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Quickies _ Diamond weekend for Macka

Published:Friday | January 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Macka Diamond rings in the New Year with what promises to be an exciting weekend dubbed Macka Diamond Birthday Weekend. The first event in the three-day party series, the Pre-Party, kicks off on Friday, January 13, at Club Impulse, located at the centre of Kingston's nightlife city, New Kingston.

Partygoers and seekers, as well as guests, will then roll out on Saturday, January 14, to the Rock n Roll Club in the cool town of Mandeville. Then, on Sunday, January 15, they will cool it down at the pool party at Club Cali.

Special guest artistes will include head of the Alliance, Bounty Killer, Future Fambo, and selectors Panther from Black Kat Sound, Foota Hype, Gary Chucks, Kirk 'The Party Animal' Riley, Little Richie and the Rich Squad, Black Shadow from Canada, Alex Frass, Richie Pooh, DJ Sparks and DJ Satday. Dancers Shelly Belly, Latesha, M.O.B. and Global Dancers will be in the house.

'Club Dance Riddim' for iTunes

Chart-topping reggae producer Kemar 'Flava' McGregor will release a star-studded new pop/reggae album titled Club Dance Riddim next Tuesday on iTunes.

The album, which features a collaboration with Grammy Award-winner Sinead O'Connor, was designed to utilise McGregor's breakthrough into pop circles as a springboard to promote authentic vocal reggae. As reggae expands beyond its traditional Jamaican borders - with a new wave of pop celebrities adopting reggae styles into their singles and remixes - vocal reggae has definitely topped dancehall as the new reggae mainstream.

McGregor, who was an important catalyst of the modern vocal reggae trend, expects Club Dance Riddim to defy even the most typical boundaries of the music world, enticing new populations of fans but without altering the genuine spirit of reggae one-drop music. "As you know, reggae music is one of the most popular genres around the world - it's pretty much considered pop music," said McGregor. "To make people listen, it comes down to the vibe. If the rhythm has that vibe, it's likely to get radio airplay. If the melodies are good and the rhythm has the right feel, it will cross over. Everyone will accept it - the dancehall crowd, the R&B crowd, the hip-hop crowd - the whole world will accept it, because reggae is already considered pop music."

Club Dance Riddim will feature melody-rich vocal performances from Sinead O'Connor, Nadine Sutherland, Chalice, Sadiki and Tony Anthony, with show-stopping lyrical artistry from British lovers rock stars Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Peter Spence, Adele Harley and Lady Lex.

World Clash returns

To celebrate their milestone 15th anniversary, Caribbean entertainment and promotions company Irish and Chin is taking it back to where it all started, their epic, highly branded World Clash. As the flagship event in the sound-clash industry, World Clash attracted tens of thousands of people during the decade that it was held in the United States, Jamaica, England, Antigua and Canada.

For one weekend only - Easter 2012 - die-hard fans will get a massive dose of World Clash with heavy-hitting stagings set for New York, USA, on Saturday, April 7 and Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Easter Monday, April 9. Plans are also under way for a restaging of the UK Cup Clash in England later this year. However, the sound-system clash series is not guaranteed for 2013.

signature event

Garfield 'Chin' Bourne and Gilbert 'Irish' Murchison are thrilled that their partnership has been able to stand the test of time, allowing their company to remain relevant in the dancehall industry for 15 years. Over the years, Irish and Chin has expanded its brand to include a wide array of Caribbean entertainment. "Everything that our company has been afforded thus far can be accredited to the tremendous achievements of the World Clash brand," said Chin. "World Clash is our signature event, which opened doors locally and internationally for us to become respected as a force in the industry. We could not possibly celebrate our 15 years of accomplishments without restaging this event!

"We are hoping that the staging of the World Clash series in 2012 ignites the global interest which once governed the sound-clash arena. Although we are not committing ourselves to 2013 stagings, we would love to see the sound-clash sport continue to prosper, ultimately reaching a higher level than that of World Clash," Chin said.

Bramma opens 2012 calendar in Florida

Bramma's first international performance in 2012 will be an appearance at Unity Fest in Florida. He will accompany Freddie McGregor and other members of the Big Ship family, sharing the stage with reggae-dancehall fire chief Capleton.

With a refreshed slogan added to the name dancehall fans have come to know, Bramma 'Da Gorilla' pushes along with the single Never Worry, released in December 2011 on the Big Ship label, and already he is encouraged from the feedback. Zimbabwean radio jock DJ Smiley told Bramma on Facebook that, "the Harare dancehall fans are loving the song and the feedback is impressive".

Bramma's Pressure Dem track on the Tenement Yard riddim is also getting consistent plays on radio. Also on stream is Haters Warning with Esco, Chino, Chan Dizzy, Ward 21, Rolling X and Bounty Killer. Producer Esco invited Bramma and others to unite in lyrics and create a track that is aimed at sending a strong message of unity to fellow artistes.

A video for Never Worry will be shot soon.

'Lost Angel' a blessing for producer

A relative newcomer to the world of dancehall, producer Elvis Redwood has been catapulted into the heavyweight leagues with his hit riddim Lost Angel, which has spawned Popcaan's Only Man She Want. "It is a blessing how everything just transform with this project. It is still challenging, but mi see where I can keep going and make music that the whole world can appreciate and enjoy," Redwood said.

Redwood was once the principal beatmaker for Armzhouse Records, scoring popular songs alongside his friend and fellow producer, Rado, but moved on to start his own label in 2010. "Ah just one family with Armzhouse Records. We still link same way," Redwood said.

Redwood's first project on his own label, So Unique, was dubbed Blue Gem and featured Elephant Man, Kibaki, Gaza Slim, Sheba, Iyara, Lisa Hyper, Kim 'Gaza Kim' Hamilton, Predator and General B. However the riddim, unlike its name, failed to shine. "That did reasonably well, but never got a great promotional push. However, it made people realise that I can do this," he said.