Goldfinger hosts Reggae Vibrations Saturday afternoons from 12-2 (eastern).
It’s tough, limiting the best sounds over a year to just 10… so, in no strict ranking:
The Originators (Artist, Album, (Label):
Steel Pulse, “Mass Manipulation” (rootfire cooperative)
Even after the loss of their drummer, “Grizzly Nesbit”, they continue to forge ahead with solid message music.
Third World, “More Work To Be Done” (Ghetto Youths International)
Bunny “Ruggs” Clarke has long since passed, but the rhythm unit has new blood with help from the Marley kids (Damian).
UB40, “For The Many” (Shoestring)
Sounding as crucial as ever, check out “Broken Man” with Kabaka Pyramid on lead vocal.
Lee “Scratch” Perry and Brian Eno(?!) “Heavy Rain” (On-U)
First Grammy nomination for the 80+ year-old roots shaman.
The Specials, “Encore” (Island)
Good from the first needle drop. Great re-working of “The Lunatics”… but, “Vote For Me” and “BLM” show they aren’t playin’.
Israel Vibration, “Reggae Knights” (MediaCom)
Roots, and a little bit of mento, in a fine offering from these stalwarts.
The New Kids:
Koffee “Rapture” (VP)
Just in her Twenties… she’s steppin’ out.
Julian Marley, “As I Am” (Ghetto Youths International)
Not such a “newcomer”, really… but, his strongest to date (tough year… he lost a child to cancer). Moving Forward, with a Grammy nomination.
The Archives, as-yet unreleased tribute to Gil Scott-Heron (ESL)
Ever since they dropped “Who’ll Pay Reparations On My Soul?” and “Home Is Where The Hatred Is”, they get lots of spins on “Reggae Vibes”(check out their self-titled debut. DC reggae is strong)
Spiritual “Awakening” (VP)
Fresh roots from a bredrin steeped in the Burning Spear School.
The Skints, “Learning To Swim” (Easy Star)
Solid second effort after a Killer debut. Go see them live… unmistakable Clash vibe
. …told you I couldn’t stop at ten…
Senior All Stars, “Soul From Dubdown” (Echo Beach)
They once backed up Richie Senior (“Dr. Ring Ding”) as a monster ska unit from Germany… they’re mixing it up with rocksteady, now.