Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wha Gwaan...

UK label Pressure Sounds have their latest release lined up -- a fantastic new collection of rare Lee Scratch Perry sound system dubplates!

The collection is a great example of Perry's mixing genius. He had the ability to simultaneously make reggae sound rootsy and futuristic.

Preview the entire album at Pressure's Soundcloud page.

Sound System Scratch is available on August 31.

The details on Sugar Minott's funeral and tribute concerts in Jamaica are unfolding. The Jamaica Observer explains the plans in an interview with Sugar's wife Maxine Stowe. You can see some great new video from one of Sugar's final live shows in New York at Irish & Chin's site.

A new reggae video site called Riddimtube has launched. Given that Jamaican music video directors are some of the most talented in the field right now, its great that reggae has another dedicated portal to showcase both music and visual talents.

Some rise, some fall: Northern California's sometimes contentious battle between rival summer reggae festivals took its latest turn this weekend as Reggae Rising was forced to cancel its event due to unpaid debts to the Humboldt County CHP and other businesses. Meanwhile, Reggae on the River managed to sell out in record time and present its 26th annual event July 17-18.

In the riddim department, many are hailing Jeremy Harding's latest creation, the City Life riddim to be one of the summer's best.

Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Assassin, Tarrus Riley, Wayne Marshal, and a very inspired track by Queen Ifrica give the riddim a boost with their excellent performances. Preview the City Life riddim here.

Busy Signal's D.O.B.  album out now on VP Records is a mixed bag of dancehall burners like "How Yu Bad So" and "Summn A Guh Gwaan," steppy hip-hop pieces like "Yes Dawg" and a few mellow pieces that capitalize on the success Busy had covering Phil Collins' "One More Night." Overall the album is a little scattered -- songs like Stainless-produced "Opera" and the salsa-tinged "Busy Latino," while inventive, sound gimmicky. Hardcore Busy fans will love the album as shines more light on a talented lyricist but first-time listeners might find it a bit inconsistent.

Palo Alto, CA's Nowtime Sound crew are back with a new single,  "Back Downtown," by Anthony Cruz featuring Dean Fraser and Nambo Robinson on horns. They're offering a free download of the tune at their Bandcamp page. Go deh!

Another highly anticipated new album is coming later this summer (August 31 to be precise) from Duane Stephenson. The album titled Black Gold follows up on the themes of his previous From August Town outing. Consciousness numbers mingle with sweet lovers rock ballads.

Duane Stephenson "Sufferers Eyes" Preview below or download here.

Watch his new video below. Duane Stephenson - Money Love (Official Music Video)