Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Dirt Off Your Shoulder / I Need Somebody To Love Tonight Big Crown Records 7"
El Michels Affair Ekundayo Inversions There has always been a Reggae inuence in the music of El Michels Affair. From their cover of “Hung Up On My Baby” done in a Reggae style, to the general sound and approach that permeates Leon’s production style. While recording Bailey’s 2020 Ekundayo album, they did some straight forward reggae tunes inspired by different eras alongside some modern R&B tracks that would ?t more comfortably next to Frank Ocean than Jacob Miller. It is this same notion that old and new can live so comfortably together that birthed the idea of Ekundayo Inversions. Traditional dub came out of reggae in the late 60s and early 70s when pioneers like King Tubby and Lee Perry started taking the multi track recordings of songs and running them back through the board adding effects and additional instrumentation. These recordings are called “dubs” or “versions” and are typically instrumentals with ourishes of vocals from the original tracks. El Michels decided to use the blueprints left behind and make something using the inuences of today. He wound up straying so far from the traditional format that it didn’t seem right to use the word ‘Dub’, hence Ekundayo Inversions. All the songs are tied together by WhatsApp messages between Leon and Liam that perfectly narrate the story of this record and their working relationship. One of the highlights on Ekundayo Inversions is a guest appearance from the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry on the “Ugly Truth” version. L$P switches between singing and talking, proclaiming his powers one minute and playing with the track’s title the next. On “Awkward take. 2” Leon takes one of the most experimental songs from Ekundayo and actually straightens it out. A track that once seemed to be oating in space has now been anchored by the addition of drums and bass. “Faded”, a version of “Paper Tiger”, is given the full EMA treatment with the addition of emotive horns over an uncomfortably sparse rhythm track peppered with Liam’s voice drenched in delay and echo. “Champions” features a verse from Black Thought of The Roots and halfway through, El Michels sends the rhythm section 50 years back. At the end of the day, Ekundayo Inversions is a testament to how strong the original songs are. Whether they’re in a R&B style, reggae style, stripped down to their bare bones, or loaded with production, the songs will move you. Big Crown Records CD | LP Pre-Order
Liam Bailey Champion (Remix) feat. Black Thought / Ugly Truth (Remix) feat. Lee "Scratch" Perry Big Crown Records 7"
Crown Jewels Vol. 1 Various Artists Big Crown is proud to present their first compilation on the label, Crown Jewels Vol. 1. This is something of a highlight reel for what they have released in the three years that they've been around. It features Lee Fields and The Expressions, Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band, Lady Wray, The Shacks, El Michels Affair and more. Big Crown Records LP
Bobby Oroza I Got Love / Loving Body The Finnish crooner, Bobby Oroza, is back with a new set of tunes that pick up right where his glorious 2018 debut album, This Love, left off. The A side "I Got Love" is a sweet soul anthem for those with their priorities straight and an encouraging reminder to those who may have lost sight of what is truly important in life. Bobby has penned another hit. He sings about choosing love over all things material and recognizing what you have when you have it. Bobby sings an earworm of a chorus that sums it up perfectly, "I got love, and that's enough". The B side, "Loving Body", is as seductive as it is profound. Bobby proposi- tions his love interest over a gorgeous Cold Diamond & Mink production for more than a light hearted love affair. Mr. Oroza is not your average Joe, and this is not your average roses and candy song. Bobby lays out his desire to become one loving body in the way two rivers become part of the sea. A beautiful song about attraction and desire that will be an instant staple in the sweet soul world and beyond. Big Crown Records 7"
Liam Bailey White Light / Cold & Clear Liam Bailey comes out swinging with White Light, an instant-classic, dancefloor filler. The rough and tough drum break intro catches you from the first beat before the track gives way to an infectious and uplifting reggae-dis-co number. Liam's instantly recognizable voice showers his muse with praise over deep round bass lines and a four on the floor beat. The combination of Leon Michels' crushing production and Bailey's lyrics like "You love yourself, you're so exciting, like no one else"... is sure to make this a staple in dj sets around the globe.The B side Cold and Clear is a proper lighters in the air, slap the wall, top ranking tune. The track struts in the door with a natural and undeniable confidence. Liam weaves a heavy metacognitive story over the one drop drums, perfect basslines, and organ stabs that will have people stepping in rhythm. The lo-fi production weaves elements from the finest early rocksteady era with touches from the late 70s / early 80s digital era and takes the entire vibe into the present with unorthodox arrangements and vocal treatments. Big Crown Records 7"