After a three-year break from touring, Jimmy Cliff is back on the road in 2018. Touring the world extensively throughout his career has established him as one of the top live performers and a must-see in any billing. People everywhere have witnessed the power of Cliff’s performances, whether experiencing the magic of a cloudy sky clearing up during “I Can See Clearly Now”, or his energetic, positive vibe uniting generations of festival goers – his shows make for great entertainment and uplifting memories.
There is nearly nowhere Jimmy Cliff hasn’t been, almost no festival he hasn’t played – from Guadeloupe to Japan, from Norway to Brazil. He performed at the legendary Glastonbury and Montreux Jazz festivals, the Byron Bay Bluesfest, at Couleur Café in Brussels, at Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, and at the WOMAD events all over the world. In 2018, he will play a selected run of shows, bringing along the fresh new songs from his two 2018 EPs as well as hits such as “The Harder They Come”, “You Can Get It If You Really Want”, “Wonderful World, Beautiful People”, and many more.
Emerging from the South Bronx in the early 1970s, Grandmaster Flash is inarguably one of Hip Hop’s original innovators. In the earliest days of the genre, he manipulated music by placing his fingers on the vinyl, perfected beat looping, and discovered many of the most iconic beats still commonly sampled today. It’s no surprise that The New York Times calls him Hip Hop’s first virtuoso.
Today, he’s the voice of an entire generation of 1970s hip hop pioneers. From his electric live shows, to his production role on Netflix’ The Get Down, Grandmaster Flash is at once a historian, a storyteller, and a cultural force.
Trojan Sound System
London based Trojan Sound System are an institution in Sound System culture. A legendary team of selecta (Daddy Ad) and vocalists, they relentlessly tour the globe, representing the most seminal Reggae and Ska record label in history. For the past decade, Trojan Sound System have spread their message of love and unity through the power of Reggae in all of its forms and UK Bass music, headlining club shows, captivating festival crowds and supporting legendary Jamaican acts such as; The Wailers, Luciano, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Sly & Robby and the late great, Gregory Isaacs to featuring original recording artists on the Sound System, ranging from Big Youth to Dennis Alcapone to Eek A Mouse to Tappa Zukie to name but a few. Trojan Sound System are the original crew that broke Reggae music and culture back into contemporary clubs and festivals.
Transcending age, race and political barriers, Trojan Sound System play music that satisfies the purest of vinyl collectors, while at the same time, introducing a new generation to the roots of Jamaican music and Bass Culture. Mixing styles and flavours from the past 40 years, the Trojan crew are legendary party starters, ignited by uplifting vocals from MC trio; Supa4 Creation, Chucky Bantan & Jah Buck.
Trojan Sound System will be releasing their new album on Trojan Records in Spring 2018. Like their first album on the label, it will be featuring both classic and rare Trojan tracks, mixed live with special guest vocalists performing versions on riddims, live sound FX and capturing the magic and energy of Trojan Sound System live, but recorded in the studio.
Kioko is a Birmingham based ska/reggae band who are gearing up to release their new single, Deadly Roots, featuring special guest Doc Brown. The single is being released to tie in with their current UK tour to support and promote Love Music Hate Racism. Deadly Roots follows previous Kioko releases Let’s Be Frank EP in 2017 and True What They Say EP in 2014.
Following a hugely successful LMHR event in their hometown of Birmingham in 2017, the band and the charity decided to team up to take the music and the message across the UK. There’s a lot of talk about how post-Brexit Britain is in many ways regressing back to the 1970s and historically the best music often comes out of the most depressing political situations. As a ska/reggae band indebted to the heroes of the scene such as The Specials and Madness, it seems Kioko’s appeal is inextricably linked to the current socio-political landscape. As guitarist Jon Brown says “reggae is the blues of the Caribbean veiled in infectious sun-drenched rhythm, it’s the music of those who have suffered, and there’s a lot of suffering going on at the moment”.
Alongside the tour, KIOKO are releasing a new version of their biggest single to date, Deadly Roots, produced by their long-time collaborator and mentor Spider Johnson with Don Chandler, producer for Morgan Heritage and bassist with UB40. The single features a guest vocal from musician, actor and comedian Doc Brown.
Coming out of the ever-vibrant Birmingham music scene alongside fellow nationally acclaimed reggae roots acts such as By The Rivers and having toured with and supported international legends such as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, The Wailers and The Specials, Kioko have been supported by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and David Rodigan on BBC 1Xtra
“An exciting and original band of musicians with a genuine passion for reggae music” – David Rodigan, BBC 1Xtra
Former two-time UK Beatbox champion and comedian Beardyman is legendary for creating whole DJ sets in real time, constructed from just his vocals – often enhanced by vocoders and effects tools – and musical samples, with loop pedal. Live, he can improvise a whole album in the time it takes most musicians to find the plug sockets. His viral videos have garnered millions of views, notably his ‘Kitchen Diaries’, where he combines beatboxing with cooking.
Beardyman often collaborates with others, including DMC champion JFB, MC Klumzy Tung, visual artist mr_hopkinson, and his own brother, comedian Jay Foreman. He is currently developing his own software, called the Beardytron 5000 MkII, which he uses for his live show and enables him to perform material beyond the capabilities of off the shelf technology.
Peanut Butter Wolf
Among the true talents in the late-’90s new skool of old-school hip-hop, Peanut Butter Wolf began DJing as a teenager and became quite an entrepreneur at his San Jose, CA, high school, selling mix tapes of his turntable work. He debuted on wax in 1989 with “You Can’t Swing This” on All Good Vinyl, recorded with a smooth MC named Lyrical Prophecy. By the end of the year, PBW began working with MC Charizma, and the two gelled quickly, perfecting their skills at block parties and shows with the likes of the Pharcyde, House of Pain, and Nas. Just after the duo gained a record deal with Hollywood Basic in 1992, Charizma was shot and killed.
Unsure of where to turn without the talents of his MC, Peanut Butter Wolf began issuing strictly instrumental work, including his first release, Peanut Butter Breaks on Heyday Records. Tracks followed for the Bomb label (on the excellent Return of the DJ compilation) as well as Om Records. Though the MC had ruled the world of hip-hop since the mid-’80s, selected DJ crews began to get exposure in the dance underground by the late ’90s, including DJ Shadow, the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, and the X Men (whose name was later changed to the X-Ecutioners, for copyright reasons). Peanut Butter Wolf joined the elite as well, recording for dance labels 2 Kool (the Lunar Props EP) and Ninja Tune (remixing the Herbaliser) as well as contributing production work for fellow old-schooler Kool Keith.
With the foundation of his Stones Throw label, PBW began developing tracks recorded earlier with MC Charizma and released work by another Bay Area crew, Fanatik. His debut production LP, My Vinyl Weighs a Ton, appeared in 1999. The year 2002 brought two excellent compilations, The Best of Peanut Butter Wolf and the Stones Throw 7″ collection Jukebox 45’s. In 2003 he put out Badmeaninggood, Vol. 3 and the next year he produced a compilation CD/DVD of his label’s artists, Stones Throw 101. Since then he has focused more of his energy in building up Stones Throw, though he still performs the occasional DJ gig in Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. Peanut Butter Wolf is also a member of the L.A. hip-hop orchestra Breakestra. To celebrate the decade his label had been in existence, Chrome Children was released in collaboration with Adult Swim in 2006, and Stones Throw: Ten Years in early 2007. ~ John Bush, Rovi