’s far to . . . ‘agitated’ for my tastes (there’s just too much going on in terms of activity with most of these songs for me), you can still hear how clearly talented Roundhead can be when motivated. It also doesn’t hurt things that the album features, ‘Hemp-motional’, a combination with Achis Reggae favourite, Lutan Fyah.


Lutan Fyah - “The Fyah EP” [Tad’s Records]

Speaking of the Fyah. Lutan Fyah becomes the latest star of the slightly-too-long-for-an-EP series of releases from Tad’s Records with the eight tracks of ”The Fyah EP”. This set, as they all do, features just a few EXTREMELY random songs from a variety of sources, which seemingly have NOTHING in common save for the artist. The exception is the final piece, ‘Violence’, which I can’t honestly say that I’m too familiar with, however, it does sound quite familiar.


Inner Visions - “Stay Alive” [Inner Visions Music/Zojak Worldwide]


I don’t know exactly (or even relatively) HOW LONG I’ve been waiting to see a full and proper release for this one, but that wait is now over as the venerable Inner Visions band from out of St. John has pushed their latest album, ”Stay Alive” to the maximum in its releasing (and I think I might be a little late on this one anyway) (biggup Reggae media for that). If you’re not familiar with their work, what you can expect from IV is the typical HEAVY Virgin Islands Reggae vibes with just an ever so slight amount of edge to it and although I haven’t checked this one out in full just yet, listening through the clips, that’s exactly what’s going on here and, in flashes, it sounds damn good. I’d also recommend it to fans who may have a bit of a preference to that crisp old school sound as well.

CD + Digital

Ras Myrdahk - “All Nations” [Wild Geese Records Production]

And lastly for albums this week is a piece which caught my eyes, but didn’t catch my ears, unfortunately. The always very interesting, Ras Myrdahk (from Brown’s Town!!!) has very quietly released his sophomore album for Wild Geese Productions, ”All Nations”. Now, if you aren’t familiar with Myrdahk (the placement of that H in his name tends to travel) the chanter, at his best, is a fiery explosive and impressive artist who can be devastating. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like much of that material made it to ”All Nations”, however, as, after listening through a bit of it, I can only say without qualification that I REALLY like one of the album’s twelve songs (the very impressive ‘No One Knows’). Still, I will continue to work on this one just a bit (it’s so varied, it sounds like someone told Myrdahk that his name was Perfect) before passing a final judgment on the album from the chanter from the greatest place on earth.

The 11th Dimension Riddim [Diwali Records]

11th Dimension Riddim Mix

The first riddim this week (of five, if I do this correctly) is, arguably, the biggest deal, despite its release only having three vocal tracks. The 11th Dimension Riddim is the FUN latest release from veteran super producer Stephen ‘Lenky’ Marsden who is best known for having constructed one of the greatest riddims of all time, the Diwali. Lenky doesn’t go all out for the 11th Dimension, but apparently the riddim’s release coincides with his new label, Diwali Records (biggup 40/40) and website As for the riddim itself, like I said, Lenky doesn’t attempt to outdo himself - Voicing the riddim are only Revlo, Kambio (I think there’re two artists with that name) and, of course, Lenky favourite and battle-tested, Zumjay. The riddim itself is just . . . Strange, but a very good time as always from the producer and hopefully he does run it out a bit and voice it more because I can think of quite a few names I’d like to hear on this one (like Wayne Wonder) (and a girl).


The Grace & Gratitude Riddim [Romeich Records]

'When Mama Prays' by Alaine

The Grace & Gratitude Riddim is the latest STERLING creation from Romeich Records (I think it maybe their first of the year also) and a strong case could be made that it’s also the label’s best to date as well. While not doing too much in the way of breaking ground or anything like such, this one is just lovely - Sounding like something of the Guardian Angel/Drop Leaf/Seasons variety (I’m not putting it on those levels (yet), but that’s the sound you should be thinking of or you can just play one of the songs which we were sure to put in here). Alaine gives the riddim its finest effort in the form of ‘When Mama Prays’, but she’s joined by an impressive ‘supporting cast’ featuring Chris Martin, Junior X, Bugle, Teflon and others.


The Gorilla Riddim [Necessary Mayhem/Zojak Worldwide]

Gorilla Riddim Mix

I don’t know if the Gorilla Riddim, the new set from Curtis Lynch, Jr. and friends at Necessary Mayhem, is an original riddim or another remake (it does sound familiar, but not that familiar), but regardless of its origins, I’m predicting a big future for this piece which Lynch, reportedly, calls the label’s finest to date. This HEAVY old school composition features just a DAMAGING roster of vocalists. Jamaican star, Tarrus Riley, heads an extremely varied and colourful group of which Ziggi Recado (alongside Tippa Irie & Omar Perry), Chukki Starr, Cali P, the great Macka B and Mr. Williamz are a part. More still, also appearing is more than interesting Tobago native, Franz Job who joins in on ‘Viva Marijuana’ alongside Mr. Williamz and takes the Gorilla on his own ride with ‘What’s It Gone Be’. Yet another impressive set from one of the world’s greatest labels in Necessary Mayhem.


The Love Riddim [Sajay Productions/Zojak Worldwide]

'Work' by Lutan Fyah

Chances are pretty good that you don’t even remember the decent 2010 album from Reggae enigma, Turbulence, and Sajay Productions, "The Journey", and if that is the case for you then it makes it far more likely that you’ve never even encountered the label’s Love Riddim (although apparently it has a history dating back to 2009. As it reaches its own release, Turbulence is back as is Natural Black, Lutan Fyah, Perfect, Lenn Hammond, an impressive Rox Wayne, (bona fide cutie) Christina Stars and others. To my ears (and to the ears of whoever named it) the piece is a pretty nice lover’s set, but different artists take it in different directions and now having listened through it in full - They all do pretty good actually.


The Royalty Riddim [Xterminator Records]

Royalty Riddim Mix

And for the final riddim, I thought that I’d throw this in. The Royalty Riddim is the ‘new’ release from my favourite label of all time, Xterminator, and it features nearly vintage material from Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell and company . . . Because that is what it is. The riddim is actually several years old so the presence of Sizzla Kalonji and Turbulence is to no grand deal (although Turbulence’s song, ‘Jah Is Love’, is excellent). Jesse Royal joins the venerable pair with another big tune and, again, just as in the case of the 11th Dimension Riddim - You do wish there was more of it.


‘Régine’ by Mighty Ki La (single) [STK Multimedia]

'Régine' Caribbean Edit

And winding down we have trio of new singles including two which I told you about yesterday (and another which is probably older than I am). The first is the digital release for Mighty Ki La’s new single, the electric ‘Régine’. You can have a listen to the track and I just mentioned it yesterday, so I won’t go too far here, but what I will say is that the official release features a version of the tune, the Caribbean Edit by DJ Scientifik, which is slightly different and more ‘rigid’ to my ears. I definitely do prefer the original, but this version isn’t horrible and DEFINITELY still looking forward to MKL’s forthcoming ”K-rakter” set.


‘Come Go With Me’ by Taddy P & Evin Lake (single) [Bass Inna Yu Face]


Next we have a song which was probably emailed to us on 2,000 different occasions. It’s master guitarist, Taddy P, alongside the soulful up and comer, Evin Lake, on a remake of a classic from Teddy Pendergras, ‘Come Go With Me‘. This tune is apparently gained a pretty large following and I FINALLY took note when, during a conversation with my Father, he mentioned that my Wife’s Brother (biggup Bredz) had actually sent it to him and he REALLY liked it. So there you go, if my Father overwhelmingly approves, you will probably also, check it out today.


‘Call Me’ featuring Ce’Cile by Yann Sélo (single) [S’Time]

And FINALLY (it’s probably taken me several years to complete this post) (currently at 2604 words) we have the official release of another tune I told you about yesterday, ‘Call Me’, from Yann Sélo, featuring the incomparable Ce’Cile. Really like this tune, despite the fact that it is a man singing Zouk music and did I mention how nicely the guest looks in the video???



  1. Definitely agree with you that it's about time for a new Sizzla album! I'm not used to waiting a year... hell, I'm not used to waiting more than 5 or 6 months...

    While you're writing open letters (or prayers), send one out to Bounty too. He's been on a hot streak with singles, and after "Raise Hell on Hellboy" I figured a new album might be in the works. Still haven't heard anything about it though.

  2. 2010 would have been the year for Bounty.

    Unfortunately that year showed that he loves jail more than rhyming.