"Sara Lugo" [Soulfire Artists - 2009]
Before there was the full on genius of an album of "What About Love" from just last year, favourite of all breathers of oxygen, Sara Lugo, dropped this very nice and eponymous useful EP which has found its way back onto my players. Of course, as a precursor to an album, when the full project reached, it took attention away from this set (and rightfully so), but it didn't blunt it altogether. Present on the EP are two very nice pieces (and three on the CD, if I recall correctly) which aren't on "What About Love", the very poignant 'Mother & Child' and the original version of one of Lugo's real signature tracks, 'Familiar Stranger', her cut of Oneness' (more on them in a minute) SWEET Soul Riddim, which was golden (the album had an acoustic version of the song). The EP also carried 'Rock Steady' as well. This one is still readily available and not too difficult to find, so you should have it!
CD + Digital
The Oneness & General Key Riddims [Oneness Records - 2007 & 2008]
In the midst of the magical 2012 that one of my (and your) personal favourite labels in the entire genre Reggae music, Oneness Records, is currently having, and having constantly called upon both over the past two or three years, it's not at all surprising that I've made my way back to a pair of the imprint's earliest releases, the Oneness and General Key riddims, respectively. The former, for its part, was a very straight forward and heavy composition, which may not have leapt off of the track in terms of exciting the listener, but if you keep listening to it, while you're not likely to arrive at a point where you'd refer to it as 'dynamic', you are going to well enjoy what you heard. And listening to it more intently, I'm almost embarrassed that a song like 'Rally Round', from Spectacular, an EXCELLENT tune, hadn't stuck with me previously. The General Key, on the other hand, was full sparkling and a delightful composition with an abundance of big names. Junior Kelly, Prezident Brown, Ginjah, Prince Malachi, Lutan Fyah and Ray Darwin all provided big tracks for the riddim. Yet, unsurprisingly, these days I'm most focused on 'Soul Deep' from the incomparable Mark Wonder.
CD + Digital
The Purple Ting Riddim [Back To Zion Records - 2006]
I'm almost certain that they did something else really, really good, but I can't remember it exactly. Still, if they never did, the name Back To Zion Records has already made such a sizable impact on me as a listener on the strength of a HUGE riddim the label set up from a few years back, the Purple Ting. It's very interesting that the single best tune on that track, Tiwony's devastating 'Priyé Jah', did not make the album, but the material that did, from the likes of Lyricson, Jamadom, Saël, Baby G, Sträika D and the most elusive but full genius Lady Sweety definitely impressed on what may just be my absolute favourite French riddim of all time.
CD + Digital
'My Woman' by Zacheous Jackson [Red Ground Jamaica Music - 2012]
Also on my radars these days is a big new single from the always welcomed Zacheous Jackson, 'My Woman'. The tune comes via his own Red Ground Jamaica label, as well as Rumble Rock Recordz and actually comes through across a track from the legendary King Jammy. 'My Woman' isn't really what I'd call a "love song", in the stereotypical sense, it's more of a kind of an woman empowering piece and just wonderful good women can be in your life. It sounds divine and, deservedly, has been receiving a wonderful reception thus far. Have a listen for yourself when pick it up today.
The Good Things Riddim [Kirkledove - 2012]
And finally this week is the riddim from the best song on the best album that 2012 is likely to have produced (which will be all set up in about thirty days or so), the Good Things from Kirkledove. At the head of the track, DUH, was a 'Fireball', courtesy of the recently freed Busy Signal which was about as fine of a lyrical display as anyone has heard this year as well. Surrounding the most adventurous Busy is full class artists such as Lutan Fyah, Romain Virgo, Cocoa Tea, Richie Stephens, Lenn Hammond, Jack Radics alongside Stevie Face (big tune), Red Rose and the extremely talented Steele.