Saturday, August 20, 2005

Droid Inna Dancehall Vol 1. - Basement Bashment

What better way to christen the site than with a mix? This one䴜s a ragga/dancehall outing from myself, based on a 45 minute demo I put together in 2000 in a grimey basement (hence the name) on Dublin䴜s charming Parnell St that housed Bassbin's studio at the time. Inspired by the wonderful work of Paul Meme, and John Eden (and particularly their recent Lyricmaker mix), plus the fact that I䴜m occupying a fully working studio for the first time in years, I dusted off an old CDR, ripped the mix, added a few effects and sirens, and tacked on an extra half an hour worth of mixes to make it CD length. Its a bit rough round the edges, but it does the job... For the record, all of the mixes here were done live on the decks, but where there is a break in the mix (ie between 2 selections), then that transition was done using a computer and an effects box. For example - the first 12 tunes, up until 'ring off me Cellie' were all done in one go, but the transition between that tune and 'Someones calling my name' was done on computer..

Unlike some of myself and Slug‰¥ús other mixes, there was no real concept or theme behind this set. It was simply a collection of tunes I was playing out at the time and riddims I was into. Despite the fact that I didn‰¥út consciously do an old skool set here, as most of it was recorded 5 years ago - its all fairly old skool stuff. Spanning a range from 1992 (Capleton ‰¥ã Mankind/Garnett Silk - Lionheart) to 1999 (The Riott riddim). I do often wonder if I‰¥úm some kind of nostalgia freak when it comes to dance music. My favourite periods of Jungle, Electronica and Hip-Hop are roughly 1989-96, and it‰¥ús the same with Dancehall. Even though it gave us the Sleng Teng, amazing releases from Junjo Lawes, Jammys and Gussie Clarke, and a slew of legendary (and some of my favourite) DJ‰¥ús and singers like Charlie Chaplin, Yellowman, Josey Wales, Bailey, Brigadier, Flourgon, Ninjaman, Chaka Demus, Pinchers and Cocoa tea, the 80‰¥ús still can‰¥út compete with the early 90s for sheer exuberance of talent. The fusion of rawer early dancehall styles with the minimalist sensibility of new producers like Dave Kelly and Steely & Cleevie, the influence of soundsystem culture and new technology on production, the emergence of a new generation of DJs following in the wake of the Grammy kid, the re-emergence of rasta and conscious lyrics and sensibilities ‰¥ã the sheer pace of innovation, mutation, and recombination invites comparison with the UK rave scene (which was going on at roughly the same time), the difference being that in Jamaica the gene pool of dancehall was enriched, revitalized and mutated by local influences, and by the juices of its own culture, whereas rave, hardcore and jungle were driven mainly by the importation and mutation of external sounds‰¥Ï

And of course I was almost totally oblivious to it at the time!

Anyway, here's the mix. You can download a 192kpbs MP3 version of it below, along with the cover and time-marked tracklisting. The cover is designed for those 䴝slim䴜 CD-single cases that are fairly ubiquitous these days, so you probably have one lying around somewhere. Just print it out, cut along the guides at the corners, and fold in half.

Droid Inna Dancehall Vol 1. zip (105 mb)

(00:00) 1. Mu -ziq 䴋 Brace Yourself (Remix) - Astralwerks/Caroline
(04:50) 2. Beenie Man - Year 4 - Steely and Cleevie (Bagpipe Riddim)
(07:11) 3. General Degree - Signal - Steely and Cleevie (Bagpipe Riddim)

(08:29) 4. Zebra - You See Mi - Steely and Cleevie (Bagpipe Riddim)

(09:11) 5. Steely & Cleevie - Bagpipe Riddim - Steely and Cleevie

(11:51) 6. Mad Anju - Rudeness - Steely and Cleevie (Bagpipe Riddim)

(14:07) 7. Mr Vegas - Latest News - Steely and Cleevie (Bagpipe Riddim)

(15:54) 8. Bingie General - New Clothes Version - Pisces Studio
(18:10) 9. Steely & Cleevie - Dirty Money Riddim - Q45
(20:42) 10. Mad Anju - Hell Fire - Q45 (Dirty Money Riddim)
(22:23) 11. Capleton - More Prophet - Q45 (Dirty Money Riddim)

(24:30) 12. Lexxus - Ring Off Me Cellie - Q45 (Dirty Money Riddim)

(26:51) 13. Pinchers - Someone䴜s Calling My Name - Jammy's (Who She Love Riddim)
(29:52) 14. Bounty Killer - Smoke the Herb - Jammy's (Who She Love Riddim)
(32:04) 15. Jah Screw - Clare (Part 3) Version 䴋 Greensleeves
(33:15) 16. Spragga Benz - Ruff and Tuff - Digital B (Kuff Riddim)
(35:26) 17. Garnett Silk - All Alone - Brickwall (Kuff Riddim)
(37:12) 18. Leroy Gibbons - Magic Moment (95 Remix) - Jammy's (Kuff Riddim)

(38:26) 19. Bounty Killer - Cellular Number - John John (Kuff Riddim)

(39:58) 20. Dirtsman - Trailer Load Come - Digital B (Kuff Riddim)

(42:31) 21. Buju Banton - Hail Massa God - Penthouse (General Riddim)
(45:13) 22. Garnett Silk - Lionheart - Penthouse (General Riddim)
(48:09) 23. Capleton - Mankind - Colin Fat Records (General Riddim)
(51:37) 24. Major Christie - If Da Lord - Jazzwad Music (Riott Riddim)
(53:08) 25. Bounty Killer - Divide And Rule - Jazzwad Music (Riott Riddim)

(55:02) 26. Sizzla - Anytime Now - Jazzwad Music (Riott Riddim)
(57:03) 27. Riott Riddim - Jazzwad - Jazzwad Music
(58:59) 28. Steely & Cleevie - Black Widow Riddim - Shines
(60:58) 29. Goofy - Anything Can Happen - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)
(62:18) 30. Mad Cobra - No One Style - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)

(63:09) 31. Zebra - Picture Fi Frame - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)

(64:33) 32. Merciless - Gal Sheet - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)
(66:18) 33. Terror Fabulous - Them A Watch me - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)
(67:32) 34. Mr. Vegas - Big Things A Gwann - Shines (Black Widow Riddim)
(69:14) 35. Andrew Bradford - Warlord Riddim - Opera House (Warlord Riddim)
(73:14) 36. Buccaneer - Soca Noma - Opera House (Warlord Riddim)

(00:00) 1. Mu -ziq 䴋 Brace Yourself (Remix) - Astralwerks/Caroline

Ok ‰¥ã you‰¥úre probably looking at this and wondering what the hell this tune is doing here, and if you‰¥úre not, then you will be once you listen to it, so I suppose I have a bit of explaining to do. As far as I remember (and it was 5 years ago), I had a vague plan to do a series of mix tapes, each one concentrating on a different genre of music, but each linked by their first and last tracks. In my feverishly optimistic mind, this one was planned to slot into a series of myself and Slug‰¥ús electronica mixes ‰¥ã I even did an ‰¥ùout‰¥ú section (which isn‰¥út featured here) for the B side of the original version of this mix that went from dancehall back into electronica‰¥Ï oddly enough ‰¥ã these plans never saw fruition, and I lost most of the B side in a hard drive crash in the basement.

Anyway, though this is bound to have some of you reaching for the fast forward button, you might get a laugh out of the mix between this and the next tune even if you‰¥úre a dancehall purist. The saccharine melodies and hyperactive snares of 'Brace yourself' mix surprisingly well with the opera singing, guitars and er‰¥Ï bagpipes of the bagpipe riddim - and I still get a kick out of hearing Beenie voice over a Mu-ziq tune‰¥Ï

Bagpipe Riddim:

(04:50) 2. Beenie Man - Year 4 - Steely and Cleevie

(07:11) 3. General Degree - Signal - Steely and Cleevie

(08:29) 4. Zebra - You See Mi - Steely and Cleevie

(09:11) 5. Steely & Cleevie - Bagpipe Riddim - Steely and Cleevie

(11:51) 6. Mad Anju - Rudeness - Steely and Cleevie

(14:07) 7. Mr Vegas - Latest News - Steely and Cleevie

This is where we really get started, with the first of three Steely and Cleevie riddims from the late-90䴜s. Beenie Man gets things rolling with 䴝Year 4䴜 affirming his supremacy as 䴝The king of JA䴜 and listing his many accomplishments in his career 䴝long time me inna the business/nah gwan like you blind/I man a chat the mic from 1979/from Alis Unlimited and all volcano time/from General Starky/I run Borderline䴜. It䴜s a classic (if less then minimal) Steely and Cleevie cut, with a palette of disparate sounds: guitars, opera samples, double bass, vocal 䴝hoo䴜/䴜hey䴜 and 䴝yo䴜 samples all intermingling with the wailing bagpipe that gives the tune it䴜s name.

Zebra䴜s offering over a stripped down version of the riddim, is an early example of his unique, almost Scottish sounding patois, which brings to mind DJs from the early 90䴜s like Major Mackerel and Snagglepuss. 䴝You see mi䴜 segues into a version of the bagpipe, and if you notice something odd about it, its probably because there䴜s a bit of fairly inept juggling going on with another copy of the riddim (though there is a nice spinback in there as well..) Another young DJ 䴋 Mad Anju comes out of the instrumental with 䴝rudeness䴜, which apart from some relatively mild homophobia: 䴝A mi love girls, mi want dem fi employ/a million girls mi want fi enjoy/I really cant be like that boy Roy/who left the girls for a boy䴜, is a pretty harmless account of his girl-chasing antics. Mr Vegas gives us a bit of contrast through his hugely popular singing style as he finishes off ten minutes of the Bagpipe selection with 䴝Latest News䴜 - a musical tribute to his extensive gossip-mongering abilities.

(15:54) 8. Bingie General - New Clothes Version - Pisces Studio

I can‰¥út find out the name of this riddim! I have at least 3 tunes on it ‰¥ã The a side of the 7‰¥ÿ I played above, a sinister anti aids anthem by Major Mackerel called ‰¥ùDisease‰¥ú, and a fairly anonymous bit of slackness from Sheriff called ‰¥ùGood Red‰¥ú, all from the early 90s. I‰¥úve also heard it backing up specials on a few soundclash tapes. It‰¥ús a bogley bit of bashment, with a taunting horn line and dubbed out guitars - nice and spacious with lots of punctuation, so it‰¥ús perfect for mixing out of vocal tunes and in between riddims. If you do happen to know what it‰¥ús called, please enlighten me.

Dirty Money Riddim:

(18:10) 9. Steely & Cleevie - Dirty Money Riddim - Q45
(20:42) 10. Mad Anju - Hell Fire - Q45
(22:23) 11. Capleton - More Prophet - Q45

(24:30) 12. Lexxus - Ring Off Me Cellie - Q45

Steely and Cleevie䴜s second riddim featured here, the 䴝Dirty Money䴜 from 䴜99 is a slightly more typical cut from the duo. The stripped down production style is more delicate than the bagpipe, with clipped snares and a dull bass sound providing the rhythmic backbone, and a variety of synth stabs, swells, and hooks swimming up out of the mix.

Upcoming DJ (at the time) Mad Anju focuses his irreverent DJ䴜ng style on the subject of religion in 䴝Hell fire䴜: 䴝Yah no read the bible say/Say wickness nah go last/They think Jah waste his time dead pon cross䴜. which, like many of Anju's tunes manages to be slack whilst delivering a religious or moral message..

If not for his rampant bigotry, Capleton would probably be my one of my favourite DJ䴜s. 䴝More Prophet䴜 is another killer cut from the 'Busta Rhymes of reggae'. The fiery vocal delivery here features the Prophet at his 'more fire' era best, with loads of drawn out guttural syllables and falsetto overdubs - and for once the batty boy talk is (thankfully) kept to a minimum - something that cant be said for Capleton's more recent output...

Lexxus's: 'Ring off me Cellie', was the first tune I ever picked up from the low-voiced DJ. The lyrics, I think are fairly self explanatory and comprehensible, and the chorus ('Hear me Pon the radio/See me pon the telly/(ringtone)(ringtone)/Ring off me Cellie/One bag of girls want me DJ acapelly/Antoinette/Kelly/Susie/Shellie') is particularly entertaining with its use of a mobile ring-tone, and some slightly more familiar slang. Lexxus was part of the Low-chat phenomenon that popped up in the late 90's, where it seemed that DJ's were competing to see who could get the bassiest sound out of their voice. Ward 21 were the other obvious contenders, but dancehall stalwarts Bounty and Beenie also did a few tunes in this style, with the latters 'say it nice' along with veteran DJ Silver Cat on Jammys being one of the standout tunes for me...

Who She Love Riddim:

(26:51) 13. Pinchers - Someone䴜s Calling My Name - Jammy's

(29:52) 14. Bounty Killer - Smoke the Herb - Jammy's

The next selection brings us back to ‰¥ù94 with ‰¥ùSomeone‰¥ús Calling My Name‰¥ú - a tune taken straight from the pew. Pinchers is one of those few artists from this period (alongside Sanchez), who could sing conscious lyrics as well as love songs over dancehall riddims and pull it off, and Jammy‰¥ús production of the ‰¥ùwho she love‰¥ú riddim, with its snaking bassline, marching snares, and stuttered organs works just as perfectly behind his devotional singing as it does backing Bounty‰¥ús Ganja anthem: ‰¥ùSmoke The Herb‰¥ú. Beloved of jungilist‰¥ús (due to a widely available samplorific bootlegged acapella 12‰¥ÿ), this tune is a snapshot of the days when the warlord was a little more relaxed: ‰¥ùI have rizla ready/Hand me the chronic/Me have some preserve/put dun and make tonic/Crack and the coke /all those things must abolish/Peter Tosh pon chalice in/na Buckingham Palace‰¥ú‰¥Ï

Despite the fact that I still rate Bounty‰¥ús current DJ style (apart from his prolific and vicious homophobia), I think he produced some of his best work in the early to mid 90‰¥ús- 'Fat and Sexy', 'Book book book', 'Celullar Phone', 'Down in the ghetto' - just a few of the classics he pumped out in his heyday. Whilst there‰¥ús no denying that he‰¥ús developed a unique and versatile chatting style over the last 10 years, IMO the lyrical content of his music has lost much of its charm in the process‰¥Ï

(32:04) 15. Jah Screw - Clare (Part 3) Version 䴋 Greensleeves

Haven‰¥út got much to say about this as it only plays for about a minute or so‰¥Ï Its a fairly nice echoey dub version, with just enough guitar to provide a counterpoint to Bounty‰¥ús fading vocals.

Kuff Riddim:

(33:15) 16. Spragga Benz - Ruff and Tuff - Digital B
(35:26) 17. Garnett Silk - All Alone - Brickwall
(37:12) 18. Leroy Gibbons - Magic Moment (95 Remix) - Jammy's

(38:26) 19. Bounty Killer - Cellular Number - John John

(39:58) 20. Dirtsman - Trailer Load Come - Digital B

The vast majority of dancehall falls into 5 basic categories. In a muso-critic-like fit of over-simplification, I‰¥úve dubbed them the 6 ‰¥ùG‰¥ús of dancehall: Guns, Girls, Ganja, Gays, Ghettoes and God. This selection on the Kuff riddim offers 5 cuts on probably the most prolific: the ladies - ranging from slack to mournful to cheesy - and then back to slack again‰¥Ï

The Kuff is one of those riddims that pops up all over the place, and has been a mainstay for Jammy䴜s since the late 80䴜s. Like a lot of riddims from this era, it's a rhythmic wall, with the bassline riding every beat of a 4/4 kick pattern and the snare cracking on the 3 - though it䴜s the weird fluttering melody (that fluctuates from a guitar to some kind of synthy xylophone between versions), which makes this one special. Here䴜s a clip of the original riddim from the mid-late 80's (I think)..

Spragga offers us the usual slack chatting on 䴝Ruff and tuff䴜 (䴝Good and plenty loving/No powder-puff/she want a real raggamuffin䴜) over a very bright, digital sounding version of the riddim, replete with squelchy electro blips, female moaning, and truncated snare rolls. The contrast with the next cut couldn䴜t be clearer. Although 䴝all alone䴜 is another Bobby Digital production from 1994, the sound has been softened to match Silks woeful ballad 䴋 with the voice pushed to the forefront over muted bass, lighter drums, and a looser arrangement (More on Garnet Silk later).

Leroy Gibbons takes over next, with the unapologetically cheesy love song: 䴝Magic Moment 95䴜. Taking things back to the Kuffs䴜 origin as a Sleng Teng derivative. Jammy pushes up the bass, minimises the melody, emphasises the snare, and lets the high-hats do most of the work - resulting in a much dirtier (though less harsh) sound than the preceding Bobby Digital versions.

Bounty Killer picks things up from Leroy Gibbons with the 95 hit 䴝Cellular number䴜. This version of the riddim, though most similar to the Jammys production (odd that, seeing as John-John is Jammys son!), with the kick pushed back in the mix, and elements inspired by the Bobby Digital mix 䴋 the squelchy snare (making an even more prominent appearance), and a scratchy stab that drops in every 4 bars - is probably the most experimental of the versions featured here, making up somewhat for the fairly average lyrics from Bounty.

We round things up with 䴝Trailer load come䴜 by Dirtsman - one of those fairly obscure DJ䴜s whose entire career was pretty much a homage to Shabba Ranks (and this tune is no exception). Directly quoting the grammy kid, with nearly every lyric referencing a Shabba tune: 䴝Mad bad and wicked inna bed/me wanna do the peanie peanie pon you/and just line them up䴜 this is taken from the LP 䴝Acid䴜 and is another digital B production - a cleaner, tighter version, with a huge reverbed snare and numerous vocal samples backing up Dirtsman䴜s solid (if somewhat derivative) chatting. For comparisons sake - the original Shabba cut of Trailer load come can be heard here (link removed).

(42:31) 21. Buju Banton - Hail Massa God - Penthouse (General Riddim)

This is the undoubtedly the heart of the set - the General Riddim featuring three of the leading lights of consciousness from early 90䴜s dancehall. Buju Banton opens proceedings with 䴝Hail Massa God䴜 (the non-Wayne Wonder/Heal the World duet version) on Donavan Germain䴜s Penthouse label. The version is a fairly faithful, if somewhat tighter reworking of the original riddim, driven by a 4/4 kick pattern with a snare at the end of each bar. It all sounds fairly conventional until a few bars in, when Germain and Kelly start chopping up the beat, alternating between a rolling tom-tom pattern, the echoed guitars which give the riddim its main melodic content, and a picked out complimentary bassline. He then piles on the pressure by throwing in a slew of what I call 䴝soundclash chops䴜, when the producer steals a technique from the soundboy, and basically chops the entire riddim (or elements of the riddim) out between beats, as if using a cross fader on a DJ mixer. The resulting maelstrom is completely addictive, retaining the traditional structure and refinement of the original version whilst also managing to be totally unpredictable and stunningly raw in the range of devastating mixing desk edits employed by Germain.

Buju rides over all this in the accomplished fashion of an artist at the peak of his powers. This is a reality tune (with a touch of the biblical about it) lamenting the plight of the poor: 䴝Look in a wi heart and see whey wi can mend/where food is concerned there is a problem/woman caan find food to gi the children/while the rich man has the chicken-back to fed the dog dem/but woe be unto them/he who rise against poor people shall perish in the end 䴜. True to form to his status as the Don Gorgon, and in a typical example of the perennial rivalry between dancehall DJ䴜s Ninjaman came out with his answer to Bujus question of 䴝how massa god world a run?䴜 within weeks of this tune being released...

(45:13) 22. Garnett Silk - Lionheart - Penthouse (General Riddim)

I nearly always try and slip a few Garnett Silk tunes into the mix when I䴜m playing a dancehall set, and Lionheart is not only my favourite tune in this mix, it䴜s possibly my favourite Silk tune ever! Another Penthouse production, the backing track on this is similar to the Buju version, but slightly more spacious, with pitch bended bass notes and vocal 䴝oh!䴜 samples thrown in to the mix of edits. The soundclash chops remain in place, but this time, the rolling tom pattern provides more rhythmic drive, rolling over in the background, seemingly with a mind of its own, even as the rest of the riddim stops and starts as it flips between edits and chops. The combination provides a perfect backing for a virtuoso performance from Silk.

A throwback to his days as a DJ for Mandevilles Destiny Outinational Soundsystem alongside Tony Rebel, Lionheart stands out from Silks discography for virtue of the fact that it‰¥ús only tune (that I know of) on which he combines the singing style that he was famous for with a fast-chat DJ performance. The content of the track is no less extraordinary than its delivery, and opens with a chorus which makes an odd third person sales pitch that almost dares the listener to find fault: ‰¥ùEveryone is gonna love this/You will never forget this/The Lionheart ‰¥ã giving you niceness/And I ‰¥ã guarantee you happiness‰¥ú. The first verse continues in the same vein, describing the music‰¥ús effect on its listeners: ‰¥ùSharon ‰¥ã oh she just love this song so wild/Trevor shouting his neighbours/Hey friend ‰¥ã turn on your radio/Here again the Lionheart come with a wicked ting/It‰¥ús a long time I haven‰¥út felt such musical feeling‰¥ú.. But its in the second verse, with the effortless flip from singer to DJ where Silk‰¥ús true intent is made clear. As the riddim is cut up with the first introduction of chopping into the mix, the gauntlet is thrown down to ‰¥ùslackness DJ‰¥ús‰¥ú : ‰¥ùHey sometimes when I say these things you may be reluctant to believe/But if you hear a DJ chat slackness - jah know it get me grave/If they ever come a my dance - dem would have to pack up and leave/but you can stay if you are here and willing to take heed/Me use the culture counter-react slackness and take the lead/if a slackness DJ try come test me really make im bleed‰¥Ï‰¥ú The lyrics are almost unique in that they offer an overt challenge to slack DJ‰¥ús (basically everybody in the industry in the early-90‰¥ús), from one of the most benign and positive forces in reggae at the time (and possibly ever). Not only is the delivery enough to scorch any slack DJ unfortunate enough to step into its path, Silk pulls it off in fine style without resorting to the gun-talk and bluster that usually accompanies ‰¥ùclash‰¥ú tunes. He somehow manages to diss a whole generation of DJ‰¥ús whilst remaining positive ‰¥ã offering the listener niceness instead of rudeness, and demonstrating conclusively that you don‰¥út have to be slack to chat...

(48:09) 23. Capleton - Mankind - Colin Fat Records (General Riddim)

Capleton makes another appearance here, voicing over a Fatta production of the General, which was cut roughly at the same time as the two tracks above. This is a much 'harder' version of the riddim, the bare rhythm is exposed as a cleaner 4/4 kick + snare (which sounds like someone bursting a paper bag in your ear) pattern is pushed to the forefront. The soundclash chops are still there, but applied to the bass only, and the edits and cuts between the main elements are much more restrained. The only actual addition sonics-wise is the introduction of a descending string line that features in the intro, and occasionally pops up in the track..

Based mainly around biblical themes that range from lamenting the evils of mankind, to an account of the birth and life of Jesus: 'Me say only the almighty/People unno fi worship/ You know the almighty him well damn equipped/Him make me back, wi belly/we chest/make we spine and we hip/we hand dem fi thump/and we foot dem fi kick/Down in a river jordan/where the almighty dip/and who did a dip him/but John the baptist/When him come out of the water/Him feel so classic/and dun pon him shoulder/A white dove pitch'... This is Capleton at his finest IMO. Voicing Positive and educational lyrics with his hypnotic narrative style over a classic riddim... something that we could do with a bit more of today.

OK - thats the end of the '2000' portion of the mix. the next section was recorded in one go a couple of months back, and was based loosely on the vague memories i had of how I had planned the mix on going...

Riott Riddim:

(51:37) 24. Major Christie - If Da Lord - Jazzwad Music

(53:08) 25. Bounty Killer - Divide And Rule - Jazzwad Music

(55:02) 26. Sizzla - Anytime Now - Jazzwad Music
(57:03) 27. Riott Riddim - Jazzwad - Jazzwad Music

䴝UK䴜s master riddim builder䴜 Jazzwad has a tough time following up the General, but just about pulls it off with the 䴝Riott䴜 riddim from 1999. A softer sounding riddim (by modern dancehall standards) the Riott is driven by a fairly muted bassline, backed by a melodic saxophone riff, with tiny vocal 䴝uh-huh䴜s䴜, 䴝yeah䴜s and 䴝no䴜s䴜 and a variety of overtly electronic counter-melodies and sound effects providing the detail.

There are four cuts here, including the version, starting with the hymn-like ‰¥ùIf da Lord‰¥ú from a relatively unknown singer: Major Christie. Bounty soon takes over with ‰¥ùDivide and rule‰¥ú, riding a different, guitar heavy (and sax free) mix of the riddim, and Sizzla provides the best cut with ‰¥ùAnytime now‰¥ú ‰¥ã which features strong political lyrics and a positive (if somewhat ominous message) ‰¥ùId rather to be/with the people I lead/giving my daily strength and showing them my daily need/ and id rather to see/more love the grieve/That‰¥ús the only way the ghetto youth a go achieve/And id rather to be/With the people in need/ Babylon system only come/yah so fi deceive/Id rather to listen and not a word receive/Dem a go cut the woman‰¥ús breast and bust dem seed/West a perish/Long time me see it/Black people back up and yard in a the east/Tell the Indians a fi go look fi dem chief/Tell the white man pon a Europe go hide and seek/Hey - Rastaman aint got no secrets to keep/There will be a weeping and a wailing and a gnashing of teeth‰¥ú‰¥Ï With the help of a bit of delay and some fairly severe eq‰¥úng Sizzla takes us into the Riott version, which leads us directly into Steely and Cleevie‰¥ús third riddim on the mix ‰¥ã The Black Widow.

Black Widow Riddim:

(58:59) 28. Steely & Cleevie - Black Widow Riddim - Shines

(60:58) 29. Goofy - Anything Can Happen - Shines
(62:18) 30. Mad Cobra - No One Style - Shines

(63:09) 31. Zebra - Picture Fi Frame - Shines

(64:33) 32. Merciless - Gal Sheet - Shines
(66:18) 33. Terror Fabulous - Them A Watch me - Shines
(67:32) 34. Mr. Vegas - Big Things A Gwann - Shines

The 䴝Black Widow䴜, is one of those simple but infectious riddims that Steely and Cleevie specialise in. Minimal to a fault, the tune䴜s main impetuous comes from the organ/synth led main melody hook, and the bright snare hits, complimented by a subtle bass line that lays down the rhythmic foundation in this sparse arrangement. There are a variety of DJ styles on display here: Goofy䴜s irreverent chatting, Mad Cobra and Merciless䴜s girl talk, and Mr Vegas䴜s singjay braggadocio. The cuts from Zebra and Terror Fabulous stand out for me though; the former for the almost unintelligible chatting style which veers between a Caribbean to a Gaelic accent on (䴝gal want mi䴜) 䴝Picture fi frame䴜, and the latter for his bombastic consciousness on 䴝Them a watch me䴜.

Warlord Riddim:

(69:14) 35. Andrew Bradford - Warlord Riddim - Opera House
(73:14) 36. Buccaneer - Soca Noma - Opera House

The 䴝Warlord䴜 riddim (after the Bounty cut of the same name) is another minimal masterpiece, coming this time from Andrew Bradford䴜s Opera house label. Peppered with blippy electro snare rolls, Bradford keeps the momentum up by cutting in and out of the main melody sample and shifting between different bass sounds. I got a bit carried away with the Black Widow selection, and I only had room for one vocal on this - so I picked the best...

Buccaneer‰¥ús ‰¥ùSoca Noma‰¥ú shows a different side to a DJ better known for novelty hits like ‰¥ùFade away‰¥ú. A not-so-subtle message to all the haters, this is a serious tune, with Buccaneer employing a twisting nasal style to convey his lyrical contempt: ‰¥ùWell, fi see you mash up in a life enough of them aim/especially when you have money and fame/but dem nah get close to we, shotta cant tame/so go (suck ya momma) from you a call out me name‰¥ú. The Opera style backing vocals and smooth ‰¥ùyeah‰¥ú samples in the chorus add an extra edge to the riddim, and give a bit of contrast to the atonal delivery, making this tune one of the highlights of Buccaneer‰¥ús extensive discography‰¥Ï

Phew! This blogging stuff is harder than it looks! But nonetheless, we䴜re going to try and keep the frequency of posts (and mixes) reasonably regular. Without revealing too much, I can tell you that the next offering will be from another contributor and will be a little more jungilstic in flavour, so watch this space. Volume 2 of Droid inna dancehall is also in production - I䴜m planning a Dave Kelly/Shocking vibes megamix, with a whole load of Bogle䴜s, Butterfly䴜s, Pepperseeds and Urkle Dances thrown in, and maybe a bit more conscious ragga.. It䴜ll be all new mixes, and my first set using CDJ's along with the 1210s, so, all going to plan, you can look forward to loads of timestretched vocals and some more hyperactive mixing.

Till next time...

Friday, August 19, 2005


Even by my standards, there‰¥ús been an extraordinary amount of procrastination on getting things started here - too much lying around in the sun at lunchtime‰¥Ï Anyways ‰¥ã we‰¥úre here now, and finally, the clapped out sound-boys, studio hermits, corporate sell-outs, genre whores and washed up producers of Ireland finally have a platform from which to spit our viscous vitriol, cynical musings and ludicrously out of touch ideas on music and whatever else comes to mind‰¥Ï

Enjoy the spectacle!