Monkey Marc feat Dre Island – Yaad N Abraad

Monkey Marc has been working with a heavyweight mixture of Jamaica’s most established artists, the new Roots Reggae vanguard and fresh up and coming talent for his Vital Sound project. Guests include Capleton, Sizzla, Ninja Man, Turbulence, Lutan Fyah, Fyah Roiall, Kelissa, Keznamdi, Fantan Mojah, Koro Fyah, Vanessa Bongo, Jah Thunder and of course all of the artists on his forthcoming Yaad N Abraad riddim which is due out on 16th February. This is the first taste and title track from Dre Island but there’s other big versions from 5 Star, Iba Mahr, Earth & Fullness and Aze Lineage.

Marc is also one of the founders of DiY HIFI, a fully solar and wind powered sound system based in Australia.

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Until The Ribbon Breaks – King In The Corner

Now firmly rooted in LA, the dynamic duo from Dinas Powys remain a powerful musical force. They have certainly come out fighting with this one, hitting somewhere between ‘Goodnight America‘ (their response to the Trump election) or Revolution Indifference (one of their Run The Jewels collaborations).

I’m hoping that after regaining sobriety and performing again after a few years hiatus they’re planning to come and play back home some day soon!

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Wicked and Bonny – Computer Made Robot Sound

Last weekend myself and Feline (Tru Sound Tribe / The Midnight Zu) headed up to the Italian Alps for a show with Berise from Shanti Powa, Dread Lion and a killer sax player called Sabrina who also jumped up on my set at Goulash Disko in Croatia this year.

Whilst there we got invited over to another show a few hours down the road with Wicked & Bonny, a world class Steppas crew from the region that both Feline and Berise had recorded with previously. Although the police shut the session down early it was a great night and so it was a pleasure to see this new video of theirs pop up in my feed the next day.

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Dynamite feat. RDX – Brave

I did hear rumour that one of my favourite Soca tunes of last year had been picked up by Black Butter for re-release and here it is, with extra vocals courtesy of RDX! Not sure if this will have any wider implications for Soca in general but it’s coming at a time when certain artists are being played more and more here in the UK, so I have a feeling that by this year’s Notting Hill, the Carnival sound will be bigger than it has been in a long time. Plus with Trinidad Carnival just around the corner, we should soon have a good idea of what tunes are going to be leading the charge.

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Kylo & Stylee Band

It’s really sad that I’ve just discovered these guys, a seriously talented group from the Virgin Islands. There is some strong energy in these tracks, just the kind of tracks that can drive a club or carnival crazy.

The sad part is that these are the first offerings since it was announced that their vocalist Kylo was one of 5 fatalities in a tragic plane crash 10 days ago. A quick scan of their back catalogue shows me this is a great loss to the island and the wider Soca scene in general, if you’ve never heard them before I strongly urge you to go back and discover some of their music.

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UK All Starz – Rebel Wid Ah Cause

Glad to see this wasn’t just a one off thing for Congo Natty’s last album. The ‘All Star’ line up of Rebel (Congo Natty), Daddy Freddy, General Levy, Sweetie Irie, Top Cat, Tippa Irie and of course the late great Tenor Fly return with a little help from the mighty Chopstick Dubplate on the remix.

This track precedes an album called ‘Sound System Kulture’ due next year, but it’s not yet clear if that’s a UK Allstarz or Congo Natty album just yet. The Tenor Fly verse at the end of this video also features on the new Nightmares On Wax album.

If you’ve not seen the UK Allstars video from the 2014 Boomtown, check it out here.

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Soviet Suprem – Vladimir

Great to see these boys back and it seems the joke still hasn’t worn thin as the French pair use their eastern European folk fusion and tongue in cheek Soviet glory days fetish to create a stomping tune about a Dolph Lundgren-esque adonis figure called Vladimir.

As an aside, an old friend of mine once urinated on a sleeping Dolph whilst intoxicated and naked on a plane, imagine that hangover!

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