The New Year has only just begun and already new riddims, songs and albums are flying out the gate -- literally.
First to take flight in 2011 is New York producer Bobby Konders a.k.a. Massive B with Da Eagle Riddim.
The riddim features veteran dancehall MCs Mr. Lexx, Jr. Cat, Red Fox and Burro Banton and has a bouncy, 94-bpm mid-tempo arrangement, a formula that will work well for both radio and club formats. Fans of Dave Kelly's early-90s riddims like Pepperseed will like this one. And if you visit the Massive B site, just click the top banner to download it for free!
For more free dancehall in the mix, check Umoja Hi-Fi Sound and Los Angeles-based DJ Culture D's new 1-hour mix. Dancehall 2010: Mind Traveling is a great look back at the toppa-top riddims of the previous year -- many of which were released toward the year's end and still sound fresh. Artists featured on the mix include Vybz Kartel, Shawn Storm, Million Styles, Buju Banton and Macka Diamond and juggling includes selections from the S-Class, Brain Freeze, Badda Don, Numbers and Flirtation riddims. Click the link to download the mix or stream it from the page.
(pictured right: Umoja Hi-Fi's Culture D & DJ Jun)
In other news, the Jamaica Gleaner reports that rising singer Protoje's new album Seven Year Itch will be dropping soon, produced by his cousin Don Corleon, DJ Karim and musician Danny Bassie.
Dancehall combination fans get their wish with a new Shaggy and Movado single called "Girlz Dem Luv Me." Movado sings the hook while Shaggy DJs over a slow-burning hip-hop-tinged beat.
Texas producer McPullish has a new roots riddim with songs by Mark Wonder, veteran roots artist Slyford Walker and a great Lutan Fyah cut. Preview the Lutan Fyah single "Ras Always" here.
An excellent new compilation from 17 North Parade Records chronicles the career of dancehall producers Steely and Clevie. The release titled Digital Revolution is a three-disc collector's edition that includes 42 of their most influential and biggest hits on two CDs plus a documentary DVD. Ninja Man, Cutty Ranks, Cocoa Tea, Baby Wayne, Tiger and Sean Paul are all featured.
If you haven't seen the video -- the topic of much discussion in JA -- where Vybz Kartel explains his new "lighter" complexion, check the video interview here.
Lastly, don't forget to download your copy of the new United Reggae Magazine. Just visit the link to get a full PDF version of this "up to the time" color magazine featuring the best coverage of Jamaican music. The latest issue features interviews with Pablo Moses, Glen Washington, Lloyd Brown and Duane Stephenson as well as reviews and news about Johnny Osbourne, Laurel Aitken, Gappy Ranks, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Israel Vibration, Alpheus, Buju Banton, Konshens and more.