Canadian authorities have shut down prolific pirate reggae CD manufacturer Audiomaxxx.com. A raid was conducted after a lengthy investigation and complaints from major labels like VP Records, as well as many smaller, independent ones. CBC News reported that Raj Singh Ramgotra, the principal behind Audiomaxxx, was arrested and that police seized more than 200,000 music CDs and DVDs, numerous movies, thousands of blank discs, five CD/DVD burning towers, four color copiers, and other office equipment. The Boycott Audiomaxxx website has chronicled the busted site’s many transgressions over the past three years.
Following the success of their three-part New York soundclash finale, promoters Irish and Chin are readying the eighth installment of World Clash Jamaica: Death Before Dishonor. The event will take place Easter Monday, March 24, at Pier One in Montego Bay, and opens with a special Vintage Tribute featuring selectors David Rodigan, King Jammy's, Black Scorpio, Downbeat, and others. The Main Event line-up includes 2007 victors Mighty Crown, Black Kat, Tony Matterhorn and more. 8,000 people are expected to attend, causing the promoters to comment, “With lots in store for this year's event, sound clash fans should only draw for their best lighters, horns and whistles!”
Also upcoming for Bay Area reggae fans, the fourth annual Club Dread Sound Clash takes place Saturday, March 29 at Pier 23 Café in San Francisco. The events pits local sounds Broken Silence, Lone Star, Reality Sound, and Jah Warrior Shelter head-to-head.
Fueling Jamaica’s thirst for passa passa (gossip) and tabloid headlines, a number of news sources are reporting on the latest song disses and dancehall beefs. XNews reports on alleged friction between DJ Determine and Capleton over Determine’s single, “Science,” which lambastes the entire reggae fraternity, accusing artists of engaging in dark arts. Certain verses appear to swipe at Capleton, with lyrics like “dem shoulda know ah St. Mary mi come from, and yu know that a science land, don.” Determine also calls out Bounty Killer’s Alliance and Beenie Man and Vegas, blaming their woes on "science." “Ah just humor,” Determine told XNews, adding that he has nothing but respect for Capleton.
Meanwhile, Mavado and Vybz Kartel are trading lyrical shots. One876 is reporting that Portmore Empire leader Vybz Kartel and Alliance’s Mavado both voiced tracks targeting each other on Stephen McGregor’s Daybreak Riddim. 876 also speculated that former Arrows studio stalemates and fellow new-comer artists I-Octane and Teflon are beefing. Teflon, however, has played down any suggestion of conflict between he and Octane. "Is not any beef thing, is just a clarification of certain things," Teflon said. "I was at Arrows and some things go down, and mi lef, me and Octane nuh really have no beef still."
VP Records vocalist Etana is OutARoad.com’s March artist of the month. The conscious female singer’s message-laden music recalls reggae greats Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley, mixed with Tracy Chapman and Indie Arie’s organic soul. The August Town, Jamaica-born singer will release her debut, Etana The Strong One on VP later this year.
Sly & Robbie protégé Cherine Anderson is on the move in 2008, with nuff new projects, including a new mixtape titled Street Anthems. Anderson appeared in the film Dancehall Queen, and later began recording music. She recently appeared alongside Chuck Fenda on the hit “Coming Over.”
Lauren Hill, who’s married to Rohan Marley, has been tapped to portray her step-mom, Rita Marley, in the forthcoming film No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley. “She sees my life as her life,” said Rita to Reggae Report. No Woman No Cry will chronicle the Marley’s 15-year marriage, right up to his untimely passing from cancer on May 11, 1981. Rita Marley will be the film’s executive producer and commented, “I’ve waited a long time to tell this story.”
A brand new double-CD from VP titled The Sweet Sounds of Cocoa Tea is the first ever career retrospective for Cocoa Tea, who ascended from a humble Clarendon parish fishing village to become a top '80s and '90s dancehall singer. The set covers Cocoa Tea's prolific career, including recordings with producers "Junjo" Lawes, King Jammy, Digital B, and others.
Longtime Leicester, U.K. electronic dub purveyors Vibronics unleashed their latest album, UK Dub Story, this month. The group describes its dub music community as “the underground of underground music cultures; a scene that is thriving more than ever, despite a total lack of mainstream media coverage.” UK Dub Story is available now on Vibtronics' Scoops label.
For a behind the scenes taste of reggae concert action, view the trailer for the recently released Reggae Uncensored DVD, starring Adiona, Collie Buddz, Sizzla, Beenie Man, Damien "Junior Gong" Marley, Sean Paul, and more.
1. Serani feat Bugle “Doh” (Daseca)
2. Harry Toddler “Don't Run In” (Truck Back)
3. Busy Signal “Pon Di Edge” (Star Kutt)
4. Mykal Rose “Shoot Out” (John John)
5. Erup “Click My Finger” Truck Back
6. Voicemail “Bembe” (Big Ship)
7. Demarco “Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten” (John John)
8. Charly Black “Nuff Love/Buddy Buddy” (M/Bass)
9. Bugle “Journey” (Daseca)
10. Busy Signal “Nah Go A Jail” (Jam 2)