Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.
So I started this week’s column with the intention of including two blends, one of the Warning riddim and another set of tings that just kinda flowed together. But I had songs from my favorite new artist De Tropix that fit in both and I couldn’t decide between them so ultimately I threw everything in one long-ass blend.
Sex mix/Warning riddim blend:
Download: Eddie STATS' Sex mix/Warning riddim blend
“She Loves Me” – Serani
“Mamacita” – Collie Buddz
“Panj Bindiyaan” – Ominous DJs
“Oi” – De Tropix
“Tap Tap” – De Tropix
“Nicky Titty” – Busy Signal
“Wanted” – Munga
“Money Changer” – Mavado
“Sort Dem Out” - Demarco
The first section is a collection of recent joints in what I guess you could call mid-tempo whine, the essential 95 kick, kick, snares per minute that dominated dancehall through the 90s and seems to lend itself particularly well to sex talk. Its pretty rare to hear it in these days of fast and slo-whine partisans--unless it’s a 90s throwback re-lick of “Showtime” or some such--but occasionally you get a new tune like Serani’s “She Loves Me.” I love how it starts out all Andrew Lloyd Webber-ish and then the bashment drums come in like kakakaka kak. This is especially timely because I was just sitting around with some industry friends this very afternoon, speculating about how long the Daseca production crew is going to survive the star-moves Serani is currently making, having gone from uncredited musician to producer to featured vocalist to solo artist. Seems like they could either blow the fuck up or, you know, blow the fuck up. Continuing the rough sex theme is Collie Buddz’ “Mamacita” and, as I mentioned in Ghetto Palms #2, any reason is a good reason to run Collie. “Panj Bindiyaan” is about 2 years old and has nothing to do with sex, far as I can tell, but the chords just gel eerily with “Mamacita” so my only reason to include it here is music, nothing but music. It also kinda illustrates how strong this sound is outside Jamaica (Bermuda, UK, India) nowadays. Me and Rekha run mountains of things like this at Basement Bhangra every month, and I may eventually devote a pure column to stuff in this vein, a baby step towards the Desi-hall mix CD that’s been on my to-do list for years, but for now you can hear more on the official Basement album.
Which brings us to De Tropix, comprising Cherry B—you might know her as dancer/hype gal/choreographer for MIA—and producer Instinct. They’re more straight dancehall than Maya, except they seem to make reggae tracks out of what sound like weird tin pan alley type samples, which on “Tap Tap” makes me picture bowler-hatted Passa Passa dancers unfolding synchronized routines in some kind of crazy Willy Wonka set-piece. You can judge the results for yourself but personally, I’m addicted. Hell, I would have included a 3rd De Tropix tune called “Bad Name” but it really belongs in a blend with the Roots/Cody Chestnutt “The Seed 2.0” and the Romantics “Talking In Your Sleep.” “Warning,” meanwhile, is a newish riddim on the Jukeboxx label. Mid leaning towards slow whine, it lends itself more to gangsterism than sex, with the exception of Busy Signals’ brilliant “Nicky Titty,” which conceptually fits with the earlier material—did I mention Busy is killing it these days? Otherwise, it’s the usual suspects; Mavado, Munga and Demarco, all top ranking artists in the category called: you should probably avoid this column if you don’t like them. Especially Demarco, who is destroying things right now with “Fallen Soldiers,” and “Duppy Know Who fi Frighten”—but you can read about that in his upcoming Gen F profile!