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Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 21, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Friday, December 21!

• Etana’s Grammy nomination signals that 2019 will be breakout year
March 16 show in Jamaica for Buju Banton announced
• Morgan Heritage set for New Year’s Eve concert in Nairobi

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

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ATX Sound System: December 20, 2018

Christmas, Jamaican Style

Despite the association between reggae and Rastafarianism, the majority of Jamaicans celebrate Christmas, and the island remains home to one of the most unique Christmas music catalogs in the world. Even when Jamaican artists take on a well-known, traditional carol, it is typically infused with the sort of reggae vibes and Caribbean-centric touches that could only have come from this part of the world. The musically-obsessed site Aquarium Drunkard last year dug deep into the crates to assemble an unprecedented collection of rare and vintage Jamaican Christmas tracks. They also set the scene with a history of popular Christmas music in Jamaica, along with a little insight into Yuletide celebrating, past and present, on this special island. If you’d like to transport your holidays back to a Christmas eve in 1970s Jamaica, we highly recommend checking it out here: Christmas Jambree: A Vintage Jamaican Yuletide Mixtape.

 

Afro B: Dancehall on an Afro Wave



South London (via Ivory Coast) resident Afro B is another name from the UK’s red-hot Afrobeat scene that’s been crossing over into dancehall sets of late. A self-described dancehall fan, Afro B prefers to use the term “AfroWave” to describe his sound, which is a fusion of African pop, UK hip-hop and Jamaican dancehall. After his track “Drogba (Joanna)” went global earlier this year (you know the one: “Joanna, Jo Jo Joanna…”), Afro B has been on fire. His newest single, “Melanin”, finds him pairing again with Team Salut, the (equally-hot) UK production trio behind “Drogba” and several other recent hits, and dropping a tune that immediately found its way onto our turntables. Check out “Melanin” on our Spotify playlist–and try to resist putting it on repeat.

 

Dutty Rock vs Afro Beat

The influence of dancehall on the Afro beat scene seems to now be going in both directions. Sean Paul’s latest production, the Gang Gang Riddim — which provides the foundation for his new single, “Look Quick”, as well as a series of other vocals from the likes of Konshens, Chi Ching Ching and Wayne Marshall — shows the resurgent singer/producer clearly absorbing the sounds of Afro Beat and Afro Swing. The Gang Gang Riddim displays the sort of gentle lope and bouncy melody that would be right at home in an Afro beats set. Listen for it on the Farenizzi track “Tonight,” which we’ve added to our Spotify playlist this week.

 

This Week’s Austin Reggae Fest Spotify Playlist

Click here to hear the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.

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Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 19, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Wednesday, December 19!

#R9 album will see Rhianna more fully embrace reggae
Gingermon to release “Baked To Perfection” in 2019
• New video for Landon McNamara and Leilani Wolfgramm single

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 18, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Tuesday, December 18!

• Bunny Wailer launches the the Wailers Statue Project
Interview with Austin Reggae Festival alum Kabaka Pyramid
• Reggae holiday sounds add more flavor to the season

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 16, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Sunday, December 16!

Buju Banton hits the studio with Stephen Marley and producer Lenky
Is reggae’s new cultural status a kiss of death?
• Magma single ‘Diamonds’ added to ‘Ultimate 2018’ reggae compilation

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 15, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Saturday, December 15!

• Kosmik Consciousnez has big plans for a breakout year in 2019
Mikey Chung of Mighty Mystics interviewed 
Sauti Sol ranked as the best Kenyan artist of 2018

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

ATX Sound System: December 13, 2018

The Best Reggae Soundtracks, According to Don Letts

When the punk scene was first starting in London, the punks used to hang out at a club called The Roxy. The resident DJ there was none other than the young “rebel dread” himself, Don Letts. Because none of the punk bands had really released any records yet, Letts was left to spin his own music of choice, reggae and dub, and is generally credited as being the guy who turned on the punks (most notably, The Clash) to Jamaican music. 40 years later, Letts is responsible for sparking some heated debate here among the ATX Sound System crew this week with a new list he compiled for the UK-based Dummy Mag: The Ten Best Reggae Film Soundtracks, According to Don Letts. In it, the iconic filmmaker and radio host highlights selections from across the modern history of Jamaican cinema — from the all-time 1972 classic The Harder They Come to this year’s Idris Elba-directed gangster film Yardie. The latter features Fabienne Miranda’s wonderful 1977 roots cut “Prophecy”, which is just one of several tracks we’ve added this week to the Austin Reggae Festival playlist on Spotify. Be sure to check out our latest additions here, and decide for yourself whether Mr. Letts’ list was on-point.

Burna Boy

One of the tracks in heaviest rotation on the ATX Sound System this week is the latest single from Nigerian artist Burna Boy (born Damini Ogulu). A longtime reggae-dancehall singer, Burna Boy’s 2018 album showed a marked shift, incorporating more Afro beat into his sound. (Though he spent a good chunk of his childhood growing up in South London before returning to Lagos, the city where he was born, Burna Boy is no stranger to Nigerian music–his father was Fela Kuti’s manager for many years.) This fusion of styles takes on a subtle but truly addictive form with his newest cut, “On The Low”. In fact, it’s probably one of our favorite tracks of the year. You can hear it for yourself on our Spotify playlist.

Reggae Reading List, Part 2

For the vast majority of American reggae fans, Jamaica’s dancehall culture is almost impenetrable. With its quick-moving trends — from the current dances, to the latest slang, to the hottest new riddims getting played on the sound systems — it’s tough for an outsider to fully comprehend it all. Leave it to an anthropologist (Professor Norman C. Stolzoff of the University of California – Irvine) to unlock the layers of social, political and musical influence so deeply woven into dancehall culture. For his book, Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica, Stolzoff spent a year and a half in Kingston, immersed in his “field work”, and came away with a level of insight rarely found in other dancehall-related texts. Yes, the book can be a tad academic at times but it is more than just a sociological study. Stolzoff conveys an impressive understanding of recording/production techniques, as well as the unique star-making infrastructure that dominates this rich and far-reaching music scene. This result is a real thinking-man’s book for any serious reggae/dancehall enthusiast.

This Week’s Austin Reggae Fest Spotify Playlist

Click here to hear the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 12, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Wednesday, December 12!

• Apollo drops out of college to chase promising music career
• Meet veteran Hawaiian reggae-rock band Pepper
Tony Elumelu shares photos from his tour of Marley home

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 11, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Tuesday, December 11!

• Brighton-born neo-soul singer Iyamah talks with “Seasons”
• Roger Steffens remembers his many interviews with reggae royalty
• Shaggy and Sting top Billboard reggae album sales

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading

Reggae News You Can Use For Dec 7, 2018

Your daily dose of international reggae news for Friday, December 7!

Etana, Black Uhuru and Protoje amongst reggae grammy nominees
Freed from jail, controversial star Buju Banton is now back in Jamaica
• Orisha Sound slated to release “Fire and Ice” in early 2019

Also, mark your calendar for April 19-21, which are the dates for the 2019 Austin Reggae Festival. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 1.

The 2018 Austin Reggae Festival raised $129,543.14 to help feed hungry Central Texas families. Let’s do even better in April 2019!

Continue Reading