Pon Di Wire: New Reggae Albums, Heartbeat Reggae Podcast, Ninja Man
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Cambridge-based Heartbeat Records has launched a new website and podcast called the Heartbeat Reggae Podcast. Founded in 1981, Heartbeat is known for its vast collection of rare Studio One and Channel One recordings, and was one of the first American labels to broaden reggae’s U.S. fanbase. Boston radio deejay Joshua B hosts the podcast, which previews and features some of Heartbeat’s most famous albums. The most recent two casts highlight the When Rhythm Was King (classic Studio One riddims) and Roots Man Dub (Dudley “Manzie” Swaby-produced versions) releases.
Ninja Man has returned to his former Kingston neighborhood with an aim of bringing peace to the Marl Road community. The highly volatile community has seen a series of gang-related and political violence that has left several members of the community dead, others injured, and businesses and schools closed. In late October, the Don Gorgon deejay Ninja, along with members of the community, security forces, and Shocking Vibes producer Patrick Roberts, launched their initiative. According to Ninja, “Mi not begging di man dem. Dis is something mi demanding, that Marl Road become a model community for peace. I am not going to let Marl Road go down. I don’t want to be no area don either.”
The Gleaner has an interview with pioneering rub-a-dub era DJ duo Michigan & Smiley. The pair got its start at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label in the '70s and have been active performers and artists since.
The UK’s three-day weekend, Boss Sounds Reggae Festival 2007, kicks off up north at Newcastle Carling Academy, Newcastle, November 23, 24, and 25. The showcase features performances by revered ska and rocksteady vets, including "Judge Dread" Prince Buster, silky singer John Holt (formerly of rocksteady act The Paragons), reggae crooner Ken Boothe, comical toaster Eek A Mouse, and Studio One legend Dennis Alcapone. The show will also feature premier roots vocalist Max Romeo and the mighty Trojan Sound System (pictured above).
On Saturday, December 1, the Booyaka concert will pay homage to reggae’s deceased artists, producers, and musicians. In colloquial Jamaican speech, “booyaka” signifies respect or a positive acknowledgment. Paying their respects to greats like Dennis Brown and Panhead will be Jack Scorpio, Merritone, and Kilimanjaro sound systems crews. Additionally, 44 reggae icons will be recognized on a Wall of Fame. Photographs and other historical information will also be on display.
According to the Star News, this holiday's season's hottest riddims will include Flava's 83 riddim (featuring Queen Ifrica’s hit “Daddy”). The Star's Sharlene Suss also recommends we "look out for Delly Ranks new [riddim], Shoota."
New Albums in Stores Now
Cultural Roots Hell A Go Pop (Greensleeves)
A reissue of the vocal trio’s finest '80s roots album.
Daddy Rings The Most High (Rockers Town)
The underrated conscious reggae singjay splashes out with his best album to date.
Turbulence Love Me For Me (Love Injection)
The rough and gruff Bobo dread’s latest collection.
Ras Attitude Trodding Home (Green Sphere)
Virgin Island singer and DJ adds to already substantial album output.
Mikey General Confidence In Jah Self (Qabalah)
Smooth-toned roots singer Mikey General’s excellent new set.
DJ Andy Smith Trojan Document (Trojan)
Portishead producer and hip-hop head takes on vintage Trojan cuts.
Strictly One Drop 2007 (Cousins)
Double-disc set of great one-drop reggae sounds from Sizzla, Natural Black, Maxi Priest, Lutan Fyah and more.
Reggae Rare Grooves (P-Vine Japan)
Zap Pow, The Chosen Few, Lloyd Parks and more get funky with ‘70s American-soul-inspired reggae covers.
Jamaica’s Reggae Top Ten Singles Chart
1. Etana “Roots” (Freemind)
2. Sizzla “Show More Love” (Feed The Children)
3. Richie Spice “The World Is A Cycle” (Fresh Ear)
4. Edee & Irie Love “Revolution” (Unseen Label)
5. Noddy Virtue “Sang To Me” (Reflection)
6. Cocoa Tea “Poverty” (Minor 7 Flat 5)
7. Demarco “Fallen Soldiers” (Star Kutt)
8. Cecile “I'm Waiting” (Danger Zone)
9. Little Hero “Praise God” (Inspire)
10. Christopher Martin “Take My Love” (Fresh Ear)
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