Joe Grime’s Dancehall/Reggae Round Up

OK for those that follow me on twitter (@joegrime) you’ll know I haven’t been too impressed by the recently released Summer Wave Riddim, which to me is unneeded, not on the same level as last years anthem bringing Summertime Riddim, nor is it in my opinion even on the same level as BBQ or even Smudge. Now I’m sure through my Twitter conversations that a lot less avid dancehall fan or those that just look for the latest Kartel tune will be loving this riddim and admittedly it even grew on me a little when listen back to it on this weeks show. My biggest problem with riddims like this is not the fact that they’ve remade a riddim that still gets regular play, nor is it the fact that although artist like Beenie, Popcaan & Gaza Slim do an alright job on the riddim there is no stand out piece. My biggest problem is the almost instantaneous way DJs, selectors and fans have jumped on the “wave” and leaves me asking the following questions: When are DJs/Selectors going to say enough is enough and exercise some quality control over what they endorse? When will producers stop trying rinse out every forgotten Vybz Kartel acapella they have on their hard drive? And finally when are we going see producers attempt to make riddims firstly for the dancehall rather than radio (it reminds me of the influx of euro pop that has invaded are airwaves in the last couple of years on mainstream radio) This concept isn’t new and I know from reading a recent interview with Truckback Records Sexx Tape Riddim was built and voiced for the dancehall not radio, but it seems to be happening less and less. Historically Dancehall & Reggae music has always been championed by sounds in dances, and radio would pick up on a tune from the buzz and although we now leave in a world of on demand media,where I can listen to what I want when I want it; it would be nice to see producers aiming more for the dancehall rather than radio waves. Talking about tunes doing huge things in the dance, I have to mention Konshens who has really made an impact so far this year. At my recent MADD RAFF birthday set the walls were literally beaten to a pulp when “Do Sumn” & “Stop Sign” were played. Stop Sign is a tune I have mentioned before (in my recent piece for Fact Magazine) and when I recently tweeted the open lines it got the biggest amount of Retweets, proving the tunes either a huge track or I have a lot of slack followers. Talking of slackness & a tune that’s aimed at the dancehall rather than radio I have to give a mention to Gappy Ranks “Wine Pon Di Edge” The tune taken from his “Bedroom Bully” EP is a tune I can see running a lot of dances in the coming months and as you can see the Video seemed like a lot of fun! Before moving on from the slack, dancehall aimed tracks I have to give mention to the Coolie Gal Riddim, which seems like being a firm dancehall favourite. Surprisingly Tommy Lee is getting a lot of air play (Both on radio & in the Dance) with his track “Let Me Put It In” although I have to big up Zamunda, an artists I have always loved and feel is underrated for his effort “Gal Army” and of course Popcaan’s title track which are both getting good responses. Talking about Popcaan he features on the new riddim from Mixpak “Loud Speaker” which is a great, with its up tempo almost soca flavour. Produced by Dre Skull and fetauring some of the finest Caribbean Artist I can see this doing really well. The Machel Montana is the stand out for me but I can see a few more pieces being added in the coming weeks and months including a Joe Grime Refix for sure! Next up I need to give UK its props for a number of reasons. Firstly because in last few months the level of UK dancehall has gone through the roof, especially when you look at the new Ragga Ragga CD which is filled heavily with UK anthems form Stylo G, Gappy Ranks & Lea-anna. I also have to big up the UK because alongside the established artists, the next set of artists have really been bringing some heat! For those that listen to my show you will have heard me play the Suncycle produced Kick Out Teeth Riddim for some time (The Ladychann & Durrty Goodz being my fav) well good friend and all round wicked artist Fresharda has recently jumped on the riddim on a remix of Tenza’s Out & Clean and I have to say Fresh really did up the levels, I never played the original but with Fresharda’s feature its put it up there with Chann & Goodz. Talking of UK, Afterhours have been pushing their own brand of dancehall well for the last 9 months, with Deejay Fingers behind the music and big artists such as Don Andre, Big Chainz & UKG legend Kele Le Roc all featured on his riddims I really predict big things for them! If you downloaded my mix for Dont Watch That TV you would of heard “Too Mix Up” (personally my favourite After Hours Tune) and with the new single with Kele Le Roc “One Man” out now, plus a number of up and coming riddims ready for release you would be well advised to keep your eyes peeled. Talking of Don Andre he appears on the New Hot Coffee Music Release Throw Me Herb, a riddim dedicated to all things Ganja. The riddim features notable tunes from Don, Gappy Ranks & Reddman with Busy Signal leading with his Ganja Tune “Hot Head” This moves me nicely into mentioning 2 of the biggest reggae albums released this year, Busy Signal’s Reggae Music again & Romain Virgo The System. Let’s start with Busy’s Reggae Music again, the album is a great advertisment for all thats been good with reggae music! He has brung together some of Jamaica’s best musicians for it and by recording it at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios the album really brings together all the modern wordplay you would expect from Busy with the musicanship of legendary labels such as Penthouse & of course Tuff Gong. It’s hard to single out favourite tunes from the album, as the album for me should be viewed as whole. I will however mention Royal Night, a masterclass in innuendo, using a classic lovers formula laced with just the right amount tongue in cheek slackness. Moving on to another Shane Brown produced album, I write with great pleasure how much I enjoyed Romain Virgo’s the system (It’s Been on constant play in my car since I got it). The album itself is a great mix of Reality & Lovers tunes put togther with an almost mixtape feel (the tracks flow seamlessly through the album). The album kicks off with some great reality with my stand out “Another Day Another Dollar” and also features “Dem A Coward” which I personally feel has the potential and potency to be a future Dub Plate anthem. Its when I get to track 11 (Fantasize) that I get most excited. This track reminds me of classic Sanchez and with album being heavily produced by Penthouse, you get that classic 90’s reggae feel. Having started writing this by moaning about Summer Wave, it’s nice to finish talking about something so positive. I think we have covered at lot here, and it’s contrasting that for all the up and coming producers making dancehall it’s established & legendary producers who are still putting the majority of quality albums out. Remember catch The Bashment Show every Tuesday 10pm-12am (GMT) on & listen back to previous shows via my mixcloud (