Words by Jesse Serwer—
We beseech thee for a late pass.
We slept on the news a few months back that U.K. drum and bass/jungle don (and “Original Nuttah”) Shy FX would be returning with a straight-up reggae LP called Cornerstone (due out later this year on his own Digital Soundboy label). The project sounded promising, but for reasons we can’t quite recall, we didn’t jump up to check out the first leak, “Soon Come,” when audio first popped up (via David Rodigan). Bumba. Now, we know better: “Soon Come,” the subject of an appropriately nostalgic video viewable below, is a surefire song-of-the-summer candidate.
Shy FX’s vintage riddim (perhaps an inheritance from his grandfadda, U.K. sound system OG Count Shelly) makes a perfect canvas for Liam Bailey, a British singer of mixed Jamaican descent with songwriting credits for Amy Winehouse and a voice like a young Dennis Brown.
Interestingly, the eclectic Bailey, who’s said to be working on an LP with LargeUp favorite Salaam Remi, conjures echoes of another fallen reggae icon, Gregory Isaacs, on another reggae track, “When Will They Learn,” produced by Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman of vintage soul label Truth and Soul Records. These are hefty comparisons to grant an artist so new (and who isn’t even a pure reggae singer) but Bailey’s vocal performances on these tracks really are damn good.
Originally released as a limited edition 7” vinyl in 2011, “When Will they Learn” just received a full release with a gang of remixes, via Ministry of Sound Recordings/Speakerbox. Watch Bailey’s 2011 video for the song, after you check out audio and video of “Soon Come.”
If this summer pans out right, we’ll be hearing a lot more of both.