New Album From Chi Ching Ching
One of the most entertaining characters on the dancehall scene today, Chi Ching Ching began his career as a dancer, always knowing the latest moves, whether it’s The Rope or the Gully Creepa (the latter made famous worldwide when Usain Bolt did it at the Olympics). As a result, he regularly featured in demonstration videos, used to teach people new dances. But then he decided to turn his hand to music and, in recent years, has become a mainstay on sound systems and dancehall mixtapes with tracks like “Way Up Stay Up” (featuring Popcaan), “Whatchy Wiyah” and the hilarious “Rice and Peas”. Last month saw the release of his first proper full-length album, Turning Tables, which basically tells the story of Chi Ching Ching in song. Released on Sean Paul’s Dutty Rock label, it features guest spots from the likes of Bounty Killer, Fatman Scoop and Sean Paul himself. We’ve added a couple of tracks to the Austin Reggae Festival playlist on Spotify.
Nice & Eazy
Like the title suggest, “Nice & Eazy” is a smooth, loping track that’s been showing up in a few dancehall sets since its release at the end of October. It’s also been in regular rotation here on the ATX Sound System (and is another new add on the Austin Reggae Fest playlist). While not technically a dancehall track — it was recorded by the British artist Kadu (aka K’ADU), best known for his low-key Afro-swing tracks, and features the rising Nigerian singer Dotman — it is a great of example of the crossover between the music coming out of London’s vibrant “Afro Beatz” scene at the moment and Jamaica’s dancehall riddims.
We were recently asked to suggest a good “starting point” book about Jamaican music and, since holiday shopping time is now upon us, we felt it might be worth sharing our recommendation, just in case you’re looking for gift ideas for that reggae fan in your life. Top of our list is Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King by Lloyd Bradley. In it, British music writer Bradley delivers an intelligent, comprehensive and entertaining history of Jamaican music that contextualizes the music with insights into its associated politics, culture and religion. At the same time, the story is buoyed by fascinating (and often amusing) first-hand accounts from some of the music’s most important participants. Bradley would go on to write another excellent book, Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital which chronicles, among other topics, the rise of British reggae music in slightly more detail than he does in Bass Culture.
This Week’s Austin Reggae Fest Spotify Playlist
Click here to hear the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.