Ghetto Palms: Infrared / Money Tree / Spring Blade Blends

September 17, 2008

Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.

Three riddims, three blends. Pretty simple. Likewise the music on review this week is dead simple, straight ahead, dancehall. Which is pretty weird, actually.

Infrared Riddim blend:

Mavado, “Japanese”

Sean Paul, “Moaning”

Beenie Man, “Boliing Day”

Munga, “Gangsta Nuh Falla”

Voicemail, “You Don’t”

Download: Infared Riddim Blend

First up is the Infrared riddim from radio jock ZJ Liquid and his appropriately named H2O productions. Liquid is known for his advanced mixing technique on Zip 103 FM in Jamaica, although in 2008 he has become arguably more famous for a sex tape of him performing an act on his girlfriend Amelia “Milk” Sewell of the kind that Mr. Vegas does not approve of—and which was making the Bluetooth rounds of the music industry when I was in Kingston for the Busy Signal cover story.

Appropriately enough, all the tunes on Infrared seem to be sex talk joints even though the atmospheric polyrhythm on the hook sounds more like the soundtrack to a really classy suspense flick. It doesn’t exactly fit into the regular tempo patterns of the current bashment trends but does sound like it’s designed to work on radio better than most dancehall, which only makes sense on two-story speakers. The best thing about it is hearing '90s heroes like Sean Paul and Beenie in the juggling with new dudes Munga and Mavado.

Speaking of Mavado, his version “Japanese” is one of several sex tunes he has done lately, which makes me think someone told him he should branch out in terms of subject matter. The only problem is that when he sings stuff like tight pussy gal me love unnu / when me see yah in the street me haffi hug unnu in that tales from the crypt voice he just sounds like some kind of demented stalker. I’m not sayin it’s not good I’m just saying it’s more likely to get placed on Fringe than on Gossip Girl. Sean Paul, on the other hand, knows how to talk to the ladies, and does his patent pending thing on “Moaning.” Beenie is always Beenie and Voicemail represent the opposite end of the spectrum from Mavado; I can’t always take them seriously when they’re in "Ganga Lee" mode but as baby-making music “You Don’t” actually smolders.

Money Tree Riddim blend:

Beenie Man ft. TOK, “Trapped”

Mr. Easy, “Heartbreaker”

Sleepy Hallowtips, “Realest Winer”

TOK ft. Beenie Man, “Ms. World”

Download:Money Tree Blend

Money Tree is the only one of these that could really be categorized as '90s throwback although '90s veterans dominate over all three riddims. This one feels almost like a part II to Tony Kelly’s now-classic Buy Out riddim, which spawned “Like Glue,” TOK’s “Money to Burn” and Mr. Easy’s “Drive Me Crazy.” Not surprisingly then Bomb Rush assembled most of the original cast, and even less surprising they all connect with memorable joints. The only newcomer here is Sleepy Hallowtips, who I still don’t know much about, but who kills it dead here.

Spring Blade Riddim blend:

Tony Curtis & G Mafia, “Get Rich”

Mad Cobra, “Happen”

Capleton, “Light House Top”

Monster Hempire, “Stop Man”

Jr. Cat & Hollow Point, “General Don”

Scare Dem Giants, “Gully & The Garrison”

Download:Spring Blade blend

Spring Blade is not a throwback at all rhythmically but maybe in the sense of catchiness and experimental creativity that producers like Dave Kelly made standard in the '90s. It’s from the Truck Back label which I understand is actually located in the back of a truck. Which maybe explains why the sound quality sounds a little weird in places (as did “Gearbox”, their other big riddim). But it more than makes up for it in originality and plus it features a who’s who of under-utilized vets from Tony Curtis to Cobra to ex Scare Dem Crew stalwarts Boom Dandymite and Nitty Kutchie, now known as "Scare Dem Giants." Since they presumably changed the name to reflect the fact that former crew-member Ele now reps the Alliance who are often referred to as Alliance Giants (I’m guessing because Alliance actually rhymes with giants) maybe they should have gone with Scare Dem Behemoths or something.

From The Collection:

Ghetto Palms
Posted: September 17, 2008
Ghetto Palms: Infrared / Money Tree / Spring Blade Blends