NEW LABELS...Over the past twelve months a whole heap of new labels appeared in the dancehall. Most of them released some real nice tunes and immediately gave their name a household status. In part two of my column I will give you a round-up on the most essential labels and I will also give you a selective discography of tunes and albums.
One of the hottest labels that appeared is Jeremy Harding's "2 Hard" label. Though it was already two years ago since Jeremy released his "Fearless" riddim on which red hot deejay Sean Paul voiced his Babygirl it was not until last year that we heard from "2 Hard" with the "Playground" riddim because "Fearless" had hardly been available outside Jamaica. Well, I suppose the rest is history because you all know that Beenie Man's version of the "Playground" reached the number one spot in every dancehall chart all over the world and even reached the U.K. top ten. Recently Jeremy released the follow up to "Playground", the also essential "Medina" riddim which will be heard in the dancehall over the next months. Also watch out for the soon to be released "Mercury" riddim on "2 Hard".

Another label that boomed into the dancehall is "Shines". By the end of last year the "Taranchyla" riddim took the dancehall by storm. Steely & Clevie were responsible for building this hardcore dancehall riddim and they also built the two other riddims that have been released on the label. "Nightcrawler" and the still popular "Black Widow" riddim, which both feature the hottest artists out of the dancehall.

One of the 'nominees for riddim of the year 1998' is "Filthy" - a hardcore dancehall riddim on the new "Juvenile" label - based on the guitarlick of Hopeton Lewis' rocksteady tune "Take It Easy". Although I have never had the opportunity to ask him I am quite sure that producer D. Juvenile is none other than veteran Danny Browne, whose Main Street imprint is one of the leading dancehall labels for the past couple of years. Danny's nephew Richard Browne also entered the dancehall arena this year with his "Hi Profile" label. His "Gypsy" riddim has been very popular in the dub-cutting studios in Kingston where all the soundbwoys go to record their dubplate specials. Richard's second riddim "Baddis" also proved to be a nice one. After years of being around in the dancehall scene Tony "CD" Kelly finally has his own label "K..Licious Music". Recently he released his first riddim on the label being known as "Bookshelf" and I am sure that this riddim will be a dancehall favourite for the next months.

Finally I want to mention "Oracabessa Records", a brand new dancehall label set up by Ali Campbell and Brian Travers from UB40. So far the label released only six singles in a strictly limited edition, so it won't be easy to get hold of them, but these tracks will also be available on their first compilation album "Oracabessa One". Of course there are much more new labels but due to lack of space it is not possible to mention them all. "Q45", "Flash Records", "Black Shadow", "Big Jeans" and "Marvelus" are some of them and their releases are also worthwhile to check out.

Selective discography:

Writer: Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten, October 1998. ~ Graphics : Mr. T.
You can contact Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten through e-mail: danny@ovadoze.myweb.nl

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