Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Top Ten Reggae Albums 2015

The year in reggae 2015 was a fertile one, with modern roots reggae and crucial vintage reissues keeping pace with previous years, as some exciting new breakthrough artists added vibrancy to an already resplendent body of music.

Familiar labels, including VP, Pressure Sounds and Easy Star released some of the year’s best offerings indies like Jah Youth Productions, Nowtime Sound, Hot Milk and others did a fine job at releasing strong titles.

I was happy to see many of my favorites align with veteran industry player Rob Kenner at Billboard’s Reggae Top Ten for 2015. Generally, my tastes are closer to the independent titles covered into Reggaeville and United Reggae. The former publication is polling its readers on your favorite releases of the past year (voting ends January 10). In coming days I'll be adding comments and background information about some of these releases. For now,  scan your favorite music services for clips and enjoy this cool and deadly selection.

1. Jah Cure – The Cure (VP)
2. Mr. Vegas – Lovers Rock & Soul (MV Music)
3. Exco Levi – Country Man (Penthouse)
4. Morgan Heritage – Strictly Roots (CTBC Music Group / EMPIRE)
5. Michah Shemiah – Original Dread (Descendant Music)
6. Protoje – Ancient Future ( March, In.Digg.Nation Collective / Overstand)
7. New Kingston – Kingston City (Easy Star)
8. Mark Wonder – Scrolls of the Levite ( Nowtime Sound)
9. Alborosie – Dub of Thrones (Greensleeves/ VP Records)
10. Million Stylez –  Revelation Time (Adonai Music)

1. Keida – Ebb and Flow (Great Whyte Entertainment)
2. RC – Boss Man EP (K and R Production)
3. Gentleman’s Dub Club – The Big Smoke (Easy Star/ Ranking Records)
4. Mellow Mood – 2 the World (La Tempesta Dischi)
5. Anthony Que – Terrence Matthie (Black and Yellow Entertainment)

Music Works' Gussie Clark

1. Jimmy Riley – Live To Know It (Pressure Sounds)
2. Various Artists – Reggae Anthology: Gussie Clarke - From The Foundation (VP Records)
3. Mr. Spaulding – Twelve Tribe of Israel: Anthology (Hot Milk Records)
4. Black Symbol – Black Symbol (Bristol Archive)
5. Byron Lee & The Dragonaires – Uptown Top Ranking (VP)
6. Various Artists – Sherwood At The Controls: Volume 1 1979 - 1984 (On-U Sound)
7. Various Artists – Bunny 'Striker' Lee & Friends: Next Cut! Dub Plates, Rare Sides & Unreleased Cuts 
8. Various Artists – Reggae Anthology: King Jammy's Roots, Reality and Sleng Teng
9. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Easy Skanking in Boston '78 (The Island Def Jam Music Group)
10. Lynn Taitt & The Jetts and Beverlys All Stars – Hot & Rich Rocksteady (tie) / Hopeton Lewis – Take It Easy With The Rock Steady Beat (Dub Store)

1. Jah Sun & House of Riddim – New Paradigm (House of Riddim)
2. Rampalion – Inside The Kete Heart (Drug Recordings / VPAL Music)
3. Hot Rain – It Crazy But It Life (We Dem People)
4. E.N Young - Live Love Stay Up (Roots Musician Records)
5. Humble Servant Band – Greatest Gift ( One Way Records & Jah Youth Productions)
6. Earth Beat Movement – Right Road (Earth Beat Movement)
7. Mixed Culture – Movement In Roots (New World Sounds & Jah Youth Productions)
8. Blend Mishkin & Roots Evolution – Survival of the Fittest (Nice Up!)
9. Dubbest – Light Flashes (Dubbest)
10.  Lion D – Heartical Soul ( Bizzarri Records Srl)