Pon Di Wire: A Reggae News Flash!
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Veteran singer Horace Andy debuts his latest album, Livin It Up, in a novel way: through a series of videos released via YouTube. Andy sings, previews tracks, and narrates an introduction to the new album, made with Sly & Robbie for Taxi Recordings.
West Coast raga toaster, producer, and MC DJ Collage–who has appeared on albums and singles by Vienna’s Stereotyp and Sofa Surfers, in addition to producing his own singles–once again takes on the Euro-club scene in a unique way. On a tasty remix of Austrian electro-dance group Blockwerk, Collage lays down his signature bubbling vocals and also provides his own stylish house remix of “Straight Forward”.
Although one Jamaican commentator has gone so far as to say “Dancehall Is Dead”, stalwart U.S. reggae label VP counters the statement with fresh, new talent on the CD/DVD Dancehall Draft Picks. After watching the series of biographical and performance videos, with new artists Mavado (“Dreaming”), Busy Signal (“Step Out”), and Alozade (“Bad Out Deh”), it’s apparent each DJ brings a unique perspective and lyrical flow to the genre. Most surprising of all may be the boyish-looking, Supercat-sounding Hollow Point, whose confidence and abilities have been underrated. Watch dat yout deh!
Itching for new sounds? New riddims circulating now, and in weeks to come, include the gorgeous one-drop series from Oneness (Oneness Records)–with cuts by Italy’s Albarosie, Lutan Fyah, and Luciano–and the Studio One-inspired Dread Fah riddim (Champy), which includes cuts by Action Fire, Rankin Joe, and classic roots singer Little Roy. Taxi Recordings revives the vintage Darker Black riddim with tracks by Lady Saw, Lukie D, and Chuck Fender, while One Family Records offers the sweet, rootsy Daddy Gone riddim with selections by Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Jah Mason, and more.
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