Review: By now, you should know Devon Russell's sought-after 1984 cover of Curtis Mayfield classic "Move On Up", a incredible, post-disco era reggae-soul revision that just oozes sun-splashed positivity. It's virtually impossible to pick up the original 45 so this dinked reissue from Mukatsuku Records is most welcome and has been lovingly remastered. The seven-inch is also notable for including another overlooked gem from Russell's even lesser-known 1993 album of Mayfield covers, "Darker Than Blue". His rendition of "Give Me Your Love" here presented for the very first time in a 45 format is blissfully glassy-eyed, colourful and hazy, giving the Mayfield classic a decidedly Balearic reggae feel via head-nodding grooves, fluid synthesizer lines and jazzy guitar solos. In a word: brilliant.Supported so far by DJ Koco & DJ Muro from Japan and Craig Charles BBC 6 Music, The Allergies,Mr Thing, Andy Smith & Boca 45 from the uk....
Review: Nearly five years after the first seven-inch appeared, the seventh volume in J Rocc's on-point "Funky President Edits" series lands. As with the tracks contained on previous volumes, the showcased cuts have long been staples in his DJ sets and should be considered "tried and tested bombs". First up on side A is "Flight #2", a shuffling, ear-pleasing affair that combines jangling elements from a semi-acoustic Afro-Soul cut with borrowed chorus vocals and languid, laidback percussion. "Greddy Foot", on the other hand, is a low-slung funk bomb -a slightly dubbed-out revision of a James Brown original with additional vocal samples from other Godfather of Soul workouts.
Review: For the second salvo in their "loud cut series", the Harlem Shuffle label has raided the vaults of Lee 'Scratch' Perry's legendary studio band, "The Upsetters". On the A-side you'll find "Popcorn" from 1970's "Eastwood Rides Again" album, a hard-edged, Ska-era rhythm & blues rump-shaker that sounds like a Jamaican take on James Brown. The flipside plays host to "Tight Spot", a dubbed-out reggae riddim over which tight saxophone riffs ascend impressively while deejay/singer/mic man attempts to get the dance going with some choice words and phrases. Like the A-side, it's a genuine dancefloor workout.
Review: The Altered Tapes crew's sneaky remixes are amongst the finest around, as this latest must-check "45" proves. "Cherchez" has been doing the rounds for a couple of years digitally, so it's great to see it finally land on wax. It's a flip of Ghostface Killah's "Cherchez La Ghost", with the venerable rapper's verses rising above a weighty backing track crafted from hand picked samples of classic funk jams. Weighty and floor-friendly, it's the kind of bootleg revision that's guaranteed to get the party started. "Cherchez La B-Boy" on the flip strips out most of his vocals and instead chooses to base the action around fat funk breakbeats and an even more sizable bassline.
Review: Studio One have put out plenty of big tunes and this is the latest to get a big reissue on a super loud-cut 12" single for extra devastating impact. It's a well-known classic every self-respecting reggae fan should know and blows up any party, especially when tweaked like these two versions. They were originally produced by Studio One bossman Coxsone Dodd and have been covered by The Clash as well as sampled by The Fugees and hip hop MC KRS One. The snaking lead synth, the rumbling drums and classic ska trumpet are all straight up irresistible.
Review: George and Glen Miller are undoubtedly best known for their West End Records released 1982 boogie-soul classic "Touch Your Life". They released plenty of other records that flitted between soca, reggae, disco, and - in the latter stages of their career - electrofunk. "Easing", which appeared at some point at the turn of the '80s on London label Third World, remains one of their most potent releases - and, in its original form at least, formidably hard to find. This Soundway reissue wisely replicates the track list of the original release, beginning with the title track - a deliciously percussive, musically intricate chunk of peak-time disco smothered in sharp, Afro-funk style horns and George and Glen Miller's lilting reggae-soul style vocals. The flipside "Version" strips out the vocals, allowing listeners to hear in greater detail the pair's impeccable arrangements and instrumentations (particularly the fine orchestration and rich groove).
Review: The Kingstonians were a relatively short-lived Jamaican band whose greatest work was produced by Derek Harriott between 1968 and '70. It was at the tail end of this period that they recorded their sole album, "Sufferer", an early reggae classic featuring a swathe of sought-after cuts. It's from that set that these two tracks are taken. For the record, both have appeared on 7" singles before, but are so hard to find that collectors are willing to spend up to 500 Euros to find original copies. A-side "Hold Down" is particularly potent, with the vocal trio's fuzzy vocals rising above a killer early reggae rhythm much in Hammond organ stabs, warm bass and clipped guitars. "Nice, Nice" meanwhile is a more up-tempo affair that gives a little more prominence to a typical early reggae guitar riff. Together the two tracks make for a suitably scintillating package.
Review: "Fever" is one of Horace Andy's biggest hits. Amazingly, it has never been given its own release so Studio One has done the right thing and put it out on a super loud 12" for the first time. It first landed way back in 1973 before Andy rose to contemporary fame appearing with Massive Attack on five of their albums, but still hits hard. The lush vocals sit well in the swinging drums and bass, and makes it a sure fire dance floor destroyer that won't hang around. Comes accompanied with a Cedric "Im" Brooks instrumental version on the flip.
Review: In the early 1970s, a new musical art form emerged on the streets of Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago from the social unrest of the time. A group of young guys started to combine poetry with drumming and created the musical art form that is known today as Rapso. Lutalo 'Brother Resistance' Masimba was one of the pioneers of this movement and his 1987 anthem "Tonight Is de Night" receives a much-needed reissue here on Cree. There's much to enjoy on this 12" - we're particularly loving the groovy "Rapso Space Dub" and funky steel drum riddims of "Crucial Decision ('92 Version)". This is total spiritual life music.
Review: He's hardly prolific, but DJ/producer Del Gazeebo has been offering up occasional re-edits, mash-ups and bootleg reworks for longer than some of us have been alive. Here he begins 2020 in fine fashion with two party-hearty reworks guaranteed to get the dancefloor moving. Aside "Barbara Don't Love Me" is a bouncy, subtly beefed-up take on a horn-heavy 1960s soul/rhythm and blues classic that sounds like it would go down well at parties that love Northern Soul. Flipside "Dat Ting" meanwhile is a head-nodding take on a punchy soulful reggae cut underpinned by weighty bass and tight hip-hop beats.
Desmond Baker & The Clarendonians - "Rude Boy Gone A Jail"
The Wailers - "Good Good Rudie"
Dennis Brown - "Make It Easy On Yourself"
Wailing Souls - "Don't Fight It"
Dub Specialist - "Peace Theme"
Mr Foundation - "See Them A Come"
Dudley Sibley - "Run Boy Run"
Dennis Brown - "Johnny Too Bad"
Bob Andy - "Crime Don't Pay"
Soul Brothers - "Mr Kiss A Bang Bang"
Review: The latest Studio One release to be released on Soul Jazz Records features another fine selection of classic artists from the foundation label of reggae. Rude Boys are synonymous with Jamaican dancehall culture from the present day going back to the very early days of Sir Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid's first sound-clashes in Kingston. 'Studio One Rude Boy' features artists and songs about rude boys and rude boy culture from all periods of Studio One's history. The album features ska, rocksteady, DJs, roots and dub. The album features classic tracks from Jamaica's finest singers and groups such as The Wailers, John Holt, The Wailing Souls, Dennis Brown alongside super-rare tracks from artists such as Mr Foundation, Dudley Sibbley and The Soul Brothers all recorded under Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd's supervision at the legendary recording studio and record label. Musical backing comes from the legendary in-house bands - The Skatalites, The Sound Dimension, Soul Vendors and Soul Defenders - who provide the classic Studio One rhythms so influential in the history of reggae. All the eighteen tracks have been newly digitally re-mastered for this album and the album comes with full sleevenotes, photos and text making this another essential Studio One reggae release for connoisseurs of reggae and newcomers alike.
Review: GrandMagnetto, masters of skanking pop reggae covers,
return with 'Everybody's Talkin' by Harry Nilsson, off of
the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack. Blundetto transformed
the track into a killer deep dubby hit. Both tracks are storming.