The rocksteady masterpiece Nothing More To Say from Brooklyn-based outfit The Frightnrs was, hands down, the best album of 2016 in my opinion. Easily. From the classic arrangements to the haunting singing to the top notch production by Victor Axelrod a/k/a Ticklah, I really can’t find much not to love about it. Out on Daptone Records. Tragically, the front man Dan Klein passed away from A.L.S. after the album was completed.
Between Christmas shopping and Selector Black Friday shipping, I’ve been really struggling to get a post up here for the last few days. If you are interested in reading about and potentially streaming some of the Best Rap Songs of 2016, why then head right on over to Passion of the Weiss and check their annual recap of all things that are good in hip-hop. They know what’s up. Also, bonus points for using The Beatles here.
Apologies for the shameless side project self-pluggery, on a Wednesday no less, but hey, Selector is having its biggest sale of the year right now. Good time to get some obscure reggae gear on the discount! Get 45% OFF with promo code FORTYFIVE. Sale ends midnight on Monday 11/28.
Rest in peace Sharon Jones, the incredibly talented soul singer lost a battle to cancer this week.
T-Shirt of the Week this week is this beauty from Selector – both an homage to classic sporting goods, and, more importantly, sound system culture, which started in Jamaica, and has spread around the world.
Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London is a really cool project on Kickstarter, by London-based photographer Alex Bartsch, whereby he shoots reggae record covers in the locations featured on the cover. They make for some very cool photos! The Kickstarter project is to produce a book around Alex’s great photos.
This week’s T-Shirt of the Week is a recently reissued classic from Selector, first released back in 2009, with typography by the very talented Anthony “Bones” Harrison (interviewed). The “Downtown Top Ranking” phrase went on to become the name of a successful series of weekly reggae parties run by the good people at Deadly Dragon Sound in NYC, which continues to this day.
The album release party for the new Bei Ru LP on Friday was a lot of fun. Stay tuned for the first video from LA Zooo to drop soon. In the meantime here’s a video for ‘Sweet Temptress’ from his 2015 album Saturday Night At The Magic Lamp. Gives you a great sense of Bei Ru’s unique sound – seamlessly combining Armenian and Middle Eastern sounds with the hip-hop tradition of cutting samples together in amazing new ways. Video by Postas.