Tomawok - Eek a Wok EP (Self-published/Dibyz Music)
You don't have to look too far to imagine where Tomawok drew inspiration from for his new 'Eek a Wok' EP. Apart from the title, there's the cover image, not a Tomawok in Indian headdress and war paint, but with a Mexican sombrero and poncho; a nod to record sleeves on which Eek-A-Mouse was dressed similarly.
Little Harry - Youngest Veteron (Top Smile Records)
Little Harry, nicknamed 'The Youngest Veteron', may have started deejaying in 1979, apart from 'DJ Clash Volume 2', a 1983 combination-album with the late Billy Boyo, his output was limited to hit singles like 'Anarexol Body', 'Long Time Ago' and 'Jessat Promotion'. Until now that is, because since Little Harry joined forces with Swiss High Smile Hifi, things suddenly gained momentum.
Caz Gardiner & The Badasonics - Caz Gardiner & The Badasonics (Badasonic Records)
Is Badasonic Records on its way to becoming the Belgian answer to the American Daptone Records label?
Kiran Ahluwalia - 7 Billion (Self-published)
The sound of Canadian Indian singer-songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia, who mixes the traditional music from her native India with influences from rock, jazz and for '7 Billion' even a hint of Tuareg blues, immediately reminded yours truly of the work of British-Indian artist Susheela Raman.
Kologne - Ease Off EP (Self-published/Puur Live Entertainment)
Yours truly got to know Kologne, formerly Singing Cologne, as a guest vocalist on UK releases of Alpha Steppa and Dub Dynasty, but in fact the man, born Oral Kirk Brown, hails from Linstead in the Jamaican parish of Saint Catherine.
Winston McAnuff & Fixi - Big Brothers (Chapter Two Records/Wagram)
The first collaboration between French musician Fixi (real name François-Xavier Bossard) and Jamaican veteran vocalist Winston McAnuff already dates back to 2007, when they joined forces for 'Paris Rockin', an album with Java, the band Fixi was then still a member of. In 2013 this was followed by 'A New Day', a long player we then classified as "very innovative", but could generally still be classified as a reggae album. Where 'Big Brothers' is concerned, that's certainly not the case anymore.
Beres Hammond - Never Ending (VP Records)
It had been six years already since Jamaican crooner Beres Hammond spoiled his fans with a new album, but 'Never Ending', the title of his new opus, leaves no doubt: good old Beres is far from done yet!
DJ Vadim - Dubcatcher 3: Flames Up! (Soulbeats Records)
With 'Dubcatcher 3: Flames Up', Russian producer DJ Vadim creates a third episode in the adventures of his reggae superhero creation.
Kingston All Stars - Rise Up (Roots & Wire Records)
Judging from the sleeve image of this third album by veteran collective Kingston All Stars, one might expect a solid revolutionary album, but that look turns out to be slightly deceiving.
Bitty McLean - Love Restart (Tabou1)
After 2009's 'Movin' On', 2013's 'The Taxi Sessions', and the four-track 'Heart Mind & Soul' EP from 2015, Bitty McLean joined forces with riddim tandem Sly & Robbie and their Taxi Gang for the fourth time in a row.
Various Artists - Ska Authentic: presenting the Ska-Talites (Studio One)
Since 2016, the legendary Jamaican Studio One label joined forces with American Yep Roc Records, and this already resulted in re-releases of records by The Wailers, Freddie McGregor and Freddie McKay, now followed by the iconic 'Ska Authentic'.
Manudigital - Bass Attack (X-Ray Production)
Yours truly had already heard nothing but good things about French producer and beat maker Manudigital, but 'Digital Pixel', his debut album from 2016 had eluded us and we hadn't had the opportunity to see him play live either. The release of his brand new 'Bass Attack' album therefor seemed the ideal opportunity to get to know this French phenomenon.
Harouna Samake - Kamale Blues (One World Records)
Harouna Samake is a Malian kamale ngoni player from Dissan near Sikasso, a town in the far south of the country.
Pablo Raster - Fairytales In Dub (ODG)
As the title suggests, for this album, the Polish based Italian producer Pablo Raster drew inspiration from well-known and lesser known fairy tales and fables.
Bixiga 70 - Quebra-Cabeça (Glitterbeat Records)
With album title 'Quebra-Cabeça', their second long player on the Glitterbeat Records label, the Brazilian afrobeat combo Bixiga 70 delves deeper into the stratification of their music, which is like a puzzle of various influences.
Brother Culture - Code Name (Evidence Music)
Veteran MC Brother Culture and Swiss producer team Evidence Music (Etienne Maitre and Nicolas Maitre from Derrick Sound, and Nicolas Meury from Little Lion Sound) got to know each other in 2013 and their collaborations have already resulted in a number of successful singles like 'Dreadlocks Thing', 'Heal Them' and 'New Generation'. Those singles were now bundled together with a series of new tracks for 'Code Name', an album tailored to the current sound system generation.
Alpha Steppa & Nai-Jah - The Great Elephant (Steppas Records)
As a successor to '3rd Kingdom', English producer Alpha Steppa opted to collaborate with French-Nigerian singer-songwriter Nai-Jah.
Groundation - The Next Generation (Baco Records)
After three years of absence, during which the individual band members were involved in all kinds of side projects, Groundation is finally returns! But as the album title indicates 'The Next Generation', this is a completely new version of the band. Apart from front man Harrison Stafford there isn't a trace of the rest of the old Groundation anymore.
Gonzo & Inna Vision - Curricular Style (Roots Musician Records)
For 'Curricular Style' Gonzo and Inna Vision joined forces, but that collaboration didn't result in an entirely new album, as with 'Bad Girl' and 'Show You Love' the track list also includes two tracks from Gonzo's 2017 'Round The Clock' EP, 'So High' already featured on Inna Vision's recent 'Link Up' album, 'Roots It Up' is a song from 'Red', Gonzo's solo 2014 solo debut, and 'Change The World' is a cover of the eponymous 1996 song by Eric Clapton.
Various Artists - King Jammy presents Dennis Brown: Tracks Of Life (Greensleeves)
Almost 20 years after his demise, Dennis Brown remains an inexhaustible source of inspiration in the reggae genre. In 2016 VP Records already presented 'We Remember Dennis Brown', a double album full of Dennis Brown covers, and for 'Tracks Of Life', King Jammy also had a whole range of artists get creative with some of D-Brown's greatest classics.