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VARIOUS ARTISTS: REAL ROCK 50 RIDDIM

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of probably the most popular reggae riddim of all time, Bassment Music International Records (BMI Records) managed to get some of the best musicians from Jamaica in the studio to lay down a razor sharp version of the Real Rock instrumental. The original, being produced by one of the pioneers of modern Jamaican popular music, Clement Seymour "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, got released in 1968 on the world famous Studio One imprint, often described as Jamaica’s Motown Records. We're talking about legendary players of instruments that include the mighty 'Riddim Twins' Sly & Robbie on drum and bass; Sound Dimension guitar hero Ernest Ranglin; Firehouse Crew keyboard/guitar player Wrong Move; the late and great veteran percussionist Scully; alongside the magnificent Ansel Collins playing that signature three-note Hammond organ figure in a fine style; and last but not least you'll hear trombonist Vin Gordon blowing the very same instrument he used on the original Studio One recording. Right away it's clear that BMI Records is well-serious with the launch of their record label and fifty years after its initial release, Real Rock 50 shows us that this classic riddim is a timeless masterpiece that still rocks any dancehall session and radio station on all four corners of the earth. Worldwide digital distribution by VPAL Music (VP Records): Real Rock 50 Riddim.

WILLI WILLIAMS: ARMAGIDEON TIME

Original foundation member Willi Williams definitely wrote one of the biggest hits ever on the Real Rock instrumental. This reggae anthem "Armagideon Time" was first recorded in 1977 and when you hear the far-from-prolific artist chanting "a lot of people won't get no supper tonight; a lot of people won't get no justice tonight" you'll probably recognize the lyrics instantly. When the song got released in 1979 it took the world by storm and that very same year it was heard by British punk rock band The Clash, who released their cover version of "Armagideon Time" as the B-side of their "London Calling" single. This time around it got voiced exclusively over the Real Rock 50 riddim, released by the Belgium based Bassment Music International Records (BMI Records). Willi Williams (born June 15, 1952) hails from Saint Ann and attended Trenchtown Comprehensive High School, where he was a classmate of drummer Sly Dunbar. Music has always been a big part of the singer's life and in 1967 he set up the Tripletone sound system. Bobby Kalphat and Willi Williams started the Soul Sounds label in 1969 and began producing their own and songs by The Versatiles, The Gaylads and others. In 1974 the Armagideon Man moved to Toronto, where he worked on many musical projects with keyboard legend Jackie Mittoo. The artist remains active in the music scene, keeps performing on stage and recording in the studio to spread conscious messages throughout his songs. Official website: Willi Williams.

VIN GORDON: GOLDEN JUBILEE

Now what a joy and privilege it is to have Sound Dimension trombone player Vin Gordon (born August 4, 1949) playing on the Real Rock 50 riddim track. Trommie a.k.a. Don D Junior a.k.a. Don Drummond Junior began his career in 1964 with The Skatalites and became the main trombonist for Studio One, where he'd meet another legendary producer that goes by the name Lee 'Scratch' Perry. Throughout his career Vin Gordon appeared on recordings by Burning Spear, The Abyssinians, The Heptones, Keith Hudson, Yabby You, Dennis Brown, Bob Andy, Alton Ellis, Bob Marley, and many more reggae greats. He played with top historical bands such as Tommy McCook and The Supersonics, The Soul Vendors, The Soul Brothers, and nowadays frequently performs on stage with his very own London-based Real Rock Band. Without a doubt this "Golden Jubilee" is another great instrumental blown by a musical mastermind that helped to shape the sound of reggae, a very soulful and powerful track that clearly displays his jazz influence and passion for music.

KEN BOOTHE: SOMEONE TO HOLD ME

Bassment Music International Records (BMI Records) is proud to present "Someone To Hold Me" by Ken Boothe (OD), another legendary Studio One veteran and one of the most popular and soulful singers of the rock steady era. This Jamaican artist doesn’t need an introduction to most, having timeless classics like "Lonely Teardrops, The Train Is Coming, You’re On My Mind, Puppet On A String, You’re No Good, Artibella" and many more hit songs in his repertoire. Some of you might even notice that "Someone To Hold Me" is a medley that consists of two previously recorded songs called "Sad And Lonely" and "My Heart Is Like An Open Book", of which both originals can be found on the "Everything I Own" album released by Trojan Records in 1974 (UK). It has become very rare in the music business nowadays, but what a joy it is to hear an artist deliver lyrics in such a fine style. You'll hear Mr. Rock Steady expressing himself with so much passion while singing "I need someone to hold me; please stay with me" at the top of his lungs. It was truly an honour to be working with Ken Boothe (born March 22, 1948) and he gave us a superb vocal track on the Real Rock 50 riddim project. Additional horns were blown by the great Isax and his soulful saxophone playing definitely added an extra touch to the track. BMI Records presents another fine release that will please the ears of many music lovers out there. Official website: Ken Boothe.

ISAX: ISAX ROCK

Isax, born Richard House, is a Canadian saxophone player that has been very active in the Toronto music scene before moving to the sunny island of Jamaica. Inspired by the great jazz musicians he began to play the instrument when he was only thirteen years old and at the age of sixteen Isax already started playing professionally. After being exposed to Rastafarian reggae music in the 1980’s he decided to put his energy towards spreading this music and message. Throughout the years Isax has been on stage and/or has done studio works with artists/musicians that include names such as Buju Banton, Frankie Paul, Ernest Ranglin, Sister Carol, Admiral Bailey, Johnny Osbourne, Leroy Artist Brown, U-Roy, Monty Alexander, The Abyssinians, Dean Fraser, Dennis Brown, Queen Ifrica, Gregory Isaacs, Alton Ellis, Glen Washington, Jackie Mittoo, Ken Boothe, Etana, and many others. "Isax Rock" is one of those instrumental tracks that clearly displays the  versatility and sublimity of this musician to make us feel the melody. Much more can be expected from this very talented and humble man.