Thursday, June 20, 2024

What [ELSE] I'm Listening To

'Addicted' by Khalia [Ineffable Records]

Ladies first this week as, headlining a number of big names is the deliciously (and I do mean DELICIOUSLY!) difficult to avoid Khalia who is back, already, with another lovely single, this time for Albion Muzic, 'Addicted'. If you've been following the work of Khalia lately, then you'll know largely what to expect from 'Addicted' as it is just another syrupy sweet piece of modern Lover's Rock which finds the vocalist tackling a classic riddim which sounds like a cut of the Queen of The Minstrel Riddim to a near perfection. Khalia is quickly cornering the market on just.... BEAUTIFUL, SENSUAL (though not necessarily sexual, although she does have her very clever moments) (it's never completely obvious, it takes a little thought) Reggae music and there's nothing wrong with that. Earlier this year she blessed us with "Stay True", her wonderful EP and I wouldn't be surprised at all if its followup (maybe even in full form) is set to follow sometime in the remaining six and a half months of 2024. 'Addicted' is sublime. 

'Tear No Man Down' by Perfect Giddimani [ChinaMan Yard]

Next we have a single that definitely had to work on me quite a bit before I really began to tune it in, 'Tear No Man Down', which comes from the always welcome and always most compelling Perfect Giddimani, alongside ChinaMan Yard, who is literally out of China, as part of their Higher Grounds Riddim. Okay, I'll tell you what I heard initially that I didn't particularly care for: The.... pacing of this tune?? I write it as a question because I'm not entirely sure if I'm explaining it correctly (highly unlikely). 'Tear No Man Down' had (and still has) an unusual kinda 'hitch' to its sound to my ears (and maybe (probably) I'm the only one of that opinion but it's something that took a bit of overcoming. What helped in that is an unmistakable CHARM that the tune also carries. You know how you can talk to someone on the phone and you can still kind of HEAR them smiling when they talk? It isn't exactly the same, but there're portions of 'Tear No Man Down' which just gives the vibe that Perfect FELT REALLY GOOD IN SAYING WHAT HE IS SAYING at that given time. It radiates throughout this one and, from personal experience, I can tell you it is a quality that takes a song that I'm rating as "okay" early on and transforms it into... something maybe a little special.

'Dem A Murderah' by Anthony B [Green Lion Crew]

I probably could have put the whole of the outstanding Extra Heavy Riddim for this next one (but TECHNICALLY it hasn't released yet as a full unit) from the increasingly venerable Green Lion Crew but, instead, we're focusing on the track's finest moment (but they're all really good), Anthony B's 'Dem A Murderah', which finds the original fyah man putting the golden track to the sword... I'll probably do a track by track for the Extra Heavy when it releases. It is absolutely lovely!

'Trust H.I.M.' by Lutan Fyah [Truesounds]

A big credit goes to one Truesounds for laying down their very creative Roll Call Riddim for the great Lutan Fyah to provide vocals over and, listening to this one.... MASTERFUL! There is an infectious flute that dominates the vibes here and the Fyah uses it with this style darting back and forth in his delivery with a fittingly fiery lyrical display. 

'Yeah, while you're living hail The King cause that's di thing

If you're corrupt, you get di judgment and di fyah that it brings

Dem ah put on a show fi go tek picture

Fi a while now dem skanking but now dem style it up fi wealth but that a babylon thing"

I don't know if Lutan Fyah has a bigger fan than I, PARTICULARLY OF HIS WRITING, over the years and my attraction for his words has not diminished in the slightest. At his absolute peak, the chanter from Spanish Town has VERY FEW equals.

'Nuh Afraid A People' by Pressure Busspipe [Digital One Music]

If you're stocking up a bit of frustration and need to it let out somewhere in this post, I'm sorry, no, you'll find no Soca here, but check this SCALDING tune from Pressure Busspipe and Digital One Music, 'Nuh Fraid A People'. The tune was recently (relatively recently) released as part of DOM's "Trichotomy The Album" which featured a trio of well solid Dancehall tracks (two of them, especially) and it showed a more AGGRESSIVE side of the chanter who also continued to display a level of ultra-heightened skill, regardless of the topic at hand. 

The Seasons Riddim [Don Corleon Records]

Perhaps you can figure out why the roughly two decades old Seasons Riddim has come back to my radars and if you can't, I'll gladly let you know whenever I finish my next review (as it now takes me one (or TWO) weeks worth of attention to write something which, not too long ago, literally just took a few hours) (getting old..... no fun!), but I've been enjoying this set which probably should be regarded as a classic these days. The Seasons Riddim, along with the Drop Leaf helped to put its creator, Don Corleon into a different stratosphere and he went from one of the most influential Dancehall producers of his day (and that era would have been a mighty one with the likes of Steven 'Lenky' Marsden and Di Genius also shining at the time) into being the same for the entire genre of Reggae music. Absolutely saturated in hits, these days tunes like 'Love Is' from Jah Cure, Alaine's STUNNING 'No Ordinary Love', 'Thanks & Praise' by Fantan Mojah and DEFINITELY 'Far From Reality' from Natural Black rank as not only genuine hits of the time period but... really some of the finest work from those particular [well decorated] artists entire careers.... and that's what I'm listening to. 

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