Thursday, February 28, 2013

Big Tunes w/ Undercover

Four posts in one day! More big tunes come your way! First up we have some sweet one-drop sounds from the Don Corleon, Akom and Silly Walks camps. The rub-a-dubby Impossible riddim is crazy, with a huge vocal lineup, the hip-hop/roots sound is well alive with the Re-Birth, Rootsman and First riddims going strong along with a some big, big, big, big tunes from Protoje's new album The 8 Year Itch. YOLO!

Tessanne f/ Busy Signal - Don't Wanna Fight (Another Dollar Riddim)
Million Stylez - Spiritual Journey (Heartwarming Riddim)
Chronixx - Most I (Scriptures Riddim)
Chronixx - Smile Jamaica (Honey Pot Riddim)
Da'Ville - One In A Million (Honey Pot Riddim)
Ginja - Sweet Killer (Honey Pot Riddim)
Mr Vegas - Whenever You're Lonely (Suriname Riddim)
Christopher Martin - Jah Light (Suriname Riddim)
Lion D - Irie (Impossible Riddim)
Jah Sun - Love Inside Your Heart (Impossible Riddim)
Skarra Mucci - Not Impossible to Me (Impossible Riddim)
Ras Tewelde - Ital is Vital (Impossible Riddim)
Raphael - What a Blessing (Impossible Riddim)
Prince Allah - No Officer (Herbsman Hustling Riddim)
Linval Thompson - Bad Bwoy (Herbsman Hustling Riddim)
Carlton Livingston - Bruk Out (Herbsman Hustling Riddim)
Jahbar I - I Just Be Me (Re-Birth Riddim)
Chronixx - Dread (Re-Birth Riddim)
Tarrus Riley - Gold Girl (Rootsman Riddim)
Chronixx - Here Comes Trouble (Rootsman Riddim)
Iba Mahr - Great is H.I.M (Rootsman Riddim)
Turbulence and Cutty Ranks - Beware Remix (First Riddim)
General Levy - The General (First Riddim)
Macka B - Jah Rainbow (First Riddim)
Kabaka Pyramid - King Kabaka
Protoje - Black Cinderella
Protoje - Music from My Heart
Protoje f/ Toi - Shot By Love

Beets w/ Undercover

Faark, it's been a while since I dropped some fresh electronic soul and wonky hip hop beats! So finally bringing you some heat - new Alice Russel, new DJ Day, new Nicole Willis, new Procussions, new Miles Bonnny, new Menahan St Band, new Blue and new @Peace. Oooosh.

fLako - Mating Dance
Flume f/Jezzabell Doran - Sleepless
Bonobo - Cirrus
Toro Y Moi - Rose Quartz
@Peace - Flowers
Julien Dyne f/ Ladi 6 & Parks - Who Are You [Sauce81 Remix]
Christoph El Truento - Armadillo Meat Funk
Alice Russell - Citizens
Funkommunity - The Light (Eric Lau Remix)
B. Bravo & Teeko f/ Bob Menacho & Daren Grant - More Than Just A Reprise
Grooveman Spot f/ Hollie Smith & Isaac Aesili - Pretending
Seravince f/ Renee Neufville - U Love
Blue (aka Isle Child) - Breakfast
DJ Day - Adu
Darryl Reeves - Paradise
Menahan Street Band - Lights Out
DJ Day - Land Of 1000 Chances
Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators - It's All Because of You
Martha High & Speedometer - Trouble Man
Cody ChesnuTT - I've Been There
Alice Russell - Heartbreaker
DJ Vadim f/ Sabida Jade - Set Them Free
The Procussions f/ Shad and J Kyle Gregory - Today
Miles Bonny x Kutiman - Vitamin C

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Roots of Reggae / Southern Melting Pot w/ Undercover

With the Kingston soundsystems of the 50s playing US r&b, soul and blues it was only natural the vibe would rub off on the local musicians - they where even toasting over it in the early 50s. Early ska producers where heavily influenced by the sounds of Fats Domino, Shirley and Lee and The Drifters etc. Come the mid 60s, sweet soul hits from The Impressions, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding had a huge impact on how rocksteady oozes soul. To me tunes are only a rum nip away from being ska and rocksteady themselves, take Ernie Freeman's 'Live it Up', which could easily be a Tommy McCook skank, or The Sapphires 'Who do you Love' which could be mistaken for some of Coxsone's early Studio One soul. As I was digging into some old delta blues, I stumbled upon King Oliver's 'Riverside Blues' from 1923 and was amazed to find it was a version of one of reggae's founding tunes - Theophilus Beckfords 'Easy Snapping' from 1956 - click! Likewise Sister Rosetta Thorpes 1939 gospel version of the now popular 'This Train' is just stunning. Anyway, enjoy, there are some stonking tunes in here! Part 1 / Part 2

Buddy Bolden Band - Funky Butt (190X)
King Oliver - Riverside Blues (1923)
Louis Armstrong - Saint Louis Blues (1929)
Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Don't Go (1935)
Sidney Bechet - Summertime (1938)
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - This Train (1939)
Louis Jordan - Caldonia Boogie (1945)
Calvin Boze - Waiting & Drinking (1949)
Jewel King - 3 X 7 = 21 (1950)
Tab Smith - My Mothers Eyes (1951)
The Clovers - In the Middle of the Night (1951)
Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog (1952)
Shirley & Lee - I'm Gone (1952)
Fats Domino - Mardi Gras in New Orleans (1953)
Fats Domino - Going To The River (1953)
The Drifters - Money Honey (1953)
Amos Milburn - One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer (1953)
Ray Charles - I Got a Woman (1954)
Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle & Roll (1954)
Willis Jackson - Later for 'Gator aka Coxsone's Hop (1956)
Shirley & Lee - Let the Good Times Roll (1956)
Chuck Higgins - Gambling Woman (1956)
Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One (1957)
Etta James - The Pick-Up (1957)
The Squires - Dreamy Eyes (1957)
Ray Johnson - If You Don't Want Me Baby (1957)
Sonny Knight - But Officer (195X)
The Playmates - Let's Be Lovers (1958)
The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream (1958)
Ernie Freeman - Live It Up (195X)
Fats Domino - Be My Guest (1959)
Sam Cooke - Only Sixteen (1959)
Dave Brubeck - Take Five (1959)
Louisiana Red - Done Woke Up (1960)
Sam Cooke - Cupid (1961)
The Pips - Every Beat Of My Heart (1961)
The Impressions - Gypsy Woman (1961)
Booker T. & The M.G.s - Green Onions (1962)
The Impressions - I'm The One Who Loves You (1963)
The Impressions - Minstrel And Queen (1963)
The Sapphires - Who Do You Love (1964)
Gene Chandler - Nothing Can Stop Me (1964)
Otis Redding - These Arms of Mine (1964)
The Impressions - People Get Ready (1965)
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (1965)
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Shop Around (1965)
Smokey Robinson - Ooo Baby Baby (1965)
The Temptations - Ain't Too Proud To Beg (1966)

The Roots of Reggae - Jamaica's Cocktail Shaker w/ Undercover

I don't know about you guys, but I get a real buzz seeing and hearing how the the many sounds merged into one. Mixing equal parts US r& b and soul with local afro, mento, calypso, gospel and jazz, it's no surprise to see how such an authentic sound would emerge from Jamaica!
Calypso originating in Trinidad and Tobago, was a musical outlet for slaves to have a gripe about their masters, hence it's somewhat insulting and comical lyrics. The first stars started crossing over to worldwide audiences in the late 30s and during the following decades toured the Caribbean and the USA as well playing to the local upper-class tourist and hotel set. Hits included Harry Belafonte's The Banana Boat Song, a cover of a traditional Jamaican folk song as well as numerous songs from The Mighty Sparrow, Lord Melody and Calypso's longest serving sentinal - Lord Kitchener.
London based record label Bluebeat started to bring these sounds all together in the years 1959-1961 focussing on American influenced Jamaican blues and r&b which later evolved into what we know as the genre bluebeat and eventually ska. Early landmark hits that definded the sound included Higgs and Wilson's Manny On and what some consider the first ska record - The Folkes Brothers with Count Ossies 'Oh Carolina'. Jazz was also popular in the early 1960s with Coxsone releasing a couple of amazing jazz records - 'I Cover The Waterfront' and 'Jazz Jamaica'. The albums featured star pupils from the Alpha Boys School, an institution run by Catholic nuns for wayward boys. Through it's disciplne, outstanding musical tuition and exposure to the US jazz sound, the school had a huge influence on ska and reggae with notable ulumni The Skatalites - Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Lester Sterling, Tommy McCook, Cedric Books and Theophilus Beckford. By 1962 with Bluebeat setting the scene (the label ran till 1967), Ska was in full swing, emulating that skank of 50s r&b from the likes of Fats Domino, Shirley Lee and Co and the rest they say is history! * Part 1 / Part 2.

The Roaring Lion - Ugly Woman (1934)
George Moxey & His Calypso Quintet - Dry Weather House (1951)
Baba Motta & His Jamaicans - She Pon Top (1952)
Lord Kitchener - Drink a Rum (1954)
Hubert Porter - Iron Bar/Mas Charley Bell (1954)
Louise Bennett - Day Dah Light (1954)
Mighty Sparrow - Village Ram (1964)
Harry Belafonte - The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) (1956)
Harry Belafonte - Jamaica Farewell (1956)
King Solomon - Belafonte (1957)
Lord Melody - Creature from the Black Lagoon (1957)
The Wrigglers f/ Ernest Ranglin - Don't Touch Me Tomato (1958)
The Mighty Sparrow - Russian Satellite (1958)
PĂ©rez Prado - Peanut Vendor (1958)
Lord Melody - Booboo Man (1958)
Laurel Aitken - Nebuchadnezzar (1958)
Laurel Aitken - Sweet Chariot (1958)
Denzil Laing & The Wrigglers - Bloodshot Eyes (1958)
Theophilus Beckford - Easy Snapping (1959)
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Dumplin's (1959)
Clancy Eccles - What Will Your Mama Say (1959)
Duke Reid's All Stars - Pink Lane Shuffle (1959)
Clancy Eccles - Freedom (1959)
Laurel Aitken & The Boogie Cats - Boogie Rock (1959)
Drumbago All Stars - Duck Soup (1959)
Higgs and Wilson - Manny On (1960)
Derrick Morgan & Trenton Spence - Fat Man (1960)
Keith & Enid & Trenton Spence & His Group - Send Me (1960)
The Folkes Brothers & Count Ossie Afro Combo - Oh Carolina (1961)
The Folkes Brothers & Count Ossie Afro Combo - I Met A Man (1961)
Alton & Eddy - My Heaven (1961)
Roland Alphonso & Cecil Lloyd - Oceans 11 (1961)
The Blues Busters - Donna (1961)
Earl Dixon & The Black Beats - Too Much Whisky (1961)
Derrick Morgan & Clue J & His Blues Busters - Wigger Wee Shuffle (1961)
Keith Lyn & Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Help Me Forget (1961)
Byron Lee & Dragonaires - Mash Mr Lee (1961)
Errol Dixon & The Blue Beats - Anytime Anywhere (1961)
Lascelles Perkins & Clue J & His Blues Basters - Creation (1961)
The Soulettes - Opportunity (1961)
Clancy Eccles - River Jordan (1961)
The Skatalites - The Answer (1962)
Cecil Lloyd Group - Gone With The Wind (1962)
Cecil Lloyd Group - I Cover The Waterfront (1962)
Lord Kitchener - Jamaica Woman (1962)
Delroy Wilson - King Pharaoh (1962)
The Blues Busters - Behold!  (1962)
Basil Gabbidon - Enie-Meanie-Miney-Mo (1962)
Justin Hinds and the Dominoes - Carry Go Bring Come (1963)
Jimmy James - Swinging Down the Line (1963)
Lord Creator - Golden Love (1963)
King Stitt - End & Beyond (1963)
King Stitt - Rhythm of The Blues (1963)
Prince Buster - Flying Ska (1964)
Lord Creator - Big Bamboo (1964)
Jackie Opel - Shelter In The Storm (1965)
The Techniques - Little Did You Know (1965)
Jackie Opel - Cry Me A River (1965)

*I might be talking out my ass, but this is how I understand it.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Producer Series: Prince Buster and his Allstars

One of the most important figures in Jamaican Ska and Rocksteady is Prince Buster. The man who in 1960, took local calypso and the infamous students of Alpha Boy's School such as Roland Alphone, Don Drummond and blended them with the r&b and southern blues sounds of the USA. In doing so created an authentic expression of both Jamaican and world music. The hi-tempo ska he pioneered in the dancehalls of Kingston during the early 60s, is where reggae as we know it all began. Prince Buster IS 'the ska beat' and through 1963-1969 defined the sound with over a dozen quintessential ska and rocksteady albums. Madness!

Little Honey (Buster's Group)
Carolina (The Folkes Brothers & Count Ossie Group)
Just you
Soul Of Africa
All Alone
Wash Wash
Perhaps (Skatalites)
The Burial (Don Drummond)
Ska War (The Maytals)
River Jordan (Owen Gray)
I Love You So (The Maytals)
Chinaman Ska
Ska Town
Have Mercy
Al Capone
One Step Beyond
Dance Jamaica
Rum and Cocacola
Moving Spirit
My Girl
Hard Man Fe Dead
Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments From Woman
Wings of a Dove
Ain't That Saying A Lot
Girl, Answer to Your Name
Is Life Worth Living
A Change Is Gonna Come
Ghost Dance
Judge Dread
Dark Street
Take It Easy
Lets Go To The Dance
Danny, Dane & Lorraine
Enjoy Yourself
Phoenix City
Hold Them
The Virgin
Big 5
Every Man Pum Pum
Sister Big Stuff
Stick By Me
Sister Big Stuff
Satta A Masa Gana

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Producer Series: Coxone Dodd's Studio One

Where do we start with Clement Seymour 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd? From the early days jamming records in his Ma's shop, to setting up the Downbeat Sound System in the mid 50s playing US r&b hits Sir Coxone has been there since day one. When the music dried up from the states Coxsone resorted to recording his own music with the likes of Roland Alphonso and Don Drummond producing original jazz, mento and bluebeat on early Coxsone labels such as Bamboo and Port-O-Jam. Soon followed the opening of Studio One records in the early 60s as his house bands The Skatalites, The Soul Vendors, and Sound Dimension became synonomous with the sound of ska, rocksteady and reggae. Coxsones back catalogue of music must reach into the thousands as every major artist of the time including King Stitt, Bob Marley, Jackie Mittoo, Ernest Ranglin, Delroy Wilson, Burning Spear, Lee Perry, Ken Boothe, Horace Andy and Sugar Minott amongst man getting their break at Studio One. Coxsone continued to release absolute classic reggae, roots and dancehall into the 70s and 80s setting the standard over and over. A True Legend.

The Uniques - Little Girl
Bob Marley - One Love
Skatalites - Man In The Street
Delroy Wilson - Dancing Mood
Don Drummond - Dick Tracy
Gaylads - Africa
The Soul Vendors - Swing Easy
Marcia Griffiths - Feel Like Jumping
Marcia Griffiths - Tell Me Now
Sound Dimension - Heavy Rock
Sound Dimension - Real Rock
Sound Dimension - Mojo Rock Steady
Sugar Minott - I Need A Roof
The Silvertones - Smile
Ken Boothe - When I Fall in Love
Alton Ellis - I'm Still In Love With You
Slim Smith - Born to Love
Johnny Osbourne - We Need Love
Jackie Mittoo - Totally Together
Sugar Minott - Vanity
Barry Brown - Give Love
The Cables - Be A Man
Cornell Campbell - Queen Of The Minstrel
Jackie Mittoo - Henry The Great
Ernest Ranglin - Surfin'
Ronald Merrils - Danger In Your Eyes
Dennis Brown - Easy Take It Easy
Sugar Minott - Oh Mr Dc
Horace Andy - Skylarking
Tommy McCook & The Sound Dimension - Tunnel One
Slim Smith - Never Let Go
Freddie Mcgregor - Bobby Babylon
The Heptones - Pretty Looks
Delroy Wilson - Run Run
Johnny Osbourne & The Prophets - Keep That Light
Willie Williams - Armagedeon Time
Johnny Osbourne - Truth and Rights
The Abyssinians - Declaration Of Rights
The Abyssinians - Satta Massa Gana
Voice Roys - Ya Ho
Erroll Dunkley - Black Cinderella
Sugar Minott - Jahovia
Earl Sixteen - No Mash Up The Dance
Johnny Osbourne - Murderer
Barry Brown - Far East
Rita Marley & The Souletts - A Deh Pon Dem
The Paragons - Danger In Your Eyes

Producer Series: Duke Reid's Treasure Chest

The golden age of Rocksteady! The gungslingin' ex cop Duke Reid operated the The No 1 Jamaican Soundsystem in the 50's and 60's playing a heady mix of US soul, blues, jazz and r&b. When he finally released music in the late 60s this infectious cocktail of sounds was all present as his house bands The Techniques and the Supersonics defined his soulful, yet often moody Rocksteady sound. He went on to produce some quintessential rocksteady nuggets with Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillion, Hopeton Lewis, The Paragons. Apart from recording deejay versions of his hits with U-Roy, Lizzy and Dennis Alcapone, his reign after the 60s somewhat faded and due to poor health (cancer) and ended up selling Treasure Isle to Sonia Pottinger, owner of the classic High Note label and sadly died in 1975. A Treasure Chest of nuggets!

Treasure Isle All Stars - Alley Cat Ska
Tommy McCook - My True Confession
Phyllis Dillon - Long Time No Nice Time
Danny Simpson, Tommy Mccook & The Supersonics - Mary Poppins
Alton Ellis & Phyllis Dillon - Remember That Sunday
Hopeton Lewis - Boom Shaka Laka
Hopeton Lewis - Boom Shaka Laka (Version 2)
Alton Ellis & The Flames - Duke Of Earl
The Techniques - Day 0 (The Banana Boat Song)
Nora Dean - Ay Ay Ay
Phyllis Dillon - Woman Of The Ghetto
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Real Cool
The Paragons - Riding High On A Windy Day
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - The Shadow Of Your Smile
The Techniques - Queen Majesty
The Techniques - Love Is Not A Gamble
Alton Ellis - Girl I've Got A Date
Techniques - I'm In The Mood For Love
The Techniques - My Girl
The Paragons - The Tide Is High
Phyllis Dillon - Perfidia
Ken Parker - True True True
The Techniques - Queen Majesty
Alton Ellis & The Flames - Rock Steady
Freddie Mckay - Love Is A Treasure
Lizzy - Love Is A Treasure
U Roy - Rule The Nation
Phyllis Dillon and Hopeton Lewis - Right Track
Alton Ellis - Can't Stand It
The Paragons - Wear You To The Ball
Alton Ellis & The Flames -  Girl Ive Got A Date
U Roy - Wake The Town
Phyllis Dillon - Dont Stay Away
The Paragons - Only A Smile
The Silvertones - Midnight Hour
The Three Tops - It's Raining
The Jamaicans - Baba Boom
Alton Ellis - La La Means I Love You
Dawn Penn - Why Did You Lie
Phyllis Dillon - Its Rocking Time
The Melodians - Youll Never Get Away
The Paragons - The Same Song
The Jamaicans - The Things You Say You Love
The Gladiators - Sweet Soul Music
Treasure Isle All Stars - Rocking Soul
Dennis Alcapone - Wake Up Jamaica
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Depth Charge
Treasure Isle All Stars - Billy Joe
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - Heatwave
Dobby Dobson - Loving Pauper
Tommy McCook And The Supersonics - Down On Bond Street
Ernest And Tommy - Ranglin On Bond St
The Techniques - Traveling Man

Producer Series: The Cool Operator Bunny Lee

Breaking the formidable dominance of Coxsone and Reid, The Cool Operator Bunny Lee came on the scene and produced some massive rocksteady and soul hits from the likes of Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, Slim Smith, Errol Dunkley and Pat Kelly. He brought the crispest of sound courtesy of his house bands and the likes of King Tubby, then later Prince Jammy on the mixing decks. Lee was a genius himself but would often take Studio One and Treasure Isle hits and slyly inna Jamaican style release quick versions to the street. In the 70s Lee went on to work with Johnny Clarke, Delroy Wilson, Lee Perry, Linvil Thompson and Barry Brown producing what some class as the finest early roots music. The Man!

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Mr Chatter Box
Lester Sterling, Lloyd Harmer and Stranger Cole - Bangarang
Max Romeo - Wet Dream
Pat Kelly - How Long
Roland Alphonso - 1000 Tones Of Me
Dawn Penn - Long day short night
Errol Dunkley - King and queen
Ken Parker - How could I
Alva Lewis - In the park
Alton Ellis - I've Got Love
Winston Samuels - Don't Believe Him
Pat Kelly - How Long
Errol Dunkley - I'm going home
Derrick Morgan - Great Musical
Uniques - People Rocksteady
The Sensations - Born to love you
Slim Smith - Let me go girl
Slim Smith - Ain't 2 Proud To Beg
U-Roy - 2 Proud To Beg Version
Slim Smith & The Uniques - My Conversation
Lenox Brown - My Conversation Instrumental
Glen Adams - My Argument
Val Bennet - The Russians Are Coming
Slim Smith - Build my world around you
The Sensations - Born to Love You (Coxsone)
Dawn Penn - To Sir With Love
Alton Ellis - Loving mood
Nora Deal - Oh Mama
Glen Adams - She's So Fine
Glen Adams  - I can't help it (Duke Reid)
Lee Scratch Perry - Run For Cover
Pat Kelly - The dark end of the street
John Holt - Stick By Me
Derrick Morgan - Some Women Must Cry
Jackie Edwards - I'm Still Waiting
Dennis Alcapone - Won't Tell You Goodbye
Delroy Wilson - Cool Operator

Bunny Lee's roots productions to come!