The next DJ to bus’ from London to Kingston looks to be thuggy-singjay Munga Honorable, whose track “Earthquake” is sizzling on BBC1xtra and other dancehall radio shows.Skinhead reggae is alive, well, and living in L.A. The Aggrolites sound a lot like vintage ’70s reggae acts The Pioneers, The Melodians, or Clancy Eccles–earning fanatical acclaim from English skins via Trojan Records’ 20 Reggae Hits collections. The Hellcat label act is currently touring in support of its third release, Reggae Hit L.A. Catch the crew in Colorado at the High Desert Ska Fest on June 9.
Morgan Heritage, Tanya Stephens, Anthony B, Fantan Mojah, and Collie Buddz will appear at Reggae Rising, August 3-5, at Dimmick Ranch, French’s Camp, Humboldt County, California–the former site of Reggae on the River.
Grammy-winning reggae act Inner Circle sent a press release this week alerting the media to an imposter group touring as Inner Circle. The statement read “…persons unknown are illegally advertising themselves as Inner Circle. They are using our trademark, name, and likeness to perform the following dates: May 18, Porto Alegre, May 19, Estrela, and May 25, Florianopolis. This is not in any way affiliated with Inner Circle.” The band has released several excellent singles, including “Smoke In My Eyes” and “Blood a Run Featuring Jr. Reid,” since finding success with 1993’s “Bad Boys,” (a.k.a. the COPS theme).
Looking for your favorite reggae act’s MySpace page or official website? Look no further than Top 5 Jamaica, an excellent search engine for all things Yard.
Richie Spice will be a no-show for three bookings. The “Brown Skin” singer hit a roadblock at the backlogged Jamaican visa/customs office and will not perform in the US until after June 10. Consequently, Fifth Element Records has postponed Spice’s shows at Martha's Vineyard (May 26), Club Tobago, NY (May 27), and Westchester Reggae Festival, NY (June 3).
Riddim check: A number of new singles will be hitting shops this week. Up-and-coming imprint Danger Zone debuts the Jamdown riddim, a seriously rootsy one-drop affair. Find tracks like Buju Banton’s “Love Needs,” Jr. Kelly’s “Always,” and Lutan Fyah’s “Mightier Than Them” on this version. The label with the yellow graffiti logo, Kickin, presents its new Rewind (a.k.a. D. Brown’s “No More Will I Roam”) riddim–an apt name for its revival of the Jah Cure hit, “Situation Get Out of Control.” That track reappears with Jah Mason joining Cure on vocals, and joins other singles on the riddim by Capleton, Sizzla, and Norrisman. Nocturnal Music offers up a Fireball; its newest beat features 7 inches by “The Messenger” Luciano (“Better Day”), Ras David (“Herbal Healing”), Determine (“Hear My Cry”), and Yami Bolo (“Everyday Story”), among others. Dancehall fans should listen for the Doublekick. The new riddim from Black Warriahz showcases singles by Elephant Man, Ghost & Roundhead, Lady G, and Macka Diamond.
Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah’s book Joseph: A Rasta Reggae Fable (Macmillan Press) is to be made into a feature film. Ras Kassa, one of the siblings of The Harder They Come director Perry Henzell, will set the tome to celluloid. Sizzla will make a cameo appearance, while reggae historian Roger Steffens will play the role of Sam.