Frenchtown HiFi Volume 2
Frenchtown Records - double CD & Download
I am a little late to the party on this one, as this marvellous double CD package from Frenchtown Records was released back in July. But this week does mark it being available on digital and streaming platforms, so that’s not too bad I think. I caught Volume 1 a couple of years ago when it was promoted on Facebook and it was actually a tough release to track down. I think I sourced it in the end from the French Amazon site, there was no translation so luckily I didn’t end up with an electric drill or an industrial sized box of cat biscuits! Thankfully for all of us, both the CD and download are more widely available this time round.
As you can probably guess from the title the Frenchtown Hi-Fi project is a way to promote French sound systems, artists and producers. There are thirty one tracks here, which on the whole are presented in doubles as a main version and the dub, so it certainly ticks the value for money box. I am glad to say the quality is here as well, although personally I was pulled towards the dubs, but I am a dubby kind of guy. All of the tracks were specially produced for this compilation.
The Riddim Activist – Dive In
Below is a SoundCloud link to the album sampler which gives a good idea of what you are getting. My personal recommendations are The Riddim Activist track ‘Dive In’ (1:40 on the sampler) which is perfect if you like your reggae hypnotic and bass heavy, but lightened with a rather beautiful female vocal (Karen from the band Les Singes Verts (The Green Monkeys)). Another one to check out is ‘Brighter Dub’ from Jideh High Elements (7:30 on the sampler) which features another heavy blend of dub. This one I like because it is raw and powerful, just bass, drums and lots of attitude.
As I said previously this is a quality compilation and I defy anyone who likes their reggae 'bass heavy' not to love this collection. The CD is available now in most of your usual reggae outlets, try Dub Vendor and Juno for starters. Whilst the download will be available from those strange digital shops like iTunes on the 20th October. There is so much good reggae being produced in France and this really does give you a good introduction to some of the talent involved. I really hope you can give it a try.
There has been a host of great compilations out this summer, any recommendations from yourselves, leave a comment?
Bless, Paper Lion