DigiDub pressure!

After you’ve checked out the “Tippa and Colonel Again” track below, you might want to relax by listening to this.

Before I got going with the Tippa tune, I was trying to do a ragga-techno track (if you’re wondering what that’s like, there’ll be a couple on the new home page soon) but I got bored. Instead I headed off in a UK Digidub direction. The vocal cut-ups are from an acapella of a Buju Banton track featuring some rappers, but I’m not sure which ones — the file turned up with no info. I’d be interested to know what track it is.

Anyway, this is a pretty neat little cut which lyrically tries to navigate the gun talk / consciousness divide; instrumentally we’re talking crisp percussion echoes, Iration-style liquid bass and a few odd gobs of noise. I like it. See what you think.

Grievous Angel And Buju Banton: Bad Man Dub
7.3Mb MP3.

Dancehall pressure!

Coughing Up Fire stars in action
There’s never been a more exciting reggae scene than eighties UK dancehall. The sheer exuberant joy of the records and yard tapes from the era can’t be beaten. I’ve already done a mix of hits from that era, combined together with a load of ragga jungle from Rebel MC and others, on my “Tribute to Congo Natty” mix which is over on Marc Dauncey’s Bassnation site.

Now I’ve gone a step further. Back in March I reviewed the fantastic “Coughing Up Fire” CD, which showcases a 1984 set from Saxon International featuring the cream of Brit MCs – and it’s fabulous, every reggae fan should have it. A million thanks to John Eden for getting me that! In that set there’s a multitude of gems to enjoy, but I selected the explosive contribution of Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel for the Grievous Angel make-over treatment.

Rather than do the usual trick of ripping the arse out of it with jungle – delightful though that exercise is – this time I’ve gone into homage mode, sticking to reggae speed and showcasing the vocal. The original is virtually an accapella and I’ve simply added some thumping dancehall / hiphop crossover drums and a solid UK digidub bassline. The result is an explosive floor-bound sound lending the genius of Tippa and Colonel the arsenal of beats required to destroy dances today just as they did twenty years ago. Here it is.

Grievous Angel Vs Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel: Tippa and Colonel Again
5.6Mb mp3

Sadly I don’t know much about Tippa Irie or Daddy Colonel other than just being a general fan. But Tippa was one of the stars of Saxon, and helped originate “fast-talking” style chat. He scored some big hits, with Pato Banton and others, including the great “Hello Darling”, “Raggamuffin Girl” (featuring Peter Hunnigale), and “Stress” (featuring Lloyd Brown). Fans of three-sided football should note he also recorded “Shouting for the Gunners”, an Arsenal fan song which reached the Top 30.

Best of all he’s still working and recording today. Check his site.
Tippa in action today
There’s a great interview here.

Daddy Colonel I know even less about. He and Tippa did a record on UK Bubblers / Greensleves called Just a Speak at the same time as the “Coughing Up Fire!” recording. I suspect it’s this track that they’re doing on CD, and which I’ve turned into this tune, cos the crowd seem to know it well, but I’m not sure. There’s a label scan here.

Show respect (and do yourself a favour): buy the original album off the Greensleeves site.

Nervous Ragga.

While doing some tidying up I decided to re-post the Nervous Ragga mix track listing and location.

Originally released as a CD it’s now happily esconced at Marc Dauncey’s excellent Bassnation site, where apparently it’s been fairly popular. You can find it, in zipped form, here.

Here’s the original posting and track listing for it.

It’s called Nervous Ragga cos that’s the vibe. These tracks don’t make me feel all relaxed and chilled out. No, they make me feel nervous, hyped up, excited. This CD is propulsive, muscular, but constantly in spasm. Like deep funk, the grooves are densely packed, clenched, yet also like funk, the release comes from the vocals, alternately sweeping and stuttering but always hovering at the furthest edge of the beat’s swing.

The first rhythm, The Flip, eases you in. But the Threat rhythm that follows it, just hurls itself at you, all rave pianos and tubthumper bass. I tried to get a lot of call-and-response between male and female vocals on theis CD and this theme starts here. A recurring theme in the mix comes in here. The Highway rhythm is faster but gentler, but it’s very wiggly. It raoidly turns into a pounding ragga take on R&D on money with sweet female choruses being slammed into Lady Saw’s ruffness. She shouts us into Tanya Stephens’ Strange, over my favourite rhythm ever, Hard Drive. It sounds like world war three going off in a sound system, just vast gobs of massive bass and booming toms. I love it. Lots of cutting on this one, and a really nice mix of Lady Saw’s In Your Face Again and Cecile’s Backstrett Kettle at the end. The last rhythm, Bollywood, is a ragga version of throbbing p-funk. Despite recent criticism Sizzla is in top form on this rhythm. with a bit of politics at the end.

If you’re interested you can get an mp3 of Nervous Ragga at Marc Dauncey’s excellent Bassnataion site at http://www.bassnation.uk.net/sound/nervousragga.mp3. Many thanks to Marc for hosting this — if you want it you’d probably get it sooner rather than later cos who knows how long Marc will be able to keep it up. As it were.

Here’s the tracklisting.

The Flip

1 Ward 21 Style
2 Madd Cobra Bring It On
3 Kiprich Nah Waste Time
4 Tafari & Ava Monet Round And Round
5 Tok Girlz Girlz Girlz
6 Mr Vegas Gi Dem Wine


7 Tok Where I¹m From
8 Redrat Wine Your Waist
9 Sizzla Doin It Right
10 Kiprich Pickaside
11 Redrat Wine Reprise
12 Lukie D Woman With Shape
13 Shaddu Fi Real


14 Ward21 Reverse
15 Risto Benjie Right Now
16 Danny English Hang Dem
17 Lady G & Cutlass Chop It Suh
18 Chuck Fender & Fiona Money
19 Mr Vegas & Cecile Get Yuh Tonight
20 Lady Saw Follow Me

Hard Drive

21 Tanya Stephens Too Strange
22 Lukie De & Lexxus Hot Like Fire
23 Harry Toddler Doom
24 Action Check Fa
25 Alozade Ghetto
26 Sean Paul & Dutty Cup Crew Dutty Cup
27 Hollow Point Got You Deh
28 Famous Face & Tornado Jamaica
29 Lady Saw In Your Face Again
30 Cecile & Tanya Stephens Buss Back Skettel


31 Sizzla Heat Is On
32 Tanya Stephens Addiction
33 Determine More Fire
34 Frisco Kid More Marijuana
35 Captain Barkey Buss A Shot
36 Ward 21 Roll Up
37 Future Troubles Drunken Master
38 Wickerman Come Out
39 Elephant Man In The Streets Mega Mix
40 Mr Vegas War

New homepage.

I finally have a working home page for the site. It is almost, but not quite, as minimal as woebotnik. However, it collects together most of the Grievous Angel tracks and DJ mixes.