Chinese Man – Shikantaza

Dude at 4:00 is my favourite.

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Rise Of The Pyramid

I’ve made no secret of the fact that my favourite artist from Jamaica’s ‘Reggae Revival’ has been Kabaka Pyramid and his was also my favourite show at last year’s Boomtown. He has a fire and presence that is sadly lacking in many younger artists across various genres, his lyrics are sharp and incredibly relevant for the problems of today and whether Hip-hop or Reggae (or both) he has some seriously solid tunes to back up his other talents.

With that in mind my amigos at Diplomats Of Sound have put together a UK tour ahead of his forthcoming debut album ‘Contraband’ – the shows start this Sunday in Bristol but here’s a poster with all the dates.

Kabaka has also just dropped the first single from the album called ‘Can’t Breathe’, which he explains is about ‘the stress and strain of the system and the mental pollution we are fed day to day (which) reminds me of feeling claustrophobic and suffocated’. I’m sure many people can relate so it’s criminal that more exposure isn’t given to this modern day Peter Tosh right now.

For anyone not already familiar with his music, here’s a few more of my personal favourites.

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Youthstar feat. Chill Bump & Illaman – Boogie Men

Some banging UK Hip-hop all the way from France as Chinese Man Records unleash their favourite rapper Youthstar, a Londoner now in Bordeaux – alongside fellow displaced Brit – Miscellaneous, the rapping half of Chill Bump who is now based in Tours. There’s also the Problem Child himself, Illaman who has been doing a few shows with Chinese Man these past couple of years and is originally from Toulouse (okay that last bit isn’t true).

Youthstar’s ‘SA.MOD’ EP is out now! Grab a copy here.

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Red Fox – Brooklyn Swing

Red Fox was a favourite of mine in the 90s when he was part of Ruff Entry alongside the likes of Shaggy, Rayvon and Screechy Dan, so it’s great to see he’s still on top form with this classic Dancehall vibe, a much tougher take on the Darker Shade riddim from his old crew Sting International. See how many people you can recognise in the video also!

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Nattali Rize – Rebel Frequency

Another big tune from Nattali’s solo album ‘Rebel Frequency’.

Catch the Australian Reggae star in the Hidden Woods at this year’s Boomtown.

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Monoswezi – Loko U Muka

The African Nordic musical fusionists return with a beautifully uplifting first single from their forthcoming album ‘A Je’ which is due end of July. The video was shot in Udaipur and there’s a complimentary addition of the Indian Harmonium to the mixture of global instruments.

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Captain Ska – Liar Liar (Ge2017)

After topping the download charts, it looks like Captain Ska will be riding high in the official UK singles chart with this relevant revamp of their 2010 track aimed squarely at our country’s current leader (though for how long remains to be seen).

If you want to help get it to Number 1 then purchase a copy here.

Who knows, you might even catch them at Boomtown this year too.

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