The new album by King Kong entitled ‘Repatriation’ is due at the beginning of March and will feature top rated reggae musicians including Roots Radics, Sly & Robbie, Naram & Art, Russ D, Bongo Herman, Leroy Mafia, Dwight Pinkney. It also includes Burro Banton and none other than Eek a Mouse so should be well worth hearing. In the meantime we have the first single release from the album in the shape of ‘Gwaan’, an easy-going dancehall-influenced reggae track. Back to the 80s!

King Kong is scheduled to tour in mainland Europe from January to May, backed by Irie Ites with what is billed as “a brand new live concept” called Irie Ites Live Mix comprising a trombonist and the in-house producer who will play and dub the rhythm tracks. Different!

King Kong: Repatriation, release due 2nd March 2018 by Irie Ites Records in CD, vinyl and digital formats

Long-established Jamaican singer and actor Peter Lloyd has released his cover of John Lennon’s ‘Woman’ in a soft melodic reggae-lite style. Described as the ‘Love Messenger’, Peter Lloyd believes that love is the ‘greatest revolution’ that creates unity. His personal Rastafarian philosophy has influenced his music and he states that the purpose of his music is to ‘heal the world’. He also tries to give back to society as much as he can through a programme of philanthropy, delivering his message through a programme called Yutes Rise, where he seeks to inspire participants through a reggae/motivational workshop and live performances. On this single, Peter Lloyd teams up with legendary Jamaican producer and saxophonist Dean Fraser who has worked with the likes of Dennis Brown, Sly and Robbie, and Joe Gibbs. Widely known on the international reggae festival circuit, he has come up with a track that is leagues away from angry powerful drum-and-bass or dancehall sounds. Not the first time this song has been treated to a reggae makeover, this track stands as a thoughtful and gentle reggae version of Lennon’s sweet song which somehow seems right in the run-up to Christmas as we remember John Lennon’s murder in December 1980.

With tour dates coming up in Britain, France, Holland and the USA, plus a forthcoming new album due for release, things are on the up for Hollie Cook (see reggaemusic.org.uk 15 October 2017, 9 July 2014, 29 April 2012). Here’s a video for ‘Angel Fire’ in a gig she did for Amnesty International this Autumn in London. Great stuff.

Here is the new album from vocalist MLK, an eleven-track analogue reggae album firmly in the roots reggae tradition. MLK takes us through a selection of original tracks and some revisiting of lesser known tracks from Lee Perry’s Upsetters house band, with new vocals and with renewed inspiration. Originally from Sierra Leone and currently based in Amsterdam, songwriter and artist MLK provides some serious reggae music informed by mainstream roots history and delivered with commitment. Authenticity is the word.
Released on vinyl and on digital download, the latter includes four dub versions not included on the vinyl album. Great music.

MLK and the Breadwinners: the World is in Trouble, release on vinyl and DDL, October 2017.

From Polish producer Dreadsquad (Marek Bogdanski) here are some serious reggae/dancehall rhythms in the form of a fine digital release alongside a two-volume vinyl alternative. Confusingly it’s a riddim collection with vocals – from a variety of guest artists. Volume 2 is at different points melodic vintage reggae, dancehall, electronic, and good old-fashioned dub. Volume 3 begins energetically and continues in similar style throughout. Worth catching.

Dreadsquad: Riddim Machine volumes 2 & 3, release on Superfly/Moonshine Recordings, digital/vinyl, 17th November 2017