Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reggae Round-Up

Former New York-based reggae/hip-hop emcee Shinehead has resettled in Los Angeles where he continues to record dubplates, perform live shows and even DJ occasionally.

Although he hasn't recorded much since the late '90s, his early tracks such as "Rough and Rugged," "Know How Fi Chat" and his cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" continue to be repressed and rinsed by selectas world-wide.

He made a return to wax in 2008 covering the Billy Paul soul number "I Do Love You" over a sweet Treasure Isle riddim, a best-seller at Ernie B reggae distribution that year.  

Sunday June 27 he'll drop into the Bay Area for an appearance at King of Kings club night held at the Shattuck Down Low in Berkeley. Should be a great opportunity to hear this vet ride the riddim properly.

Jamaican label Tad's rolls out a superb new dancehall collection -- a great catch up set if you've missed the last six months of singles. Included in the Hit List 2 compilation are all three versions of Vybz Kartel's wildly popular shoe ode "Clarks," plus an additional five tracks from Mavado alongside five tracks from  Kartel.

Add to that current hits and top ten chart toppers from Beenie Man, Konshens,Lady Saw, Kym and I-Octane's searing ballad "Lose A Friend" and you have a very complete overview of dancehall leaders. Listen to a preview at Soul of the Lion.

Jamaica-born, Boston-raised singer Mighty Mystic has a new album titled Wake Up The World dropping this summer. His soulful, plaintive vocals are a little reminiscent of Jah Cure. Check out his video for "Revolution," or grab his new track "Hero," on the 18 & Ova riddim produced by Troy McLean.

The dancehall remix of Drake's new single "Find Your Love" with Shaggy (promo) is catchy pop-dancehall done right. It it solidifies a trend that has been building on both sides of the Caribbean for the past three or so years: the era of Pop Reggae.

With Virgin Island pop-reggae sensation Iyaz find fame with his top-40 radio hit "Replay" it looks like cross-over reggae will be making more in-roads on US charts in coming years. And now that everything from Sean Kingston to the Damien Marley / Nas collabo educating younger ears, it won't be long before UB40's "Red Red Wine" or Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" are deemed relics of the pop-reggae past. Then again, reggae's famed adage does remain, "old time sum'ting come back again!" so time will tell...

Reggae author Java Immanuel-I has a new book chronicling the golden years of Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash concert. The Jamaica born, Philly-based author's new tome Reggae Sunsplash 1978-1998 was released in a short run pressing in Jamaica while distribution and full publishing is sought out. Speaking of festivals...

ForwardEver is seriously envious of all the lucky reggae fans heading up to beautiful Boonville, CA in Northern California to attend Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. This year's line up again rivals Jamaica or the world's best reggae showcases with the like of Don Carlos (pictured), Marcia Griffiths, Ken Booth, Johnny Clarke, Lloyd Brown, Gregory Isaacs, David Rodigan and Stone Love performing over two days. Guess I'll just have to catch the blow-by-blow (and fan video postings) on the famous SNWMF Phorum bulletin board.