Young Shanty Stakes His Claim
After beginning his career as vocalist for the group Starliner, the Bay Area-born Shanty has since spent the last decade pursuing a solo career. His 2016 EP Chalice Row or Dig a Hole proved a breakthrough, hitting the top of Billboard’s reggae chart. This week, he releases Poor Can’t Take No More, a new full-length LP and a righteous statement of intent from the 37 year-old. On select tracks, such as “Moving (Far East)”, he breaks into a falsetto that evokes the mighty Junior Murvin (of “Police & Thieves” fame). Elsewhere, he delivers a bold and highly-conscious set of lyrics that benefit from classic, old-skool production. This is the sound of Shanty staking his claim as one today’s most exciting roots artists.
Swing Ting is Pushing Dancehall (Way, Way) Forward
Keeping the flame alive for forward-thinking dancehall in the north of England, Swing Ting is a collective of Brits and Jamaicans who host a monthly club night in Manchester that not only fuses dancehall and reggaeton with club sounds, but has continued to grow in stature and influence in recent years. They are now home to a record label, sound system and in-demand production team. Their latest release is an EP by Irish producer Famous Eno that features of a range of vocal talent, including TOK’s Bay-C on the standout “Gal a Bubble” (not to be confused with the Konshens song). But their 2017 FACT Mix will give you an even better idea of where they’re coming from–and where they’re going.
The ATX Sound System is always on the lookout for fresh rare vinyl to “nice up the dance.” A series of reissues that caught our eye this week was five classic 12″s that originally came out on the Rockers Forever label in the mid-1980s now making a re-appearance. These include titles by Capleton, Wayne Smith (of “Under Mi Sleng Teng” fame) and Johnny Clarke, as well as Johnny Osbourne’s overlooked gem, “If Jah Didn’t Love You” (which, while not available on Spotify, can be heard here). What these reissues share in common is that they were all produced and released by one Henricka Richards, a Brooklyn-based producer who managed to inject some classic roots and soul into the icier digital production for which the 80s are often remembered.
This Week’s Austin Reggae Fest Spotify Playlist
Click here to hear the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.