Pon Di Wire
The mysterious, echo-laden sounds of Jamaican dubwise music are again under the historical and critical spotlight. Michael Veal (pictured), author and associate professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University, presents a new look at vintage dub in Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan Press). Studio legends like Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Errol Thompson, and Lee "Scratch" Perry are featured in the book, which traces remix production techniques back to their 1970s Kingston origins.
Rush dem a rush: A number of new artists with intriguing names have entered the Jamaican charts. Dancehall “draft pick”–the up and coming sing-jay Movado (pictured)–sees his “Last Night” (TJs) hold a steady place in the top five, and he’s joined by newcomer Erup, whose “Run Dem Head” chastises men ruled by their mates. Also in the charts, roots singer Ginjah’s “Music Alone” (I-Land) comes in at number seven, while the Niahbinghi-drum built “Holy Words” by fast rising singer Bescenta, along side Warrior King, rounds out the top 20. Other new names in the mix include Munga, Nanko, and Aidonia, who have all scored hits and proved that Jamaican music continually replenishes itself.
If you thought former Marine and reggae performer Shaggy was retired as of “It Wasn’t Me,” think again. The multi-platinum and Grammy winning artist is back big-time with his religious critique “Church Heathen,” off a forthcoming VP/Big Yard album expected to be released this summer. “Heathan” spent seven weeks at Number One on Jamaica’s dancehall chart, and holds the top spot in St. Lucia and New York Reggae charts as well. Check out the “Church Heathen” video, with special guest appearances by the legendary Ninja Man, who plays the role of the pastor.
Get your sound clash game on at Infinite Wheel. Hours of sound-effect dub fun, complete with flash animation to make you smile. Play video games like “One Love” and “Little Axe,” based on old-school roots and dub cuts.
One 876 is reporting that Jamaican entertainer Anthony B was freed of a possession of ganja charge when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court Thursday, April 5. The artist, whose real name is Keith Anthony Blair, along with his road manager, Michael Johnson, were freed as Resident Magistrate Desiree Alleyne upheld a no case submission made by lead defense attorney Bert Samuels, who represented the two. According to the police, narcotics officers swooped down on a house at Gordon Town, St. Andrew, in June last year, and found 18 pounds of ganja at the premises.
Read how Jamaicans are reacting to Britain’s recent commemorations of the abolition of African slavery in its colonies 200 years ago. Professor Carolyn Cooper, of the University of the West Indies, says personal apologies mean nothing. "What Britain needs to do as a nation is acknowledge the scale and magnitude of the crimes it committed, and then having made that acknowledgment, find the appropriate way to right historic wrongs."
Pon Di Wire
England’s Auralux Recordings has released a new album of Scientist and Prince Jammy dub cuts. Dub Landing Volume 2 features 10 previously unreleased vintage selections that bubble and splash with roots rhythms, and are liberally treated with spring reverb and space echoes.
Dancehall MC Don Yute (born Jason Williams), who has had an occasional “big tune” in the last decade, as well as recorded in both hip-hop and UK garage styles, is again stoking his musical fire. Yute has sparked interest with the singles “Oooh Baby,” featuring Da'Ville on Super Hype's label, “Gangsta Time,” with Spragga Benz on the Power Cut rhythm, and “Gwaan Bad,” on DJ Karim's Pepper Spray rhythm. His new album, Boobilous, will be released by Slip N Slide, and features his labelmate Ms. Triniti, the Ying Yang Twins, Trick Daddy, Pit Bull, Akon, and Beenie Man.
Irie One brings national reggae club listings to your mobile device with its new Irie One M service. Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and other metro-area residents are just one click away from instant reggae club listings via this innovative and reliable service.
On March 15, one devoted dub fan picked up an original King Tubby soundsystem bass bin cabinet. The item was auctioned on eBay and was sold for a winning bid of $617 (plus $400 shipping!).
Better Must Come is a new DVD movie by Jamaican director Storm, concerning the island’s turbulent political situation in the ‘’70s. A song of the same name by Delroy Wilson was adopted by then-candidate Michael Manley, who went on to win the Prime Minister seat in 1972. The film is set in 1976 and stars American Roger Guenveur Smith (A Huey P. Newton Story) as the Prime Minister's avatar, while Everaldo Creary portrays one of his well-armed supporters.
Zahra Redwood made history in Jamaica when she became the first Rastafarian to win a beauty competition in the country. She was crowned Ms. Jamaica Universe two Sundays ago, beating out 13 other young ladies for the coveted title. Ms Redwood will now move on to represent Jamaica at the Miss Universe pageant held in May in Mexico City.
The aforementioned King Tubby bass bin unit.