Trojan Records’ celebrity mix series (where influential artists cull their all-time favorites tracks from the Trojan vaults) continues, with the October 15 release of The Orb–I’ll Be Black, a double-disc set compiled by The Orb’s Dr. Alex Patterson. The Orb pioneered early ’90s ambient electronic music and produced reggae-influenced tracks such as “Towers of Dub” and the 17-minute epic “Blue Room.” I’ll Be Black features Trojan classics from Alton Ellis, John Holt, Ken Boothe, and King Tubby, as well as three new, unreleased songs by The Orb in collaboration with producer Mad Professor.
Frank lifestyle magazine released The Tuff Gong Book, which chronicles the history and present work of Bob Marley’s famous recording establishment. Marley’s son Rohan guides the issue, which introduces us to Juicy, Tuff Gong’s resident juice vendor for 30 years, Blacka Pearl, a Jamaican soccer legend, and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, who explains Jamaican riddim culture.
VP’s new vintage imprint 17 North Parade (an homage to the Kingston, Jamaica street where the label was born) is open for business. The label will reissue major works from the extensive catalogs of producers and labels, including Joe Gibbs, George Phang's Power House imprint (circa ’82-'84), King Jammy, Gussie Clark’s Music Works label (where Shabba Ranks and Brian & Tony Gold first broke out), and Donovan Germain's Penthouse (home to Wayne Wonder, Buju Banton, and Beres Hammond). Current releases on 17 North Parade include Yellowman’s rare Just Cool album, the Culture and Don Carlos collaboration entitled Roots & Culture, and Little John’s classic Ghetto Youths.
Miami-based electro/dancehall artist Supersoul’s imprint Metatronix releases the More Power project on October 2, with tracks by Anthony B and Sizzla remixed by underground dance artists The Bug, Elliot Lipp, DMX Krew, High Priest, and Funckarma.
In news and gossip: Riddim JA is reporting that Macka Diamondthreatened newcomer MC and self-proclaimed “Thug Gal” Stacious (pictured left) in a New Kingston nightclub. Details are still being confirmed. Dancehall artist Kulcha Don has denied being the father of rapper Foxy Brown’s unborn child. Brown, who is currently serving time behind bars for violating conditions of probation, is reportedly three months pregnant. Kulcha Don, who teamed up with Beenie Man last year on the track “Drive You Crazy,” says he dated Brown for a few months earlier this year, but claims, “I am definitely not the father.” Dancehall news source One876 has the latest on Bounty Killer’s new single, singer Pincher’s son’s success, and other passa passa.
Baldhead Selector’s Mash it Up! club night donates part of its proceeds to Jamaica’s Alpha Boys School, the famous academy where ska musicians Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, and Dizzy Moore, and singers Leroy Smart and Desmond Dekker learned their craft. The night takes place Saturday, October 20 at Lark in the Park, 60 Copenhagen Street, London, UK.