'Tings In Life' by Nereus Joseph [Cannawi - 2013]
First up - we alluded to this one not very long ago as the classy vocalist from out of the UK by way of St. Lucia, Nereus Joseph recently returned with a big new tune, the SWEET 'Tings In Life'. As I've said in the past, Joseph is definitely one of my favourite singers, but he isn't particularly active in terms of pushing his own music, so I was well pleased to see a new tune from him and, as expected, 'Tings In Life' is a good one. Hopefully it's just the beginning, however, and he goes about delivering a full album sometime next year. Until/unless then, this is an excellent start.
The Boom Drop Riddim [Ghetto Network Productions/Lockecity Music Group - 2013]
Check out the new Boom Drop Riddim courtesy of Ghetto Network and Lockecity and its very impressive roster of vocalists. Two songs here really drew me in, to no surprise, from Capleton and Lutan Fyah, but eventually you see other impressive pieces from the likes of New Kidz, of course, Delly Ranx, Kiprich, Sista Quanna and especially Jah Vinci, whose 'One More Time' ranks amongst the very best on the track. Nesbeth, Turbulence and even Chico also make appearances on a very stacked release.
The Feeling It Riddim [Machete Records - 2012]
Machete Records recently did the Overdue Riddim (which you should definitely pick up, if you haven't already) and it kind of gave me a reason to go back and look through their catalog a little and my attentions have definitely centered on their SWEET release, the Feeling It Riddim from just last year. The horn-heavy old school track also carried quite a few big tunes from just as many big names as it supported the likes of Lutan Fyah, Luciano, Chuck Fenda, Junior Reid, Zamunda, Richie Spice and others. Unsurprisingly my favourite is Lutan Fyah's 'Dem Grounds', but there is so much here to enjoy, but pick it up and hear for yourself.
The Intransit Riddim [Notice Productions - 2013]
Also on my radars early this month is the latest from Notice Productions who is back with their sublime Intransit Riddim. Here is another track on this post with a stellar cast of artists and, also this time around, nearly all of them turn in fine performances on what has to be considered one of the finer riddim albums of all of 2013. Sizzla Kalonji heads a pack which also includes Chezidek, Jah Cure, I-Octane (more on him in a second), Alaine (who I would have complained about not being here if she wasn't. This riddim was made for her), Konshens, Iba Mahr, Chuck Fenda and others. Still, I might make the case that the biggest moment on the In Transit is Christopher Martin who is making a lot of people cry with his sterling ode to his Father (and you notice the phrase 'obligatory Daddy song' is one I've never used, because they aren't very numerous at all), 'Just Like You'. TEARS! A must have.
"Crying to The Nation" by I Octane [VP Records - 2012]
In general I've been listening to a lot more from the always impressive I Octane (who I think is the current two time consecutive Artist of The Year on these pages and he's been having another excellent year with several big tunes already to his credit. However, the main piece that I've constantly gone back to, shockingly (not really) has been his loooooooooong anticipated debut album from just last year, "Crying to The Nation". When at his best, Octane is simply one of the most skilled and dexterous artists from the modern era. His debut set which was well 'aged' sounded like someone on their fourth or fifth release and it's perhaps made even more impressive, in an odd way, when you realize that it is only the beginning and he will certainly do better than an already fantastic effort at many times in the future. Highlights abounded, but the song here most damaging me these days has definitely been the face wetting 'Help I Please'.
Lyricson [Music Star Line - 2013]
And finally is a few singles from someone who has come a very long way, Lyricson from out of The Gambia. The singing chanter went quite a long while (with three albums in there) producing almost exclusively purely uplifting and positive music, but he’s been going through a bit of a metamorphosis in recent years and experimenting with a variety of different styles (a change which was 'pinnacled' on his very aggressive album release from 2011, "Fearless", which was the direct iconoclast of its followup from late last year, the loved up "Love Therapy") (listen to those two albums back-to-back and you just may hurt yourself with the sudden shift). The experimentation (and it only goes so far, I suppose, before it becomes his new style altogether) continues into 2013 as Lyricson has recently release a handful of new singles of varying styles for Music Star Line. While I may (I do) miss his music from a few years back (check a tune called 'From The Beginning', which may be one of the best songs I've EVER heard), Lyricson is very talented and I wouldn't put anything against him if he decided to undergo a full change musically, so check out his new work and see what you think.