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Seriously successful riddim as I Write, another De Genius production, Beehive.
I said elsewhere in the roundup that De Genous wouldn’t be considered a real producer until he’s shown some versatility. Riddims like this, Beehive, is certainly not something to be ashamed of, but wouldn’t it be nice to here him craft a roots riddim or a digi riddim… A Sleng Teng version from him would be real interesting… don’t you think?
Speaking of that.. :)
A few of my favorite artiste from the good old digi days released tunes this year and I know a lot of you know their hit tunes as these are considered foundation tunes today. Which by the way makes me feel a bit old, I remember when these where brand new and Studion One tunes with Horace Andy, Wailers and Burning Spear and was foundation.
Anyway, Kong Kong is the one still around that sounds most like the top artist from that periond, since both Nitty Gritty and Tenor Saw passed many years ago King Kong had quite a number of tunes released in resent years as well as an excellent long player (Rumble Jumble Life) , all thanks to New Yorks Massive B that has recorded him and Burro Banton (another under recorded old timer) over most of their riddims. Now French label Jahspora has recoded a King Kong song, Evolution, and extended that over a whole LP. The song has been well received and many have said it to be his best since Rumble Jumble Life. I’m not sure I agree, I find the riddim a little to “cold”, in the UK steppers fashion. On the other hand it’s well built and heavy, heavy, heavy so any roots fan will like it. Guaranteed. Let’s hope this is not a one off, but that we can expect more over Jahspora riddims. Jahspora certainly have more tough riddims to record him over.
On the topic of King Kong…: don’t miss this fascinating clay animated dubplate session with King Kong and a Danish sound:
Another artist, from which we haven’t heard anything in a long time, almost 10 years, is Carl Meeks. I’ve always found him extremely underrated (even at the time he was the latest thing), and with his new release it’s again apparent that he is one of the most consistent dancehall singers around. Perhaps his style is dated and dancehall these days is about something else then it was back then, but his delivery still got that same nerve, and his hooks make his songs stick in your head immediately in a way that only Mr. Vegas is capable of among the current top dancehall singers. Add to that a killer neo digi riddim that catches the best of what digi was about. Wonderful! The tune is called Higher Level and the riddim Mary Jane. On Meeks Myspace is also another tune that appears to be new called Buck Up On God (?????), which also appears to be new. Also a good tune, even though the riddim isn’t as solid as Higher Level.
Last of the digi artist that surfaced this year was everybody’s old hero Courtney Melody. However, his effort was a bit more disappointing. After just hearing a few tunes the last three years suddenly two CD was released in just half a year, Mr. Melody and Serious Business. Unfortunately he has left his old high energy style for a more classic, Dennis Brownish approach. This may go with his age and his rasta beliefs, but it was the energy that we loved so much. He was never much of a singer in the classic sense and his lyrics was the worst in the business, but the “take no prisoner” approach to singing was great fun. With this missing there is not much left. Sure, there are some solid root tunes not to be missed on the CD:s but the expectations was higher then that. After all, they are wroth checking out, particularly Serious Business. Mr. Melody is considerably more lightweight and question if that isn’t some old recordings. The Serious Business CD is what Courtney himself actively has been promoting, and this is the one you should check out.
So now it’s only Horace Ferguson we are waiting for new tunes from…:)