Review: REPRESS ALERT: As far as collaborative delights go, this really takes the cake. Miami boogie wildcard Noel Williams, aka King Sporty, throwing it down heavy with legendary Jamaican reggae axe man Ernest Ranglin - as you might expect, the results are incendiary. "Soft Touch" has a hint of the cosmic about it as it romps through insanely catchy chorus chants, stirring brass stabs and Ranglin's sweet licks. "Keep On Dancing" has a more uptempo feel, "In The Rain" slips into a laid back reggae skank and "Be What You Want To Be" turns the vintage disco heat back up. Throughout this wonderful mini LP, the duo switch between each other's strengths and bring out the best in each other, like all good collaborations should.
Review: Red Soul Community is a ska band from Spain founded by Carlos Dingo, and after a small hiatus they make a big return with a punk riddled new album that comes with suitably confrontational artwork. Known and loved by rocksteady fans round the world, this outfit is led by the captivating vocals of Isa Garcia and since 2005 they've turned out a number of acclaimed albums. This new one is an uptempo affair with energetic grooves, hints of American ska, skinhead and 2 tone, and attitude to spare. The songs are both catchy and dance-y, and the whole album is wonderfully colourful.
Sly & Robbie - "Night Nurse" (feat Simply Red - radio mix) (3:45)
John Holt - "Police In Helicopter" (3:33)
Eek-a-mouse - "Ganja Smuggling" (3:46)
Don Carlos - "Rivers Of Babylon" (3:16)
Freddy McGregor - "Big Ship Sailing" (3:12)
Jacob Miller - "Tenement Yard" (2:33)
The Congos - "La La Bam-Bam" (3:50)
Alton Ellis - "I'm Still In Love" (4:22)
Dennis Brown - "Revolution" (4:15)
Errol Dunkley - "OK Fred" (2:55)
Groundation, Don Carlo & The Congos - "Jah Jah Know" (5:57)
Black Uhuru - "Sinsemilla" (5:14)
Ini Kamoze - "World A Music" (2:45)
Yelloman - "Zungguzungguguzungguzeng" (6:29)
Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters - "Soul Fire" (3:51)
Alborosie - "No Cocaine" (4:05)
Chaka Demus & Pliers - "Murder She Wrote" (4:04)
Review: Classics are classics for a reason, and this compilation champions them across two slabs of wax. All four sides are jam packed with firm reggae favourites from Bob Marley's stirring "Soul Rebel" to the buttery croons of Gregory Isaacs on "Babylon Too Rough". Mick Hucknall's inclusion will raise some eyebrows, but there is no denying his version of "Night Nurse" with Sly & Robbie has something going on. Smokers will delight in ganga odes from Eek-a-mouse and the lovable innocence of The Congos hit "La La Bam-Bam" will always have a place in anyone's affections.