Dub . Reggae . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady

WEEK STARTING 24 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of Happy Hour by Hollie Cook.

Hollie Cook

Happy Hour

    With Happy Hour, her ravishing new LP, Hollie Cook matures into the queen of modern day “lovers rock”—the lush girly harmony reggae style beloved in Britain since the 1970s. Evolution rings from the bittersweet opening title track; tender yet assertive, Hollie’s voice caresses evocative lyrics through the arrangement’s tumbling changes.

    Hollie dares to invite listeners into her true personality through these alluring songs, which she co-produced with her General Roots band members Ben Mckone and Luke Allwood, and executive producer Youth.

    “Particularly with the songwriting, I was trying to really push myself and be open, to not be restricted in any way. I have always been a fan of theatrical pop music and wanted to experiment more with the song form.” Indeed, the dizzying arrangement of “Gold Girl” shows Hollie as boldly orchestrated, cinematic. “Now I don’t shy away from it when I want to be dramatic,” she declares.

    The record itself is a product of great drama: the pandemic. After eight years of touring together, General Roots—keyboards man Luke Allwood, drummer Ben Mckone, guitarist Joe Price, and bassist James Mckone—have truly become Hollie’s band. They all spent quarantine together, honing songs they had started writing pre-COVID. “I used to definitely lean on my producers (Prince Fatty and Youth), but my vision was always to write and produce with my band,” she explains. “We are a circle of trust.”

    Full of emotion, leaning into healing and understanding, Hollie’s lyrics on Happy Hour speak directly to our pain and confusion and steer us towards resolution on tracks like “Moving On,” “Unkind Love,” and “Love in the Dark.” The album’s closer, “Praying,” is inspired by a trauma in her close friendship circle. “I was feeling raw and had to figure out how to find strength and express myself in a time of crisis, where to turn if you are not of a particular faith,” she says. Though spiritual, Hollie is no saint, inviting us to rave on “Move My Way,” which she describes as “a party song inspired by the Notting Hill Carnival.” Hollie is also a wise woman—literally the “Full Moon Baby” she summons so seductively. And like any good witch, Hollie understands the power of medicinal herbs on “Kush Kween,” her collaboration with Jamaican singer Jah9. These are love incantations that would be wrong to resist. “It’s about finding a space where you can reach for moments of light, love, and self-care,” she explains.

    Touring as a teenager with punk legends The Slits encouraged the fierceness within her sweetness. Hollie’s mentor was Ari Up, the band’s lead singer and a lifelong friend of Cook’s parents (Sex Pistols drummer Paul and her singer mother Jeni). “My father always said I would be a singer. But I discovered lovers rock on my own. I heard it on pirate radio and at friends’, and I was bewildered, enchanted,” she recalls. “The Slits are the reason I have pursued this career. I was surrounded by powerful women at a young age, and when my time came, I was never fazed by male dominance. They were my wall of courage.”

    From those feisty roots, Hollie has only grown. Her soulful directness on Happy Hour is relatable and authentic. “I can’t get away from it,” she says. “Making this music that I love, I do turn deep inside myself. It makes me explore a lot of human truths and feelings that we should not shy away from, and it feels like a release to turn them into songs.” — Vivien Goldman.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Hollie Cook's new LP has all the swooning beauty of her previous outing, Vessel Of Love but this time leans even more heavily into traditional pop structures, leaving the sound both wilfully pristine and undeniably catchy. The perfect summer album.

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A
    1. Happy Hour
    2. Moving On
    3. Full Moon Baby
    4. Kush Kween (featuring Jah9)
    5. Unkind Love
    SIDE B
    6. Gold Girl
    7. Love In The Dark
    8. Move My Way
    9. Praying

    Various Artists

    Greensleeves Ganja Anthems (RSD22 EDITION)

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      A vintage crop of ten Herbalist anthems that put the green in Greensleeves for an exclusive RSD LP edition of the previous CD only 'Hi-Grade Ganja Anthems' - all pressed on herb green vinyl of course. 'Hi Grade Ganja Anthems' - Solomon Grave approved - blaze it up!

      Various Artists

      Soul Jazz Records Presents 100% Dynamite (RSD22 EDITION)

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        This is a new one-off limited-edition special edition yellow coloured vinyl pressing of Soul Jazz Records seminal reggae meets funk and soul collection. 100% Dynamite is the cornerstone of Soul Jazz Records releases and launched their long-running series of highly-regarded reggae albums. This album is the fully expanded version and comes with download code.

        This new coloured vinyl expanded edition is exclusively for Record Store Day 2022. Since the album's original release, 100% Dynamite has become a cornerstone of funky reggae music. Eighteen killer tracks that show the influence that American Jazz, Funk and Soul music had on Jamaican Reggae. The album was Soul Jazz Records first foray into the mighty vaults of Studio One and many of the tracks featured come from the legendary label. 100% Dynamite features come serious and heavyweight Jamaican funk by Jackie Mittoo, The Upsetters and Toots & The Maytals, alongside the cream of Jamaican jazz musicians such as Tommy McCook, Cedric Brooks and Lennie Hibbert.

        "100% Dynamite is among the finest compilations ever assembled" The Quietus.

        Various Artists

        Soul Jazz Records Presents Studio One Classics (RSD22 EDITION)

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2022 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          Soul Jazz Records new 20th anniversary one-off limited-edition heavyweight special-edition purple coloured double vinyl pressing + download code and striking Wailers alternative gatefold sleeve only available for Record Store Day 2022.

          **MUCH NEEDED REPRESS OF THIS PHENOMINAL SOUL - REGGAE CROSSOVER ALBUM!!**

          If you're a regular shopper at Piccadilly Records, you can't have missed the onslaught of Dynamics 45s over the past year. Their brief is a simple one; take some classic pop songs and remake them in a reggae style, but each cover is done so well that they've proved to be completely irresistible - their White Stripes "7 Nation Army" version was our biggest selling reggae tune for 2007. This album brings together all the best cuts from the 45s, and throws in a few newies too. Essential.

          TRACK LISTING

          The Dynamic Sound
          Girls And Boys
          7 Nation Army
          Land Of 1000 Dances
          Rockit
          Green Onions
          Miss You (Long Edit)
          Brothers On The Slide
          Lay Lady Lay
          Whole Lotta Love
          90 % Of Me Is You
          Music
          Feel Like Making Love
          The Creator Has A Masterplan
          Fever
          Move On Up

          El Michels Affair Meets Liam Bailey

          Ekundayo Inversions (Instrumentals)

            By popular demand, we are proud to present Ekundayo Inversions (Instrumentals).

            Liam Bailey released his debut album Ekundayo on the label at the end of 2020, then in the Summer of 2021 El Michels Affair took the tapes from that and did a dub version of the album in his own style aptly titled Ekundayo Inversions. Both of these releases quickly became cult classics in their own right. The chemistry between Liam and producer Leon Michels is undeniable, each pushing the other to new places in their sounds. Here we take the vocals out of the mix and focus on the production and the players pulling instrumentals versions from both the Ekundayo album and the Ekundayo Inversions album.

            This is a limited one time pressing of 1000 pieces.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side A
            Conquer & Divide (Instrumental)
            She Hates This Life (Instrumental)
            Angel Dust (Instrumental)
            Don’t Blame Ny (Instrumental)
            Cold & Clear (Instrumental)
            White Light (Instrumental)
            Side B
            Ugly Truth (Instrumental)
            Angel Face (Instrumental)
            Walk With Me (Instrumental)
            King (Instrumental)
            Where Do I Start? (Instrumental)
            Faded (Instrumental)
            Awkward (Take 2) (Instrumental)

            The Heptones

            In A Dancehall Style

              The Heptones are a Jamaican rocksteady and reggae vocal trio. They were a significant force in that played a major role in the gradual transition between ska and rocksteady into reggae with their three-part harmonies.

              The Heptones: Barry Llewellyn, Earl Morgan & Dolphin ‘Naggo’ Morris.

              TRACK LISTING

              Music Vibes
              My Home Town
              Island Woman
              Peace & Love
              Botheration
              Feeling Busted
              Teardrops
              Secret Love Affairs
              Girl, You Are On My Mind
              Distant Land

              Various Artists

              Reggae, Roots & Culture Vol. 2

                Just like Global Beats’ first installment of their Reggae, Roots & Culture series, Vol. 2 is a showcase album with each vocal track followed by matching dubs, some of which are exclusive to this collection.

                All were produced by UK reggae duo Mafia & Fluxy - two brothers who’ve often been compared to Sly & Robbie, and have played on countless Jamaican and European hits over the years. Such high praise for this ace rhythm section is well deserved, as anyone listening to this album can tell you.

                Each of these essential tracks has been chosen with DJs in mind, and are guaranteed to excite roots crowds, who’ll thrill to hear top drawer artists revisit some of their classic hits over powerful rhythms that follow the original blueprint, yet sound fresh and new. Mafia & Fluxy’s musical gifts stem from the love and respect they have for reggae music’s proud heritage, and that’s why the legends assembled here - most of whom they also backed on stage - were always happy to work with them and Gregory Isaacs, the Cool Ruler, in particular.

                Johnny Osbourne’s Truth And Rights and this dubplate mix of Horace Andy’s Skylarking were initially hits for Studio One, whilst it was early Mafia & Fluxy mentor Bunny Lee who first took Barry Brown, Linval Thompson and Johnny Clarke into the studio for their tracks. The latter’s None Shall Escape The Judgment is accompanied here by a previously unreleased horns mix; Dennis Brown’s Want More is a rare steppers’ version and Max Romeo’s Reverend isn’t the album cut, but another unmissable dubplate mix, making Reggae, Roots & Culture Vol. 2 an indispensable addition to any selector’s record box.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side 1
                1. Johnny Osbourne - Truth & Rights
                2. Dub Of Rights
                3. Gregory Isaacs - Wah Dee
                4. Wah Dub
                5. Dennis Brown - Want More (Steppas Mix)

                Side 2
                6. Want More (Dub Steppas Mix)
                7. Johnny Clarke - None Shall Escape The Judgement
                8. Dub Shall Escape (Horns Mix)

                Side 3
                9. Barry Brown - Step It Up
                10. Dub It Up
                11. Max Romeo - Reverend (Dubplate Mix)
                12. Reverend Dub (Dubplate Mix)

                Side 4
                13. Linval Thompson - Jah Is The Conqueror

                14. Dub The Conqueror
                15. Horace Andy - Skylarking (Dubplate Mix)
                16. Skylarking Dub (Dubplate Mix)

                Various Artists

                Sampled Reggae

                  A double vinyl compilation of the most frequently sampled reggae classics, ranging from cuts from the Legendary Lee Perry & The Upsetters to the classic sunsine sounds of Bob Marley to more modern lovers / reggae classics like Chaka Demus & Pliers and Beenie Man. A wide and varied selection of some of the greatest reggae classics to date.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters - Soul Fire
                  A2. Sister Nancy - Bam Bam
                  A3. Gregory Isaacs - Babylon Too Rough
                  A4. Wayne Smith - Under Me Sleng Teng
                  A5. Sheila Hylton - The Bed's Too Big Without You
                  A6. Black Uhuru - Happiness
                  B1. The Wailers - I Shot The Sheriff (Instrumental)
                  B2. John Holt - I Will
                  B3. The Mighty Diamonds - I Need A Roof
                  B4. Chaka Demus & Pliers - Murder She Wrote
                  B5. Ini Kamoze - Jump For Jah
                  C1. Bob Marley - Sun Is Shining
                  C2. The Melodians - Rivers Of Babylon
                  C3. Billy Boyo - One Spliff A Day
                  C4. Black Uhuru - General Penitentiary
                  C5. Sly & Robbie And Taxi Gang - Santa Barbara
                  D1. John Holt - I've Got To Get Away
                  D2. Sizzla - Solid As A Rock
                  D3. Beenie Man - Tear Off Mi Garment
                  D4. The Mighty Diamonds - Pass The Kutchie
                  D5. Ini Kamoze - World A Music


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