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Pon Di Wire: Diplo, Ticklah, Jah Mason

Is dancehall's "outlaw" back? Rumors are flying that popular '90s singjay Terry Ganzi is plotting a big return to the scene. The nasally deejay, known for humorous and intricately woven lyrics, told the Gleaner recently: "Right now mi just a finish up an album name, Changing Lanes. Apart from that, me have a new tune on the Poison Gas riddim name "Real Outlaw." Mi nuh stop work, though some naw hear me or see me."

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Diplo goes dancehall.

Indie electronic stars Diplo (Hollertronix) and Switch (Dubsided) have collaborated on a dancehall album that is due out shortly on Diplo's Mad Decent imprint. Peep the featured guest artists: Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel, Leftside & Esco, Gyptian, Mr. Vegas, Turbulence, Spice, Macka Diamond, Monster Twins, and more. Uh, damn!

Despite outgrowing its current location at Kingston's Weekenz Bar and Bistro, 80 Constant Spring Road in Kingston, it doesn't look like the popular Thursday street dance Bembe will be moving to a bigger area. "True di place small, but wi a work wid deh suh, because a deh suh di vibes deh," remarked promoter Biggy.

It has been reported that Clear Channel-owned New York radio station Power 105 withdrew its sponsorship from this past Saturday's Reggae CariFest at Randalls Island, after pressure from gay rights groups Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The groups protested the concert?s inclusion of Buju Banton (who has publicly disavowed violence against gays) and Bounty Killer.

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Victor Axelrod, alias Ticklah.

Producer/keyboardist Victor Axelrod's (a.k.a. Ticklah) big dub album hits the streets September 18. Ticklah Vs. Axelrod (Easy Star) features vocalists Mikey General, Rob Symeonn, and flygirl Vinia Mojica. Fans of King Tubby, Glen Brown, and Scientist should rush to get this album when it drops!

The Hard Beat reggae news site has the latest on dancehall group Voicemail's latest tour, and up-and-coming sounds from Red Diamond with new vocalist Prestige.

Dancehall music's violent image is explored and explained in a thought-provoking editorial, in Caribbean web portal One876 this week. Writer A.K.A. poses the question: "If dancehall were to change and do an about-face towards positive values and culture, would the kids want to listen?"

Big tunes out pon road:
Frenchie's (Maximum Sound) Ashanti Warrior, a mid-tempo roots riddim, has cuts by Jah Mason, Anthony B, Da'Ville, and Jahmali. The bubbly dancehall beat of Big Up by King Jammy's son, John John, features Capleton, Assassin, Ele, and Sizzla. Meanwhile, John John's brother Baby G's got his new Gang War riddim running hot, with cuts from Jr. Gong, Mavado, and Bounty Killer. Great '90s deejays Jr. Cat, Reggie Stepper, and singer Little Twitch appear on Sweet Beat's new Ganja Camp, a version of Cornell Campbell's "Up Park Camp." Finally, Tiger Records' Ol Sittin riddim is a bittersweet melody, with nice tracks from Norris Man and Perfect.

In a correction to our previous news item on the Trojan Records 40th Anniversary remix series, note that Justin Robertson's funk/breaks remix of The Pioneers' "(I Need Your) Sweet Inspiration" is out now, and Fatboy Slim's downtempo/hip-hop remix of The Charmers' "Rudeboy Train" will be released on September 3.

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