Review: Appearing originally on the Solid Groove label out of Croydon in South London, 'Exclusively' is sometimes misconstrued as the UK issue of 'Dance Hall Style'. The tracks from both were recorded at the same sessions - with Bullwackies joined at the controls by Junior Delahaye and Prince Douglas and issued close together in 1982-83. Half of 'Exclusively' non-exclusively versions four tracks from the Stateside release - three are re-titled - and also 'Eating Mess', which appeared on the first pressing of 'Dance Hall Style', though unlisted on the sleeve. The mixes are all different (and without dubs). Five further specials include the funky 'Musical Episode', a superior Bob Marley tribute, and a version of 'Rougher Yet'. It's all vintage Wackies, and spun out of Horace's all-time greatest album - unmissable.
Review: Welcome to the World Of Blundetto, stick around and familiarise yourself with the delightful charms of this third album from Frenchman Maxime Guiget. With a sound spanning reggae, Latin, African, Jazz and more established on the first two Blundetto albums, World Of... finds Guiget expanding this vision for perhaps his finest work to date. Vocals naturally play a big part in World Of... with some of France's foremost Reggae voices like Biga Ranx and PupaJim featuring amongst the 12 tracks, whilst Marina Peloso's contribution to "Last Broken Bones" marks it out as an album highlight. Look out for the cover of Bob Marley's "Work" too which features New York rapper Jahdan Blakamoore and Ubiquity's ubiquitous Shawn Lee.
Street Kings (feat Yami Bolo, Junior Reid & Capleton)
Review: Jamaica's Royal Soldier is the king of contemporary lovers rock and his new album Jah Cure deals with, as the title suggests, modern life as a soldier, as well as issues of love and consciousness. Across the 14 tracks, his forlorn croonings are complimented by guest spots from heavyweights like Damian Marley on the ganga ode that is "Marijuana", Tory Lanez on dancehall cut "Magic" and Popcaan & Padrino on "Life Is Real", a crisp bit of Caribbean trap. Elsewhere, classic roots bleeds into modern day r&b to make for a genre-crossing work that will earn the man behind it plenty of plaudits, as well as new fans.
Review: Since releasing her debut album in 2013, Janine 'Jah9' Cunningham has risen to become one of the genuine underground stars of Jamaican reggae music, with a distinctive vocal style - part singer, part toaster, part spoken word beat poet - that seems to suit a wide variety of reggae-related styles. She's at her diverse best on "Note To Self", singing and toasting over backing tracks that variously touch on contemporary reggae, 1970s roots, dub, dancehall and the kind of digital 'riddims' that were all the rage in the late 1980s and early '90s.