Friday, March 27, 2009

Yard Styles

It's been a baaaad start to 2009 for dancehall and reggae entertainers. *EDIT - updated with video. **EDIT AGAIN - Ninjaman video added.

First of all, and perhaps most shockingly, came the news of the assault on Luciano which left him with a head wound. Turns out it was all over a fairly tawdry dispute over money with an engineer who had toured with the messenger and claimed he had not been paid in full. Accusations of violence and fuckery have been thrown to and fro from both sides, but the most complete version of the story came with this radio interview from Irie FM.

As if that wasn't damaging enough, this was followed by
a shootout at Luciano's home in St. Andrew. 3 policemen were wounded, one seriously, and an apparently notorious gunman who had taken refuge in the house was shot dead after a protracted gunfight which took place whilst the singers wife and children were present. Luciano has been taken into custody and is now facing charges of harbouring a fugitive.... all very bad news, especially when it involves one of the most enduringly and consistenly positive reggae artists out there.

has also been in trouble with the law, though thats perhaps less surprising... the severity of the charges may come as a shock to some: " Dancehall deejay Desmond 'Ninja Man' Ballentine was yesterday charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm following a shooting incident on Tuesday. The deejay was yesterday charged after an interview with detectives from the Major Investigation Task Force. Head of the Major Investigation Task force (MIT), Assistant Commissioner Les Green, confirmed the charges and added that the case might be mentioned in court as early as next Friday. Ninja Man is now being held in custody."

One time Shabba spar
Risto Benjie of 'Passport Buddie' fame has also been in a spot of bother: Entertainer 'Risto Benji', who is charged with robbing a woman with a knife, was granted bail in the sum of $40,000 when he appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Last but not least, Sizzlas' house burnt down on Monday: A fire torched Sizzla's rented house in Liguanea, St. Andrew on Saturday, but no one was harmed in the blaze. The deejay, who is reportedly building a mansion in Stony Hill, had been living at the residence for the past few months. His mother and sister still reside in August Town.

Lets hope the rest of the year goes a bit better for the reggae cru eh?

Thanks to Chocolate Soldier and the BAF forum for the front line reports.

Monday, March 23, 2009


There are some good artist LP's out there, but like jungle, dancehall is all about compilations and singles. Despite a bit of selector snobbery towards the former (a strange one, as compilation cuts are often better than the 7" pressing), comps really do provide both an invaluable resource for introducing fans to the genre, and also for collectors trying to get their hands on that one crucial cut which can't be found on 7" but appears on a one-riddim album. Personally I love reggae compilations. They're how I discovered the genre, and I still buy secondhand comps regularly, as you never know what gems you might find - plus the covers are usually great!

Here's some mid 80's-mid 90's samples from my collection - I was gonna do a mini-review of each one, but this has been languishing in my drafts folder for ages, so i thought it best to just post it now before I forgot about it for another 6 months. Woebot
did a nice write up of UK reggae comps on his now defunct blog if anyone's interested in further exploration.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Durrty Boogies

This is gonna be sick. I was at the twisted pepper last Friday for the Space2Pace launch and I like what they've done with the layout and the soundsystem, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow night. Good to see Heatwave blogamuffin Gabriel getting some props in support.

Big up Richie and the Kaboogie cru for taking a risk in bringing over the best grime MC around at the moment!

Gettin Bizzy

Ruff Revivalism from the label that brought you the excellent Remarc compilations. Unlike the 3 science Ep's which had a mix of great and so-so material, this promises to be an absolutely fucking essential release - especially on 3x12" (coming in July). Check it out on the Planet Mu site.

Replication Fatigue

So yeah, been a bit quiet round here. Droid Mk II rolled off the assembly lines in mid December and it's taking a while to work out the bugs in his software - and the constant oil changes and maintenance are pretty time consuming as well... I am confident that his programming will be complete at some point in the next 18 years or so, but until then be aware that posting here may be more erratic than usual.