Trojan Warriors Mixtape (Ska, Reggae, Dancehall & Rocksteady)

Trojan Records marked the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence with the release of Freedom Sounds, a collection of over 100 tracks spread across 5 CDs from influential Jamaican artists etc. that have influenced popular music across the past five decades.

That set me thinking, there’s never been much in the way of Ska, Reggae, Dancehall etc. on the blog. It’s quite strange seen as I’ve been a big fan since my Dad introduced to the genres when I was younger. This stuff, Ska in particular,  just struck a chord with me (no pun intended). It’s hard not to like, it is, for the most part upbeat, bright and fun. It is music with stories to tell, of love, life and struggles, but just as important, you can nod along and dance to it quite happily. It is probably only matched by Hip Hop in that regard. 

I have compiled some of my favourite from the various albums, compilations and box sets I have acquired throughout the years. Some are fairly well known, others less so. I can’t guarantee they all appeared on Trojan (but ‘Trojan Warriors’ has a nice ring to it), see it as an introduction if nothing else.

If you fancy delving a bit further, I suggest checking out BBC 4’s ‘Reggae Britannia‘ or getting your hands some of the many excellent Trojan Records Boxsets. Consequently this happens to be the 1,000 post on the blog, no better way to celebrate eh? Enjoy!

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The Pioneers – ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ (Toddla T Remix)

I can’t say I’m too taken by Toddla T’s new single ‘Alive‘, it’s just a bit, well, mmeh. This is of little consequence thankfully as Toddla T has kicked off the Clarks Originals remix series with a superb rework of The Pioneers ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’.

It is fair to say for the most part classic tracks should be left well alone but this Trojan classic is in safe hands from a producer who’s love affair with Jamaica, it’s culture and music, runs deep. Introducing his own unique style, it is upbeat and bright with a flurry of sharp beats and bass drops, the track is totally re-imagined while paying tribute to the original track in the best way possible.

The Pioneers ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ (Toddla T Remix) is available for FREE download from here.

Video: Mr Bligh – Is This England?

North London’s Mr. Bligh came in for a lot praise here for his debut album Is This England?

An artist with a predilection for insightful social commentary. His debut record is a rumbustious rattle through London life exuding lyrical maturity and youthful rebellion in equally measures.

Anyway he has just dropped a new animated video for the ska-tinged single of the same name which pretty much captures the rich mixture of indie, punk, reggae sounds that makes the album so great.

Mr Bligh’s debut is available for FREE in exchange for an email address on his website right now.

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Download: Mr Bligh – Brand New Ting

Mr Bligh – Its Not Fair

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – ‘I’m So Sorry’

London trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have already carved a distinct niche as talented purveyors of genre-defying retro sounding music. Their self titled debut album was molded from a mixture of  inspirations; R&B, Swing, Country and Western, Rockabilly, Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Their new single ‘I’m So Sorry’ has further caught the eye. Yes, like the rest of their music it hankers back to the 50’s/60’s but on this occasion there is a definite Jamaican ska vibe introduced. Feel good, toe-tapping infectious rhythms and trumpets galore.

‘I’m So Sorry’ is out April 18th while second album Smoking in Heaven is out May 3oth. They play Dublin’s Button Factory on May 5th.

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