Words by Deejay Theory
Following our year-end roundup of the best Caribbean mixtapes of 2014 last week, we’ve got one final edition of #MixtapeMondays to wrap up the year— a great opportunity to share some truly historic gems from the vaults, as well as some tuff new dancehall from ’14. Press play below:
Stretch Armstrong x David Rodigan x Barry G, Cassette Culture Mix: Leave it to NYC professor Stretch Armstrong to dig deep into the history books for a rare and unique voyage into reggae and soundsystem culture. Breaking down his long-standing love affair with reggae in his Cassette Culture column on Cuepoint, Stretch peels back a live recording from 1985 of an epic bout between David Rodigan and Barry G for this mix. The importance of this tape runs extra deep and one of the main differences here is it was recorded live in Barry G’s radio station studios rather than live on stage. This session in particular was defining for reggae and dancehall as a whole, and definitely worth reading up on more right here. Level the whole mix below:
Just Sherman x DJ Yonnie, 24 Karat Gold: Our own editor at large Just Sherman aka Sherman Escoffery just blessed us with another essential mix for the week from years of dancehall past. Officially released in 1999 by Shanachie Records and now out of circulation, 24 Karat Gold is a megamix of classic 80’s Dancehall that features four top producers of the 80’s: Winston Riley, King Jammy, Henry “Junjo” Lawes and Steely & Clevie. The album was compiled and mixed by Sherman and DJ Yonnie and the result is one hour of the best of the 80’s that spans over ten years of Jamaican music, when dancehall was really beginning to emerge as a distinct sub-genre. 24 Karat Gold opens with King Yellowman, who was nominated for the first Reggae Grammy in 1985 and closes with Shabba Ranks— the first DJ to actually win a Reggae Grammy in 1992. The mix also features artists such as John Holt, Ninjaman, Buju Banton, Super Cat among others including General Trees and his 1986 hit “Minibus,” the last hit dancehall DJ song to be done with all live instruments. Stream and download below, tracklist here.
Thee Mike B, Nothing But The Best of Dancehall 2014: One of LA’s baddest selectors Thee Mike B slid a wicked dancehall mix into the Soundcloud-osphere recently that deserves a pull up right here. Madd selection from start to finish with a mixed bag of big tunes from 2014 from Elly’s Shmoney Dance to some dancing tunes and special blends. Heavy vibes to wrap up the week and the year itself. Stream and download below: