Sanchez - "Hands of Babylon" [John John Records/Zojak Worldwide]
Fans of legendary crooner, Sanchez, should definitely be aware of a bit of a digital re-release of sorts as "Hands of Babylon" is in stores now. The album comes via producer John John who also produced (DUH) the original, "Perilous Time" which was probably one of the best albums Sanchez has ever done and originally released back in 1998. Some of the material here, such as the title track (both of them) and a personal favourite of mine, 'Picture On The Wall', is full on timeless so, if you didn't snatch up the now ultra-hard to find original, definitely give "Hands of Babylon" a healthy look.
CD [as "Perilous Time"] & Digital
"Dis Ah Reggae; In Different Dimensions" [Digital Link International Inc./Zojak Worldwide]
As the year winds down here's yet another jam packed compilation (from a very familiar source), "Dis Ah Reggae: In Different Dimensions". As the title would suggest, here we have a set which features . . . Reggae music, in its nineteen tracks and, definitely you have some big tunes here! Featured are the just mentioned Sanchez, Anthony B, I-Octane, Tarrus Riley, Tanya Stephens, Perfect and others on a piece which, for what it is, is probably one of the better compilations of its kind in 2011. So definitely check it out - PERFECT (biggup Perfect, also on the album) for more casual fans.
The Cool & Deadly Riddim [Flava McGregor Records]
Cool & Deadly Riddim Mix
Cool & Deadly Riddim Mix
The Cool & Deadly Riddim is, unless my brain is just REALLY malfunctioning (and it usually is), the first full riddim set from Kemar 'Flava' McGregor in a year and a half (following the Classic Riddim) and it seems as if we've been hearing about it for nearly as long. The C&D is one which definitely lives up to its name and is, ultimately, given a very unique 'scenario' as the roster of vocalists featured include a very nice mix of Jamaican talents, alongside predominately UK artists. We have the seemingly unavoidable Sanchez, Marcia Griffiths, Buju Banton (alongside Jovi Rockwell) and even Ce'Cile on side, with Peter Hunnigale, Janet Kay, Lady Lex and the most incomparable Maxi Priest on the other. Very interesting work here and a riddim worthy of its talented creator.
The Fresh Medz Riddim [Warrior Musick Productions]
Fresh Medz Riddim Mix
Fresh Medz Riddim Mix
Up next is something which apparently grabbed Bredz' ear and attentions in a major way (which is obvious, because he left its picture on the post) (biggup Bredz) (take it out if you like!) - The COOL Fresh Medz Riddim from a few months back is now available on full digital release with a few more names on that I ever realized. This thing, speaking of the riddim alone, is just a STERLING creation. It is lovely! I think they could've attached a few more top names to it, but lifting it up are the likes of Fantan Mojah, Cali P, Konshens, Ras Penco and a few other nice names, but they're all outshone by the riddim itself!
The Steppings Riddim [Romeich Records]
Steppings Riddim Mix
Steppings Riddim Mix
Romeich Records are becoming a favourite of many, myself included, and are doing so largely based on the strength of such BIG material as is to be found on their most recent release, the infectious Steppings Riddim. Colourful, certified and authentic new school Dancehall abounds on the Steppings and that's only part of it because Romeich was sure to arm the composition with just as big and capable names (and even the up and comers are talented). Beenie Man highlights a roster which also includes Merciless (who has been finding words to rhyme with "war" for twenty years), Teflon, Kiprich, and even Tarrus Riley AND Kush Riley (his talented Brother). Not the best riddim, but the Steppings may've just birthed one of the better Dancehal riddim ALBUMS of 2011.
The Bubble Gum Riddim [Washroom Entertainment]
If you could just play the instrumental of the Bubble Gum Riddim, one could just assume (correctly this time), that it would DEFINITELY be the type of vibes over which someone like Alaine would greatly excel and that's just what she does with what may be the best tune she's done in 2011, 'All or Nothing'. The Queen of the Love Song heads an impressive group which also includes Tessanne Chin, T.O.K., Konshens, Tifa, Vital (MAD!) and others (unfortunately not including Ce'Cile) . . . And they all pretty much do well to my ears. I really like this one, Check it out.
The Riot Squad Riddim [Massive B]
Riot Squad Riddim Mix
Having a good week! Next we have the latest from Massive B which is another geniune piece of Dancehall and pretty damn colourful as well, the Riot Squad Riddim. While it isn't the kind of overbearing Soca-ish vibed composition its name might lead you to think, what it is, is pretty good to my ears. The lineup, as usual for Massive B, is also damn solid. Bramma, Kartel (who has four tracks including clean versions), Mr. Vegas, Burro Banton, Khago and a few more shine bright on this one.
Dawg House Productions
'Unchangeable' by Capleton [Brave & Bold Riddim]
Veteran Dancehall DJ, Bling Dawg, is the latest to turn his catalog to the digital market and while he has never been the most active of producers on his Dawg House Productions imprint, he's definitely gotten off to a pretty good start with the Pitbull and Brave & Bold Riddims, respectively, already having released. The COLD former is an older piece which was a bit underrated in terms of just how good it was, while the latter is a nearly brilliant fresh set which is just damn good. I could tell you who's on them both, but . . . I don't feel like it (outside of Capleton on the B&B, big tune), look it up, both are very useful and more.
'No Time To Waste' by Pashon Minott (single) [Irie Sounds International/Zojak Worldwide]
Unsurprisingly, getting a starring role and a featured single release from a project which also reached recently is the 'Sugar Princess', Achis Reggae favourite, Pashon Minott, whose determined 'No Time To Waste' was amongst several standouts on the Christine Riddim (available now as the "Christine Riddim & Lead Di Way Riddim") from Irie Sounds International. Check out the single and definitely the full album as well.
'Dem Fallin' by Bazil (single) [Tiger Records/Zojak Worldwide]
And because Benjai's nearly two year old tune will just have to wait until next time - Lastly today is Bazil of Achis Reggae favourite, Tiger Records - Who has a new single (and apparently an album in a bit), 'Dem Fallin' in stores now. I still haven't heard much of Bazil's material, but I do like this song from a lyrical aspect and, that specifically, seems to come through quite effortlessly, I should say. Big tune. Check and keep an eye out for Bazil's future work.