Pon Di Wire
- Words: Tomas Palermo
The always-refreshing contents of Shane C. Brown’s Juice Boxx label may become sweeter still following the announcement that top toasting talent Busy Signal will sign with the label. Although Signal is known for his gangsta persona and hard-hitting album Step Out, on Greensleeves, the artist born Reano Gordon recently scored on Brown’s rootsy Statement riddim with “Right Place Wrong Time.” Busy Signal split from his management in the deal, but will honor tour commitments that include the Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, on July 21.
Yard Flex reports than Mavado and his crew were involved in a fight in Barbados over undelivered dubplates. People connected to the Red Zone Alliance of Barbados belligerently confronted Mavado and his entourage, who had traveled to the island for a performance on Saturday, June 31. Bottles were reportedly flying, as were stones and fists, throughout the mayhem that involved between 20 and 30 individuals.
Elephant Man’s new album drops August 14. Continuing his tradition of mining Top 40 pop hits for hooks and choruses, Let’s Get Physical, on Diddy’s Bad Boy Recordings, is sure to be full of surprises. The Wyclef-produced “Five-O” single is making the rounds now.
Capleton, Junior Reid, and Gyptian visit the Bay Area to celebrate Angel Majik’s 6 Year Anniversary, July 5 at Ruby Skye nightclub, and July 7 at Kelly’s Mission Rock.
Is there a Jamaican “brain drain” taking place? The phenomenon is mostly associated with Asia and India, where top computer, tech, science, and medical talents are recruited to the West to the detriment of their home country. Jamaicans.com argues that the same thing is happening to its stock of educated and talented citizens.
The self-proclaimed “madman” Lee “Scratch” Perry tours the West Coast July 27-August 4 in support of his recently released Trojan Records/Starbucks Music compilation. Perry will be backed by New York City-based band Dub Is a Weapon.
Never one for mincing words, outspoken reggae singer Tanya Stephens had some enlightening quotes in a recent Jamaica Observer interview: “The porno industry is very big and Mr. Hefner is a rich man. But as singers, we don't sell sex, we sell music. So if all you have is [a sexy image], that means you don't have a product. Nobody buys a CD and gets sex!”
Lots of big summer riddims outta road right now. A re-lick of The Abyssinians’ “Declaration of Rights,” on the Total Satisfaction label, features great singles by Admiral Tibet, Anthony B, Jah Mason, and Lutan Fyah. The Special Delivery label ships new material from Morgan Heritage, Richie Spice, and Queen Omega on its Riddim Vizions cut. Another great romantic one-drop riddim comes in the form of Creation Star’s Bed A Rose, featuring singles by Turbulence, Sizzla, and even vet Triston Palma. Cousins label revives Aswad’s stepper’s classic “Warrior Charge,” with new material from Chuck Fender, Luciano, and Michael Rose. And finally, England’s impeccable Peckings imprint has a trio of killer versions out now, including the Since We Broke Up, True Confessions, and Don’t Stay Away riddims, which sample or reproduce the Treasure Isle and Studio One rocksteady style.
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- September 18: New Forms Festival 2014 with Oneohtrix Point Never, Hieroglyphic Being, Helena Hauff, Madlib, and More
- September 24: Decibel Festival with Marcel Dettmann, KiNK, FaltyDL, John Roberts, Steffi, Simian Mobile Disco, and More
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