In Stores Now
"Wounded In Love" by Nickeishia Barnes [J'Island Records]
First up this week is the amazingly gifted Nickeishia Barnes (who may just have the most consistently differently spelled name in Reggae music since the days of Vibes Cartel, Vybes Kartel, Vybez Cartel and Vybz Kartel) who checks in with a debut (I THINK) EP for J'Island Records (check out the Letter Riddim, in stores now), the blisteringly sweet "Wounded In Love". Barnes is one of those singers who, although I may not pay as much attention as I certainly should, whenever I do 'stop by', she's almost always offering quality and now, just briefly listening through her EP, nothing has changed. Featured are her big tune, 'Cry No No No', her cut of the aforementioned Letter Riddim, as well as other stellar efforts such as 'Come Away With Me', the hypnotic 'Suffocating' and the colourful 'Champions'. Definitely check out "Wounded In Love", as Nickeishia Barnes figures to be someone about to have a very big 2013 - excellent way to start.
"Take 6" by Benaïssa [33 Creations]
Also taking the EP route early in the new year is Dutch veteran Benaïssa, who returns with what I believe may be his third EP to date (a LP this year would also be nice), "Take 6". Interestingly enough (very interestingly), there actually was a "Take 5", which featured the chanter alongside the also impressive Kenny B from out of Suriname (BIG cool tune on that EP by the name of 'My Name'). Here, however, Benaïssa takes things alone, although he does call in quite a bit of help. Most notably longtime friend, Lloyd De Meza, joins on 'Starlife' and you may also recognize the name Neiman, who appears on 'C'est Chaud'. Much like its predecessor, the music on "Take 6" is very nice and varied with several different styles coming together to bring it to fruition. Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Techno, Hip-Hop and even a little Zouk - you'll hear all of them on what is a very strong set from Benaïssa who is, obviously, still making music from the highest region.
The Morning Ride [Bombrush Records]
While there was actually a Morning Ride Riddim just from last year from the Phantom and Inspired (Teflon, Iyara & Stacious) (BIG authentic Dancehall riddim), that didn't stop Bay-C from TOK and Bombrush Records from also using the name for their riddim from later in 2012 which now comes to official release. The title definitely denotes some type of easy and relaxed type of vibes and that wasn't at all the style of Inspired's track (though it was WICKED!) and that is, primarily what Bombrush's set is and it is also an excellent piece. The aforementioned TOK are unsurprisingly on board and they're joined by the likes of Aidonia, Alaine, Jahmiel, Denyque (lovely song in 'Love You Right') and Timeka Marshall. Also included is a clean version of the track and while you may not LOVE every song it carries, the Morning Ride is one GORGEOUS creation.
The Gyal Season Riddim [Bambino Musik]
Even though it always is, Bambino Musik and Jus Bus have OFFICIALLY declared it gyal season with the Gyal Season riddim, another big track from late 2012 which now comes to form in the new year. As the cover declares, the riddim is a new look at an older classic track and not only is it placed in new musician hands, it's also placed in the wonderful care of modern vocalists who turn up in a major way for the composition. Already having received a great deal of attention is 'Love Love Love', the giant combination featuring the last two takers of Album of The Year in my opinion, Etana & Busy Signal. But they are not at all alone and are linked on the riddim with Spragga Benz, Tanya Stephens (album! Gimme!), Romain Virgo, Sophia Squire and even Kes The Band as well as former collaborator Tessanne Chin. There're REALLY nice song here so check out the Gyal Season Riddim today. It isn't like you have anything better to do.
The Fearless Riddim [Singso Music Productions]
Fresh off the releasing of his latest big album, "My Way", Dancehall superstar, Wayne Wonder is also starting the year off in style with a big new track, the Fearless Riddim for his Singso imprint. Again, what I can say is that the Fearless is a mighty piece of ACTUAL Dancehall music and it's fucked up that I have to make that distinction when talking about a… Dancehall track, but it is SO necessary. This track sounded like a VINTAGE level of Ward 21's prime material to my ears and while you won't find the Ward handling any vocals here, you will find, joining Wonder, of course, Macka Diamond, Frankie Sly, Honorebel & Pressure Busspipe (the second time I know that those two have turned in a big tune together), the amazing Supriz (DUH!) and others. A big track.
The Raw Cash Riddim [Flip Money Records]
Flippa Moggela and company at Flip Money Records also deal a real Dancehall riddim in their Raw Cash Riddim which, briefly, does serious damage in its time. Moggela features on the track, of course, as does Liquid (whose tune, 'Wine Baby', is actually decent), but the two are joined by a trio of heavy-hitters in Mavado, I-Octane and a scalding Agent Sasco.
"Repatriation Best Seller" by Million Teeth [Mighty Chariot Records]
Veteran chanter and Judgment Yard resident, Million Teeth ["bun a fyah, bun a fyah, fyah caan out"] (BOOM!), quietly began to put out a semi-steady stream of singles in the latter stages of 2012 and apparently he had a larger plan in mind as he now delivers his debut album [I THINK], the packed "Repatriation Best Seller". As you'd expect the eighteen tracked set pretty much covers every base you would find on any modern Roots Reggae album and Million really shines in a major way throughout. If you have never heard his music, he is perhaps best categorized as having this extremely straight-forward style which presents very subtle but skillful twists and turns. Million Teeth is also a very good lyricist which is another quality evident on this album. He also, apparently, has good tastes as far as with whom he chooses to make music as appearing alongside Million Teeth on "Repatriation Best Seller" are the immortal Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Top Cat, Junior Vibes and, of course, Sizzla Kalonji on the album's biggest moment, 'Born Black'.
"Dragonfly Taxi" by Matt Jenson & The Liquid Revolution [Rubb Dubb Music]
And lastly this week is a project that while I don't know too much about it, I do know something which has definitely grabbed my interest. "Dragonfly Taxi" is the new album from Matt Jenson & The Liquid Revolution, both of whom are completely new to my eyes and ears. What is familiar, however, is the amazing work of the equally amazing and masterful Tuff Lion who apparently plays throughout "Dragonfly Taxi" (and I haven't seen the credits for this album, but there're several tunes which seem to bear his handiwork. I'll have a closer look after the break, but you can well beat me to it and check "Dragonfly Taxi" by Matt Jenson & The Liquid Revolution right now.
CD + Digital
"The 8 Year Affair" by Protoje [Don Corleon Records]
'Kingston Be Wise'
Last year, super-producer Don Corleon got his year started excellent with the release of what would stand up as one of the year's finest releases, "The Laboratory", by Da Professor and he's set to do the exact thing again as soon forthcoming, on one of the biggest moves of early 2013 is the much anticipated sophomore set from Corleon's own cousin, the ultra talented Protoje, "The 8 Year Affair". The album follows 2010's very well received "7 Year Itch" album, which came through with a great deal of news and hype surrounding the wonderfully eccentric Protoje, all of which he lived up to with absolutely no problem. Since then, Protoje has remained very active and visible and made himself REALLY difficult to ignore and he probably couldn't have chosen a better time for the new project, which should be fantastic and I cannot wait to hear it. The aforementioned Tessanne Chin guests, as does Chris Watts, Toi and Romain Virgo.
Releases on February 12
CD [I THINK] + Digital
The Property Tax Riddim [Pure Music Productions]
Like Wayne Wonder, Delly Ranx also enjoyed a nice 2012, highlighted by the release of his an album of his own, "The Next Chapter", which was also amongst the very best of the strong year. Now, Delly and company at the always and increasingly dependable Pure Music Productions have turned their attention to 2013 with the official release of their latest track, the WICKED Property Tax Riddim. There's something so perfectly old school about this track (think maybe mid-1990's) which makes it very infectious --something which you've been able to say about most of Pure Music Productions' creations -- and it exists FINELY in the hands of vocalists such as Delly himself, Teflon, Captain Barkey, Esco and others, with Sizzla Kalonji taken top honours in my opinion with the appropriately named 'Di Baddest'.
Releases on January 29
The Impossible Riddim [Bizzarri Records]
And lastly, coming soon is a new riddim from the always dependable Bizzarri Records from out of Italy, the Impossible. It probably that long, but it does seem like quite awhile from last we heard from Bizzarri, but apparently they were hard at work on the new track because early indications are that the Impossible is one of their finest pieces of work to date. The old school vibed track also figures to serve as a fine playground for the likes of Skarra Mucci, Raphael, Ras Tewelde, the HEAVY Blackout JA and, of course, Bizzarri's 'secret (not really) weapon', Lion D. Also sure to grab attention is Deliman… who delivers 'Forward' alongside SARA LUGO! [WHAT!] [BOOM!]
Releases on February 4
Also coming soon
"Born To Rule", the new album by Khari Kill from I Dwell Records
Also coming soon
"Born To Rule", the new album by Khari Kill from I Dwell Records