Detroit based Sekkle&Cease have curated a new compilation album with all proceeds going to the legendary Alpha Boys School. They have assembled a talented group of musicians and producers who have contributed some seriously good reggae, dub and electronic instrumentals. Some of it is quite experimental, some quite leftfield, but all the tracks help to create a killer soundtrack for our modern times.
Alpha Boys School
If you are not familiar with the Alpha Boys School, it is a school established in the late 19th century in Kingston, Jamaica and run by Catholic nuns. Its aim was to educate ‘wayward boys’, but it became well known for its forward thinking musical tuition. The list of talented musicians who came through the school is long and influential. It includes such greats as Vin Gordon, Rico Rodriguez, Tommy McCook, Don Drummond, Yellowman, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace and many more. The school is still going and relies heavily on donations to continue their work of helping students have a good start to life. So by buying the album you are really helping to change lives.
This is one of those tricky albums to review because there are too many good tracks on here to fully appraise them all. So I shall pick out a couple of my favourites and hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect. First up is Pirates by Jamie Peligro, which is a very subtle reggae track and ironically for a reggae album review, probably the least reggaeish. But it needs a mention because of the catchy hypnotic clock ticking beat, which is mesmerising. It is harsh and beautiful at the same time, that ticking sound gets into your head and soothes. Interspersed are occasional vocals that wake you up from the trancy beat and also deep and dirty bass notes that create a feeling of portent and impending trouble. The track is ideal for a film soundtrack, powerful stuff.
Xl Arge (Numa Crew)
Another heavy track this one, by XL Arge (Numa Crew) called Metadub. If you love some echo in your reggae then this one is made for you. Again I suppose it is a distant cousin of reggae, future reggae maybe? It has a more grimey feel to it, but like the previous Pirates track it is all about the atmospheric feeling of foreboding it gives. The distant echoey vocals and the morse code like beeps give you the feeling that something out there is trying to communicate with you.
The album is out now and available to buy from the Sekkle&Cisse Bandcamp site. It’s certainly not a conventional offering, as I mentioned before it could be ‘future reggae’. It’s very electronic, it has a very strong pulse and is the polar opposite of lads playing trumpets at school with nuns encouraging them on. But that is the point, this album is about the future and helping the school carry on its good work for many years to come. Please support if you can, it’s a great cause and not just an investment in kids’ lives, but also an investment into the future of reggae.
01. Peppery and Kush Arora – Whole World
02. 6Blocc – Territory Dub
03. Digital Steppaz – Broken Law Dub
04. Vibration Lab – Brimstone Dub
05. Digid & Distant Roots – Foundation
06. Cessman – Positive Thinking
07. Rise To Dub – Goosensei
08. DU3normal – Miliplant
09. Xl Arge (Numa Crew) – Metadub
10. Rozi – Toots ft. Dubsworth & Christopher Heinz
11. Elefant Doc & Distant Roots – Blurry Dub
12. Jamie Peligro – Pirates
13. Dread Foxx & Lightning Alert – Light Bulb
14. Method Sound – Breaded Dub
15. Kaiten – Pipe Dream
Let me know in the comments who your favourite Alpha School old boy is, it would be interesting to know. Mine would have to be Vin Gordon. Facebook and Twitter shares are always appreciated….. Bless, Paper Lion