First a quick riddim update. The Genesis, which made it’s web-debut in this space last week, dropped on iTunes Tuesday and—despite some haterish grumblings from b-list selectors—shows every sign of killing it, sales-wise. At US$7 per, it may not make Daseca rich men, but the numbers do send a signal encouraging the optimization of dancehall as product, not to mention art. If you feel it musically, I encourage you to vote with your click-finger and support it financially. Also you can get the right tracklist info there.
But onto the new joints. Notably, Sean Paul blessed a mini-run from Don Corleone called the Gala riddim. Unlike some recent Don productions this one seems to bear all the hallmarks of the versions that had people excited about his production in 2005: middle-east percussion, house tempo, erotic-city synths. It all sounds real pre-recession but its such a perfect fit with Sean’s voice on “Fire Brigade” it makes you wish it could have been a single on his last LP. How hard is it to have a hit with Sean Paul on it when there’s dancehall queens wrestling with fire-hoses in the video? Maybe some Hype Williams photography of an imperial blaze looking all liquidy and hi def? A&Rs: call me, I have thoughts on this stuff.
GP94 Gala Riddim/Cosa Nostra Blend
Munga, “Mi Like It” (Gala riddim / Don Corleone)
Sean Paul, “Fire Brigade” (Gala riddim / Don Corleone)
Tifa, “Never Love Like This” (Gala riddim / Don Corleone)
Tifa, “Reject” (Cosa Nostra riddim / Ward 21)
Natalie Storm, “Nuh Teki Back” (Cosa Nostra riddim / Ward 21)
Timberlee, “The General” (Cosa Nostra riddim / Ward 21)
Agent Sasco aka Assassin, “Me a Go fi Mine” (Cosa Nostra riddim / Ward 21)
Wayne Marshall, “Survive the Times” (Cosa Nostra riddim / Ward 21)
Download: GP94 Gala Riddim/Cosa Nostra Blend
The Munga and Tifa tunes are good, too—and more importantly make a nice transition into the new Ward 21 riddim Cosa Nostra, a perfect marriage of their Sleng Teng roots (Ward started out as understudies of King Jammy) and a more modern Showtime/Unfinished Business feel. Not surprisingly the stand-outs are Ward’s female protégés, variously known as TNT or the Badda Badda Gals: Tifa, Timberlee and Natalie Storm. Of those, Timberlee’s “General” ranks topmost. All three are comfortable genre-hopping into electro and r&b but are at their best when they rock exactly this kind of early ’80s/Yellowman.Sister Nancy flow.