Archive for the 'Reggae' Category


music sites everyone should visit: resident advisor

I am constantly amazed at what can be found on the internet for free.  Free maps, free information, free pictures…free porn.  But my all time favorite is the amount of free music you can find with a simple click of the mouse, and one of my favorite places to do this is over at Resident Advisor.

Founded in 2001 as a site to cover the Australian dance music scene, it quickly outgrew it’s regional focus within a year and began a more global focus on electronic music from all over.  The site is full of all kinds of articles, reviews,  information, DJ charts, upcoming event listings, tickets and most notably podcasts.

(Note: try googling podcasts sometime.  You’ll find all kinds of stuff)

It’s the podcasts that really set RA apart from other music sites because they get some of the best and brightest musicians, DJs and producers to make mixes for them every week.  and if you sign up with them, you get em all for free.  I know what you’re thinking.  Another site that wants my info…blah blah blah.  They’ll send me emails, and spam and everything will suck.

True…maybe.  But that’s why you open a separate email account just for these purposes, because the music is worth it.

Previous podcast mixes of note came from such luminaries as Greg Wilson, DJ Harvey, Trus’me, The Orb, Todd Terje and Richie Hawtin.  But aside from the guys you know and love, you’ll discover a slew of names and styles you may never have heard of.  There’s also a Soundcloud page where it appears they are posting mixes of their monthly picks.

Here is one of my favorite mixes from 2008 from Aeroplane, which still gets played in my car from time to time. Download em, check em out…and then head over to RA for more.

RA 114 – Aeroplane

Because there’s always more.


songs everyone should own: bounty killer ft morgan heritage – guns in the ghetto

Because the general public needs more reggae that isn’t Bob Marley (no offense Bob.)

Morgan and Bounty bring the truth in a funky reggae stylee.


Greg Wilson – Random Influences

Okay so this isn’t an album,…but since this is my blog I can change the rules however I see fit.

And this project makes me see fit.

Greg Wilson is one of my favorite DJs/Producers in the world.  He has an ear for the beat that I just can’t touch and his crates are deep.  Well, they should be since he just turned 50 this year.  And how does the greatest DJ ever celebrate his 50th birthday?  By creating Random Influences, a nonstop mix of all his favorite 7inch singles from the 60s and 70s!

But, see, Greg didn’t just make one mix.  He made twelve.  That’s twelve mixes that clock in at about 2 hours each…which equals 24 hours of heaven.  Motown…check.  Rock n roll?  Check.  UK Ska…you betcha!  It’s all here.  Originally he put them all up on Soundcloud (which, if you like new music and haven’t visited this site yet…shame on you), but soon received the dreaded take down notices for mixes #3 and #12 over some shitty copyright trolling.

So, if you wanted to go and download the other ten mixes, they are still up on Greg’s Soundcloud page.  If you listen to music at work and are aloud to stream, Greg also created this page where you can stream all twelve.  What a guy!  I also recommend his personal site for all manner of musical knowledge.

Listening to this mix series is like finding the greatest radio station in the world that plays all day and has no commercials. So if you love classic tunes, many of which are not the “overplayed on the radio” types, then this is for you.

UPDATE:  Now up for free on Itunes HERE!!!


Kutiman – ThruYOU


I was walking down second street with my lady the other week when we spotted this nutterholding a sign that said something along the lines of “REPENT!  GOD KILLS!”  Then there was some sort of website you could visit for more insanity I guess.

While I admired his guts to just stand on the street corner and let his freak flag fly, I was also amused with the flip side of the sign that read “Little Wayne is the Antichrist!”  Now, I can’t say I like Little Wayne’s musical stylings that much…but the antichrist?


You’ve probably heard me deride the current state of hip hop, and I think Little Wayne may be a part of said problem.  But as I’ve always said…DJ’s invented hip hop, and it’s the DJ’s who will save it.  And my newest DJ savior comes to us in the form of Israeli DJ Kutiman.  Yeah I know taht for most of the Internets, this is not new news, but for me this is what this site is all about.

See, original hip hop was all about taking something old and making something completely new from it.  That’s the essence of hip hop.  Now, I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along since I first heard of the advent of DVD turntables…and more recently the new video functionality on Serato.  But Kutiman gets the proverbial X-Prize for reaching the mountaintop first…with his groundbreaking work ThruYou.

Kutiman, real name Ophir Kutiel,  has been making electronic  music for some time now.  He grew up playing music …mostly classical jazz until college radio and a friend introduced him to AfrobBeat and Funk…I have his earlier work and it’s pretty funky. So anyhow he was hanging out…putting together some tracks, just chillin when he realized he needed a bass line.  Not wanting the prepackaged sounds of the music programs on hand, he decided to take a look on YouTube.

If you’ve spent an obscene amount of time on YouTube, you may have seen some of these videos.  Just some guy and a camera giving a music lesson, jamming solo or something of the like.  The site is lousy with em. So anyways, he finds his bass clip..and he’s pretty stoked on it.  Then he realizes he needs a drum track and heads back to YouTube when it struck him…

Why go anywhere else?  Here it all was.  Videos of people from all over playing, jamming, singing…and he had the editing software that could tie it all together into a cohesive whole!

Compiled and produced over the course of two months, it was Ophir’s secret project.  He planned on having a big debut, sending out links to only twenty of his friends.  But his friends were not good at keeping a secret…and once something is on the web…it’s pretty much there to stay.  Through Twitter, Facebook and email it spread.

For me, ThruYOU is more than an album, but in experiment in almost global collaboration.  He gave credit to every single artist he used…and so far none have complained about the attention. This album simply couldn’t have existed fifteen years ago…it couldn’t exist without YouTube and it couldn’t exist without the Internet. Even  as I sit here writing about it, I’m adding a little bit more to the project.

What’s more is that it’s an album that isn’t meant to be owned…it simply exists on the Internet.  It belongs to everyone.

ThruYOU is one of those things that arrives incidentally one day and shows you just how far we’ve come…and how much farther we have to go.  I hope it sets off a brush fire of new music and collaboration.  It can only mean good things for us all.


Bob Marley – Babylon by Bus

The problem with Greatest Hit’s albums are that they give a false impression to folks, who are led to believe that they have have all they need from that artist.

The worst of the offenders is that damn “Bob Marley: Legend” album.

I almost laughed aloud when I was watching “I Am Legend” the other day ( and not just because the movie was ridiculous) when Will Smith goes into his diatribe about how great Bob Marley is, and how great his music is…and apparently the only CD he had was “Legend.”  Now, maybe the filmmakers were trying to tie it all in to the title of the movie, but give me a f’ing break why don’t ya?

Released in 1978, “Babylon by Bus” is the quintessential live Marley album.  Some will say that 1975’s “Bob Marley: Live” is the real deal, and they would be right as well…but this one is my favorite.  It may not have been as inspired a show, but the band that is playing on ‘Babylon’ is much tighter and more mature…and it shows.  This album just makes you feel better…even if you are headed to work at 6:30 in the morning,,, and you’re hungover ’cause your friends challenged you to have a few more Patron shots to end the night, and then you one upped them by buying a round of Pyrat shots.  Take that, losers!

Recorded during the “Kaya” tour at the Pavillion de Paris, it really catches the artist and the band in prime form all the way through.  Sure you get hits like ‘Jamming,’ ‘Exodus’ and ‘Stir it Up’…but you also get oldies like ‘Punky Reggae Party’ and the monstrous ‘War/No More Trouble’ to really seal the deal.

The album was recently reissued and can be got for like, $10 now…which is a bargain for a 73 minute live show.

BONUS!!!  If you can find the original double vinyl copy, the windows on the bus are cut out to show the sleeve underneith.  So depending on how you feel, you can change the scene!  Try and do that with a CD cover!


Easy Star All-Stars – Dub Side of the Moon


Usually, the idea of a “genre tribute” to anything fills me with dread because of the many musical disasters in the last decade that had those words in their title.  Things like “An Orchestral Tribute to Led Zeppelin” or “A Country Tribute to Bob Dylan” are generally full of things that hurt my ears.  You’ll be lucky if your head doesn’t explode from hearing them.

So when the Easy Star All-Stars Came out with “Dub-Side” in 2003, I kind of groaned…steeling myself for the imminent disgust that I knew was coming.  But that disgust never came.  I found myself nodding, and saying “Wow!  This doesn’t suck!  In fact, this is pretty rad!”  (yes…I said ‘rad’)

It’s not too surprising that Pink Floyd’s seminal work translates so easily to the reggae format, but the All-Stars really make it work.  I like how the opening to ‘Money’ has replaced the cash machine noises with bong noises , and even the sick reggae drum and bass breakdown in their version of  ‘Time.’

And I’m not even a big fan of D ‘n B!

You can find the band touring a lot, I saw them perform this album a few years ago in Santa Monica (awesome!), and in 2006 they released a really good album of Radiohead covers aptly titled “Radiodread.”  Look for an album of original material coming later this year.

And thank you Easy Star All-Stars for not sucking!

Cheap on Amazon!


Jackie Mittoo – The Keyboard King at Studio One

You like funky hammond organ?

I know I do, and while most will acknowledge the likes of Booker T,  Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff…few know about their Jamaican counterpart Jackie Mitoo.  This is another of those magical Soul Jazz reissues that I can’t get enough of, and since much of Mittoo’s early work is hard to come by and most has never been remastered, this album serves as a fitting tribute to a real musical giant.

Mitto grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and was a gifted piano protege.  By age 14 he was already playing sessions for the Studio One label.  The the late 60’s he formed The Skatalites, one of the most influential bands in Reggae history, and was leading the house band for Studio One as well as Treasure Isle and Top Deck.  If you own any reggae from that era, most likely it’s got Jackie’s sound all over it.  And what a sound it is.

It’s not just Reggae or Ska, Mittoo’s compositions have a much warmer jazz feel to them while also incorporating a lot of soul influence as well.  His recordings all have a smooth buttery feel to them that’s just awesome.  If you want a soundtrack to your summer, this is it.

Soul Jazz did an excellent job of picking out the brightest  points of Mittoo’s career here, from the long and stirring ‘Oboe’ to the smooth covers of ‘Summer Breeze’ and ‘Norwegian Wood’ (titled Darker Than Black on the album.) And while this isn’t really one of his original albums ( find ‘Macka Fat’ if you can) it stands on it’s own in terms of content and consistency.  Below, a little video for ‘Juice Box.’

Now how can you beat that?


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