May 17 2012
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Busy Signal - Protect My Life Oh Jah (WMP)

This is as much of a testament to the lyrical abilities of Busy Signal than it is to the fledgling talents of producer Dameon Gayle. The first time I noticed Gayle’s Warrior Music Productions label was on the brilliant Wasp track, ‘Unfair Officer’. From there WMP has released ‘Buss A Blank’ by Konshens (also featured on Kingston Advice), ‘Life Sweet’ from G Whizz and the hit roots tune from Fanton Mojah, ‘Rasta Got Soul’. The video above was also directed by Gayle and adds to the reasons why the future for WMP looks bright.

May 17 2012
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Deablo - Mr. Death (Nuh Ready Yet)/I Cry 


May 17 2012
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Popcaan - Party Shot (TJ Records)

'Party Shot' is the song that has confirmed the rise of Popcaan from Vybz Kartel protege and loyal Gaza member, to a superstar of Jamaican music in his own right. After an auspicious start to his career, Popcaan has showed continued improvement and now with a swag of hits has established his position in the Jamaican music landscape as a major artist.  

Jan 31 2012

Janurary New Releases

Here is the Janurary edition of the monthly column I write for regarding new releases from Jamaica.

Jamaican music has ushered in the new year in style for 2012 with a number of impressive riddims and singles dropping throughout January. One of the most well performed artists of 2011, I Octane, has begun the new year in style with a handful of good singles. Of these, the clear standout is his recording for the Black Spyda label, ‘Walk With Jah Jah’, a powerful and positive piece complemented by a piano-driven and hip-hop inspired riddim track.

In somewhat of a sequel to his smash hit, ‘Mama You Alone’, Octane continues the positive vibes with ‘Mama Put Food On’ for the Markus Records team. The other I Octane effort worthy of mention for January comes in the form of a first time collaboration with Chan Dizzy, ‘Till Kingdom Come’. The hip-hop inspired production comes from Chan Dizzy’s long time producer, Russian, and showcases the brilliant lyrical ability of both artists.

DJ Frass has done no harm to his growing reputation as a producer with his new Riva Stone riddim arguably the pick of January’s releases. The pick of an impressive artist line-up comes from Mavado’s ‘Clean Everyday’ with honourable mentions to I Octane, Zamunda, Demarco and the collaboration from Flexx and Kiprich.

Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor has maintained his recent production style with another upbeat riddim in the Tenement Yard. Unashamedly poppy yet still unmistakeably Jamaican in character, Di Genius has become without question one of the leading producers in dancehall. Another definite trademark can be found in the malleability of the riddim track with respect to individual cuts. For example, the Serani cut on the Tenement Yard, ‘Make Me Stronger’, is enhanced with the additional piano in the chorus to reinforce the gospel feeling of the track. Conversely, Di Genius’ own cut is peppered with soulful synths and turnaround chords while the energetic potential of the riddim is seen in the unrestricted expression given to Anthony B’s ‘Nuh Bad Like Da Bwoy Ya’. Other cuts come from Big Ship mainstays Laden, Bramma and Chino as well as Elephant Man, I Octane, Aidonia, TOK, Mavado, Beenie Man and Assassin. Overall, it’s an encouraging start to what all dancehall fans can hope will be a big year from the Big Ship label.

Speaking of heavyweight producers, the team at Cashflow records have also entered the New Year with a new riddim. The School Bag riddim features solid efforts from Lady Saw, Stein, T’Nez, Cham, Khago and Serani. Serani’s own record label, Daseca, has also delivered a new year gift to dancehall fans with their Knockings riddim. Featuring a brotherly combination from Chino and Di Genius entitled, ‘Lowe Wi’ and a fine cut from Serani, ‘Evil Heart’, the Knockings is classic Daseca and the only detraction to an otherwise brilliant release is the absence of further cuts.

Currently on tour in Australia, Swedish dancehall artist Million Stylez has turned his hand to production with the release of the Arabian Nights riddim through Adonai music. The artist roster includes veteran fire-man Capleton, UK dancehall sensation Gappy Ranks, T’Nez, Mr. Vegas, Ward 21 and of course Million Stylez himself. 

One of Jamaica’s fledgling production houses, Good Good records, have made their first foray into the production of reggae with their new Cool Out riddim. The best of a mouth-watering artist line-up comes from Sizzla’s ‘You Can Make It’, Jah Vinci’s ‘Turn A Blind Eye’, Munga’s ‘Watch Over Me’ and Chris Martin’s ‘Link Pon U Friend’. The Cool Out riddim also sees a rare contribution to a reggae riddim from Bounty Killer with his conscious tune ‘Thine Will Be Done’ reinforcing his status as the poor people governor rather than the warlord.

In reggae singles, a brilliant sophomore effort from former Digicel Rising stars contestant Jermaine Michael has come in the form of his collaboration with the strong one, Etana. ‘7 Days’ is Michael’s follow up to his debut smash hit ‘Cornerstone’ which continues to garner airplay on Jamaican radio.

In chart news, Cham aka Baby Cham’s ‘Wine’ up to number four, while international crossover superstar and son of a gun, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley occupies top spot with ‘Set up Shop’. So ends another prolific month in Jamaican music with plenty of quality to motivate eager anticipation for what February holds. 

Jan 12 2012
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Best of 2011 Countdown

Here is my yearly chart of the best songs of the previous year. This is done via my radio program, 'Yard Bounce', and runs through what I consider to be the 30 best tunes in dancehall for 2011.

1. VYBZ KARTEL - Summertime (Summertime Riddim: Adidjahiem)
2. MAVADO & LAZA MORGAN - One By One (Elektra)
3. SEAN PAUL & ALEXIS JORDAN - Got 2 Luv U (Star Gate)
4. MAVADO - Settle Down (Overproof Riddim: JA)
5. DEMARCO - Love My Life (Star Kutt)
6. SPECIALIST - Street Hustle (Phone Card, Bananna Chips, Cash Fi Gold) (Downsound)
7. MAVADO - Final Destination (Summer Fling Riddim: Chimney Records)
8. POPCAAN - Only Man She Want (Lost Angel Riddim: High Stakes/Sonique)
9. KHAGO - Blood A Boil (Bottle Party Riddim: TJ)
10. AIDONIA - Summer Sun (Dre Day/Star Status)
11. I OCTANE - Badmind Fi The Year (Cashflow)
12. CHARLY BLACK - Too Blessed (TGIF Riddim: Coppershot)
13. WAYNE MARSHALL - Good Ole Wife (Matrimony Riddim: Washroom)
14. BEENIE MAN - Nah Talk Too Long (Hungry Dawgz Riddim: Seanizzle)
15. ASSASSIN - Drink & Merry (Drink & Party Riddim: D’Que)
16. MAVADO - Do Road (Contra Riddim: ZJ Chrome)
17. SHABBA - None A Dem (Pepper Riddim: Big Ship)
18. I OCTANE - Nuh Dream Bout Boy (Young Money: Good Good)
19. DI GENIUS - Nuh Beg Friend (Bad Acid Riddim: Big Ship)
20. CHRIS MARTIN & RICHIE LOOPS - Summer Spazz (Scikron/Big Yard)
21. BOUNTY KILLER - Ready Fi Dem (Run Di Place Riddim: Boardhouse)
22. POPCAAN - City (Eternal Riddim: Not Nice)
23. ASSASSIN - JPS (Big Dog Riddim: Boardhouse)
24. VYBZ KARTEL - Duppy Know (V6 Riddim: ZJ Chrome)
25. VYBZ KARTEL - Bike Back (Adidjahiem)
26. TONY MATTERHORN - Dancehall Duppy (Circle Dem Riddim: CD Master)
27. MACKA DIAMOND - Cow Foot (Shadane)
28. LADY SAW - Wife A Wife (Star A Star Riddim: TJ)
29. BEENIE MAN - Inna Di Go Go Club (357)
30. CHAN DIZZY - Hello Badmind (Head Concussion)

2011 proved to be another fantastic year for dancehall music. Despite the constant detractors and traditionalists who refuse to embrace the evolutionary nature of the music, the sheer volume of good music that was released made it difficult for me to come up with a final countdown. There were a large number of tunes that could have easily made it and in the case of this list the deciding factor was usually chart success and overall reception in Jamaica. To a lesser extent, attention was paid to the global response to a particular tune.

Vybz Kartel had, as has become the norm, a slew of hits that could have made it. His two collaborations with Russian, ‘Look Pon We’ and ‘Get Gal Anywhere’ were both huge but I was unable to find a spot for them in the final list. Given his legal woes, it remains to be seen whether this may be his last roll of the dice as a perennial chart-topper. This all hinges on the amount of material that is yet to be released. After all, it would be remiss to let a Jamaican artist be stifled by such circumstances as incarceration or even death.

The other big gun, Mavado, seemed to shift a gear this year and as a result a great deal of what he touched turned to gold. While lacking in the overall prolificacy of Kartel, Mavado managed a number of entries on to the list and his cut on the Pepper riddim could have easily pipped the Shabba Ranks selection that I eventually made. The mega-hit “Delilah” was only denied by personal taste which reinforces that these lists are always subjective to some extent. I-Octane had a superb year and is now an undisputed a-grader. Perhaps it was a consequence of trying to counter my own personal bias towards an artist which I have followed since near his beginnings, but I managed to omit some tunes that were certainly worthy of their place on any list. These included “One Ting Mi Know Seh”, “Short Term Memory”, “Burn Dem Bridge”, “Nuh Ramp Wid We” and “Ting Dem Loud” to name a few. Vybz Kartel’s protégé, Popcaan, had a breakout year and now deserves to be taken seriously in his own right. His mega hit “Raving” was only denied by the ‘one track per riddim’ rule I employed in the countdown this year as was his tune on the V6 Riddim, “See Me and Talk” which was only narrowly beaten by Vybz Kartel’s effort. Other hits such as “Party Shot” and “Clean” also deserve special mention. Other tunes that were unlucky not to find a way into the top 30; Wayne Marshall, Future Fambo and Tifa – Swaggin’, almost every other cut on both the Bad Acid and Summer Fling riddims, Sean Paul and Future Fambo – Wedding Crashers, a number of cuts on the Armagiddion riddim, Buju Banton – Pedal Pusher, Toya and Beenie Man – One Man Woman, Cliftwang Brown – Nobody Canna Cross It, Mr. Vegas – Beautiful Life, Mr. Vegas – Certain Law, Busy Signal – Swag Tun Up, Nicky B and Sean Paul – If It Isn’t Love, Wasp – Thank You, Chan Dizzy – Mek We Party. Riddims deserving special mentions included Matrimony, Life, White Label, Bed Squeek, BBQ, Love Salute, XXX, Buss Pipe, Nymphomaniac, Island Vibes, 12 to 12, Sunrise, VSOP, Bubblegum, and TGIF.

So ends another fantastic year in Jamaican music. Personally, the main result of this countdown is to reaffirm my love for Jamaican music and to build anticipation and excitement for another twelve months of quality releases.  

Dec 23 2011
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Jamaican Houdinis

The term one-hit-wonder has been coined in western pop music to describe an artist who reaches peak success with their first foray into the music business. In the west, these artists generally have a lack-lustre follow up or in any case make an attempt to recreate such success. The Jamaican one-hit-wonder often has subtle differences in this regard with many artists seemingly disappearing from the business all together. This occurs for a variety of reasons. The following piece takes a look at some of reggae and dancehall’s most talented Houdinis and explores the diversity of consequences which led to the premature end to their careers.

In the year 2000, Valton Craigie aka VC looked destined to be the next big thing as far as roots singers went. His mega-hit, ‘By His Deeds’ would garner guaranteed signal in dancehalls in Jamaica and beyond. Instead of long-term stardom, VC virtually disappeared on the back of his one and only tune of note. I’ve read from various sources that he took time out to spend time with his family and look after his young children. His financial survival was achieved through voicing countless dubplates of ‘By His Deeds’ for sounds all around the world. A feeble re-entry into Jamaican music was attempted during 2006 but by that time he had been pigeonholed as the man who came, blew up and then swiftly evaporated into the musical ether.

Not all of the disappearing acts in Jamaican music are as straightforward as VC’s. Like so many Jamaican music stories there is often an element of tragedy within. It is rare however, to find any more tragic than the story of Stephen Menzie aka Eloquent, who in a jealous rage attempted to murder his partner before taking his own life. At 27 years of age talent-laden DJ Eloquent seemed to be destined for big things. Through his handful of releases his skill had been demonstrated as a conscious DJ on tunes such as ‘Gun Alone Dem Glorify’, ‘Grandma Cry’, ‘Did U Pray’ and ‘Take It with a Smile’. Convinced his girlfriend was being unfaithful to him, Eloquent came home from work and during an argument slashed her throat. Believing that she was dead, he hung himself from a nearby tree. Perhaps the most chilling part of this horrific tale is held within the lyrics of his tune ‘Husband and Wife’ which extols the hardships of married life. The somewhat prophetic chorus contains the lyrics:

“Husband and Wife ah run down one another furious with cutlass and knife,

Husband and Wife nah kill unnu self nah do di destruction of life”

In the end Eloquent’s tale of disappearance from the Jamaican music scene was really only one of sadness and wasted talent. A shocking act mars his short-lived career and scars the lives of many who were close to him.

In other cases, it is somewhat clearer that an artist is not destined for long-term success due to the nature of their breakthrough. Most recently this has been exemplified through the instant success and subsequent disappearance of the bemused Clifton Brown. After he was interviewed on a news broadcast on Jamaican television, Brown’s unique voice and turn of phrased were manipulated by DJ Powa into the biggest novelty hit of 2011. ‘Nobody Canna Cross It’ went viral on YouTube and IrieFM zip-jock Mutabaruka, organised Brown to appear at a stage show under his newly-assumed moniker of Cliftwang Brown (as in ‘twanging’, the name of the process used to create ‘Nobody Canna Cross It’). Cliftwang went on to record station ids for IrieFM and undoubtedly has recorded jingles and dubplates for sounds worldwide. His unrequited success brought another tune which lacked the innocence and individuality of his first and while it may only be his last for the time being, it would seem unlikely that Cliftwang Brown will make further in-roads into reggae and dancehall.

While rags to riches stories in Jamaican music are not necessarily an uncommon occurrence, the story of I-Maroon did provide a tale of an unlikely triumph. Hailing from the camp of Josef Bogdanovich’s Downsound Records, I-Maroon’s unlucky ballad shot from the obscurity to number one, giving him his one and only hit. Bogdanovich’s mantra was to “buss a new act that everyone picked on and no one believed in” and “the least likely to succeed”. The manifestation of this mantra was seen in the success of ‘Mi Salt’ which at its peak dominated Jamaican radio with its tragic-comic lyrics. I-Maroon failed to attain a follow up and drifted into obscurity until a public spat with Bogdanovich in which he claimed that he was ripped off. The Downsound records CEO responded with surprise saying he had given the Spanish Town artist every chance to succeed in the business. By this time it was clear that the career of I-Maroon was, sadly, a rags to brief riches and back again to rags story. His only hit then became prophetic when he was bashed in 2010 over a dispute relating to a dubplate (The phrase ‘Mi Salt’ in Jamaica refers to one’s own lack of luck).

 Aside from VC, Eloquent, Cliftwang and I-Maroon, there are countless stories of disappearing Jamaican artists throughout the years. The waste of talent is a testament to the difficulties presented by the Jamaican environment. Economic and social issues often impede the ability of talent to flourish and in these cases we are left with the one-off tunes that showed glimpses of the big time. 

Dec 23 2011
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December New Releases

Here is the December edition of the monthly column I write for regarding new releases from Jamaica.

As Christmas approaches my thoughts are always cast to previous travesties and triumphs that have emerged from Jamaica throughout the silly season. The unforgettable Yellowman album, ‘A Very Yellow Christmas’ is one in the former category that springs to mind immediately while last year TOK’s effort on the Table Fi Table Riddim, ‘Christmas Money’ leant more to the latter. Without doubt my all time favourite was Junior Reid’s 1991 Christmas carol cum gun tune, ‘Rappa Pam Pam’.

2011 sees artists again attempting to cash in on Christmas hype, with the most notable examples provided in the Ghetto Christmas Riddim from Black Street productions. The riddim, which uses ‘Deck the Halls’ in a dancehall style, has cuts from Beenie Man, Bugle, Ding Dong and Vybrant and while it is by no means an all time classic is not a bad musical stocking-stuffer for your Christmas playlist. Elsewhere in dancehall a couple of big singles from the past few months have been used as riddim tracks to voice multiple artists. Chan Dizzy’s ’21 Gun Salute’ has become the Love Salute Riddim boasting tracks from Chris Martin, Tarrus Riley, Rasco and ‘One By One’ superstar, Laza Morgan. Personally, my initial excitement over the release of this riddim was extinguished by the quality of cuts and their lack of diversity. With such a strong riddim track producer Russian would have perhaps been advised to have a range of artist styles and lyrical subjects here. Love Salute riddim will appeal to fans of Lovers’ dancehall and singers. The other single which has seen multiple artists voice on the riddim is Charly Black’s ‘Too Blessed’. Known as the T.G.I.F. riddim, the backing from ‘Too Blessed’ has been given cuts from Sean Paul, Busy Signal, Patexx, Trevor Off Key and Elephant Man. With the original signal already gaining significant airplay in Jamaica, the T.G.I.F. looks set to be a hit for Coppershot Productions in the coming weeks and months.

After having a relatively quiet 2011 and slipping somewhat into obscurity, Daseca productions have released a new riddim known as the Knockings. Featuring a combination from the McGregor brothers, Stephen and Chino, as well as a tune from fellow Big Ship artist, Laden, the Knockings is Daseca’s late attempt to secure one of the hit riddims of 2011. The other tune on the riddim comes from one third of Daseca’s production team, Serani, who shows vintage form in a badmind anthem, ‘Evil Heart’. Former Gaza aligned sing-jay, Jah Vinci, has also released a big badmind tune with his effort on the Ground Zero Riddim, ‘Badmind Ago Fall’. If there could be any criticism of what is undoubtedly a big tune, it is perhaps that producer Dre Day has slightly overdone the autotune on the supremely talented Jah Vinci’s vocals. Another former production giant, Birchill, has also entered the end of year scramble releasing their radio friendly riddim, the Symphony. Boasting primarily party and gyal orientated tunes and impressive artist roster including Busy Signal, Kiprich, Assassin, Laden, Chris Martin and more, this is a riddim which definitely has a lot of potential in the wake of 2011’s domination by poppy and anthemic club dancehall.

While still behind bars, the self-proclaimed World Boss, Vybz Kartel, has released what is probably his best tune for some months with ‘Money Dun’. In what can be seen as a slight throwback, Kartel DJs in his classic hardcore style to deliver a cry of disenfranchisement with Jamaican society. Producer of many of Kartel’s biggest hits down the years, Russian, has recorded his first solo effort. While previously appearing as a featured artist alongside Vybz Kartel and Gappy Ranks, ‘Brown Yute Deh’ is his first venture into a tune solely featuring the Head Concussion producer. Russian follows in the footsteps of Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Seanizzle and Supa Hype who have all made the smooth transition from production giants to recording artists in their own right.

There’s plenty of new music for fans of roots this month with Cashflow making a rare foray into producing a reggae riddim. The results indicate that perhaps they should attempt the genre switch more frequently with the Faithful Riddim providing some brilliant tunes from the likes of Ginjah in a combination with Singer Jah, Khago, Chris Martin and many more. The pick of the bunch comes from 2011’s runaway success, I Octane, with his tune ‘Topic of the Day’ which discusses the rising cult of illuminati in Jamaica. In other roots releases, a wicked combination from Junior X and Alborosie called ‘You Save Me’ has recently been released

In chart happenings this month there is very exciting news for New Zealand-based producers High Stakes Records, with Popcaan his tune on the Lost Angel Riddim to the number one spot. ‘Only Man She Want’ has made rapid progress to the top in the past six weeks and has now reached the top to give Auckland lads Simon Howden and Tiopira McDowell the ultimate Christmas gift. On the reggae chart Chris Martin’s ‘Cheaters Prayer’ on the Cardiac Strings Riddim from CR203 music has climbed two places to reach number three this week and the Summer Fling riddim continues its popularity months after the conclusion of summer with two songs in the top ten on the dancehall chart.

Nov 21 2011
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Charly Black - Too Blessed

'Too Blessed' is the latest hit from 'di country bwoy'. Hailing from rural central Jamaica in the Trelawny parish, I've found Charly Black to be consistent without being regularly outstanding. Every now and then though, he manages outstanding tunes such as this one. Produced by Coppershot Productions, with whom he collaborated with on the 2008 hit, 'Rich Dis Year' and featuring the beautiful surrounds of his native Trelawny in the clip, 'I'm Too Blessed' is a big tune.

Nov 21 2011
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November New Releases

I write a monthly column for New Zealand reggae website, which runs through all the new releases each month. I’ll post a copy here monthly.

The run up to Christmas is always an especially busy period even in the highly prolific culture of the Jamaican music industry.  2011 has proved no exception with a number of riddims and singles recently being released.

Dancehall has seen new releases at polar ends of the spectrum.  Both the radio-friendly and more poppy riddims which tend to make their way swiftly up the charts as well as some harder war-tune-orientated riddims dropping in the past few weeks. In the former category, the ‘BBQ Riddim’ has elaborated on Mr. Vegas’ September single ‘Beautiful Life,’ with added cuts from Khago, Munga, Mr. Lexx, Sytlo G, Gyptian and Cali P amongst others. The standouts are undoubtedly from Mr. Lexx with ‘Wifee’ and the original cut from Vegas. Elsewhere the exciting new riddim from Washroom Entertainment, the ‘Bubblegum’ seems sure to be a hit when it is finally released in the coming weeks. Dancehall web-trawlers have been restricted to web promos of the exciting artist lineup which includes killers from Konshens and TOK as well as solid efforts from Demarco, Voicemail and Alaine. Given the anticipation of its release and the quality of production, it would seem likely that this roster may be added to once it finally reaches the inboxes and hard drives of dancehall selectors globally.

Romeich records have once again impressed with their ‘Steppings riddim’ the follow up to their big April release in the ‘Armagiddion riddim’. Steppings features a host of artists covering a range of lyrical subjects from Merciless’ war tune ‘Coast to Coast War,’ to Tarrus Riley’s insomniac love song ‘Can’t Sleep Without My Lady’ and a nice effort from newcomer Kush I Riley with ‘Duh Road From Birth’.

The intensification of war vibes in dancehall has continued, with Calims Records releasing their new ‘Darkness Riddim’ with an impressive lineup of artists. The title track comes from Mavado- who proves that he can still fire a lyrical shot- on the back of his hits this year, which have predominately consisted of gyal tunes such as ‘Delilah,’ and the collaboration with Lazo Morgan, ‘One by One’. The resurgence of the Bounty Killer/Beenie Man feud has continued with Bounty’s ‘Shut Up’ and Beenie’s counteraction ‘Shit Up’ both being voiced on the ‘Back to Basics riddim’.

November has also seen some impressive singles released from various studios in Jamaica. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor continues his producer/artist double act with ‘Only God Can Judge Me’. Head Concussion Records artist Chan Dizzy has released ’21 Gun Salute’ in two different versions with one concentrating on slightly more lovers-orientated lyrical content. Jamaica’s current culture king of the dancehall, I Octane, has a new one with ‘Informer,’ while Dounsound Records artist Harry Toddler has released what may be his most impressive effort to date with ‘Jah Give I Strength’. A special mention also to JOP aligned artist, Deablo, whose new single ‘Mr. Death (Nuh Ready Yet)’ is sure to be a hit with fans of slower, hip-hop inspired dancehall.

On the roots and culture front, highly acclaimed producer Don Corleon has a new riddim, with the ‘Antique’ featuring cuts from Kymani Marley, Tarrus Riley, Protoje, Romain Virgo, Da Professa in a collaboration with the legendary Ken Boothe, and embattled deejay Vybz Kartel in a duet with Gaza Slim. Notice productions have made their first foray into producing reggae with the new ‘Heart and Soul’ riddim. Consisting mostly of lovers rock tunes, there is solid performances from Busy Signal, Jah Cure, Chevaughn and Chris Martin. Special mention has to be made of the best tune from Chuck Fenda for quite some time, with his track ‘Warning’ the pick of the cuts on the ‘Heart and Soul.’ Kemar “Flava” McGregor also has a new reggae riddim out with the ‘Cool and Deadly’ featuring Buju Banton (in a tune recorded prior to his incarceration) and Cecile, as well as veterans Maxi Priest and Marcia Griffiths. This is definitely one for fans of Euro-produced roots and the sounds of reggae from the turn of the century.

Finally, in chart news from JA, Mavado is occupying both the no. 1 and no. 2 sports with ‘Settle Down’ and ‘Final Destination’ respectively. Assassin’s ‘JPS’ is making steady progress skywards, this week coming in at no. 9, while Popcaan seems to be yet another winner in 2011 with his effort on the Lost Angel riddim, which is up four spots this week to no. 11. Former Digicel Rising Stars (Jamaican equivalent to Idol) contestant Jermaine Michael, is also receiving widespread radio-play in Jamaica with his debut hit single, ‘Cornerstone’.

Oct 27 2011
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Specialist - Street Hustle (Phone Card, Banana Chips, Cash Fi Gold)

Another unlikely no. 1 from Josef Bagdonavich’s Downsound Records. The formula is simple; a wicked tune from a relatively unknown artist that has rocketed up the chart against the odds. Downsound’s ability to do this has been documented by hits such as I Maroon’s Mi Salt and Toya’s Bosslady. Bogdonavich was the subject of a brilliant documentary made by Peter Dean Rickards (The Afflicted Yard) charting the career of an American businessman who had come to Jamaica to run a record label and promote stageshows. He was given the nickname ‘The Last Don’ as it was said that he was the last person to throw money into dancehall. His adopted title also became the title of the documentary which can be viewed via vimeo:

Dimaggio: The Last Don Episode 1 

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