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!
We are starting this weeks blog with something different. This band, this album incorporate my favorite musical styles almost into one:reggae & rock (punk). This will be up for several nominees in the best of 'Shok Wave' categories at the end of the year.
The Skints 'Swimming Lessons'
This London based, progressive band effortlessly combine and switch back and forth from reggae to punk/alternative rock like a light switch. So smooth and natural and this is why we absolutely love the sound. The combination of these two favorite genres makes them the leaders in this very forward musical movement. No one else has done with such ability, ease and sounding so natural. The first song on the album is also the first single and title track in 'Learning To Swim.' This is a perfect example of what we are talking. The second song is the second single and incorporates the unique style and one of the front runners in reggae's revival, Protoje with 'Restless.' Reggae is very prevalent throughout this album, its the cutting edge sound of the combination of sounds that sets it apart. In fact it peaks with the one that 'Gets On Top.' The song starts with punk guitars, goes into a dancehall vibe, uses video game sounding keys and has the best melody on the album. Straight fire!!!!! So if you do not know The Skints then you will find a 'New Kind Of Friend.' I love the line from this song 'you cut me off like some kind of drunk.' This one of the more straight reggae songs along with 'Oh My Love' as well as the classic sounding reggae track 'I'm a Fool' and is the best of that genre. How many albums can you ever recall having a good interlude and didn't feel like it was just taking up space? None! This is the first album to do this as well with 'This Is An Interlude.' Very musical and good too. 'What Did I Learn Today' is the return of their reggae and punk sound while 'The Island' is their hardest song. The sound stays hard with 'Armageddon' feat. Runkus its just a darker reggae track with a bassy keyboard riff that makes it standout. The only acoustic track 'Donkey Brain' works because of the name. The electro, hip hop reggae track 'La La La' keeps the mix and variety prominent, which is their biggest asset. When I saw the title for the next song: 'Love Is The Devil' feat. Jesse Royal, I was wondering how this was possible. Then you realize after listening to the song that not all love is good especially in certain relationships. The album ends with an acoustic song that turns into a soul song. Any music fan will love this album. Please do whatever you have to hear it.
Jesse Royal featuring Protoje 'Lion Order'
This is today's 'Lion Order,' the small axe Jesse Royal & the very active Protoje. Setting it straight from early out and letting the massive know that 'we & the lions are good.'
Various Artists 'One Shot Riddim'
Out of the land of soca comes a nice version of the original African Beat riddim called here the 'One Shot riddim.' The top tune is Isasha, Black Loyalty & Jah Pachie 'Cover Me.' Originally, done by Percy Sledge and made popular in reggae & dancehall circles by Tinga Stewart & Ninjaman. This new rendition has Isasha killing it.
Mr King's 'Girls Like These' is the best original song on the riddim. It's about today's materialistic girls. All the rest of the tunes pon di riddim still sound good. These two are the standouts
Jahvante Campbell 'Jah Jah You Save Me' (Protection Riddim)
New singer to me Jahvante Campbell, sounds real nice on 'Jah Jah Save Me.' Giving all the credit to Jah for the many times Jah has saved Jahvante. A singer to listen for.
Rita Marley 'Lioness Of Reggae' - The Best of
The 'Lioness of Reggae' returns with her best of album. First it's the title track to her 'Harambe' album. Then her biggest song and still a staple, the reggae anthem 'One Draw.' Rita is a real soldier and a trooper of JAH. You can see it and especially hear it in all her songs especially the rasta nyhabhinghi based 'A Jah Jah,' 'That's The Way,' 'King Street,' 'Good Morning Jah,' and I love her version of Bob's 'Thank You Lord' which she changed to 'Thank You Jah.' Her second biggest song on the album is 'Who Feels It Knows It' and is a great & very true song, thats a take off of another Bob tune that she makes her own. . She covers 3 songs on the album and the one left is Delroy Wilson's 'I'm Still Waiting.' 'Play Play' is an old song redone and written by 'Bob Marley.
Rootical Yard 'Jah Vibrations'
This is real roots rockin' slow tempo reggae music. In the reggae world it's called 'Fiyah' and it has 'Fiyah Dub,' too. This album is produced by E N Young and he is truly putting a major stamp on real reggae music. This is Rootikal Yard with a true 'Jah Vibration' that has that real reggae sound with a touch of Latin/Spanish reggae lyrics. Their basis is the basis of reggae music: it comes from the 'Power of The Most High' so 'Tell Me Love,' too.
Griz feat. Matisyahu 'A New Day'
Not my typical musician, even though Griz sounds good, I got wind of the new reggae(ish) song with Matisyahu. It's heavily reggae based just not completely reggae yet sounds good. It's the best track I've heard from Matis in years. A nice welcome back and his second song with 'New Day' in the title. Got to open up the door to 'A New Day' to end this war. Song gets away from it's reggae influence at times.
Cage The Elephant feat. Beck 'Night Running'
Another song not typical of the artists singing them. This time from two popular rock bands: Cage The Elephant & Beck. I actually know & like both. So I was surprised to hear this song 'Night Running.' It's more on the reggae rock side, as to be expected, with a dub feel to it, too. You an hear the song live this summer as they are touring together, that would be a real treat.
Mighty Mystic 'Enter The Mystic'
Jamaican born, American bred Mighty Mystic has flipped the script. He's doing that roots rockin reggae that leans more to the American favored & flavored reggae rock. 'Enter The Mystic' is a testament to this musical style. Mystics music remains solid on this album. It has to be attributed to his 'Fighting With Love,' the only answer to all the worlds 7 your personal problems. Mighty's Jamaican side comes out a bit in 'Salt' or could be taken that way. It could also be that flip in the script, as its being used for the snail. The rebel continues in 'Where There Is One.' The 'Tribe Say' is to teach you how to farm & hunt and you will reap what you sow. Bob had a tune that said 'a hungry man is an angry man' and we are reminded about it in 'Hungry Man's Anthem.' Mystic gets Mystic on 'If The World Should End Today' with a more acoustic approach and a different side. This makes way for a good change, the rocking 'Boomerang.' The album really steps it up once 'Enter The Mystic' starts and makes way for the better songs: Jumper,' 'False Trumpet,' 'Rock A Bye' and 'Like A Souljah.'
A recent appearance in Miami (his latest home) at Kaya Fest, Puerto Rican Farruko is making international strides even after being on house arrest. His new album is heavily influenced and shows a reggae side. The album is called 'Gangalee,' a Jamaican term for gangster, starts off with a sample of Peter Tosh's 'Legalize It.' 'Playa' has a real Jamaican taste to it on the intro, 'Deidad' is straight reggae, Roatan is dancehall influenced reggaeton with Konshens and my favorite track, 'Portate Mal' starts of with the true reggae skank and then goes into it's reggaeton sound. Rvssian has been getting more into the latin side of things and he produces the reggaeton track 'Ponle.' 'Inolvidable' has a Jamaican on this reggaeton track so it gives it that flair and was released as a single and has over 62 million views for the video alone and the last track 'Calma remix' has a real reggae feel to it, too and comes a close second. If I am reading correctly, it's the first video I have ever seen over 1 billion