Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Genesis riddim - it's a new day in dancehall

Billed as a new beginning in dancehall, the Daseca (David Harrisingh, Craig 'Serani' Marsh Craig Harrisingh) produced riddim, aptly titled Genesis (first book in the Bible, you know), has broken the traditional format of promoting songs distributed by email blasts to soundsystems, DJs, dem friend... Despite its success in gaining buzz, email blasts of download links usually lead to the whole riddim hitting popular forums used by anyone which meant less records sold.

However, the Alliance camp decided on a relase date of 23rd March (today), sent out a press release sighting their intentions of a new day to blogs and forums, and selected leading radio DJ's in popular regions to premiere the riddim; first stop Jabba and Bobby Konders Hot 97 show in New York, followed by Robbo Ranx's 1Xtra show, in Jamaica where I think Johnny Kool on Kool FM played it. I'm not sure who else debuted it, but I'm sure Danny Pepperseed must have.

This strategy seems to have had an immediate effect on the industry with many producers suddenly posting up iTunes links for their riddims. I find it hard to believe that people were waiting on VP to release them as riddim driven CD's to be honest.

It's 2010 and you mean to say the easy access to independently distributing/selling music, selling tunes on iTunes wasn't being done before? No disrespect to VP, but more time the riddims were released too late. Naturally, as a business they hand-picked riddims which had blown up rather than whilst it had the initial buzz, resuliting in lost valuable sales. And before you think this is one of those anti-VP statements, it isn't. I rate them highly for putting CDs on shelves in stores, but I feel they should link up producers with iTunes as a middle man so everyone makes money. I promote their artists all the while so it's not that.

Shane Brown, founder of record label JukeBoxx (home to Busy Signal whom he also manages), said it was tough times for reggae producers when I spoke to him in 2009, sighting an increased need in diversification to survive financially. "To be a producer in these times, you are better off managing an artist because there are little or no returns from record sales." Hopefully this new strategy will alleviate some of the financial pressure.

My Review

Upon initial preview of the riddim, listeners have given mixed reactions. Best known for their Anger Management which spawned the breakout success of the then little-known artist from Cassava Piece Mavado's Real McKoy and the slightly re-licked Angrier Management (Busy Signal & Mavado 'Full Clip'), I personally thought it was a bit shit on first hearing I know Daseca for building (but rarely producing) some of the hottest dancehall riddims for the past few years - for example 2007 Airwave (Mavado 'Gullyside')& Gully Creature (Mavado 'Touch The Road'); 2008 Look Gal (Elephant Man 'Nuh Linga')& Unfinished Business (Serani 'No Games'); 2009 Good Life (Vybz Kartel 'Dollar Sign')& Street Team (Mavado 'Mockingbird') to name but a few. To hear a more piano than traditionally dancehall sounding bass-driven riddim, I was slightly disappointed. It sounds more like a Stephen single than a Daseca riddim.

Now is a different story. Funnily enough I woke up halfway through Robbo Ranx playing debuting it when it caught me. Guess it goes to show without any premeditated thoughts or expectations it's easier to give a fair review. It's a well-produced riddim.

Anyway biggest cuts for me are undoubtedly these

I've never been to jail, so can't directly relate but I hear where he's coming from. Buss gunfinger said way! I can't wait to hear this in Jamaica. I know the tugs dem pon di ends will hail this tune. Aidonia is going ard for 010

"Alla mi tug dem weh know seh no jailhouse cyaan transfarm badman inna gal pickney, we never bow out, we bun out babylon bwoy, mi waan si every gun hand shoob up inna di air"

(Genesis translation: All of the thugs in the vicinity that know Her Majesty's Pleasure can't break us down, thou shall raise your gun fingers in the air)

Aidonia - Buss Gun Charge

Bugle drops yet another street-conscious anthem. Another artist going on with tings!

"Certain bwoy ah walk round like man can tell we nutt'n true dem have likkul man made tykle. Man nuhfi pree man. Dem fi know seh ongle di most high can judge we."

(Genesis translation: People try to judge us because they possess a man created title or money. Man shall not judge man. Only God/Jaha/Allah can judge us)

Bugle - Don't Judge Me

The uncontested man of the moment Mavado goes in with a solid cut chasing the crosses

"Even though dem a try fight we dem cyaan get we out. Talk bout dat"
(Genesis translation: Despite the hate thy receives, we shall not be deterred)

Mavado - Still Stand Up

The riddim sounds maaaaaaaaaaad at that tempo

This riddim will knock much harder in Jamaica than anywhere else. Other countries have an idea of how dancehall should sound rather than if the music is good. Everything must be something that knocks in the club and makes people dance. Whereas in Jamaica they more go with the flow, so with a more laidback riddim like this they'll listen to the lyrics and give a forward if its good/they relate, hence the versatility of both riddims and tunes in Jamaica are far superior to everywhere else - naturally.

1 Hold On Raine Seville
2 When I'm Around You Serani
3 Jah Love Me Kibaki
4 Still Stand Up Mavado
5 Don't Judge Me Bugle
6 Dem Can Only Talk Charly Black
7 Deya Same Way T'Nez
8 Buss Gun Charge Aidonia

Log on to iTunes to buy your favourite songs or if you like the whole riddim CLICK RIGHT HERE

Or if you're in Japan (and can even read this) click here. Speaking of Japanese, the ones who love dancehall seem to understand Patois better than conventional English. Mad-eeee

Also available on Amazon, Juno and all good digital retailers

Sadly, the Assassin song isn't available on iTunes as he is signed to VP

Sounds like a hymn doan (doesn't it)?

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