Ghetto Palms: GP All-Stars/Exclusive Esau Mwamwaya Refix

Photographer Liz Johnson Artur
July 01, 2009

In the past week almost every damn artist I would consider a signature Ghetto Palms poster-child has represented with crushing new tunes or refixes in a similar vibe (Busy Signal and Erup have both been putting enough overtime lately to be excused from this session.) The common ground is a 120 bpm neighborhood situated somewhere between synth pop and ragga soca, a tempo I have given up trying to name and will simply call the “sweet spot.” Hence, the Ghetto Palms All-Stars blend.

Ghetto Palms All-Star/ Fitness riddim blend:
Esau Mwamwaya, “Kada Manja” (Eddie STATS Skull refix)
Mavado, “So Blessed” (De Tropix Soca Drums refix)
Mavado, “Sweetest Time” (Fitness riddim)
Aidonia, “OH oh OH oh OH” (Fitness riddim)
Laden, “Warm Up” (Fitness riddim)
Voicemail, “When They Need It” (Fitness riddim)
Singing Sweet, “Mek Up your Face” (Fitness riddim)
Natalie Storm, “Dip & Fall” (Enur)
De Tropix, “We Don’t Care”
Leftside, “High” (RR riddim)

Download: Ghetto Palms All Star Blend

The “Kada Manja” refix which starts it off doesn’t really exist anywhere except this blend and my own tropical mindgarden. The backing track is Dre Skull’s Skull riddim and between the Ghetto Palms riddim run and it’s inclusion on the blend I did for Tim Turbo Thursdays, I have been pretty much caning it, but it suited this refix too perfectly to exclude. Something about epic melodies of The Very Best demands equally epic drums, the kettle and synths of the bare bones (← haha) riddim speaking eloquently to the equally minimal violin and afropella statement of “Kada Manja.” Johan of TVB actually sent me the various parts of “Kada” for remixing but the files were so big that downloading gave my computer an aneurysm of the brainframe (and both tracks are so on the same minimal wavelength that starting with the acapellas and instrumentals wasn't even necessary in the end).

The “So Blessed” refix, on the other hand, is actually a De Tropix tune in a state of becoming. Instinct just got impatient “while Cherry is writing her verses for it, so I thought I'd experiment with a few acapellas, and this is what i came up wit’” flipping Mavado over it as a test pattern/place holder, and gifting me my newest secret DJ weapon. Powerful as it is I can tell already from the beat and Instinct’s verse I’m going to love it even more as a De Tropix tune than a remix because personally I think they are at their best when they go straight vincy with the ragga soca.

Stephen “di Genius” McGregor can always be counted on for type of rhythms that are like glue for the far-flung tangents of the Ghetto Palms diapora and his newest, “Fitness,” does not disappoint. Mavado, Laden and Aidonia—who has only recently convinced me he deserves the hype he’s gotten—kill it particularly dead.

“Dip and Fall,” Enur ft. Natalie storm is not actually that new, having debuted on Federation presents on the TNT mix CD, but Natalie’s manager passed me a sampler of her greatest forwards just in time to work it in here. Although on some of my favorite Storm tunes Natalie have an old school Sister Nancy flow (like on “Dem Gal Sittin”) but here she chats at rave tempo with poise that would put any UK pirate queen to shame. Also she says "drop it dung, pick it up like it’s a yoyo / stay pon the quest like you a name Frodo.”

De Tropix again! I like them. Newest finds Cherry getting rude so over chords that channel the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” which I’ve realized is one of their main strategies: raggifying bits of ideas from '80s Madonna, Lionel Richie, El Debarge, et al for the soundsystem generation. Signed or not they’ve already stockpiled close to an album's worth of bigness and bashiness. Last but not least Leftside makes me eat my words (or at least change my mind) by turning in the nicest (and eeriest) version of the RR riddim I ran a few weeks ago.

From The Collection:

Ghetto Palms
Ghetto Palms: GP All-Stars/Exclusive Esau Mwamwaya Refix