Naturally Delicious, Vol. 19 of the LargeUp Mix Series, arrives this week via Half-way Tree, Jamaica, homebase of Natural High Music‘s Blaise “Binghi” Davis and Jordan “Tallman” Armond. Over the last few years, the duo have cooked up original productions for the likes of Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Keznamdi and more, fusing hip-hop and reggae sounds into a harmonious whole. The approach is not unlike such producers as Salaam Remi and Kenny Dope, who took a similar tack a generation ago in the 1990s. Naturally Delicious, produced in partnership with iconic L.A. record label Delicious Vinyl and its new Caribbean music imprint Delicious Vinyl Island, pays homage to that era, while bringing it up to date, with a mix of classics, exclusives, and new heat from the likes of Wayne Marshall, Jovi Rockwell and more.
Listen/download here, swipe down for an interview with Natural High and a track listing, and keep up with the full LargeUp Mix Series here.
Who and what is Natural High Music?
Natural High Music is an independent record label and sound system located in Half-Way-Tree, Jamaica. We established the label and built the studio ‘The Bungalow’ around Summer, 2013. Originally we started building riddims together and DJing back in high school, and pretty much maintained a musical kinship since then. Given that history, it was the perfect situation to share a space together and dedicate it to our art. The studio gave us the ability to create around the clock, and the label came about as an outlet for our music. We literally live in our studio so its a very comfortable environment to create. It’s an organic vibe when we make music with artists. We chill, reason, maybe even play some loodi or Sega Genesis, and see what inspires the music.
What did you want to across on this mix? What was the process of selecting tunes?
For the past couple years we have been in touch with the Delicious Vinyl crew in LA. We started by working on a few records together, and that relationship developed into what has now become the launch of Delicious Vinyl Island. It’s a new branch of Delicious Vinyl focusing on artists and producers in Jamaica. We actually did the initial launch for the label with Royal Blu’s “Reap What You Sow” in April.
Naturally Delicious is our way of paying respect to the Delicious Vinyl family for supporting our creations. It focuses on the era of 90s hip-hop when Jamaican features were being collected for remixes, and that generated a lot of great collaborations. Those vibes are pretty rare these days. Capleton and Method Man, Bounty Killer and Busta Rhymes and also Born Jamericans. We selected our favorite collaborations of that era, along with our some of our production and exclusive dubplates for the mix.
There’s a blend of reggae and hip-hop, both in your own original productions included here, and the other tracks. Describe Natural High‘s relationship to both genres, and how you combine the two.
Jamaicans are huge fans of hip-hop. It’s a genre that has influenced the culture, just as reggae and dancehall has. We got great respect for the originators. We dig Salaam Remi and Pete Rock just as much as Sly and Robbie. When it comes to our production, we always strive to bring our influences from other genres into what we create with Jamaican artists. We listen to everything from Gorillaz, Lykke Li and Toro y Moi to Dennis Brown, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Kid Cudi. Good music is good music, no matter what genre.
What’s next for Natural High? Tell us about any new projects you have coming up or any news and milestones you’d like to share.
We got some great new music coming up for 2018. We recently got a placement on Kabaka Pyramid’s KontraBand album, track six: “Reggae Music”. And we also did “Glory To God” for Wayne Marshall’s upcoming project. Other than that, we are in full album mode for Natural High Presents: Urban Roots 2. Royal Blu’s “Reap What You Sow” was the first offering from the album. We got the next single coming up which is an unreleased Dennis Brown recording featuring Jesse Royal. A great collaboration that we are proud to be apart of.