Fresh off their 36 date UK and European tour with reggae giants UB40, Birmingham-based group KIOKO hit the ground running with the release of their new single ‘Let’s Be Frank’.
Focusing on candid, heartfelt lyricism and heavyweight rhythms, the single captures the impeccable live sound of the reggae collective, encompassing the energy from their high octane performances. ‘Let’s Be Frank’ is bristling with fresh reggae rhythms, captivating horns and buoyant vocal energy, sitting comfortably within a timeless reggae tempo.
Performing alongside UB40, The Wailers, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and garnering support from Louder Than War, Huffington Post UK, London Live as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1, 1XTRA and BBC 6 Music, ‘Let’s Be Frank’ is an effortless display of KIOKO’s ability to curate empowering anthems infused with blistering reggae rhythms.
One of the most important UK bands of the 70s and 80s, known best for their hit single ‘Amigo’ which reached number nine in the charts in 1980, BLACK SLATE have returned with new material, a newly augmented line-up and a new live show to reaffirm to fans old and new just why they made such on impact on the British musical landscape!
Featuring original members, Anthony ‘Pure Silk’ Brightly (Keyboards); Chris ‘Music House’ Hanson (Lead/Rhythm Guitar) and Desmond ’Drummy’ Mahoney (Drums/Congo/Percussion) alongside newer cohorts, Colin ’Steam Fish’ McNiesh (Bass) and Jessie ’Energy’ Brade (Vocals) as well as Gaven ‘Magic Voice’ Creary (Vocals), their current single, ‘Daylight’, shows them at the very top of their game!
Their upcoming album, Peaceful Demonstration, is released on the on TCD Records the label named for Tony (Anthony), Chris and Desmond, the original members of the band founded in 1972 in the United Kingdom. After 40 years in the music business, the deep roots reggae band returns with their first full-length album released since 1982.
Formed in Hackney in 1974, BLACK SLATE were the first completely homegrown UK reggae band, utilising their own sound system and dub plates, rather than the traditional method of using existing plates from Jamaica. At a time of huge racial tension and regular clashes between police and the black community, their first single, ‘Sticks Man’, appealed to communities to lead by example, the key lyric being: “If you tief a white, you will tief a black”…a reference to the spate of pickpockets in London at the time.
Taken as an anthem by both black and white communities who felt marginalised by society, the single became a 1976 hit in the UK singles chart, though including sales through non-affiliated reggae stores would have reflected it having sold phenomenal numbers.
Enjoying cross-over success with their hit single and album, Amigo, in 1980, touring with the likes of Peter Tosh and selling out venues likes London’s iconic Rainbow and in countries like Australia and New Zealand, they went on an extended hiatus from the routine and releasing record and endless touring but have now returned, refreshed and as inspired and incisive as ever.
RIVAH JORDAN, veteran of the dancehall, reggae and soundsystem scenes has returned with an impressive new reggae/trap-influenced single, ‘Shoebox’, taken from his brand new EP of the same name.
Known as the songwriter of cult dancehall singer, Prezident Brown and as the son of popular reggae artist, Jack Radics – RIVAH JORDAN’s life in music has seen him performing and writing for some of the biggest names in the business. But finding financial and mental stability has proved a constant difficulty for him.
Whether drug dealing in the increasingly violent streets of London or getting into fights with musical royalty such as Damien Marley and Jah Cure in Jamaica, RIVAH JORDAN has seen as much difficulty in his personal life as he’s seen success in his music. After taking a two-year hiatus, this latest track represents his reflection on this life of hustling, emphasising the importance of mental health and financial education.
Born in London, RIVAH JORDAN moved to Jamaica after getting caught up in the violent trade of drug dealing and fearing for his life. Producing tracks with the likes of Sly and Robbie and Jack Scorpio his music started gaining significant attention from Jamaican press and radio which led to a tour of the West Coast of the US with Prezident Brown, supporting reggae legends Wailing Souls and performing the headline slot at the Montenegro Sun Reggae Festival.
Based back in the UK, Rivah initially signed to pioneering British grime label, Big Dada and received significant support from British pirate radio alongside BBC World Service and BBC 6 Music. His latest release represents the culmination of his career so far: combining his skills as a rapper and dancehall songwriter, Rivah jumps between his native London accent and Jamaican patois with impressive ease and effect – a hustler-turned-teacher, ‘Shoebox’ is the first of Rivah’s releases in 2019.
If you’re longing for a trip to the Caribbean, I reckon KIKO BUN will take you there in a matter of seconds through his new EP ‘The Clubs’.
Kicking off with a vibrant and psychedelic take on ska with introductory single ‘ Fistful Of Nothing’, the four-track set goes on to featuring reggae that’s reminiscent of the rocksteady era, still obtaining the vibrancy.
I’m going to stick out my neck here: not every musician can successfully pull off reggae-fusion productions, but this north-west Londoner has definitely GOT IT: not only he makes a great contender in the modern reggae music scene, KIKO BUN somewhat pays homage to the legends of the 60s and 70s, such as The Mighty Diamonds, Slim Smith and Bob Marley.
Start your weekend with a ray of Sunshine and hit the play button on ‘The Clubs’