MAGIC MIX

Reggae . Dub . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady

WEEK STARTING 29 Jul

Genre pick of the week Cover of Randy's Studio 17 Sessions 1969-1976 by Various Artists.
In 1959, on the corner of East St and Tower St in downtown Kingston Vincent Chin opened a small record shop named after Randys Records in Gallatin, Tennessee, an emporium where many of the early Jamaican sound systems used to buy their rhythm & blues records from. Two years later the shop moved to more spacious premises at 17 North Parade in the heart of Kingston’s commericial district where Randy’s Record Mart rapidly established itself as one of Jamaica’s leading retail and wholesale outlets.

Vincent also produced records. Jamaica declared its independence in the summer of 1962 to the sound of Lord Creators ‘Independent Jamaica’ produced by Vincent and released on his Randy’s Creative Calypso label.
This is an examplary selection of Bunny 'Striker' Lee’s recordings at Randy’s Studio 17. Compiled for this release, while some were recorded entirely there others are the products of Bunny’s legendary mix and match approah with rhythm tracks laid at randys and the voiced elsewhere.


Barry Brown

Meets The Scientist At King Tubby's With The Roots Radics

Awesome album from the Midnight Rock archives featuring one of Jamaica’s most renowned singers with the Roots Radics plus dubs from the legendary Scientist. All the tracks feature the seminal Roots Radics Band, and the album includes a vocal version and a dub version of each track - the dubs laid down by the legendary Scientist. Recorded at the master King Tubby’s studio.

Equiknoxx are one of the hottest, most innovative dancehall squads from Jamaica right now; Bird Sound Power is their debut collective show of strength, packing 12 avant, crooked riddims by core members Gavsborg and Time Cow, plus Bobby Blackbird and Kofi Knoxx, with vocals by Kemikal, Shanique Marie and JOE (RIP).

The set was parsed and pieced together by Jon K & Demdike Stare , and now thanks to link ups via Swing Ting’s Balraj Samrai (a longtime livicated supporter), it is issued on Demdike’s DDS imprint, replete with Jon K’s sleeve design.

Easily identified by the squawking bird idents peppering their cuts, Equiknoxx productions have been big in the dance since Gavin Blair aka Gavsborg produced Busy Signal’s billboard hit Step Out in 2005, followed by key instrumentals for Beenie Man, Aidonia, Masicka, and T.O.K. - with many released on 7” thru their Equiknoxx Musiq label, and some of which, such as Aidonia’s Negative, are included in this set.

'Bird Sound Power' arguably marks up the most striking riddim album you’ll hear from JA in 2016, weighted with the potential to open up perceptions of current dancehall thanks to the mad character and broad reference points of its producers, encompassing King Jammy’s foundational digi-dub and Dave Kelly’s Mad House sound as much as rugged New York hip hop and the wiggedout, feminine pressure of Virginia Beach’s Timbaland or The Neptunes.

The oldest tune inside dates to 2009, but the rest are relatively recent dancehall mutations, including a number of exclusives produced in the last 12 months. Each one reps for Equiknoxx’s unique aspects, such as Jordan Chung a.k.a. Time Cow’s brilliantly bizarre, layered arrangements of film samples, sawn-off hooks and digi-tight beats, whilst also a result of as their distinguished family vibe, Bird Sound Power exists in a paradox, contemporary but classic, and with as much potential to turn new heads onto current JA sounds as Mowax’s Now Thing set back in 2001, which remains a key touchstone for all fwd looking producers..

Mojo

September 2016

    Bob Marley graces the cover of MOJO magazine this month, 35 years since his untimely death. 1976 is the year in focus, a momentous one for reggae that coincided with turmoil in Jamaica and ended with a brutal assassination attempt on Marley himself. Our covermount CD is also reggae-themed, with 15 tracks of JA classics from Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Don Drummond, Jimmy Cliff and more. Also in the issue: David Bowie’s lost album sees the light, plus the magick and madness of Station To Station; how to fail in style with The Replacements; the R&B legacy of Graham Bond; Riot Grrrl remembered; UK reggae on the rise. Not to mention: The B52’s; Angel Olsen; Scotty Moore; Ramones; Jarvis Cocker’s Mindblowers; the Who, Springsteen and Beck hit the stage; Jimmy Webb’s Self Portrait and more!

    Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus

    Numbered Days / Dub 460 Add Years In The West

    Magnificent nyabinghi roots warning.

    The one-and-only Eric Frater is drafted in from Studio One, playing killer rhythm guitar (with Chinna on lead); and likewise Dennis Ferron - Jah D - who leads the way with his spiritualized keyboard-work, keening between jazz and soul. You can hear Puma from Black Uhuru, singing with the Sons. Geoffrey Chung at Dynamic expertly pulls in the bass drum and doubled-up fundas and repetas, keeping the mix raw and alive.

    The dub in particular is stunning - thumping, trenchant and brooding, so steeply dread and haunted it almost trips over its sense of yawning silence and doom.

    Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus

    Promised Land Sounds

    Rockin live ruff and tuff', this is the untrammelled counterpart to Dadawah, six years later in 1980, fresh from the Black Ark: free, rawly spiritual trance-music; a full-force nyabinghi freak-out.

    The drummers are headlong and rollicking, thunderous and explosive. Even more so than Dadawah, the mix is ecstatically echoey; giddily dubwise without let-up. Ras Michael himself sings from the mountain-top, like he just don’t care - at the top of his lungs, in voices, screeching like a bird - with the delirious abandonment otherwise owned in reggae by Lee Perry.
    Amongst the uncredited performances swirled into proceedings, there are squiggles of flute straight from the Upsetters song-book, the minor-key organ stabs and abstraction of electric space-jazz, and sax-playing more attuned to the Headhunters than the Blazing Horns. (I Ya I in particular is a stunning fifteen minutes.)

    This is the real thing, music without affectation. Pure reggae. Sun Ra fans should love it; anyone with ears to hear.

    Prepared and manufactured at Abbey Road, D&M and Pallas; beautifully presented in rigid, old-school, tip-on sleeves, with matt-coated fronts and untreated-paper backs; 180g vinyl.

    ‘These sounds are sounds of inspiration and love and culture to the universal benefit of mankind… So therefore meditate and stop hate.'
    Very hotly recommended.

    New 7” by Smoke Signals, showcasing their effortless sense for melody with a lush cloudy dub aesthetic. The result is like hearing Jackie Mitto trying out a plethora of synthesizers in a hardware store. "A Very Powerful Spell" has elements of Augustus Pablo, Jahtari and Lee Perry all nicely brewed together over a dusty mixing desk. "Lightheaded" on the flip has a more steppas riddim to proceedings, over which Smoke Signals lace rampant tape delays, cavernous plate reverbs and phazed, psychdelic guitar licks. A most excellent dub that should work wonders on the floor. Excellent stuff. 

    Various Artists

    Original Dub Classics

      Trojan introduce a genre-themed vinyl album range aimed at satisfying the demands of Jamaican music fans of all persuasions - from hardcore collectors to casual buyers.

      Pressed on high quality vinyl and presented in handsomely designed sleeves that convey an authentic yet contemporary feel, each LP focuses on a specific style, ranging from vintage mento to modern dancehall, with the first three in the series highlighting the ever-popular sounds of ska, dub and classic reggae.

      Over the coming months every major genre will be highlighted on further equally compelling collections, ensuring fans of all Jamaican music styles are satisfied.

      Every album will be exhaustively promoted via Trojan’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube channel and mailing list, with reviews actively solicited from all the major music periodicals and online sites.

      Since Jamaica’s independence the island’s music industry has blossomed from an almost insignificant local business into a hugely successful global concern.

      Featured on this hard and heavy set are 10 of the finest dub mixes from the Seventies and early Eighties, mixed by its most influential exponents, including such giants as King Tubby, Lee Perry, King Jammy and Scientist.

      Various Artists

      Original Reggae Classics

        Trojan introduce a genre-themed vinyl album range aimed at satisfying the demands of Jamaican music fans of all persuasions - from hardcore collectors to casual buyers.

        Pressed on high quality vinyl and presented in handsomely designed sleeves that convey an authentic yet contemporary feel, each LP focuses on a specific style, ranging from vintage mento to modern dancehall, with the first three in the series highlighting the ever-popular sounds of ska, dub and classic reggae.

        Over the coming months every major genre will be highlighted on further equally compelling collections, ensuring fans of all Jamaican music styles are satisfied.

        Every album will be exhaustively promoted via Trojan’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube channel and mailing list, with reviews actively solicited from all the major music periodicals and online sites.

        Since Jamaica’s independence the island’s music industry has blossomed from an almost insignificant local business into a hugely successful global concern.

        During these past five decades an array of Jamaican talent has graced charts the world over and this essential album features a dozen of the very best, including UK Number One hits from Desmond Dekker, Dave & Ansel Collins, Ken Boothe and Althea & Donna.

        Various Artists

        Original Ska Classics

          Trojan introduce a genre-themed vinyl album range aimed at satisfying the demands of Jamaican music fans of all persuasions - from hardcore collectors to casual buyers.

          Pressed on high quality vinyl and presented in handsomely designed sleeves that convey an authentic yet contemporary feel, each LP focuses on a specific style, ranging from vintage mento to modern dancehall, with the first three in the series highlighting the ever-popular sounds of ska, dub and classic reggae.

          Over the coming months every major genre will be highlighted on further equally compelling collections, ensuring fans of all Jamaican music styles are satisfied.

          Every album will be exhaustively promoted via Trojan’s website, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube channel and mailing list, with reviews actively solicited from all the major music periodicals and online sites.

          The national sound of Jamaica throughout the early Sixties, the driving dance-friendly sounds of ska dominated the island’s music scene until the onset of rock steady late in 1966.

          Ska was later revived by a plethora of British based bands such as Madness, The Specials and The Selector and has since continued to remain popular around the globe.

          This collection brings together 12 of the biggest ska hits from its golden age, featuring some of the greatest exponents of the style.


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