Dub

Saba Jenga: Black Girl Magic

Saba Jenga: Black Girl Magic

New Artist With Soulful Hip Hop and Conscious Reverberations

Saba Jenga is an ambitious woman who left her hometown in Richmond, Virginia to pursue a career in music. She was determined to hone her craft with an educational foundation in New York City. She won the 2012 “Walk This Way Award” for Best MC at St. John’s University and following this she matriculated into the New York University, Clive Davis Institute of Recording Music. During her time of study, she coined a music style of her own called “Dirty Dub,” fusing various genres of music including dub, dubstep, reggae, trap and gogo. Saba Jenga evokes the “black girl magic” ensconced  in a world with a European standard of beauty and oppression of minorities; through a culmination of cultures and sounds. We spoke to Saba, following a stellar performance at The Miss Lily’s 4/20 Celebration with International Selector, Yaadcore.  More After The Jump…

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Jah Bami 20/20 Album Review

Jah Bami 20/20 Album Review

Jah Bami Makes A New Album of Conscious Thought and Musical Arrangement

After releasing the Suave mixtape, Jah Bami and Suns of Dub will release “Riddimentary” on April 28 with VP Records. In addition to this high output of music and preceding a tour of Europe and The United States, Jah Bami released one of his best solo albums to date, “20/20” this month. Album Review After The Jump

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Xana Romeo Talks About Her Debut Album “Wake Up” and Finding Her Own Way

Xana Romeo Talks About Her Debut Album "Wake  Up" and Finding Her Own Way

A Reggae Legend’s Daughter Creating Conscious Reverberations

Forty years ago Maxwell Livingston Smith, better known as Max Romeo, released his classic album War Inna Babylon on Island Records. The album featured classic hits like “Chase The Devil”  (which would later be sampled by Kanye West for Jay Z’s song “Lucifer”). This song sent fans into a frenzy with its balance of  spiritual and conscious lyrics over the Lee “Scratch” Perry–produced riddim. Max Romeo “put on his iron shirt” and chased the Devil out of Earth with his lyrical prowess—and he’s still making music to this day. Now, four decades later, it should come as no surprise that his daughter is stepping forward along a similar  path. Azana Makeeda Smith, aka Xana Romeo, brings a unique feminine fierceness with her incendiary lyrics. She has a great vocal range and her enunciation is clear and precise, adding to the palpable power of her music. With her  debut album, Wake Up releasing today, we linked with Xana Romeo, CEO of Charmax Music to discuss her debut album. Interview After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: “Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana”
(Full Album Stream) PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: "Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana"(Full Album Stream) PREMIERE

Grunge In Dub With Nuff Trombone

Back when Ezra Gale—the bassist for undergound Brooklyn ensemble Super Hi-Fi—was in college, another band he played in opened for Nirvana. Now, 25 years after the Seattle trio’s classic Nevermind, he and Super Hi-Fi decided to put a very different spin on Kurt Cobain’s songbook. Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana will be released tomorrow on Gale’s boutique label Very Special Recordings via digital and cassette only. The throwback format is not just about retro cool, it’s also highly affordable, allowing for creative freedom and experimentation. “I hate cover versions that just sound like the original,” says Gale. “So with Nirvana, it seemed interesting to make something new out of something so familiar.” With Jon Lipscomb on guitar, Madhu Siddappa on drums, and trombonist Rick Parker dueling with Curtis Fowlkes, Robert Stringer and Alex Asher on 2nd trombone, Super Hi-Fi recorded instrumental versions of six Nirvana tunes (including Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz” and LeadBelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” both signature Nirvana covers) plus one original cut, entitled “Space Needle.” The sound is even more of a departure than Little Roy’s beloved reggae version of “Lithium.” Instead of Cobain’s guitar shrieks and Grohl’s chest-pounding drums, Super Hi-Fi (who describe themselves as “Brooklyn’s premiere two trombone dub experience”) serve up woozy horns, and heavy dub mixes courtesty of Nicola Stemmer, Victor Rice, Doctor Sub, and Prince Polo. Having a hard time imaging it? Well fortunately, you don’t have to. Boomshots is proud to premiere the full album right now. Audio After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: Courtney John “Strangers”

HEAR THIS: Courtney John "Strangers"

Warm & Easy Modern Vintage Groove With An Undeniable Edge of Tension

Courtney John’s distinctive falsetto sets an enigmatic mood on this ominous dubwise selection. with uniqueness that simply radiates. The singer who brought us Made in Jamaica five years ago jetted to Paris to work on his forthcoming album, also entitled Strangers, scheduled for a January 25 release. Produced by Guillaume “Gee” Metenier—who decsribes his sound as psychedelic soul jazz funk and early reggae. The singer linked with Gee in Kingston, JA and they previously collaborated on a next banger called “All I Know.” The “Strangers” riddim track is performed by top players from Paris’ international music scene. This one is radiant, strange, and special. Audio After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: Akae Beka “Like Rhyme”

vaughnBOOMSHOTSVaughn Benjamin’s Poetry In Song

A master of word play, Vaughn Benjamin (Akae Beka), the prolific songwriter of Midnite Band, supersedes our expectations on his recent solo album, “Portals,” I-grade Records. This July, the artist from St. Croix  trods out for the “Portals Summer Tour.” Manager, Preston Powell predicts that venues will be bursting at the seams for fans who adore this “solo project,” with conscious hits about relationships, spirituality and life.  Fan favorite,  “Like Rhyme” really demonstrates the creativity and intellectual prowess of this lyricist. The entire song is poetry with each line reverberating a natural wave of consciousness.  Moreover it is not just the way the words sound but how the message is physically delivered and neatly packaged into one song.

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HEAR THIS: Morgan Heritage “Modern Man” (Umberto Echo Dub Mix)

HEAR THIS: Morgan Heritage "Modern Man" (Umberto Echo Dub Mix)

The Mad! Sick! Riddim Is Pretty Much Exactly That

Our peoples over at Reggaeville linked up with Munich-based production team Oneness Records to drop an energetic roots rock juggling called the Maad! Sick! Riddim that mixes well with the Rootsman and other top-shelf culture cuts. The lineup is stocked with the likes of Exco Levi, Perfect Giddimani, Gappy Ranks, and Kelissa. Herewith we present an exclusive mix of Morgan Heritage’s “Modern Man” dubbed within an inch of its life by the man called Umberto Echo. Not to be confused with Mr. Eco—the linguist, philosopher, semiotician and author of Foucault’s Pendulum and many more—nor with the Bunnymen—the audio phenomenologist Mr. Echo adds his H for hextra echo.   Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Bim Sherman & Dub Syndicate “Haunting Ground Dub”

HEAR THIS: Bim Sherman & Dub Syndicate "Haunting Ground Dub"

Previously Unreleased Music From Adrian Sherwood, Style Scott & Bim

Last year’s Sherwood at the Controls Vol. 1 compilation served as a timely re-introduction to the UK dub genius and electronic music visionary Adrian Sherwood. The even wickeder second edition, focusing on works from 1985 to 1990, arrives later this month. Having worked as a live mix engineer for The Clash and The Slits, Sherwood went on to found no fewer than four record labels—Carib Gems (established in 1975 when he was 17 years of age), Hit Run4D, and the legendary On-U Sound. His mind-blowingly mic’d, mixed and mastered recordings with in-house groups like Singers and Players, Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, New Age SteppersCreation Rebel, and Lee “Scratch” Perry and many more are the stuff of legend. This previously unreleased dub version of “Haunting Ground,” the title track off Bim’s 1986 album produced with Dub Syndicate, which—like many of Sherwood’s finest productions—was anchored by steady rockin’ Lincoln Valentine “Style” Scott, the late great drummer who co-founded Jamaica’s legendary Roots Radics band. “I originally recorded this for On-U Sound but gave [Bim] the vocal to use on his album,” recalls Adrian of the “Haunting Ground” sessions at London’s Southern Studios. “That’s Style Scott on drums, and I’m fairly sure it’s Crucial Tony on guitar.” The earth-shaking dub mix with sabre-sharp high-hats of death and billowing clouds of echo could only be Sherwood. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Bongo Herman “Drum of Long Story”

HEAR THIS: Bongo Herman "Drum of Long Story"

Mek Rolling Stone Dem Know—Half The Story Has Never Been Told

Just the other day Rolling Stone published a list of the supposed Greatest Drummers of All Time. Carlton Barrett of the Hippy Boys—a two-man duo comprising him and his brother Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who once backed Scratch Perry at the Black Ark and would go on to tour the world with Bob Marley as The Wailers—and Sly Dunbar of Sly & Robbie fame both made the RS list—ranking at Nos 29 and 65 respectively. Even as reggae fans give thanks for a likkle bit of recognition from a mainstream pub like Rolling Stone, we know that half the story has never been told. No Style Scott. No Horsemouth. No Santa Davis. No Lloyd Knibb. And no Bongo Herman, who sold me a copy of his own CD during a recent pass throug 56 Hope Road. Perhaps the best US$10 I ever spent. Herewith a highlight, throughout which the legendary Mr. Herman beats the skins in a percussive reinterpretation of Keith & Tex’s “Oh It’s a Long Story” produced by Derrick Harriott on his musical chariot. The intro is everything. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Healthy Heart Playlist: Popcaan, Jesse Royal, Gaza Slim and More!

Healthy Heart Playlist: Popcaan, Jesse Royal, Gaza Slim and More!

The Lyrics We Listen To Affect The Beat of Our Hearts

The music of the body is the heart beat. A healthy heart depends on good nutrition and exercise. However, in terms of overall homeostasis, emotional and spiritual factors also affect the heart. If one is scared, the sympathetic nervous system reacts in a “flight or fight” reaction to increase cardiac output by increasing the heart rate. Research shows that prayer and meditation can synchronize the vital signs (breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature) of the body. Based on these observations, one can hypothesize that the music we listen to affects the heart rate. Even more so than the loudness of the bassline, the lyrics evoke feelings and thoughts. This is a positive playlist of songs that refer to God and Love for a peaceful mediation.

Healthy Heart Playlist After The Jump Read more »

Full Moon Playlist II

Full Moon Playlist II

Ten Multi-Genre Selections for Your Halloween Party Playlist

   This year, Halloween was preceded by a Supermoon, making this holiday extra spooky. On September 27, 2015, a total lunar eclipse occurred and the moon passed into the Earth’s shadow. The moon appeared  close to the earth with a bright red illuminance. The last time this happened was 1982. Many believe that this type of moon brings about badness in people. The Full Moon Playlist II highlights songs that unleash the dark side of human nature in reggae, pop, dancehall, hip hop and soca. The playlist contains ten tunes focusing on an intrinsic baddness theme, while others go beyond the theme and comment on social issues, and a few are highlighted for a wicked production. Playlist After The Jump

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Phillip Fraser “God of My Righteousness”

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Phillip Fraser "God of My Righteousness"

Reggae Music Legend in the Mecca of Music and Culture, Brooklyn

The sun was shinning bright as I walked along New York Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York. I was greeted by a Rastafarian King, left hand over the heart,  wearing a sunny yellow hat with a  polo to match. I tipped my black shades to take a closer look at the face of the person greeting me and it was the living legend himself, Phillip Fraser!  He was shocked that I recognized who he was. I said “Great music is great music!” Known for albums  like “Come Ethiopians” (1974, Freedom Sound Label), “Back to Africa” (1978, Different Records, original recording with Busta Riley, Winston Riley’s brother) featuring Earth and Stone, “Blood of the Saint” (1983), “Never Let Go” (1991, Razor Sound Records), “Phillip Fraser: Sharp Like Razor” (1993, Razor Sound Records),  “More Phillip Fraser” (2015, Razor Sound Records) and a plethora of complication albums and productions. If you appreciate roots reggae and lovers rock, you have to know this artists’ anthology of music. Interview After The Jump… Read more »