by: Jarret Lovell
Sunken City - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, music by Next Level Sound System - (sunkencitymovie)
Have you ever had that experience wherein you pop in a new record/tape/CD and sit in your favorite chair ready to read a good book? Only you can't concentrate on the reading because the music is so damn good! This was me on the first listen of this stellar soundtrack to the motion picture Sunken City. An indie film about a former San Pedro, CA detective, Sunken City - according to the film website, "features an original Reggae soundtrack by Next Level Productions. Led by Blake Colie of the popular Los Angeles Reggae band The Lions, Next Level was critical in providing an authentic Jamaican sound for the film." With 18 tracks, the CD features vocals from Black Shakespeare and Nuby Dan, as well as some stellar dubs. Simply put: THIS is the album you want to be listening to this week, next week, and the week after. A very strong release! DEFINITELY play. Try #3 for a smooth dub, #7 for a great skank.
Dubmarine - Laser Sound Beam - (Sugar Rush)
The press release describes Dubmarine as a blend of Major Lazer and MIA. This description isn't too far off. Heavy electronics and beat permeate, with British rap-style vocals as well as female vocals. This is really more an RPM release than anything, but with elements of dancehall throughout, it can work in multiple formats. Try #7.
SOJA - Amid the Noise and Haste - (ATO Records)
This 8 piece outfit has been around for some time, building a strong following first in the D.C. area, and now worldwide as it has toured extensively on the reggae music festival circuit. They consider themselves folk musicians - telling stories through their songs, much in the tradition of Dylan, Cash, even Wu-Tang Clan. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the new album is on ATO Records - owned by Dave Matthews. The current album features a who's who of top reggae artists as guests: Damian Marley, J-Boog, Collie Buddz, and Michael Franti to name a few. As for the sound, it is light and pop reggae, but this isn't a bad thing. You need a soundtrack for your next get-together, don't you?
Luciano - My Soul - (Shanachie) Luciano is one of the biggest vocalists in reggae music, keeping his lyrics true to the Rastafarian message. His new single "My Soul" is indeed less reggae-sounding than, well, soul infused with rock. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.