SHOK WAVE is your weekly new REGGAE music blog. SHOK WAVE finds music that is out there in the form of Reggae, Dancehall, Soca, Ska, Dub, Reggae Rock & anything else musical with a Caribbean origin and in any language.
Here is what we found this week.......Enjoy!
Bay - C "Holy Temple"
TOK was a dancehall group out of Jamaica that had quite a bit of success. In recent years, the members have pursued solo careers. In October 2015 Davidson left to pursue a solo career, prompting the group to split up.
Davidson has been quite, while Alexx & Bay-C have been very active. In fact, Bay-C is the first to drop a solo album called "Holy Temple." If you know TOK, at all, Bay-c, like the name says, was the deep, heavy, bass voice that was known for his DJ style and added to the groups versatility. To my surprise, Bay-C has shown his own versatility in two ways. First, the album is more of a roots reggae album and secondly, he is mostly singing on the album. He also does a good job at both. Let's put it this way, if you flipped what Bay-C was known, it would be a singer with a little bit of Djing and that's exactly what the album showcases. The opening track 'Catch That Train' is his his best with singing slurs & singjay style, too. Expressing how the system is failing us. 'Run From Poverty' and 'Heart Of Man'shows his diversity and will be the track where you recognize the voice from TOK. 'Hero' is a nice track musically, lyrically & vocally. Bay-C is talk about that girl thats there for him. It could be a modern day TOK track with the pop dancehall track, it's Bay-C singing though. 'Love Potion' follows in the same vein as 'Hero.' These are the first 5 songs of the album that has 11. An interesting album and god all the way through.
The Silvertones meet The West Kensingtons - Push The Fire
This is Kingston Jamaica meets Philadelphia Pennsylvania in a musical powerhouse recording. The end result is called "Push The Fire.' The Silvertones are the vocalists out of Jamaica and are legendary while the West Kensingtons are Philly's best reggae musicians. If this album is a testament to their ability to the original & authentic sounds of Jamaica, these guys sound like they were there as part of it all in 2018. The album starts with the only single 'Them A Grumble.' They wont grumble over the music. 'Soffling Green' has nearly the exact horn line from The Specials 'Message To You Rudy.' Good stuff. 'Walk' is a good instrumental and 'One' is a great one with horns and a ska sound. Love is a beautiful thing and it's the root of songs 'Love Without Devotion,' ' Give Love A Try,' 'Dont Break My Heart' and the album ends with 'Brighter' as an acapella and will make it just that. Seeing nature do it's thing is a beautiful thing and The Silvertones find it to be 'Heaven To Me.' The destruction of nature & babylon's dreadful ways signifies that the 'Earth A Run Red.'
Sun Sooley "Rise And Shine"
Originally from Senegal where he started his reggae career, Sun Sooley has since gone solo & is based in Europe. He is an international ambassador for Senegalese reggae ('Afreekan Rise Up'), singing in three languages while maintaining a humanist & universal philosophy. His sound is a bit different and his music retains the root of reggae.
My favorite song is the one from & for the homeland 'Jah Is Love.' 'Jah is light, Jah is the one and the first.' Some call him 'One God,' so 'let the color of one blood, no matter what you believe there is 'One God.' 'Only Good Vibes' is the official single for this new album and is great one to represent the album as the album is just that and solid, too. After you hear the album, you're going to 'Wanna Know Me,' me as in Sun Sooley. This "Rise and Shine" is a great introduction.
This new band out of the Coachella Valley, is poised to set sail on the reggae wave. Mozaiq hit us hard with their single 'Rootsy Roots,' which paid respects to the greats of the genre while introducing their roots reggae sound. Now their self entitled EP is here with a chest full of treasures. These 'Boogie Man' are a roots reggae outfit with a soulful vibe, that are coming to get you. Mozaiq is a metaphor for this group of broken members to create music. 'Carpe Diem' is about making the best of right now just as the songs says you've got to cease the day. This EP is great and it's 'Forgiven' as this song is deep with lots of meaning. Of course it features Roots Roots previously reviewed here in this same blog 'Shok Wave.' 'Without You' concludes the EP as it brings 'this new life.' The boys are excited to see what it brings and has a sweet vibe to it too.
Mae Muller "Busy Tone"
From her new EP "Frankly" Mae Muller has been pretty eclectic with the music she does. This is her first reggae song and she takes a classic reggae riddim in 'Rockfort Rock' and re-does it for her song "Busy Tone.'" She definitely has a soul/R & B vibe with a urban feel, which has always gone well with reggae. It's a crazy track where she's talking about her flip phone on such an old track. She telling somebody that you cant get a hold of her and they get the "Busy Tone."
The Specials "Vote For Me"
The legendary Specials are returning on their 40th Anniversary of their start. A new album called "Encore" is in the making and they have released their first single in "Vote For Me." It's the first time Terry Hall has been featured on a track since their 'Ghost Town' single. Interestingly enough it has similar sound, the vibe is not as haunting. Founding members Horace Painter and Lynval Golding also reunited for the new material. The song is a disgruntled one in that the band is expressing their dislike with the politicians. Sounds like they haven't missed a beat & are picking up right where they left it in 'Ghost Town.'
Toots & The Maytals "It's Christmas"
A classic styled, original Toots reggae tune done for Christmas. 'It's not just another Christmas, it's Christmas.' Musically great, lyrically simple. This is one that should become a standard at the festive time of year