Protoje, Yaadcore make UK debut on Red Bull Music Academy Sound System
In Notting Hill, United Kingdom (UK), the spirit of carnival charged full throttle through the crowd under the Westway, defying the rain-soaked pavements and sombre skies to bring the heat for the Red Bull Music Academy Sound System. The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) is a series of music workshops, festivals, and events held all over the world and 2014 was their seventh carnival blowout at Notting Hill Carnival.
Making their UK debut, Jamaican reggae musician Protoje and selector Yaadcore blessed the crowd with songs such as Kingston Be Wise and Junior Reid's One Blood, respectively. Celebrated each year on the August Bank Holiday, Notting Hill Carnival was a high-energy event held during the last week in August, closing out the summer with a bang. The party raged all day, kicking off proceedings with RBMA alumnus Kalbata, whose set with Mixmonster channelled the dub influences of their recent album, Congo Beat The Drum, with help from MC Clapper Priest. Bristol's Jus Now's set was buoyed by a surprise appearance from dancehall MC Serocee, firing up the crowd with the help of some fancy-footworking dancers, followed by Brazilian trap-kings Tropkillaz.
Mixpak Sound System welcomed surprise guests and wunderkinds JME and Skepta and their Boy Better Know cohorts, before Jamaica's Protoje and Yaadcore entertained the RBMA crowd with their first-ever UK appearance. Fellow Jamaican musicians like Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, Stephen 'Ragga' Marley, Wayne Marshall and others paved the way for the Notting Hill newcomers when reggae-obsessed British deejay, David Rodigan, along with the record label founded by Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley, Ghetto Youths International, arranged for them to perform at the 2013 Notting Hill Carnival.
Building to an explosive crescendo with original compadres of UK house Basement Jaxx, celebrating the drop of their new album, Junto, the duo and their five live vocalists whipped the already frenetic crowd into euphoria, ready for a rapturous closing set from dancehall provocateurs The Heatwave, whose mix of reggae, roots and bass-trembling soca rhythms, rounded the day off with an unforgettable bang.