A Tribe Called Hip Hop

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The Abyssinians – Satta Massagana

Truly great roots reggae album which was originally released in 1976 and has been re-released three times since in 1977, 1993, and in 2007 under the labels jam Sounds, and heartbeat Records. 

The title track “Satta Massagana” was a huge hit and has been versioned numerous times by both The Abyssinians and other artists since. It has even been adopted by some Rastifarian  groups as a hymn used during services. The song, which translates from the Amharic language as “Give Thanks”, was originally recorded for Studio One  in 1969, but the label’s owner, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd declined to release it.

The Abyssinians debut album has had a very complex release history. The first un-official editions, very limited in quantity, were released by Clive Hunt  in 1975. The first official release occurred in Jamaica in 1976 on Pentrate Label, issued by Clive Hunt and Geoffrey Chung , and shortly after in the USA on Jam Sounds.

The following years, 1977 and 1978, saw the album released by three labels under the title Forward On To Zion. The album was released in the UK  on the UK Klik Chart Sounds and Different labels, as well as on Bernard Collins’ own Clinch label. Similarly, Clive Hunt’s US-based Azul label released the album under the title Satta. A note on track-listings: the Klik & Different releases reverted to the original tracklisting of the limited pre-release editions which placed the title track as the final track, furthermore, the Azul edition renamed some tracks and did not include “African Race”.

The album would see numerous re-releases over the next decade, including in 1988 by Clinch and in 1989 by the Blue Moon label.

In 1993 the album was released on Compact Disc  for the first time by Heartbeat Records . This edition included four previously unreleased bonus tracks. And once again in 2007 as a deluxe edition which included four additional bonus tracks.


July 26, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader

Another classic album produced by hip hop underground legend MF Doom, under the pseudonym of ‘King Geedorah’. The album was released under the Big Dada record label, the hip hop division and accompanying record label of NinjaTune. With regards to the album, Daniel Dumile AKA Geedorah, states the following;

“You should listen to the album for what it is and not expect it to be like the average “rap” stuff you’re probably used to. Geedorah is a space monster. He’s not from the Earth. I made it different on purpose. A blend of ill lyrics and instrumentals. To me its way iller than any of the wack shit out now… This whole album is Geedorah’s alien perspective on humans. This is done intentionally to show the listener a mirror image of his/herself and the way we see each other. On the album we cover different subjects ranging from race issues to the neglect of children. Some might find the word “Nigger” offensive, or the line about the young girl not being able to read maybe considered a “bad taste” joke. All these insecurities are within us.”

The character King Geedorah is thought to have grown from the character that appears in the Godzilla movies, King Ghidorah, who appeared as a three-headed golden monkey.  

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Submotion Orchestra

Iv’e already posted one tune by these guys from Leeds (‘All Night’) but everything that comes from them seems to be gold. These next two tunes are absolute quality, so chilled out, with a groovy summery electronic vibe, and a  female vocalist (Ruby Wood) delivering textured soulful and melancholic tones ontop of the beats.  

They share the same jazzy feel as The Cinematic Orchestra and quote heavy influences from them and other NinjaTune trip hoppy artists, such as Bonobo, Andreya Triana, and Amon Tobin to name just a few. They’re heavily touring the globe at the moment playing at many major festivals, including Secret Garden Party, Outlook, Greenman, Lattitude, and Shambala festival.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Electro, Jazz, Soul, Trip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Laura Marling

As written by Laura Marling – http://www.lauramarling.com/biodisco.php – 

‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ Laura’s debut album, is produced by Noah And The Whale mainman Charlie Fink, and besides its warm, sweet arrangements for guitar, trumpet, brushed drums and even a male choir, the album is infused with a real intimacy.

You’ll notice that this album doesn’t just appear in a ‘normal’ format – the music is part of a ‘Song Box’, designed by Laura, which contains postcards, trinkets and stories – plus a concert ticket to her shows in March. ‘The idea came of a conversation I had with a guy who owned the studio I was recording in,’ says Marling. ‘He said he was depressed with the way music’s going, because nobody buys records any more and people are listening to MP3s on bad headphones, using music for wallpaper.’ So, she designed the chart-ineligible, beautifully printed ‘Song Box’: ‘I want people to love music,’ she says, ‘I want people to treasure it, not just my songs, but treasure music

Laura Marling has undoubteldly one of the most beautiful voices currently producing music for the British charts. She has a subtle and smooth texture to her voice, whilst her lyrics often add a darker edge to many of her songs. Laura has released two albums to date, the most recent release; ‘I Speak Because I can’, and her debut album, ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’, whilst also releasing a further two EP’s, ‘My Manic And I’, and ‘The London Town EP’.

Laura Marling (born 1st February 1990) is a 20 year old English folk singer from Eversley, United Kingdom just outside of Reading. She began playing the guitar at the age of three, first being taught the blues by her father in front of the family fire, and has been enthralled by the songs and lyrics of the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, James Taylor and John Mayall ever since. It’s not just the “golden-oldies” that Laura admires; she also harbours a rather deep love for alt.country’s favourite son, Ryan Adams. “He’s brilliant, there’s nothing that even comes close, he can paint the most amazing pictures in your mind.” Jamie T personally invited her on tour with him last year after being impressed by her modern folk-pop when he caught her playing just her second ever gig. Marling is part of the extended Way Out West family, having played five eminent shows at the label’s Brentford FC night before the club was finally moved on, and was also a member of Noah and the Whale until May 2008, contributing vocals and instruments throughout, and seen in the “Five Years Time” video playing recorder. Following her London Town EP, Marling’s debut album Alas I Cannot Swim was released by Virgin on 4th February 2008. Originally released in a large Song Box containing mementos and trinkets personal to the songs, as well as a concert ticket., the album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.Marling releases the follow-up, I Speak Because I Can on March 22nd 2010.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Acoustic, Folk, Indie, Jazz, Soul | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Magnetic Man (Skream, Benga & Artwork)

Magnetic Man is the 2010 triple-threat combination of DJ’s and heavy electronic and dubstep producers Benga, Skream & Artwork.  They perform using three Apple Macbook Pro computers, one playing drum samples and loops, one playing basslines and the third playing lead sounds and samples. Artwork controls the master laptop, using Ableton Live, to which the other two are synchronised via midi. Their sets usually consist of a mix of original tracks produced together, and live remixes of Benga and Skream’s tracks, accompanied by synchronised projected visuals by Novak Collective.

The trio are set for live performances in England during the months of October and November, playing gigs up and down the country, notably at Glasgow’s Sub Club, London’s Heaven. and at Nottingham Trent University. They also have performances in Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Norwich.  April 7th’s issue of NME featured a special on Magnetic Man, where the trio claimed, ”We’re cooler than every other pop act out there”. Speaking as one of the 10 cover stars in a special edition of a revamped NME out this week (April 7) the trio, who are renowned for donning all black clothing and Ray-Bans, claim fans are going to be blown away by their forthcoming debut album. “Look at us! We’re cooler than every other pop act out there,” Benga declared. The band are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut in a Cornish studio.”People are going to think ‘Wow’,” Benga added, before Skream, who was responsible for last year’s seminal ‘In For The Kill’ remix, explained: “They should be excited, we’re putting everything we’ve learned into the last 10 years into this project.”There’s some risky tracks on the album that we’ve done,” Artwork continued. “We could just sit down and write straight-up dubstep tracks, but instead we’re taking risks. We’re not doing what people expect.”

Check out the official website for more info; http://www.magneticman.net/

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Drum n Bass, Dubstep, Electro | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emalkay – When I Look At You

Filthy, wobbly, hardcore dubstep from the Midlands based  producer Emalkay. Dubstep producer Emalkay is one of the most exciting talents to emerge on the scene in recent times, and is certainly one to watch out for in 2010.

2009 saw the Birmingham based producer rise to prominence with the newly voted best dubstep track of the year ‘When I Look at You’, which was not only supported by the scene’s biggest DJs, it was chosen as single of the week by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, 1Xtra’s MistaJam and the Guardian newspaper. Emalkay however, not content with producing one of the biggest underground anthems of the year, was also busy remixing tracks for the likes of Faithless, Miike Snow, Freeland, BBE, and most recently, drum and bass heavyweights Pendulum.

With a fresh release out on Storming Productions, and an album in the pipeline, Emalkay is well on his way to cementing his place as one of dubstep’s finest producers and DJs, playing events all over the world, including this years Glastonbury.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Dubstep | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Monsta Island Czars – Escape From Monsta Island

Escape from Monsta Island! is the first full-length album released by the Monsta Island Czars, notably featuring Daniel Dumile under his King Geedorah/King Ghidra alias, or better known as MF Doom to many. The album is very highly regarded among underground hip-hop fans. Although the Monsta Island Czars are a creation of MF Grimm, he is absent on the entire album due to his incarceration at the time of its production and release.

The album is entirely produced by the combination of X-Ray and King Geedorah, whilst it was released under the Metal Face Record Label. Monsta Island Czars is a hip-hop group from New York City featuring MF Doom and MF Grimm among others. The rappers in the group, such as King Geedorah, Jet Jaguar, Megalon, Spiega, Kong, Gigan, Rodan, take their names from movie monsters. Their first full length album, Escape from Monsta Island!, was released in 2003 by Rhymesayers Entertainment. Many of the Czars appeared on MF Doom’s album Take Me to Your Leader under his King Geedorah alias. Most M.I.C. (as they are often abbreviated) tracks are produced by King Caesar (aka X-Ray) or King Geedorah (aka MF Doom). (Both of whom are absent from the MF Grimm American Hunger album. As MF Doom is apparently feuding with M.I.C, and specifically MF Grimm, it appears doubtful that he will produce any future tracks.)

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buena Vista Social Club

One of the all-time great group of musicians of our generation. The legendary Cuban ensemble has blasted music fans with irresistable magic since the release of their first studio album in 1997.

The release of their album in 1997 consisted of over 20 musicians, including the better known names including, Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Manuel ‘Gaurjiro’ Mirabal, Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa. Many of these 20 are signed to the record label ‘World Circuit’, a record label that specialises in Cuban and West African music.

Buena Vista have also famously released the live album, ‘ Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall’, the group performed in 1998 in New York to great critical acclaim. The only other live concert performance the group has played was at The Carre theatre in Amsterdam. The group still maintain that they don’t know how they made it commercially, as they had no intention of creating the success that later formed, but they remain adamant that a love and solidarity for Cuban music was the key.

Buena Vista Social Club are one of those acts that even if you’ve never heard of them you can always bet your bottom dollar that you’ve heard one of their bigger tracks (such as Chan Chan, or Ay Candela) …they’re that familiar throughout the music world.

check them out for yourself further here – http://www.buenavistasocialclub.com/

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Funk, Jazz, Soul | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr Alimantado – Born For A Purpose / Reason For Living

One of the best Reggae tunes iv’e ever heard, so smooth, soulful, the beat’s pure summer. Fact is Dr Alimantado hits the spot. Dr Alimantado, born Winston Thompson, also known as The Ital Surgeon (Kingston, 1952- present). He started to record very young under various names (Prince Winston, Winston Cool or Youth Winston). His first recordings were for Lee “Scratch” Perry and Bunny Lee – “Place Called Africa Version 3” and “Maccabee Version”. He returned to Lee Perry in 1976, recording the DJ portion of Devon Irons 12″ “Ketch Vampire”. Between 1971 and 1977 his singles were unreleased outside Jamaica, only being available in the UK on import. He built his reputation with tunes such as “Oil Crisis” ( versioning Horace Andy’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”), “Sons of Thunder”, (toasting over Jackie Brown’s “Wiser Dread”), “Gimme Mi Gun” on Gregory Isaacs’ “Thief a Man” and “Poison Flour”, on a recut of the Paragons “Man Next Door” rhythm. He mainly met success in the mid to late 1970s, with his best known album being Best Dressed Chicken in Town (1978), a Greensleeves Records collection of tracks recorded in the mid-70s, featuring Alimantado toasting over singers such as John Holt, Gregory Isaacs, Jackie Edwards and Horace Andy. His tunes mixed his Rastafarianism with commentary on events then going on in his community; “Poison Flour” referenced a recent incident when a number of local Kingstonians had been poisoned by eating bread made with contaminated flour. Alimantado became popular with punk rockers in the ’70s following Johnny Rotten praising him in an interview. He was mentioned in The Clash song Rudie Can’t Fail in the line “Like the doctor who was born for a purpose”.

Alimantado’s biggest hits were “A Place Called Africa” and “Born for a Purpose”. The latter song was originally released on his Vital Food label, and told of his Rastafarian faith supporting him after bus driver had driven into him in Kingston on December 26th 1976, causing serious injuries. The musicians who played on the record did so without payment. The single, and its accompanying version “Still Alive” were released in the UK firstly as two 7″ 45s, then as a 12″, featuring the full extended mixes. By 1977 he had largely abandoned his toasting style, apart from occasional records such as “Go Deh Natty Go Deh” on a heavily dubbed mix of Delroy Wilson’s “Trying to Conquer Me”, preferring to release singing tunes, including “Mama (I Thank You)”, “Jah Love Forever”, and a cover of Billy Stewart’s “Sitting In the Park”.


June 15, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postmen – This Life

Dutch Reggae and Hip Hop outfit ‘Postmen’ have some brilliant tunes. ‘This Life’ really enforces the melodic, soulful vibe that Postmen deliver time and time again on thier tracks. The group was founded by The Anonymous Mis and G-Boah in 1993 and the duo along with third group member ‘Rollarocka’ have featured in some of the largest Hip Hop and Reggae festivals around the globe. The group split up in 2005 because the three members had drifted apart. Anonymous Mis continued as Postman and released his solo-album Green in 2006. As Postmen the group released three albums, Documents (1998), Revival (2001) and Era (2003). ‘This Life’ emphasises Postmen’s style beautifully, combining Reggae with Hip Hop, within the production of the beat, and within the vocals, with catchy hooks featuring on countless records. This is a great summery Hip Hop track, with a slightly harder-hitting edge and a deepness that any Hip Hop fan can relate to. Probably the most famous Postmen track is ‘Cocktail’, which is notorious throughout Hip Hop heads in The Netherlands and across Europe and has become a tune synonymous with the trio from Holland. Have a listen for yourself, it’s a summery reggae jam.

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop, Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments