Wondering what Jamaican music sounds like in 2012? Look no further than Google Play's Fall Reggae Sampler, a comprehensive overview of reggae and dancehall sounds by the music's top artists. We start with modern one-drop roots reggae, the present-day musical successor to Bob Marley's '70s sound, represented with authority by the gruff-chanting DJ Capleton's "Weh Dem A Try," from the Blessings single-rhythm (or "riddim") compilation. Newcomer Jahman also plies a nice one-drop song, while St. Croix, Virgin Island supergroup Midnite offer a typically mystical approach on "Peak Tension Time," taken from their Kings Bell album.
Don't worry hardcore dancehall fans, we have you covered with music by established artists Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel and Konshens, while hot new talents Popcaan and Khago also press their case for stardom. With tracks from the Don Corleon-produced Summer Scheme Riddim compilation as well as the brilliant Loudspeaker Riddim EP, uptempo party tracks are represented nicely. For some throwback '90s bashment, we've included songs by Silver Cat, Rayvon and Red Fox from the Showtime and Joyride riddim comps.
Baltimore's pop-punk reggae rockers Ballyhoo! showcase their band's infectious hybrids on "Walk Away," while elsewhere romantic reggae, also known as lovers rock, is delivered with a honeyed touch by Mr. Vegas, Courtney John and Anthony Red Rose. Strictly sweetness!
Dub and dubstep aficionados are not ignored, either. Prince Polo delivers delicious echoes on "It's the Dub," while Noah D and veterans Inner Circle drop weighty, club-friendly bass tones. The latter's "Drum Song," taken from the new reggae-meets-dubstep project Dub Planet-X is Inner Circle's tribute to the Studio One innovator Jackie Mittoo and brings everything full circle—from reggae's 1960s origins right to the future. For a limited time, download free tracks at Google Play, and enjoy great music by these reggae leaders. –Tomas Palermo, Google Play
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