Nov 27, 2014
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LargeUp Premiere: Ini Kamoze “Hill & Gully Ride (Remix)”

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“Hill and Gully Ride” is a traditional Jamaican mento song first recorded by Lord Composer in the early 1950s, and sung for many years well before that by workmen constructing new roads. A reference to the highs and lows of Jamaican topography and, in turn, Jamaican life, “Hill and Gully Ride” is a phrase capable of putting pretty much anything in Jamaica into perspective and, as such, it’s been re-used as a title for numerous songs (and one of the island’s longest-running TV series) by different artists over the years.

In 1994, the same year he hit No. 1 on Billboard with “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” Ini Kamoze returned to Jamaica to voice his own “Hill and Gully Ride” for producer Philip “Fattis” Burrell, of XTerminator Reocrds fame. Though it’s not one of his best-known songs, it ranks up there with “World A Reggae” and the original “Hot Stepper” among his best songs thanks to a wicked combination of qualuty production and illuminating lyrics. Fattis would later remix the track for release in 1998, and that version might be even better.

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LargeUp Premiere: Jah9 “Revolution Lullaby” (Free Download)

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Today marks the 84th anniversary of the Coronation Day of H.I.M Haile Selassie and, in celebration of the King’s crowning, Jamaican songstress Jah9 is offering her brand-new single, “Revolution Lullaby,” as a free download for 24 hours. “Nyabinghi meets Jazz on Dub” is how the track’s producer, Bregt Puraman (known for work with The Congos and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry), describes “Revolution Lullaby,” which features an eclectic array of instruments over Nyabinghi drums, including flute played by Jah9’s musical director, Sheldon “ATiiBA’”Bernard. The tune is her first new single release since mid 2013.

“Its a woman’s voice on Nyabinghi, and most of the times Nyabinghi is sung by men,” Puraman says. “Omega power makes it very unique.”

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LargeUp Premiere: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s “Black Ark Vampires”

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Ask Lee “Scratch” Perry why he burned down Black Ark studio, and he’ll tell you: vampires. The facility became a magnet, he has said, for bloodsuckers and leeches, prompting his unorthodox decision to torch the iconic facility–or so the story goes. Scratch revisits this legend on “Black Ark Vampires,” a collaboration with Subatomic Sound, his backing band of the last four years, co-produced by longtime collaborator Adrian Sherwood.

Right on time for Halloween,”Black Ark Vampires” is rooted in “Vampires and Informers,” a collaboration between Subatomic and Elephant Man from a few years ago, and a conversation between Perry and percussionist Larry McDonald, a Black Ark veteran. The result is one of Perry’s most focused tracks in years, as the Upsetter promises to “kill vampire” in England, America and Kingston  with tools including electric wire and roast corn.

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Next Future: Watch Protoje’s “Stylin” Video

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Christopher Mitchell

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It seemed like the whole reggae world (LargeUp included) was out at sea last week on Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise but big tings a gwaan off-ship, too. Among these was the release of “Stylin,” the second single from Protoje’s upcoming LP, Ancient Future. The track features a slightly different, though not entirely foreign, sound for Oje, manipulating his voice through the use of a vocoder. Check out the lyric video (which is kinda like a real video but with lyrics) below, followed by some pics from Protoje’s live Miami debut (at which he was accompanied by Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid and Ky-mani Marley) this past Sunday.

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VIDEO: Watch Hollie Cook Perform Live at the Google Offices

Words by Jesse Serwer

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Hollie Cook’s first US tour is officially history after wrapping up this weekend in Los Angeles. But there’s still an opportunity to catch a performance even if you missed all the shows. Following night two of the tour in Boston, Hollie and The Next Level Band stopped into Google’s offices in that city for a performance on the Talks at Google series, running an entire set’s worth of tunes, from her debut single “Milk and Honey” to tracks off her new album, Twice, like “99,” which she reveals here, is about eating ice cream.

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LargeUp Premiere: Horseman’s “Dawn of the Dread” LP

Words by Jesse Serwer

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Halloween and reggae might seem like a strange pair, but there’s a whole history of ghoulishly irie tunes out there, from Ernie Smith’s “Duppy or Gunman” to the whole Scientist Rids the World of the Curse of the Evil Vampires LP. (See our “Duppies and Vampires” Toppa Top 10 countdown for some more favorites). Adding to that legacy now is Dawn of the Dread, the first album from London-based drummer and vocalist Horseman.

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