Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.
This newish thing on the Truck Back label has been getting a lot of burn lately, mostly in the form of “Click Mi Finger” by Erup, who along with Bugle has been name-checked by basically everybody as the new dude to watch for the last year or so.
Gear Box/Urkle blend:
Download: Gear Box/Urkle blend
“Gear Box” Riddim:
“Click Mi Finger” – Erup
“Vibes “ – TOK
“Hotta Than Them “ -- Famous Face
“Don’t Run In” – Blondie Ras aka Harry Toddler
“Show Off” – Delly Ranks
“Badman Story” – Beenie Man
“Tear of Mi Garment” – Beenie Man
“Big Up and Trust” – Beenie Man
Most of other tunes have not gotten as big a run but there are some good versions, especially from vets like Beenie Man, Delly Ranks and Harry Toddler not to mention TOK, who’ve outgrown the “boy band” category and are approaching veteran status themselves. The beat itself is kind of addictive. Running it back to back with Beenie’s “Badman Story” made me realize that the basic drum pattern is a slightly sped up version of the echoey b-section from Shocking Vibes’ “Urkle” riddim--which in case you couldn’t tell from the name, dropped back in the Urkel dance days of the 90s aka the bogle era of dancehall—so I threw two of those on the end as well.
Download: Gun-drop Blend
“Zebras in the Dancehall” – Habitat Soundsystem
“Sound Killa” – Buju Banton
“Doh” – Serani ft. Bugle
“Nuh Man” – Busy Signal
“Unknown Numbers” – Busy Signal
The next blend is a cross section of what I personally think of as “gun-drop”—slow, minor keyed shit with drums that fall somewhere between gangster rap and spooky 70s dub. Seems like this has been the major trend in JA lately and these are just a few of the wickedess currently running the set. The intro is this Habitat Soundsystem 45 which just mysteriously appeared on my desk at the FADER offices. It appears to be 2 weirdos from San Diego making dirty sample-based dub but I don’t know that much more about it than that. It is kinda gratifying to know that I’ve put my stamp on weirdness and dancehall so much that when shit like this comes in, it automatically gets filed under “STATS.” Next up is Buju on a thing called “Sound Killa” and then the stuff I’m really talking about: Serani and Bugle’s combination “Doh’” (not in the Homer Simpson sense but more like ‘don’t?’ which in JA is used like people in London say ‘innit?’ and New Yorkers say ‘right?’) and two Busy Signal tunes. Busy kinda got overshadowed by Mavado and then sort of disappeared for a minute but he’s had so many solid tunes lately that he finna get a column of his if he don’t let up. “Unknown Numbers” is up there with “Doh” and “Click My Finger” as one of the most prevalent tunes recently and if you’ve never tried to set up a phone interview to Jamaica I can tell you from personal experience that his “nah pick it up if it’s a private call” rule doesn’t just apply to gangsters.