Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reggae Runnings: Cool and Hot

News and runnings...
Rising roots artist Chronixx will release a debut "mini-album," titled Dread & Terrible on April 1. The album features previously released singles, new material and dub versions of several songs.

Other notable upcoming album new releases: Horace Andy Get Wise (April 1),  Ziggy Marley Fly Rasta (April 15), Ernest Ranglin (May 20). Dancehall upstart Popcaan will release his debut Dre Skull-produced album on the US label Mixpak this summer. In addition, Sizzla (Nuh Worry Unu Self) and Mykal Rose (Crucial World) each have new releases on John John's Records. John John is son of famous dancehall producer King Jammy.

Young Warrior
More father's and sons: British dub master Jah Shaka's son Young Warrior has released three albums of new material, including Dub Box, and albums by artists Principal and Sister Beloved. Fans of UK digital steppers-style dub and reggae will enjoy these collections, which carry on the Shaka tradition of militant, conscious sounds and lyrics.
During his lifetime, Roland "Fatis" Burrell of Xterminator Productions and label made a huge impact on reggae by bringing artists including Garnett Silk, Sizzla, Luciano and Beres Hammond to new audiences and greater acclaim. His unfortunate passing in 2011 left a void in conscious roots music. However, his son has stepped in, relaunching his father's business as XTM Nation, and producing hits for Kayla Bliss and Jesse Royal. A new compilation presents an excellent overview of the younger Burrell's new endeavors. From the album's press materials: "Living Heart, Vol. 1 (hear preview) is an album shared by father and son, and symbolizes a passing of the baton from one generation to the next. Kareem Burrell’s XTM Nation is part of a new wave of Jamaican music that represents the same cultural values that have made reggae the most powerful and relevant of all genres, stretching back to the days of Bob Marley and beyond…"

Los Angeles club goers are mourning the loss of Nemencio Jose Andujar, better known as Reggae Pops to cancer. Pops, age 70, was a LA nightclub fixture whose nickname was derived from his frequency at reggae and soul music club nights, his natty dress style, and his elegant dancing. Memorials are planned at Dub Club LA and other venues this week.

Alpha Boys Radio is now available 24-7 streaming on iTunes Internet Radio channel under Reggae. The station features an incredible mix of original Jamaican sounds, from ska, rocksteady and roots to modern reggae, from many of the veteran Alpha Boys artists and musicians such as The Skatalites and Yellowman. Tune in and hear how you can help this historic orphanage and music training institution.

More artists have been added to Northern California's Sierra Nevada World Music concert, held the weekend of June 20 in Boonville, CA (Mendicino County). The heavy line up now includes Barrington Levy, Clinton Fearon, Chuck Fenda and Hollie Cook. This is addition to Bitty McLean, Morgan Heritage, John Holt, U-Roy, Sly & Robbie, The Tamlins and Horace Andy. The serious line up also includes a DJ set from On-U Sounds dub producer Adrian Sherwood (Dub Syndicate) and Nigerian singer, and son of Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti.

Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder along with three associates. The Kartel trial was the longest criminal proceeding in Jamaica's history. The verdict, based almost entirely on circumstantial and forensic evidence, was controversial among the artists' many fans, some of whom protested in front of the court leading up to the verdict's announcement. However, the result was also widely embraced by Jamaicans exasperated by the level of crime, as evidenced by comments in the Jamaican Observer. One jury member was arrested for attempting to bribe the jury foreman, add a sinister wrinkle to the events.