Friday, August 2, 2013

What I'm Listening To: August

"Phantom War" by Lutan Fyah [Greensleeves Records - 2006]

Firstly and definitely on my radars for much of the last month or so has been one of the greatest albums I've ever heard from anyone at all, Lutan Fyah's MASSIVE opus, "Phantom War". This album has really become somewhat of a guideline in certain respects that I use for the sake of reference. To my opinion, it is arguably the greatest lyrical achievement on a Reggae album over the past decade or more - it was nearly perfect and these days when I'm hearing just all kinds of developed writers like Jah9 and Reemah (who we may write something nice on next week), "Phantom War" is generally what I compare their work to. Of course it doesn't stop there as, throughout his career, the Fyah has consistently shown himself to be amongst the most gifted wordsmiths that the genre has experienced in the modern era… and probably ever. "Phantom War" was and remains an absolutely STUNNING display of the spoken word and, again, one of the best albums I've ever heard.

"The youths dem fighting a phantom war!
Oh yes the city full of crime4and violence
The high-society no care, they cause us to fail
Build up dem borderline and city fence
The youths dem fighting a phantom war!
Oh yes the city full of crime4and violence
The high-society no care, they cause us to fail
Treat us like we ain't go no sense

Oh yes, how could you say we got no reason to live?
You give us no hope
No chance, nah no privilege
That merry-go-round, you have us spinning like a gig
I hear sirens and I saw navy blue
Dem soldier come down inna camouflage and some big black boot
Rude boys roll out inna dem garrison troop
Who no get boxed, so dem get bruised

Be careful what you teach unto di youths
Cah what dem learn today, a dat dem execute, yeah
Hey, no bodda gi dem no big gun to shoot
No bodda gi dem no, cocaine, nah no blues
You turn around and lock dem in jail
Tell dem how much dem caan get no bail"

CD + Digital
The Inna Rub-A-Dub Style Riddim [John John Records - 2013]

Veteran producer, John John, does HUGE things on his latest composition, the Inna Rub-A-Dub Style Riddim. The piece comes through with a booming vintage style which the maestro (biggup Maestro) the turns over to modern vocalists, most of whom do a very nice job with the set. The tune garnering most of the attention, unsurprisingly, is 'A Murdah', a combination featuring Bounty Killer alongside Jah Cure but as it turns out, it's not at all the best tune on the track (and I wouldn't call it the second best either). Instead, carrying the biggest hands here are the likes of I-Octane, Tarrus Riley, Sizzla Kalonji and a full-on HALTING Chronixx who takes top honours here with the MAMMOTH praising piece, 'Alpha & Omega'.

"Go put dis up in di Gleaner
Mi want it reach every reader:


"New Veteran" by Lloyd Brown [Riddimworks Productions - 2013]

To the surprise of not a single person given the circumstances, "New Veteran", the newest album from UK Reggae pillar, Lloyd Brown, essentially followed the course ran by its most immediate predecessor, "30"… it has already kind of seem to have vanished without much fanfare at all less than six months after its release date. Like the "30" album, "New Veteran" was a digital-only set, but it has apparently taken things just a bit further because it seems as if the ONLY place you can get the album is through iTunes. That's damn unfortunate because it was another stellar record and I wouldn't at all be surprised if Mr. Lloyd Brown has some fairly devoted fans who don't even know that it exists! Of course that is virtually impossible to be the case when the veteran vocalist returns later this year with a brand new album for Zion High Productions and the Zion I Kings, but even that will help to further 'bury' the "New Veteran" album - and further ensure its place as one of the most RECLUSIVE [!] albums that we've seen in a long time. But it remains worthy of  a listen (and I probably like it more now than I did when I first heard it), was a genuinely FUN and substantial album with highlights featuring the likes of Dennis Brown, Tanya Stephens and twice with Kele Le Roc. So if you haven't picked it up (and you haven't), at least think about "New Veteran" again… for the first time. 

The Blitz Riddim [Precision Productions - 2013]

If you make Soca music, or are even interested in making Soca music, you may want to get in touch with Precision Productions who continues detonate all over 2013 with a brilliantly colourful intensity and next they're doing it with one of their most SEVERE to date, the MAD Blitz Riddim. Though only a quintet of tracks (we have to get Soca labels to start including instrumentals), that's all that the Blitz needs to make its point and it does precisely that and more with selections from Silvah [MAD!], Teddy Rhymez, the always impressive veteran Jamesy P and the BLAZING man of the moment, 'Da General', Skinny Fabulous, who burned a whole in the stage at Soca Monarch for the fifth time in six years and then took the road for the first time as well. More brilliant madness from Smash, J-Rod Records and Precision Productions

{Releases on August 13} 
"Nice & Ruff Vol. 8: Just Say When" [Heavy Beat Records - 2013]

And finally, having a very good year this year (and pretty much every year) is Heavy Beat Records and it's been continuing lately as the label now follows the recently released fine debut album of Nikesha Lindo, "All Of Me" with the next entry from one of their two riddim series, "Nice & Ruff" (the other is "Reggaematic"). This time around, the SWEET Just Say When Riddim is featured and if you've followed Heavybeat's work to date, you know exactly what to expect and it won't be a disappointment. They specialize in old school brilliance and Lover's Rock and the Just Say When is no deviation. Neither are many of its vocalists as the label taps the much of the classy group that it always does. Joining Lindo (who has a tune here in 'Nice and Easy' which isn't on her new album) are the likes of Ambelique, Screwdriver, Kashief Lindo, the aforementioned Lloyd Brown, Glen Washington, BERES HAMMOND and others (like Jah Ruby) (big tune). A definite for more experienced and familiar fans of the genre. And that's what I'm listening to. 

CD [I THINK] + Digital

No comments:

Post a Comment