sun 26/09/2021

reggae

Album: Greentea Peng - Man Made

Greentea Peng is a south Londoner, heavily tattooed, heavily spiritual, heavily anti-establishment, and very, very heavily into basslines. She cuts a singular figure in many ways, but her rebel dub soul style also makes her a particularly British...

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Live is Alive!, Brighton Festival 2021 review - local talent makes for snappy return to gig-land

The idea live music is back is worth shouting about. Indeed, the BBC News has been doing just that about this gig. In reality, though, while it’s a joy to be out (this is my first major venue concert for a year-and-a-half), Live is Alive is a...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Album: Mathieu Boogaerts - En Anglais

Mathieu Boogaerts has been recording since the mid 1990s, emerging from the nouvelle chanson scene in Paris, a chansonnier who’s performed at the likes of Cafe Oto over here, while establishing himself as a star turn on the Tôt ou Tard label in...

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Disc of the Day Celebrates 10 Years of Album Reviews

Ten years ago yesterday, on Monday 14th February 2011, one of theartsdesk’s writers, Joe Muggs, reviewed an album called Paranormale Aktivitat, by an outfit called Zwischenwelt. It was the first ever Disc of the Day, a new slot inserted into...

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Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning America’s sweetheart, all dimply smiles, positive-thinking ultra sincerity and the kind of showbiz over-emoting and singing-technique-as...

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Album: Toots & the Maytals - Got to be Tough

Toots Hibbert may have invented the term “reggae” with his 1968 hit “Do the Reggay” but he has never felt boxed in by the genre. During his almost 60-year singing career, he may have recorded some of the greatest ska and reggae tunes of all time,...

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Album: Shaggy - Hot Shot 2020

Hot Shot 2020 has been billed as a rerub of Shaggy’s colossal turn of the century release Hot Shot. It’s not quite an accurate description of an album that has already been released in three different forms and shifted nine million copies though. In...

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Cleveland Watkiss 60th birthday celebration, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - seismic pulse, emotive words

Whether performing with the ground-breaking Jazz Warriors big band (which he co-founded in the 1980s) or Marque Gilmore and DJ Le Rouge in Project 23, taking the lead roles in Julian Joseph’s jazz operas Bridgetower and Shadowball, or emceeing one...

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Studio 17: The Lost Reggae Tapes, BBC Four review - a perfectly paced tale of world-shaking basslines and human frailty

If there was ever a documentary that needed you to have good speakers on your TV setup – or good headphones if you're watching on computer or tablet – this is it. It maybe goes without saying that reggae needs good bass reproduction to appreciate,...

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CD: Madonna - Madame X

Madonna is the queen of reinvention and Madame X, her 14th studio album, marks another new brilliant, bonkers chapter in her 37-year career. The 13-track CD (15 on the deluxe version) was inspired by a recent spell living in Lisbon, where she...

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The Specials, Margate Winter Gardens review - ska legends passionate and on-point

Here they come again – the band most adept at capturing the mood of an era in catchy, critical three-minute songs. Just at the very point we need them most, the original ska-punk popsters surface and their message is as deeply relevant as it was...

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