Below you can find 5 albums that currently dominate my playlist. This list will be regularly updated. Hope to see you back soon!
I was so taken by Midnight Rockers, that I wasn’t ready yet to let go and continue its journey into the depths where reverb and echo bend even the strongest frequency to its will. It took a couple of sessions before Midnight Scorchers began to unveil the subtleties laid down, by a stellar assemble of musicians, that on the vocal tracks remain somewhat hidden. On some tracks like “Come After Midnight” that means the gorgeous Cello gets more air to breath while on others Horace Andy is joined by MC’s Daddy Freddy and Lone Ranger to keep in tune with the dancehall.
2. Doug Haynes – Mighty Doug Haynes
Chicago has much to owe to the many musicians, songwriters and producers that during the 60’s gave shape to what we now know as Chicago Soul. However, the city of wind holds more than just households names such as the little known Doug Haynes. Mighty Doug Haynes is his only album release before he seemed to have disappeared from the scene, but what an album to leave the audience guessing what could have become.
Note: Mighty Doug Haynes isn’t available on any streaming service that I know except for The Sly, Slick and the Wicked. There are some other tracks available on YouTube even though I’m not a fan of the quality and the lack of any commission to the artists or label.
Reimagining an album that many would hail as one of the best Reggae releases in the last 20 years must have weighed down on the shoulders of French producer and dub mixologist Martin Nathan alias Brain Damage. He doesn’t leave anything on the table and turns these nine fabled tracks inside-out, adding snippets left from the original recording session, recomposing vocals, adding new arrangements to catch you off guard at every turn. Dreaming from an Iron Gate is a mind bending trip for all who remember Hebron Gate all to well and perhaps even more so for those who don’t.
Even though O Yinne! omits a definite stand-out track, like “Mam Yinne Wa” was for it’s predecessor, it is much more varied than their debut. Deep psychedelic grooves like “This Is Bolga!” alternate with slow burners like “Yinne Te Yelle Be” and nothing in between sounds quite the same. A critically acclaimed debut album is always difficult to follow-up but to me Ologte Oho and his Sounds Of Joy improved their FraFra Gospel based formula and are here to stay.
Overshadowed perhaps in name and fame by some of its contemporaries like Ghana’s Osibisa and the more Caribbean tuned Cymande, Assagai’s irrestible groove hasn’t lost any of its hypnotic power. A short-lived supergroup in the early stages of the Afro-Rock scene who’s members all went on to have influential careers joining other projects or bands soon after. I finally found an album cover to go with the naked record I picked up years ago in a record shop close to work.