2013 has been quite a year for Bunji Garlin – already an International Soca Monarch several times over, Garlin continued his reign (at least metaphorically) with international hit “Differentology.” The song won the Soul Train Award for Best International Performance, is currently in rotation on HOT 97, and was even featured on Grey’s Anatomy (!?). He even brought the tune to LargeUp, performing it for us at the Okayplayer Holiday Party with the Roots, and the LargeUp Sessions just a few weeks ago.
This year he also started collaborating with production team Jus Now. The duo, Sam Interface (England) and LAZABeam (Trinidad), is, in their own words, “the meeting of two riddim obsessives.” They’ve brought their drum & bass-influenced sound to Garlin’s music, resulting in tunes like “Savage,” and his banger off their first EP One Time called “Tun Up.”
Now they’re releasing another song together, just in time for New Years. “Truck On D Road” is an EDM-influenced joint, reflecting the ever-changing soca scene. There’s the classic soca rhythm, but also deep bass and even a few drops (hello dubstep). It’s a lot closer to the edgy “Tun Up” than the more lilting sounds of “Differentology” and “Savage.” Artists like Major Lazer (who co-produced another of Garlin’s recent tunes, “It’s A Carnival”) have spurred this trend, incorporating more international-club friendly sounds that bring soca to new audiences. The song is definitely carnival ready, and if it’s any indication of future Garlin-Jus Now collaborations, we’d better fasten our seatbelts for a bumpin 2014.