Saturday, December 28, 2013

5 (mostly) NZ reggae albums to make summer better

Thanks to the parental unit, my siblings and I associate long, hot summer days with roadtrips around the North Island visiting family and friends. Each roadtrip was accompanied by a mix of music, everything from Buffalo Springfield to The Doors, from Yvonne Elliman to Bob Marley and the Wailers and back again. I went through a phase in 1979/1980 where I loved (times a thousand) the Muppets, and would listen to their tape over and over and over. My parents would obligingly play the tape when we were in the car. Actually, they didn't just play it, they would sing along with it, too. I suspect they played it as much for themselves as they did for me. Looking back, that was no small thing, I mean back then, dad had an afro and a handlebar moustache (complete with beard, for crying out loud), and drove a bright orange Chrysler Regal Valiant. We very probably didn't look - or sound - like your average Maori family because here was this scary looking man and his hippie partner and kids singing along to Rainbow Connection while driving around the countryside. Good times. (That's not sarcasm). My parents were quite politically conscious, so something as simple as listening to music oftentimes involved discussions about the artist's political beliefs. Not surprisingly, that meant I heard a lot of folk and reggae growing up. Folk never quite stuck, but the reggae did. And summer, for me, still means impromptu roadtrips with the siblings, with carefully chosen playlists - with a lot of reggae thrown in - that capture the romance of long ago family trips, earlier times that were all about freedom, spontaneity, and adventure. I heart NZ reggae, and every summer means a new opportunity to discover never-before-heard bands, or check out new albums from bands I've been following for a while. Today's list is a quick round-up of what I'm listening to at the moment that are really worth a listen. And yes, before you ask, my siblings and I are planning a roadtrip north sometime in the next couple of weeks or so. Happy summer, everyone!

1. Harmony [compact disc] / House of Shem
Reggae music written and performed by the House of Shem with acc. musicians. HARMONY was recorded in a variety of studios across New Zealand throughout 2013 and mixed at Bob Marley's own Tuff Gong studio in Jamaica with the legendary Errol Brown (Bob Marley & The Wailers, Damian Marley, Julian Marley and Lauryn Hill) at the production and engineering helm.

1. Take You There 2. Fighting For Freedom 3. She's Mine 4. Hard Road feat Big Mountain 5. Harmony 6. For You and For Me 7. Jah Know 8. Crazy 9. Be Prepared 10. Let It Be 11. Stay Blessed 12. Calling

Photo credit: JBHiFi

2. Universal love [compact disc] / Sons of Zion
Good love -- Try again -- Superman -- Weekend -- Tell her -- Universal love -- Ignite -- Life -- Be my lady -- Feel -- Off my mind -- Home.

Photo credit: JBHiFi

3. Pacific reggae [compact disc] / Various artists
Featuring a collection of the hottest Pacific Reggae tracks released in the last two years - including hits from artists such as J Boog, Swiss, SpawnBreezie, Fiji, Three Houses Down and Brownhill - the new compilation hopes to further expose the groundbreaking Pacific Reggae Movement worldwide. To help bring this dream to reality, VP Records have included the biggest hits from the Jamaican Dancehall, Soca and Reggae scenes, including Busy Signals 'Come On Over', Tarrus Riley 'SuperMan', Gyptian 'Hold You' and Jamaican songstress Etana's hit 'Reggae'.

CD1: Pretty lady / Brownhill -- Let's do it again / J Boog -- Down by the river / Morgan Heritage -- Slow wind / Swiss -- Come over / Busy Signal -- Kanikapila / Three Houses Down -- Hold you / Gyptian -- Blue bayou / Swiss -- Superman / Rarrus Riley -- Love / Nesian N.I.N.E feat. Fiji -- Reggae / Etana -- Don't let go / Spawnbrezzie -- First love / Brownhill feat. Fiji -- Blessing / Etana feat. Alborosie -- Sweet & Irie / Sweet & Irie -- Sweet to the belly / Vybz Kartel -- Take it away / Tomorrow People -- Groovy little thing / Tarrus Riley -- All I need / Siaosi -- Feels like magic / Horsemen Family feat. Sweet & Irie.

CD2: Salute the crown / Lion Fiyah -- She's mine / Swiss -- The girl is mine / Morgan Heritage -- She's all / Brownhill -- Wrong address / Etana -- At the altar / Finn the Groovah -- Wine slow / Gyptian -- Sweet love / House of Shem -- She's royal / Tarrus Riley -- Good love / Sons of Zion -- Tempted to touch / Busy Signal -- Ganja farmer / J Boog -- She's my woman / Three Houses Down feat. Spawnbreezie -- Pure as the Nile / I Wayne -- Slow it down / Deach feat. Jae O -- Da style deh / Busy Signal -- Better place / Tomorrow People -- This is love / Monsta feat. J Boog -- I feel good / Beres Hammond -- Smoking bomb bud / J Boog & Fiji.

Photo credit: JBHiFi

4. One [compact disc] / Tomorrow People
One more time -- Feel alright (feat. Kolohe Kai) -- Let me be (the on you want) -- Take it away -- Sundown girl -- You give me something -- Irie music -- Jammin -- Souljah feeling (feat. Chad Chambers) -- Tonight -- Tell me -- Little story -- Better place.

Photo credit: JBHiFi

5. Irie inspiration [compact disc] / Sweet & Irie
Psalms of Bob Marley -- The love that comes from you -- Sunshine reggae -- Take me back to the islands -- Down by the river -- I'm sorry -- A new tomorrow -- Aotearoa -- On the road again -- Feels like magic (Raro remix feat. Brother Love).

Photo credit: JBHiFi

Also try:

No comments: