Friday, September 22, 2023

Completely Random Thoughts: 15ish Completely Random Big Tunes! WHAT!

Shouldn't require much of an intro and I'm not writing an outro. Maybe I'll start doing this once a month or so. Here're fifteen completely random big tunes for your approval or.... yeah, whatever else. Have a nice morning, day and evening friends. BOOM!

{The only rule I followed here was that no artist will appear more than once}

'Entering Greenzland' by Bunji Garlin [Xpert Productions - 2023]

Courtesy of the SHOT that was 'Hard Fete', Trini lyrics king, Bunji Garlin, won Soca in 2023. If there was a single prize at stake, it was his this year. That tune immediately became a favourite of mine and pretty much everyone else's and would go on to net the grizzled veteran his very first solo Road March crown. HOWEVER, not to be overlooked at all was some of his other work (would be nice if Bunji could give us a new album one of these seasons (and I'm sure he will)) including this spellbinding track for Spice Mas, 'Entering Greenzland'. Backed by Xpert Productions' delightfully toxic Slam Bang Riddim, Bunji absolutely SCORCHES it to ash as he touches down in Grenada most epically.... and what the hell is this: 

"Boy I get cut yesterday
This morning wake, I ain't have no cut

This may be evidence of evolution.

'Folly Deeds' by Norris Man [E.Turn.A.T. - 2023]

This tune may've actually been the ignition on this post as I was about to throw it into a 'What I'm Listening To' feature and then decided to maybe give it is own post but I got busy and kind of sat it down before doing anything with it which was a mistake because it definitely deserves a listen. Still just about three months old, Norris Man's HUGE tune, 'Folly Deeds', is still a BEAUTIFUL offering from this great talent. Coming from a link between the Trench Town native and E.Turn.A.T. Records from out of Denmark as part of their Rhythm Of The Ocean project, 'Folly Deeds' is probably one of Norris' best efforts over the past four or five years or so and if you've been paying attention to his output across that time, you know exactly what that says about the quality here. BOOM! 

"Inna every region -
Babylon - unuh betta mek a decision
Cause when dis judgment come-
And I tell you this: TOTAL ANNIHILATION!"

{Note: Norris Man & ETAT have done another tune by the name of 'Life' (which I don't love, but it's decent). So maybe keep an eye on what 'fully' may develop from this union in the future}

'Dem A Tear Down' by Sizzla Kalonji [Kalonji Music Production - 2023]

Almost as if to cleanse away the stains left by the last pair of albums, the legendary Sizzla Kalonji recently (two days ago as of this writing, probably like five by the time you read this) has released 'Dem A Tear Down which is -- GET THIS -- an ACTUAL Reggae song... and it's GOOD! More importantly, HOPEFULLY, this is a simple sign of what is to come (I could REALLY go for an entire album full of sounds like 'Dem A Tear Down') as Kalonji sets forth a unity track which is easily amongst his finest work of 2023 thus far. 

"Dem no like fi si di progress
Dem ah fight everything, but yuh so blessed
No hate nowhere
Tell dem no stress
They  think I'm hard but Selassie a mi fortress
Dem wi neva help a youth out di dark
For dem to si demselves and know dem true worth"

'Nah Guh See Di End A Mi' by Capleton [Troyton Music + Jerrytal Production]

We've got Capleton who's nearing sixty years on the planet and is still absolutely TRASHING  tracks like he does on his 'Nah Guh See Di End A Mi' via Troyton Music on their Pleasure Tyme Riddim. The Pleasure Tyme was lovely; an old school infectious piece of Dancehall which featured the likes of Busy Signal, Bounty Killer, I-Octane and even Alison Hinds who jumped on the remix of Octane's 'Da Wine Deh' and, at least for me, the best of the lot was 'Nah Guh See Di End A Mi' as the Fire Man still continues to BLAZE all of these years later. 

'Shameless' by Skinny Fabulous [Thirty Two Music - 2023]


If you, for some ridiculous and non-existant reason, were still under the impression that Skinny Fabulous gave a damn about.... pretty much anything, there was 'Shameless'. The jewel of the Sine Wave Riddim (which was very, VERY basic and that's a good thing) from System Thirty Two, the tune stands as example #severalbillion as to why the supernova from St. Vincent is STILL very much in the process of establishing himself as one of the greatest Soca music has ever seen. DAMN!

'Click Click' by Shane O [Chemist Records - 2023]

I don't love 'Click Click'. The track, Chemist's 1 Rifle Riddim, isn't anything that would catch my attention on any surface -- it's basically a Hip-Hop tune and that doesn't work for me -- and it's almost hilariously violent, which isn't necessarily a problem (I'm a Mad Cobra fan) (and a Bounty Killer fan) (and an Aidonia fan) (even prefer a violent Kartel), but in combination, again, not necessarily my thing. HOWEVER, the level of wordplay and tangible SKILL put on display by Shane O here is not to be missed or undersold. You could have had this one as an a'cappella for me and I would have enjoyed it just the same (that's wrong - I would have liked it more). I wrote this a few hours ago and I had called Shane O underrated, but he isn't. He's one of those artists who, at his best, is a reward for more heavy Dancehall heads who're likely the only ones who will come across his work consistently. On 'Click Click', he BOILS! 

'Bring Back Ah Vibe' by Terri Lyons [Nu Generation Studios - 2023]

Fay-Ann's little sister turned up the heat for Carnival 2023 with several big tunes to her credit, none bigger than the conquering 'Bring Back Ah Vibes'. This tune has some CRAZY pull to it (especially at the chorus) and, though I don't entirely feel comfortable calling it #1 (but it just may be), 'Bring Back Ah Vibes' EASILY slots in as one of the biggest tunes Terri Lyons has ever done (her sister is perfect -- SHE'S LITERALLY PERFECT -- and it would find a seat amongst her best as well).

'Tea Bread' by Richie Spice

What a COOL one this is. A minute ago, Richie Spice dropped a new album by the name of "Black Man Time". It's pretty good, might tell you about it at some point. The very first selection on the set is 'Tea Bread' which is a delightful acoustic kick of Spice's classic 'Earth A Run Red' (which, I guess we should start properly referring to as one of the biggest tunes in all of modern Reggae) and it sounds DIVINE! 'Tea Bread' is magical and, though I've never been the biggest fan of Richie Spice's, ENDLESS praise is due in this case. TEARS! Just a great idea.

'My Way To Zion' by Turbulence [Xterminator]

'My Way To Zion' just may be THE single greatest song Turbulence has ever done and it's gone largely forgotten, so I make the point to bring it up as often as it has my attention. Now nearing a quarter of a century in age, the Xterminator helmed GEM sounds just as good today as ever and also shows off Turbulence's chronically (biggup Chronixx) underrated singing voice.... maybe they'd have more respect for it if he used it for something else besides love song after love song after love song....

'Woman A Sample' by Buju Banton & Beenie Man [Gargamel Productions]

Recent albums from Buju Banton ("Born For Greatness" & "Simma") leave a bad taste in your mouth?? Leave you a little thirsty for some Reggae and some Dancehall?? If that's the case, check this long buried combination from the two which was carried on Beenie's Grammy nominated "Many Moods Of Moses" set. Produced by Buju (with a helping hand from the great Steven 'Lenky' Marsden). 'Woman A Sample' was kind of HEAVY and a little ponderous, but it was STELLAR! There was a vibe right in the middle of this thing which stuck on you and, over a quarter-century later, it's still attached to me.

'We Know Who They Are' by Bugle & Spragga Benz [Notis Records  - 2023]

Biggup Notis Records for bringing together the always surging Bugle and the legendary Spragga Benz through their literally glowing Free Spirit Riddim for a HUGE combination tune, 'We Know Who They Are'. The tune speaks about those people who may present themselves in one way but in their hearts are someone completely different. Bugle is as solid and consistent as always, but Spragga Benz absolutely TRASHES this tune!

"Nuff a dem no like wi and ah smile up wid wi anyway
Go fi mi machine cah man fi buss it pon dem everyday
Over deh so - dem fi stay 
Wid dem guy deh, man no play
Rubber tire fi a likkle a guy ah try ah talk I back way"

'Elect Of Himself' by Mark Wonder [Black Star Foundation - 2020]

A most interesting set of circumstances set me on a course towards this one: I did a review not too long ago for an album called "Harmonic Therapy" by the great Tuff Lion and, in doing background for that album, I stumbled across a tune the Lion had done that I never recalled hearing by the name of 'Slave Master' along with Osagyefo. It appeared on the Black Star Foundation's Babylon Burning Riddim which also featured quite a few other big tunes from the likes of Marlon Asher, Jah Thunder, King Kong and the great Mark Wonder who would lay it to absolute ruins with the MAMMOTH praising set, 'Elect Of Himself'.

'Upper Room' by Anchants & Empress Charisse

Is "enchanting" just too much? It might be, but if it is not, 'Upper Room' is ENCHANTING. It was sang by an angel and her band whom, if you don't remember them for anything else, you'll remember them for that. SIMPLY ONE OF THE GREATEST SONGS I HAVE EVER HEARD. 

'Samson Strength' by Black-Am-I [Ghetto Youths International - 2019]

This GEM - you'll find it creeping in the ranks of Black-Am-I's mightily impressive "Living Dread" EP from a few years back ["IN THE GHETTOOOOOOOOOOO!"] was, easily, one of the fines from anyone that year and it has aged vintage-ly. If you hear 'Samson Strength' and you don't feel like getting up and doing SOMETHING, then you and I are very different people. The vibe here is so damn potent and infectious that you simply cannot ignore and it reaches you in places that even other great tunes on this post do not. 

'Follow Me' by Mr. Killa & Kevin Crown [Mr. Killa - 2023]

Grrrrrr! Grenadian Soca blowtorch, Mr. Killa, teamed up with Kevin Crown (who I don't think I'd actually laid ears on before this track) for the TRULY RIDICULOUS 'Follow Me'. Many many years ago, coincidentally, the previously mentioned Bunji Garlin also had a tune by the name of 'Follow Me' which is probably in my top..... twenty or so favourite songs that Garlin has ever done and, to be completely honest, this song with the same name is almost just as good. This song has absolutely no respect for boundaries or personal space and it BASHES OVER THE FUCKING HEAD IMMEDIATELY! Afterwards, you thank it for the experience and listen again.

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