Oct 22, 2014
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Music

R.I.P.: John Holt, 1947-2014

JOHN_HOLT

Reggae (and, perhaps equally, rocksteady) lost one of its great voices this weekend, in the late, great John Holt. Holt had at least three distinct eras in his career, and chances are you know his work from one, if not all of them.

The singer, who began working with producer Leslie Kong as a teenager in the early 60s, came to prominence as a member of Jamaican vocal group the Paragons, which he joined in 1964. The group (which also included a young Bob Andy) recorded some of the most seminal hits of the rocksteady era, working with producer Duke Reid at Treasure Isle, including “The Tide Is High,” which Holt wrote, and which was later made into a worldwide hit by Blondie. In the ’70s, Holt became known as something of a covers specialist, recording several popular cover albums with names like 1,000 Volts of Holt, and turning tracks like Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” into lite reggae gold. Embracing Rastafari, in later years he would take on a more defiant tone with his music, as exemplified in his 1983 protest “Police in Helicopter.” Here’s a look at a very small handful of Holt’s most notable tunes.

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Mixtape Mondays: QQ x Wildcat Sound, Blondtron x Prince Zimboo x A Tribe Called Red, Melody Jay

Words by Deejay Theory

MM 33

Monday is here and while some of our crew is headed off to JA on the “Welcome to Jamrock” cruise (jerks) it’s music and mixes as usual here at #MixtapeMondays. Big new vibes and a few curveballs from JA, Canada, Hawaii and beyond ..

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Phone Tap: Deejay Theory Remixes Chan Dizzy’s “Calling All Girls”

chan-dizzy-calling-all-girls

Dutty Artz, the Brooklyn-based label behind releases from Jahdan Blakkamoore, DJ/Rupture and others, dropped Chan Dizzy’s “Calling All Girls” earlier this year, as a preview of the forthcoming collaborative LP between NY producers Matt Shadetek and Robzilla. This week the label drops a full EP of remixes for the Robzilla-produced track, including a predictably fuego version from our own Deejay Theory that blends the driving arrangements of mid-aughts dancehall (dramatic synth stabs, cell phone chirps) and something more modern and moombahton-y.

Stream Theory’s remix below, and pre-order the EP (also featuring mixes from Kush Arora, Samrai and Love Taps) here via Bandcamp or iTunes.

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VIDEO: Christopher Ellis’ “Roller Coaster”

Words by Jesse Serwer

OkayPlayer Holiday-Christopher-Ellis

Christopher Ellis is rocksteady royalty. But the son of the great Alton Ellis has been making a name for himself recently, with a soulful sound that sits somewhere between reggae and the retro R&B vibes of an Aloe Blacc. If you were at last year’s Okayplayer Holiday Jam you might have seen Chris jamming with the Roots on a cover of his pops’ classic “I’m Still in Love With You.”

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GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets To See Hollie Cook on the West Coast

Words by LargeUp Crew

Hollie-Cook-Glasslands-7

After getting her first US tour to a roaring start in Brooklyn Monday night, and hooking up with Yuna for shows in Boston (Tuesday), Philly (tonight!) and D.C. (tomorrow), Hollie Cook is heading to the West Coast. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to each of the first four shows on her West Coast leg, in Boulder, CO (Sunday Oct. 19 at Fox Theater); Seattle (Monday Oct. 21 @ Nectar Lounge); Portland, OR (Tuesday Oct. 22 at Alhambra Theater) and Oakland, CA (Wednesday Oct. 23 @ Leo’s Music Club).

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Throwback Thursdays: Peter Tosh on “Behind The Music”

Words by Jesse Serwer/Photo by Richard E. Aaron

Peter-Tosh-sheik

James Brown, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix… It seems like every iconic artist is getting a biopic these days. It’s only a matter of time before Bob Marley inevitably gets the Hollywood treatment, but we’ve always thought Peter Tosh’s story would make for a great movie. Much of Tosh’s story remains untold, and those re-tellings tend to center around “Legalize It”/weed, his relationship with Bob, and anecdotal stuff like the infamous bumbaclot interview. Somewhere in there the person himself seems to have gotten lost.

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