Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Check It #51: Crowned Champion

'Champion' by Chronixx [ZJ Heno]

It is quickly getting to the point where all one needs to do to speak of the actual quality of any song is to include the words "by Chronixx" after the song's title. Such is the case with the GORGEOUS tune, 'Champion'… by Chronixx. Growing in giant steps, each and every time out, here we find Chronixx reaching the equally shining and somewhat Jazzy Passionate Riddim from ZJ Heno (which is also currently available, unsurprisingly sans this tune) with a giant track which is already in the process, like all of his songs, of doing a major damage and you can expect many similar things from him in the years to come as Chronixx genuinely appears to be someone whose skills are absolutely without a ceiling.

"Mama dry yuh tears and move yuh hand from yah head
Never wear a frown because Jah Jah no dead"

{Great cover!} 
'Jah Over All Things' by Romain Virgo [Juke Boxx Productions/VP Records]

In the first of two very large tunes from the venerable Shane Brown his just as respected Juke Boxx imprint, young star, Romain Virgo, checks in with yet another mighty effort for his ever-growing lot, the triumphant 'Jah Over All Things'. With an energetic and enthused and a giant vocal display, Virgo continues his own most brilliant journey and, in the process, makes a tune not to be forgotten anytime soon.

"Dem come wid gun wid extra clip -
But dem trigga stick
So mi neva fall, always stand tall"

'To The Limit' by Tarrus Riley [Juke Boxx Productions/VP Records]

Also a pretty good indication of the quality of any song would be its name attached to something like "by Tarrus Riley" and the big man returns to Juke Boxx as well with his own very large offering 'To The Limit'. A versatile love song, 'To The Limit' is just top notch work with an extra bit of something special that you've come to expect from, arguably, the biggest star in Roots Reggae music today. 

'Good Good Girl' by MavadoChino [Di Genius Records]

Two constant staples of Di Genius Records, Mavado and Chino, teamed up to push the… different 'Good Good Girl' for Stephen McGregor a month or two ago and while the reaction was mixed, definitely, and I was personally mixed - I always like to give someone credit for experimenting or trying something different in the short term (if you do that on an entire album, however, then I may have a problem with that) (unless your name is Busy Signal or something like that) and this tune was precisely that from two of the current biggest names in the Dancehall. 

"What A Lot of Love" by Alaine [ZJ Chrome]

As we told you about from yesterday (or earlier today or whenever that was), Christopher Martin is coming with his own EP from Chrome and also set to do the same is the consistently breath-taking Alaine who is up next with her own three set release, "What A Lot of Love". Along with the downright magical title track on the Cardiac Keys Riddim, also included is the lovely 'Bye Bye Bye' from the Cardiac Strings and 'Up' from the Cardiac Bass, which may've just been the best of the trio (by the slimmest of margins) (okay, if I had to pick, I'd go with the title track but that may just be because it is the most fresh in my mind). Alaine's name is another one which virtually guarantees quality and if you haven't been paying attention to her output in the past couple of years or so - here's a nice and cool way to become reacquainted.

'Tomorrow Loves You' by Gappy Ranks [Hot Coffee Music]

UK star, Gappy Ranks, wants you to know that 'Tomorrow Loves You' and he's using his own Hot Coffee Music label to make the point with the Bost & Bim produced track. Oddly enough, this song actually originates [I THINK] to back from last year (towards the middle of the year) and there was a video (which Bredz may've been nice enough to put in here somewhere) and it was a big deal and it should have been - it was excellent. So why it only now reaches digital single is interesting - HOWEVER it should be noted that Gappy (and probably VP Records, who distributes) probably has the intentions on making the tune the first single from the DJ's forthcoming new album, "Shining Hope" which is set for a September release.

'I'm A Solja' by Delus [I Strong Records]

The quite well reliable Delus is back for I Strong Records with a tune which I think I've heard before, 'I'm A Solja'. Delus may not get the same level of attention that his brother, superstar Konshens, does, but that surely isn't an indication of his own skill because, somewhat quietly, he has been churning out excellent music for the past few years. This HEAVY effort may be one of his better selections recently and, hopefully Delus can give us his own full solo album sometime in the second half of 2013 or in the first of 2014. Big tune.

{Note: Despite its cover, apparently the official (and searchable) title of this song is 'I'm A Solja'}
'Inna Half' by Buju Banton [Markus Records]

Unsurprisingly 'Inna Half', from the great Buju Banton has gone onto become a very well regarded track across the Reentry Riddim via Markus Records (which is headed by Buju's son, Markus Myrie). And just as obviously, it has been given its own, single, releasing as well. Though in this case, I would well recommend you check out the entire set which features the likes of Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, D'Angel, Delly Ranx and others (like I-Octane) joining Gargamel on what is easily one of the best Dancehall riddims from 2013 so far.

'Defend It' by Mad Cobra [JRK Music]

And finally on my radars this week is a tune I've well told you about previously, but one which continues to rise to my opinion, it is the SCATHING 'Defend It' by SCALDING Dancehall veteran, Mad Cobra. MAD! This song may've been recently deposed as my current favourite (by Sizzla's ridiculous 'Chant Dem Down'), but it remains a song which I hear every single day on the workout playlist and if you love crazy and aggressive Dancehall music (and you do), 'Defend It' is just candy to your ears.


Coming Soon 
"Reggae Gold 2013" [VP Records]

'Lighters Up' featuring Mavado & Popcaan by Snoop Lion
'Jah No Partial' featuring Johnny Osbourne by Major Lazer
'Body' by Sean Paul
'Fi Di Jockey' by Aidonia
'Kotch' by RDX
'Wine Slow' by Gyptian
'Gal Gimme Bun' by I-Octane
'Bad Girl' by Konshens
'One Shot' by Angela Hunte
'Fight This Feeling' by Beres Hammond & Shaggy
'Perfect Love Song' by Morgan Heritage
'Let's Get Silly' by Queen Ifrica
'Gimme Likkle One Drop' by Tarrus Riley
'You & Me' by Busy Signal
'Tuesday On The Rocks' by Kes The Band
'Love, Love, Love' featuring Busy Signal by Etana

Here are the (very interesting) cover and (expected) tracklist from the new "Reggae Gold" album for 2013, from VP Records. There isn't much in the way of surprises, although seeing Kes with a tune here is probably the biggest shock, although their song was excellent from last year. And there you go.

Releases on July 15
CD + Digital
Sizzla Kalonji [Bread Back Productions]

Reggae legend, Sizzla Kalonji is dealing a pair of older tunes courtesy of his most frequent stop these days, Bread Back Productions (new album, "The Messiah", in stores now), 'Girls Dem Screaming' and 'Ghetto Youths Time'. While neither are the best songs that you're likely to ever hear (from ANYONE), the latter is a better than decent and quite infectious tune from earlier this year/later last year and one which features Kalonji alongside King David. Biggup Bread Back who is, apparently, in the process of now officially releasing everything he's ever done. 

Releases on June 11
The Genkidama Riddim [Skyman Selecta Productions]

You may remember Skyman Selecta from having done last year's Gipsy Woman Riddim and now they're back with a new set (which I was almost sure had already been released), the Genkidama. Unlike its cooler predecessor, the Genkidama is almost a kind of an amplified old school Dancehall track with a whole heap of things going on. What it does share with the Gipsy Woman, however, is an excellent roster of vocalists who take their turn on the new piece. On its album the Genkidama begins with songs from Turbulence, Perfect Giddimani, Spectacular, Lutan Fyah and Teflon! Also joining are the likes of Leah Rosier, Jah Jah Man and Protoje's ultra-talented twin brother (not really) Straïka D (alongside Farfad, who actually had a tune on the Gipsy Woman alongside Tiwony).

'My Woman Left Me' by Elijah Prophet [DJ Smurf Music]

And lastly this week is a tune which I have not heard at all, but was so happy to see in existence (even though it's probably about some really bad news), 'My Woman Left Me' by Elijah Prophet. A personal favourite of mine, the Prophet has had an album, "Happy Days", which has been in the 'coming soon' stages for a couple of years now (and maybe even longer), but was never officially released and he hasn't been very active while we've waited for that set. So any new song of his is going to get my attention and, being produced by DJ Smurf, I'm expecting something big.

Releases on June 18

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