Zeker Weten - Zeker Weten (Anyway Music/Lowlands Distribution)
From the get-go yours truly was taken by the music of Zeker Weten (roughly translated: "absolutely sure"), a project set up by ex-Wawadadakwa guitarist Simon Pleysier and Frits Standaert, supplemented with a bunch of top musicians like Dennis Niccles (bass), Lieven Declerq (drums) and not forgetting sisters Leen and Mieke Diependaele (whose background vocals are a guarantee for goose bumps).
Lepistö & Lehti - Helsinki (Aito Records)
It's back to basics with these two Finns, because apart from an accordion and a double bass no other instruments were used for 'Helsinki'.
Various Artists - Spirits In The Material World: A Reggae Tribute To The Police (Shanachie)
From the very beginning, the sound of the recently reunited Police drew on reggae and Sting and his buddies undoubtedly added to the popularization and dissemination of the genre in the beginning of the 1980s. "Time for a bread-and-butter letter!", Ian & Roger Lewis and Touter Harvey (together the core of Inner Circle) must have thought and they came up with the tribute album 'Spirits In The Material World'.
Various Artists - Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 2 (Greensleeves)
With tired classics like 'Pass The Kutchie', 'Tired Fi Lick Weed Inna Bush' or 'Herbman Hustling', 'Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 2' is just that little more predictable than its predecessor.
Anthony Cruz - Fight With All Your Might (VP Records)
Anthony Cruz is back, but there's more, because 'Fight With All Your Might' also signals the return of the Penthouse sound.
Jamelody - Be Prepared (VP Records)
Yours truly was looking forward to this debut of promising Trinidadian (native of Trinidad & Tobago) artist Michael Williams aka Jamelody and it has to be said, 'Be Prepared' is far from a bad album.
Max Romeo - Best Of (Médiacom/Nocturne)
This 'Best Of' should rather have been titled 'Max Romeo & Friends', as for each track Max is accompanied by a friendly colleague (a direct result of a copyright issue that left Max Romeo without the original recordings to his own songs).
Clive Hunt - Clive Hunt & The Dub Dancers (Makasound)
If we are to believe the press release accompanying this Makasound release, 'Clive Hunt & The Dub Dancers' is the first dub album produced in Jamaica in about twenty years!
T.D. Rankin - Too Much Division (Self-published)
In the Antwerp reggae scene everyone knows the cheerful T.D. Rankin. With 'Too Much Division', T.D. now serves us his self-published debut album offering mostly new roots and a drop of dancehall.
Morgan Heritage - Mission In Progress (VP Records)
With their previous album, 'Full Circle', Morgan Heritage concluded a period in their career, but 'Mission In Progress' proves that this was by no means the end of the trip.
Barrington Levy - Teach The Youth: Barrington Levy & Friends At Joe Gibbs (17 North Parade/VP Records)
In the same line as the Jacob Miller-release from a few weeks ago, Barrington Levy is joined by some of his deejay-buddies in the studios of the late Joe Gibbs.
Rasites - Sex, Violence And Drugs (Ariwa)
The Rasites are back! Not that this London posse ever really went anywhere, because they are one of the most active backing bands in the current live circuit (Michael Rose, Abyssinians), but where album releases are concerned, after their 2001 debut effort, 'Urban Regeneration', things stayed completely quiet.
Rupa & The April Fishes - Extraordinary Rendition (Cumbancha)
Every now and then yours truly is confronted with an album that is hard to categorize, and 'Extraordinary Rendition' by Rupa & The April Fishes fits that description perfectly.
Watcha Clan - Diaspora Hi-Fi: A Mediterranean Caravan (Piranha)
With 'Diaspora Hi-Fi' Watcha Clan, a five-Member multicultural band from Marseille, delivers what has to be the ideal soundtrack for a film by Gypsy filmmaker par excellence, Tony Gatlif.
Eek-A-Mouse - Most Wanted (Greensleeves)
This latest addition in Greensleeves' Most Wanted series is dedicated to the oeuvre of the man with the most eccentric name in reggae: Eek-A-Mouse.
Cocoa Tea - Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound Of Cocoa Tea (VP Records)
As we have come to expect of VP Records, this 'Reggae Anthology' is yet again a solid overview of the career of the artist in question, Cocoa Tea, from his first songs for Junjo Lawes to recent tracks on his own Roaring Lion label.
Joe Ariwa - Dub Tech Dub + Joe Ariwa & Young Warrior - Joe Ariwa Meets Young Warrior (Ariwa)
The two newest releases on the Ariwa label are not created by the Mad Professor himself as this time he left the helm to his son Joe Ariwa.
No More Babylon - Roots Meeting (A La Folie Music)
For 'Roots Meeting', French band No More Babylon from Toulon invited a whole host of "friends" such as Earl Sixteen, U Brown, Ken Boothe and Josie Mel.
Triston Palma - Joker Smoker (Greensleeves)
Re-release of the legendary Jah Thomas produced album that put Triston Palma/Palmer on the reggae map.
Little Harry, Billy Boyo & Nicodemus - DJ Clash, 3 The Hard Way (Greensleeves)
"Now here comes a musical shark attack...", only original eighties DJ vibes on this '3 The Hard Way'!