Friday, August 29, 2008
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno is the latest in the constantly evolving series of musical outings from the unstoppable Will Holland – aka Quantic – and amazingly ‘Death Of The Revolution’ represents his tenth full album release on Tru Thoughts. The concept and style of the Flowering Inferno project rests simply on pleasurable, easy-to-listen dub and reggae inspired music made in a tropical climate; and the standard and scope of the music is as dazzling as one has come to expect from this prolific, globe-trotting maestro.
As on ‘Tropidelico’, Holland’s last acclaimed album with The Quantic Soul Orchestra, the Colombian location in which this music was made and recorded has imbued it with an authentic and irresistible exotic air. All the tracks trip along on a reggae/dub vibe and are built on mainly hip hop orientated beats, with Holland in multi-instrumentalist mode, playing the piano, guitar, accordion and more – including Colombian instruments such as the Guacharaca, a small wooden scraper instrument, and the Gaita. Guest performances also come from a host of Latin American musicians. On Juanita Bonita, the closing track, the evocative piano part is played by Peruvian Alfredo Linares who recently put in show-stopping performances when he appeared in the UK for the first time as part of The Quantic Soul Orchestra’s tour in March.
More a progression for Quantic than a change of direction, the inspiration to create the Flowering Inferno project came from listening to a lot of mid-70s dub albums and artists like Don Drummond and Bull Wackies; and also Colombian artists like Pedro Laza and Michi Sarmiento from the north coast. The basic ideas for the tracks were conceived and laid down over a three-week period in the living room of Holland’s Colombia home, when his studio was in the process of being built. Over that time, using the piano and a small makeshift recording setup, the key ideas and hooks emerged and, as Will Holland says “when the studio was finally ready, the paint barely dry, it was given its maiden voyage on this material”.
Westbound D Train is my favourite track from this session, which is yet to be released as a single- Dennis Brown's classic reworked inna nice and jazzy end of summer kinda vibe. There will be more single releases, following Death Of The Revolution and Ciudad Del Swing in the coming weeks, check Tru Thoughts' website for more info.
Quantic - Westbound D Train
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Million Stylez AKA Kenshin Iryo is a Swedish-born dancehall artist. He lives in Stockholm and has French and Japanese roots. He first broke outernationally inna 2006, releasing the single Miss Fatty on the KBC label- a wicked riddim dat! an a crazy b side version on the 85 riddim which had great success on dance floors and among DJs all over the world. He followed it up with a red-a-fyah version of Fade Away 2006 'longside Junior Byles which was also released on his From A Far debut album in the same year.
Now fresh for the end of summer jams, Million brings on the heat! Outta the UK, Necessary Mayhem Records have just released a refixed police in helicopter riddim. Featuring the original John Holt / Junjo Lawes riddim an a whole heap' a extras (including some Barrington Levy's Under Mi Sensi samples- Whaaa!). Million Stylez tells us about the police trying to mash down the healing of the nation... A classic Million anthem for the future, for sho...
Check Mr Williamz (outta London NW10- a relative newcomer)'s version Babylon In Helicopter - a BIG tune (featuring Collie Buddz' Come Around samples)! Both tracks as well as YT and Blackout JA's b side versions (on the Shank I Shek riddim) are available as 320 kpps MP3 Downloads on the Necessary Mayhem Website and have just been released on two 7" records. Yess Boss!!
Million Stylez & John Holt - Police In Helicopter (Police In Helicopter Riddim)
Mr Williamz - Babylon In Helicopter (Police In Helicopter Riddim)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"Again & Again," the second single from Roots Manuva's forthcoming long-player,"Slime & Reason," is a summery blast of warmth and humour with a simple message to impart - that you don't have to be a plastic, manufactured 'Pop Idol' to make popular music that people are going to love.
While the album version of the tune is built around a classic Manuva production and Captain Pugwash keyboard, the single version was dreamt up by Shy-FX. The man took a day off from drum & bass rollouts and instead added a full horn section and general liveness to get Mr Manuva in laid back, celebratory mood. It's a carnival anthem in the making but with the kind of easygoing charm that should take Rodney Smith to a much, much wider audience. All without losing any of the soul that has made him one of the UK's most consistent, innovative and successful black performers.
The package is rounded out by a couple of very fine remixes. The Arctic Monkeys have been on record since their early days as huge fans of Roots Manuva, and when drummer/producer Matt Helders was given an opportunity to rework "Again & Again" he jumped at the chance. The result is suitably wonky and hype, all without a guirar in sight. To finish things up Tony Thorpe has cooked up another fantastic Moody Boyz remix (after recent successes with Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse) with a militant steppaz feel and enough bass to keep all and sundry happy…
Listen. Then listen again. And again. And again…
Roots Manuva - Again & Again
(7"/12"/MP3) Big Dada BD122/BDS122/BDDNL122, 2008-08-25
01. Again & Again (Radio Edit)
02. Again & Again (Original) 03. Again & Again (Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) Remix)
04/ Again & Again (Moody Boyz Remix)
Part 1/ TRAIN TO SKAVILLE
The early roots of reggae music, and its rise to popularity. How the music was used to recount experiences and songs of social commentary were written. In the sixties immigration from Jamaica to the UK increased and brought Jamaican music. Ska picked up a white fan base. The programme also covers both the music scene and the social climate in Jamaica during the sixties. By the end of the sixties reggae had established itself as mainstream pop music in Britain, and was increasingly recorded in this country by Dandy Livingstone, Eddy Grant and Greyhound etc.
Part 2/ REBEL MUSIC
A look at reggae in the 1970s, when, ten years after independence from Britain and the harsh economic conditions were taking their toll, the disillusioned and dissatisfied Jamaican youth channeled their anger into roots music. The era gave rise to Bob Marley, the country's first superstar, Lee "Scratch" Perry, reggae's most notable producer, and King Tubby, who popularised 'dub', the remixing of existing records. In Britain, black youth latched on to the roots sound to create their own version, Brit reggae, with bands such as Steel Pulse and Aswad emerging.
Part 3/ INNA DANCEHALL STYLE
Examines the progression of reggae after the death of Bob Marley, including the start of dancehall. In America reggae had a connection with hip-hop and DJ Shabba Ranks saw his popularity rise and fall. Looks at how Jamaican street styles have achieved a dominance in Britain and the rise of New Roots in Jamaica.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
These Streets is their latest remix, featuring Tanya Stephens' These Streets and Shabba Ranks' Original Woman over Dre's Still D.R.E. beat and has yet to be officially released- check their MySpace for more info and other tracks.
Tanya Stephens & Shabba Ranks - These Streets (Still Dre Riddim - Knut Posse Remix)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Sizzla & UB40 - Red Wine To Gaze (Jiggy Rmx)