Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beres Hammond Celebrates "ONE LOVE, ONE LIFE"



THE LEGEND ANNOUNCES NEW DOUBLE-DISC ALBUM  
OUT NOVEMBER 13 ON VP RECORDS


Whether Rihanna is quoting his lyrics on Twitter or Drake is retweeting that "Beres Hammond has to sing at my wedding," Jamaica's most prolific crooner has influenced  some of the biggest stars today. Known to many as the "Otis Redding of Reggae," Beres Hammond has been producing and pouring out his smoky-sweet voice over every kind of riddim track for over three decades.

On November 13, the Grammy-nominated reggae icon will unleash his brand new double-disc studio album One Love, One Life  with VP Records. The first disc One Love includes his signature classic lover's rock sound on new singles like "No Candle Light" and "Keep Me Warm", while the second disc One Life contains more of his socially-conscious, spiritually-empowering tunes including "You Stand Alone," "Truth Will Live On" and "Prime Time." Beres Hammond produced 19 of the 20 songs with co-producers Donovan Germain on "No Candle Light," Collin "Bulby" York on "In My Arms" and Michael Fletcher on "More Time."

Beres is currently wrapping up his U.S. tour with remaining dates in New Orleans, Orlando and Jacksonville. On December 12, Beres Hammond will headline the Barclays Center, NBA's Brooklyn Nets new arena, which will feature special guests UB40, Maxi Priest and more.

From his early days as the lead singer of the ‘70s funk-reggae infused band Zap Pow, Beres has consistently produced number one hits and iconic reggae anthems still played today. While newcomers are searching for a breakthrough hit and old timers are plotting their comeback, Beres is a study in longevity.

He released his first studio album, Soul Reggae in 1976 spawning the number one hit “One Step Ahead” and in 1985 the dancehall breakthrough “What One Dance Can Do” off his self entitled album. He has collaborated with reggae’s elite—Marcia Griffiths and Buju Banton are virtually staples on any Beres tour—and has worked with legendary producers like Willie Lindo, Steely and Clevie, and Philip “Fattis” Burrell. In 1990, his album A Love Affair from Donovan Germaine's Penthouse label raised his popularity to new heights. Cuts like “Tempted To Touch” and “Who Say” with Buju Banton are still huge in the dancehall today. During the ‘90s, Beres blazed a trail of modern classics for a variety of producers, from the strugglers' anthem “Putting Up Resistance” (Tappa) to lovers' laments like “Come Back Home” (Star Trail). In 2001, Beres brought us major hits like “They Gonna Talk” and “Rock Away” from his Grammy-nominated album Music Is Life. VP Records then released The Ultimate Collection: Can't Stop A Man in 2003 to commemorate Hammond’s career, and in 2004 Love Has No Boundaries, which features his familiar romantic ballads and mid-tempo dancehall grooves. His last studio album A Moment In Time was released in 2008 and features his most recent smash hit "I Feel Good."

Beres Hammond's track record of hits is unprecedented in reggae. He has also garnered an international fan base from his ceaseless touring schedule around the globe. He performs non-stop and has repeatedly sold out some of the country’s largest and most prestigious venues including the Theatre at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. In addition to Rihanna and Drake, he is also a star favorite among Alicia Keys, Carl Thomas and Wyclef Jean.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Richie Spice to release New Album: Soothing Sounds Acoustic

Album available worldwide on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
from Tad's Records

Reggae virtuoso and cultural sensation Richie Spice exhibits his unbridled talent and versatility with the release of his latest studio effort, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic, available worldwide on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 from Tad's Record. Touted as the Prince of Reggae, Spice (born Richell Bonner in St. Andrew, Jamaica), earns that crown with each selection on this 15-track album, which is testament to its title by presenting the soothing sounds of this acclaimed artist, acoustic and unplugged, for the first time.

Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is a masterpiece collection that successfully presents an eclectic mix of musical elements, fusing classic reggae vibes with modern day acoustic rock, Spanish guitar, jazz and African drum beats. The first official single, an uplifting call for unity titled "Free," is currently available on iTunes and is enjoying airplay in Jamaica and across reggae airwaves, worldwide. The second single "Crying," which depicts Spice's signature chanting-style as he conjures socially-conscious questions, will be released on iTunes and radio on September 25. Standout tracks such as "True Love," "My Heart" and  "My Girl" put a new spin on classics from Spice's esteemed catalog. Spice enlists some of reggae's biggest hit makers on this project, including Mitchum "Khan" Chin who co-produced the album, and Stephen "Lenky" Marsden. He also makes it a family affair with his brothers Spanner Banner and Snatcha Lion on the collaboration "More Love."

"My album Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is completely produced by me and is a personal, close-to-the-heart production," reveals Spice. "It took approximately nine months of non-stop work to complete it.  I have been toying with the idea for a while, and many of my fans have also been requesting something like this, for a few years now."

Soothing Sounds: Acoustic offers up the mature and soothing side of Richie Spice, and is, in fact, a very personal projection of the artist within. "I know I sing with an accent foreign to most, so fans are most times able to sing but not quite overstand the messages behind my music," Spice discloses. "This album should have existing fans falling in love with my music all over again, new fans actually being able to understand and relate fully to what I am saying, and righteousness and uplifting lyrics being reborn."

Considered one of the most prolific voices and profound lyricists in contemporary roots reggae, Richie Spice spiraled to international fame over a decade ago and consistently delivers critically acclaimed albums ever since, even reaching the very top spot on Billboard's Reggae Albums Chart in 2008. His blockbuster hit "Youth Dem Cold" peaked at 59 on Billboard's Top 100 Singles Chart, was featured in Grand Theft Auto IV and as the coveted closing track on the feature film, Attack The Block. His catalog of other chart-toppers include "Earth A Run Red," "Groovin' My Girl," "Brown Skin" and "The Plane Land," all of which have amassed massive airplay internationally, solidifying Richie Spice as a revered voice in reggae music and catapulting him to the very forefront of the genre.

"Tad's Record has always been ecstatic about the idea of working with Richie Spice as he is definitely one of the finest reggae artists to date," states Tad Dawkins, president of Tad's Record. "We always wanted the opportunity to work with him, so to make the venture both exceptional and above the ordinary, acoustic was the inevitable sound of choice." According to Dawkins, this acoustic album gives Spice's wide cross-section of fans an even more intensive feel of who Richie Spice is as an artist, and will undoubtedly draw even more ears to his remarkable music. Indeed, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic is a rare and refined offering for all reggae lovers, across the globe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stick Figure 'Burial Ground' Review (Stick Figure Music)

It's been precisely 2 years and 1 day since we reviewed Stick Figure's 'Smoke Stack', a solid roots- reggae album if there ever was one. Scott Woodruff, the man behind the band, manages to produce yet another first class reggae record with his latest work 'Burial Ground'.
Original, bass-heavy, one drop beats are consistent throughout the album, as are the subtle nuances...and sometimes not so subtle nuances....of dub. Stick Figure's digits remain firmly on the pulse of roots reggae/dub music.
Breathe get things started nicely. "Hey, so here we are...beneath the moon...the rising sun and stars. It's a brand new day. It's a brand new start....to greet the world...just me and my guitar."  Just breathe and take it in! Well done. Golden Hour is simply a lovely tune all the way around. Who doesn't enjoy a beautiful sunset at the beach with the soothing sound of waves in the background?! The riddim is sultry and mellow with a well-placed bridge. (A 'bridge' is always a welcome sight when it comes to reggae music!!) Evident also are the excellent harmonies, a common thread throughout the record.
Unlike previous efforts, Woodruff co-wrote 5 of the tunes with close friend T.J. O'Neill. This collaboration definitely paid dividends, including the aforementioned Golden Hour, the thumping return of Coming Home, and the title track Burial Ground. However, the most outstanding of this bardic union has to be Weight of Sound and Women of the Night. The latter features the legendary Half Pint on guest vocals. Sampling Bob Nesta's 'Stiff Necked Fools' is a brilliant move as Half Pint belts his verses like only he can. Most definitely one of the stand outs of the record! Weight of Sound is another stand out of the highest quality. This time T.J. gravitates to "D.J." O'Neill, as his gruff, original 'chat' brings this booming, 7 + minute classic to a to fitting conclusion.
Shelter has a vintage 70s feel that calls to mind the Studio One classic 'Armagideon Time' by Willie Williams. Hard Drugs is a timely tribute to the Cool Ruler while the forward guitar riff on Rocky Road is a clever touch on another stand-out tune, arguably the record's best. Woodruff's choppy delivery at stages is supremely smart and blends seamlessly with the air-tight harmonies! Heartland continues the fine musicianship that is Stick Figure. The man can craft a reggae beat with the best of them! Just Another Dream has a futuristic vibe with heavy roots/dub influences at it's core. Dreamland, dub at it's finest, closes a truly prolific album.
'Burial Ground' is a joy from track 1 to track 14. It's innovative, all the while remaining true to reggae of the purest form. The harmonies take this record above and beyond previous efforts. Play on Stick Figure....Play on!! Highly Recommended!

Burial Ground - Stick Figure 

Track Listing:
1. Breathe
2. Golden Hour
3. Burial Ground
4. Women of the Night featuring Half Pint
5. Hard Drugs
6. Weight of Sound featuring T.J. O'Neill
7. Shelter
8. Rocky Road
9. Heartland
10. Barrels
11. Same Old Story
12. Just Another Dream
13. Coming Home
14. Dreamland

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nico D 'Coming in from the Cold' Review (Soundquake)

 Sometimes the reggae industry, with it's tendency to saturate the market with re-runs in a shiny new package, becomes stagnant. There seems to be no originality, no innovation. Every once and awhile an artist comes along that captivates a listener and offers refreshment. Nico D, hailing from Oslo, Norway, is like a cool, crisp drink on a hot caribbean day. Born Nicolas Albert Holter, Nico D has had more of an international upbringing than most. He was born in Paris and moved frequently from country to country with his family before settling down in Oslo. While in High School he met Deejay Daniel Lion and Admiral P from Zambia and their joint passion for reggae music inspired them to start the sound system Jah Ark Manifest. With Lion behind the turntables and Admiral P and Nico on the mic, Jah Ark Manifest would soon stand out as Norway's #1 sound system. They have kept it going for over 10 years now and are still going strong. Nico released his debut single 'Ruff Times' featuring Jah Mason in 2009 and hit a landmark when it went to #1 on the Jamaican hitlist. The song was on the list for 25 weeks!
His debut album 'Coming in From the Cold' has now arrived. Surprising is an appropriate description because Nico D, even with the regional success of Ruff Times, has flown way under the radar. At least under this radar. From top to bottom, 'Coming in From the Cold' is, well...brilliant! Production is handled by a wide variety of top drawer craftsmen, including Calibud (Jamaica), Bost and Bim (France), and PowPow (Germany).
Setting the pace is Rise and Shine, a well-produced, solid tune with a positive message for the youths of today. Nico D's voice is as smooth as honey, whether he is singing or chatting. Soul Searching is innovative as well as appealing. The music has an r and b/hip-hop quality about it, with a unique, yet total reggae delivery. Say It Ain't So featuring Admiral P is a gem. The riddim and delivery is a throwback to early reggae/ska tunes. The back and forth of Nico's singing and Admiral P's deejaying is precise and bubbling.
Star is a boomshot...boom tune..whatever you'd like to call it! Nico's silky, simple delivery rides a simple one-drop riddim. Proof positive that less is indeed MORE! He croons: "I just want to tell you.....baby, you're a star. Remember that you are...always. I just want to show you.....how meaningful you are and without you in my life there's a scar...baby." Perfectly simple! Singjay veteran Lutan Fyah and Admiral P join Nico on No Badmind. The three compliment each other nicely, with Admiral P again adding a solid flow. One Day features Nico D riding the glassy wave of 2009's 'Surfer' riddim from the PowPow production team. It's an assurance, of sorts, as a spanish-style guitar riff reminiscent of 2008's 'Samba' riddim from DownTown Sound underpins the optimism in the lyrics. "Things will be better one day. Things will have to change and I won't feel this pain." With a smooth chorus and rapid-fire verses, Nico D shows dexterity in his delivery, an ability that resonates throughout the record. The aforementioned Ruff Times featuring Jah Mason adds a hard-hitting vibe musically and lyrically. The bass is heavy and suits Jah Mason's raspy, fire-bun- dem flow. Kingston Girl injects an effervescence to the record. The riddim is slow and steady, with a lovely sax riff throughout by none other than the legendary Dean 'Canon' Fraser. The harmonies are tight by Nico D and the ladies in support. Again, the flow and delivery is superb! Another gem.
Trouble in Paradise, featuring Admiral P and Iyah Kee, adds yet another dimension to the album with an upbeat, modern riddim with deliveries to match. One of These Days, featuring Vybrant, is an excellently crafted tune in both riddim and melody. Nico D and Vybrant's sparring is done with skill and confidence. True to the lyrics, they do "captivate the people dem with the chorus" with a positive outlook and message about the future. The laid back Grow closes the set nicely, as Nico D states his decision to "go with the flow" has resulted in his being able to grow. Another positive reminder to rise above the negativity and look for the good in yourself and others.
In short, 'Coming in From the Cold' is quality through and through! Nico D has managed to produce a classic debut album. Hopefully the reggae world will latch on because this record deserves to be mentioned with any and all of the best reggae albums of the last few years.12 tracks of pure niceness!
Highly Recommended!



Track Listing:
1. Rise and Shine
2. Say It Ain't So featuring Admiral P
3. Soul Searching
4. Star
5. No Badmind featuring Admiral P and Lutan Fyah
6. Inna Mi Draw featuring Turbulence
7. One Day
8. Ruff Times featuring Jah Mason
9. Kingston Girl featuring Dean Fraser
10. Trouble In Paradise featuring Admiral P and Iyah Kee
11. One of These Days featuring Vybrant
12. Grow

Friday, May 25, 2012

Zvuloon Dub System "Freedom Time" Review (Medtone Records)

They've been called "Israel's top reggae band."  But, Zvuloon Dub System is more than that....they deserve more than that. Their sound is organic, fresh, and reminiscent of classic 70's roots-reggae, yet uniquely their own. Scratch Perry and King Tubby are obvious influences, but Zvuloon manages to go beyond the confines of 'influences' to create a sound that is original, all the while remaining true to their reggae roots.  All their tracks were produced, recorded, and mixed in the band's studio, representing a unique blend of a rich cultural heritage, which can be heard in the debut album, "Freedom Time".
While the album has a laid back and soulful vibe to it, with a special sound that developed during years of live performing. The band achieved great success in the reggae scene, but also amongst many music lovers from other genres. 
Zvuloon Dub System is an 8 piece band with some of the cream of Israeli underground musicians. The lead singer, Gili Yalo, who was born in Ethiopia, walked through the desert at the age 4 on an exhausting journey with his family to the promised land - Israel. Going through dramatic and extreme situations, he sang all the way to his beloved, and from that moment Gili's parents knew he was going to be a singer.
On stage, the band brings a fresh breath of vibes from around the world.
With a powerful lead singer, groovy rhythm section and an eccentric brass section, Zvuloon Dub System creates a heavy Dub experience and gives a new meaning to the word reggae.
The message of the band is peace, love, solidarity and equal rights to all,
which, coming from such a controversial country, is spot on!
"Freedom Time" kicks off with the lyrically-familiar Lion of Judah. You may have heard the hook before, but rest assured the music is new and exciting. Gili's raspy vocals flow perfectly over a bass-heavy, melodica-tinged backdrop of pure reggae soul! Tell Me Tell, complete with politically charged lyrics and a pulsating beat,  is a wonderful reminder of old-school roots. Freedom Time slows things down, but again, Tal Markus' bass is thunderous, complimented with precisely placed horns from the brass section. 
What would a reggae record be without a Hendrix cover? Voodoo Chile has to be the supreme highlight of the record! It's slow, groovin', and simply put...incredible! 
Again, the lyrics/message on tunes like All Over the World, Go Down Moses, and Going to Zion are typical of roots-reggae. Yet, it doesn't feel like you've heard it before. The combination of Gili's delivery, and the incredible musicianship ever-present on the album, makes for a truly unique listen. No One But You is another tune that stands out.  The poignant lyrics "Tell me what your dream is....I hope you don't dream about rage and hate. War is not the answer. Only love can captivate" segues into a choice horn section/bass-thumping outro. Ranking Joe features on the closing track Nah Give Up. He is still on his game, toasting with precision. Close your eyes and you will be transported to another era- 1970's Jamaica, when the reggae-dub movement began sweeping the world. Ranking Joe is at his speedy, tongue-twisting best!
Zvuloon Dub System has produced a wicked debut album! "Freedom Time" shines from beginning to end. They may be "Israel's top reggae band", but rest assured, they are much more than that... They are a group that you need to hear, wherever you are.

Track Listing:
1. Lion of Judah
2. Tell Me Tell Me
3. Good Sensi
4. Freedom Time
5. Voodoo Chile
6. African Drums
7. All Over The World
8. Go Down Moses
9. Going to Zion
10. No One But You
11. Nah Give Up featuring Ranking Joe

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mr. Vegas Set To Release Double-Disc Album "Sweet Jamaica" May 29th


2012 is a milestone year not only for Jamaica, which celebrates 50 years of independence, but also for international Jamaican reggae dancehall artist Clifford Smith, aka Mr Vegas (“Bruk It Down”, “Gallis”, “I Am Blessed”, "Heads High", “Hot Wuk”). In the spirit of togetherness, Mr Vegas’s new album, ‘Sweet Jamaica’, set to release May 29th in digital and hard copy, unites reggae and dancehall in an unprecedented double-disc set. From 15 tracks of real roots reggae to 16 more of electrifying dancehall, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is not only a complete listening experience, it’s a visual one too, just check the cover and album art done in retro event poster style. Including guest spots by Grammy winner Shaggy, roots standard bearer Luciano, the 'General' Josie Wales, Nadine Sutherland, sax maestro Dean Fraser and pop sensation Jovi Rockwell, the album presents a seamless mix of up-to-the-time dancehall (“Bruk It Down” - #1 on MTV Base chart, #1 in Jamaica, #1 on BBC 1 Extra in the UK) foundation one drop hits and unreleased original interpretations of reggae classics (“Sweet & Dandy”, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and more). Backed by crucial production from Mikey Bennett, Sly & Robbie, Steelie & Clevie, Adde, not to mention the mixing and mastering skills of Rohan Dwyer, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is ready to simultaneously satisfy the most discerning tastes of reggae and dancehall as well as world music fans everywhere. ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is the debut release from Vegas’ own label imprint, MV Music and is distributed by VP Records (CD) and INgrooves (digital).

Presenting reggae and dancehall like it’s never been done before, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ will undoubtedly be a milestone. “I want to be around in twenty years,” says Vegas, “and ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is the best way I can think of to put my stamp on the future, one in which real foundation reggae and dancehall both play a part, just like real life”.

Mr. Vegas is a former MOBO award winner, in 2010 was nominated for Soul Train ‘Reggae Artist Year’ and performed at the Soulfusion Soul Train Awards in early 2011 and has performed live on the CBS Morning Show in New York. In 2011, in collaboration with Shellian McBayne, Mr. Vegas initiated the Save Foundation Reggae campaign with a petition appealing to radio disc jockeys to include more reggae pioneers like Alton Ellis, Gregory Issacs, and Cynthia Schloss in their daily playlists. People from as far away as Kenya, Australia, and Qatar have signed the petition. Mr Vegas will be touring extensively though out Europe, the Caribbean Islands and North America summer 2012. “Sweet Jamaica” its a true musical enjoyment for music lovers & dance fans.

SWEET JAMAICA – disc one - Reggae
A Little Love (That’s All I Want From You)
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
Alive & Well (ft. Lucicano)
Things Ruff
Sweet Jamaica (ft. Shaggy & Josey Wales)
Gimme A Light
Take It Easy
Roses In My Garden
Magical (ft. Nadine Sutherland)
Whenever Your Lonely
Can’t Stop: Love You More Everyday (ft. Jovi Rockwell)
Say Yuh Bad (Johnny You Too Bad)
Sweet & Dandy
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
Above The Water

SWEET JAMAICA – disc two – Dancehall
Beautiful Life
Champagne Rosé
Certain Law
Let The Music Play
Bruk It Down
Dancehall Queen
Party Tun Up
Whine For Me Baby (ft. Patrice Roberts)
Call Me
Something About You
Talk Is Cheap
Black & Proud
Honey Girl
Get Ready (Hmmm)
God On My Side
I Am Blessed (Live Version)

Friday, April 06, 2012

TARRUS RILEY FOR GRACE JAMAICAN JERK FESTIVAL NEW YORK

Queens, NY, March 26, 2012 - Come Sunday July 22, 2012 New Yorkers will once again get their fill of the best in Caribbean jerk cuisine, music and cultural expressions with the second staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival - New York. The one-day family-friendly food festival will bring together professional chefs, eager taste-testers, reggae and soca music lovers, dance aficionados, and cultural enthusiasts in the most anticipated event of the year at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens.

Building on the success of last year's initial staging, the producers of the event - Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc and VP Records - promise an even more sensational and impressive presentation this year, in celebration of Jamaica's 50th Independence Anniversary. Already booked to appear on the main stage is reggae star Tarrus Riley, whose popularity and wide appeal is sure to attract a diverse audience of young and mature fans. In the weeks to come, the names of more performers and celebrity chefs will be announced, which will definitely generate further excitement for the event.

Title sponsor, Grace Foods, the leading Caribbean food manufacturer and distributor, celebrating their 90th anniversary this year, will add spice with an exciting series of in-store promotions at several leading retail outlets and special events beginning in April. Expect lots of giveaways and special offers on Grace Food products, drinks and juices, which will drive traffic and benefit consumers with significant savings.

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is a celebration of authentic Jamaican Jerk in its various forms, and includes a variety of vendors offering an array of tasty jerk foods. Additional activities include cooking demonstrations by Grace Foods top chef, Mazie Miller and celebrity chefs, a cultural stage showcasing artistic and literary performances, a buzzing Kidz Zone featuring magicians, rides and other activities. An exciting Domino Contest offer enthusiasts an opportunity to square-off for enticing cash prizes and a chance to "drop a six love" and walk away Jerk Domino Champion of New York.

Advance tickets will be on sale soon, online and at selected outlets including VP Retail store. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Gates open at 12:00 PM and the fun and gastronomic experiences continue until 8:00 PM. Plan to come early and bring the entire family for a fun-filled Caribbean experience!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gold Cup Records and Vibes Point present "So Precious" by PieroDread featuring Anthony B

Milan, Italy
PieroDread, Italian and European reggae artist debuts in 2012 with “So Precious”.  A single loaded with timely issues, the tune is in combination with international singjay Anthony B.

The sound is warm and draws from the beloved atmospheric roots of Jamaica's golden years. The music flows nicely. The lyrics, which are inspired by the scenes of the revolution in north Africa, are put in the foreground, warning of the political/social scene that will influence Europe in the coming years.

The two voices melt nicely together which brings you to the super guest who needs no introduction. The easily recognizable voice of Mr. Keith Blair, a.k.a. Anthony B, highlights the rage of a rebellious generation as only a soldier of Jah can do.He chants for unity of the people by means of peace and brotherhood.

The song is now available in all music stores online (iTunes, Soundquake, Amazon, Juno download/Juno records, Napster and more ...) and is the harbinger of a series of singles that PieroDread, the artist formerly known as the voice of the acclaimed Franziska band from Milan, will propose during 2012.

In respect for reggae tradition, the single is accompanied by a riddim and dub version, where the rhythms are intertwined with echo and reverb, creating analog-style sounds typical of the famous dub master Lee Perry.
Of note is the gorgeous a cappella track for DJs who like to produce remixes of other riddims to remix the vibes again. That single contains 4 tracks.

So Precious (Remixes) [feat. Anthony B.] - EP - PieroDread

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A-Train and Zion High to release real authentic roots compilation on April 3rd


JAH GOLDEN THRONE is a brand new various artist compilation for 2012 delivering a rich, full-bodied, and rootsy survey of the best in contemporary roots from the most respected voices and rising stars in reggae today. Featuring artists old and new from across the reggae spectrum, Zion High Productions presents an album of all original riddim tracks with studio work anchored by Zion I Kings (David “Jah David” Goldfine/ Zion High Productions, Alfred “Tippy” Laurent/ I Grade, and Andrew “Moon” Bain/ Lustre Kings). Staying true to the legacy of the music, JAH GOLDEN THRONE offers a seat at the reggae table where the roots of the music and the message stimulate heart, mind and soul.
Conventional wisdom maintains that ‘music has no boundaries’. In Jamaica, traditional African-derived drumming styles and mento melded with rhythm and blues, jazz and latin music to form a distinctive and transcendent pop music –first ska, then rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall. The resilient expansiveness of Jamaican music is communicated by its artists as a philosophy–independent, triumphant and forward thinking. It was inevitable then that boundary-crossing and similarly independent-oriented A Train Entertainment would hitch itself to the Caribbean vibe. This energy is communicated quite clearly with the upcoming release on April 3rd of JAH GOLDEN THRONE, the result of a new relationship between A Train and the leading contemporary roots reggae production house, Zion High Productions (ZHP).
Standout tracks from leaders of the new school of reggae singers and chanters including Rastafarian standard bearers like the young veteran Lutan Fyah (“Race Of Life”), Messenjah Selah (“Life Is To Live”) and the Virgin Islands’ native son, Pressure (“Culture InnaYuh Face”). Vocalists such as Toussaint(“Crown I Got”) and Arkaingelle (“Y Shood Yee”) represent the soulful side of the roots of reggae whileJahdan Blakkamoore adds a progressive and truly multidimensional imprint on “World Needs Love”.  Long established artists are equally well represented with essential contributions from former Stevie Wonder bandmate, Glen Washington (“Fall On Me”), Lloyd Brown (“Just So That You Know”) and Rasta elder General Jah Mikey (“Set A Way”). President Brown (“Towerful”)  and Marcia Ball(“Nowhere To Run”) capture the social and inspirational element of contemporary reggae.
Other notable tracks include the British invasion of ‘lovers’ reggae singer Lloyd Brown in combination with renowned UK toaster, Tippa Irie, on “Make It Work”. Jah Bless blows sax on the instrumental “Highway To Zion”, and lesser known, but sure and effective vocalists Chet Samuels (“Empress Omega”) and Mr. Mention (“Showers Of Blessings”) give a hint of what the future has in store. Closing out the album, pioneering toaster U Roy joins forces with the soothing vocals of the veteran singer Cornel Campbellon “Babylon You Wrong” — their first-ever studio collaboration — a fitting capstone to a milestone-making album.
Zion High’s Elliot Leib notes that the release of JAH GOLDEN THRONE  marks not only the start of the new digital distribution agreement between ZHP and A-Train, but one that emphasizes the musical strengths of each. “We’re building an exciting partnership with Zion High Productions and A Train Entertainment coming together. From its independence to its commitment to artistic creativity, which are also determining factors in reggae music, the synergy with A-Train has no boundaries,” says Leib.
A-Train’s CEO, Al Evers, doesn’t miss the significance of reaching out to roots reggae music fans who share the company’s mission. Evers explains how, “A Train’s core objective is to help bring forward independent music in a way that stays true to the artistic process while maximizing the audience’s access to the significant artists of our time. I am looking forward to watching the relationship between Zion High Production and A-Train accelerate appreciation for roots reggae and independent musicians worldwide.”

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Freedom Shines Riddim from Truckback Records

Tarrus leads the way with the tune 'Original Dancehall'.
Truckback Records has released a brand new version of one of dancehall reggae's best loved rub-a-dub riddims, Freedom Blues, to mark the 50th  anniversary of Jamaican Independence in 2012. Starting with the bubbling, seductive melodies and bass line originally made a staple of Jamaican dancehalls by Pinchers, Admiral Tibet, Ninja Man, and Brigadier Jerry, Truckback producers Adrian and Steve Locke injected the dancehall classic with up-to-the-time vibes for Jamaica's biggest stars. Now, for the first time, Tarrus Riley, Gyptian, Busy Signal, Warrior King, and Turbulence contributed contemporary narratives and are excited to team up with Truckback on this brand new commemorative release called "Freedom Shines", that will connect longtime dancehall fans and the newest generations. Truckback's Steve Locke says the Freedom Shines Riddim is one way for Jamaica's older and younger generations to come together through music. "Going into the project we wanted to use the power of music to unite Jamaica. Freedom Shines brings together the old and the new- everything old is new again." Adrian Locke adds, "Tarrus, Busy, Gyptian, Warrior, and Turbulence loved the idea of reintroducing a classic with a special spin on it." Indeed, freedom certainly shines on Truckback's first release of 2012.

Track Listing:
1. Original Dancehall- Tarrus Riley
2. Tell Dem Already- Busy Signal
3. In My Arms- Gyptian
4. Time & Wisdom- Warrior King
5. Respect Woman- Turbulence

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Zion Train Project Riddim

Summit Music Group out of St.Andrew, Jamaica presents a new riddim produced by APS Columbian entitled "The Zion Train Project".
The riddim is stripped down, consisting of an acoustic guitar, a heavy, yet simple, bass line, and littered with nyabinghi drums throughout.
Featured artists include Lutan Fyah with the compelling Living In The Ghetto. The veteran deejay Determine presents a multi-faceted flow on the track We Need a Miracle. Nesbeth's Nuh Feel Safe is another nice track worthy of mention. The title track Zion Train, by newcomer Kalano, is well crafted and well delivered. 15 tracks in all.


The Zion Train Project - Various Artists

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kemar 'Flava' McGregor's new riddim album, "Club Dance Riddim," has cracked the iTunes Albums Top-Ten Chart in the United Kingdom



KINGSTON, JAMAICA, JAN. 11, 2012:Kemar'Flava' McGregor's new riddim album, "Club Dance Riddim," has cracked the iTunes Reggae Albums Top-Ten Chart in the United Kingdom on the same day the album was released, Tuesday January 10, 2012.

The album peaked at the number nine position on the iTunes Reggae Albums Chart in the United Kingdom late yesterday, which is a milestone for reggae riddim albums.

The album features Sinead O'Connor's new single, "How About I Be Me," and showcases a who's who of British Lovers Rock stars, including UK Lovers Rock Queens Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson.

McGregor wants "Club Dance Riddim" to challenge traditional boundaries within the reggae world, seducing reggae fans with a collection of energetic, uplifting melodies that can appeal to pop, dancehall, hip-hop and R&B fans alike.

"As you know, reggae music is one of the most popular genres around the world - it's pretty much considered pop music," said McGregor. "To make people listen, it comes down to the vibe. If the rhythm has that vibe, it's likely to get radio airplay. If the melodies are good, and the rhythm has the right feel, it will cross over. Everyone will accept it - the dancehall crowd, the R&B crowd, the hip-hop crowd - the whole world will accept it, because reggae is already considered pop music."

"Club Dance Riddim" features melody-rich vocal performances fromSinead O'Connor, Nadine Sutherland, Chalice, Sadiki and Tony Anthony, with showstopping lyrical artistry from British Lovers Rock starsJanet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Peter Spence, Adele Harley and Lady Lex. The album also headlines a new generation of young, international reggae artists, who already are gaining notoriety: British R&B darling Maddy Carty, Canadian crooner Ammoye, Jamaican stage-siren Rekha, and American reggae phenom Nikesha Lindo.

Club Dance Riddim - Various Artists