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Ghost Canyon

Title - Red Hills Rd. [Vinyl]
Artist - Sly & Robbie

For those unaware, Sly & Robbie have been at the vanguard of innovation in Jamaican music for 40 + years. Often imitated, never equaled, rather than bemoan copycats, they just forge ahead, not looking back.

On their brand new album Red Hills Rd., they continue to show the rest of the world how it is done: catchy danceable beats courtesy of Sly and lines heavy as lead bass thanks to Robbie.

Add to that a hook on the guitar or the synth and, boom, a new hit by the Riddim Twins. We wanted a raw sound, nothing too overproduced or with a complicated mix, says Robbie as he runs late to yet another session.

On Red Hills Rd. Sly & Robbie work exclusively with their longtime Jamaican musical companions: Lenky Marsden, Robbie Lyn, Dean Fraser, Ansel Collins, and many other great Jamaican musicians grace this mostly instrumental album with their presence while Rorey Baker handles the mixing duties.

I have a love for instrumentals, says Sly Dunbar and so we have been doing just that, and especially on a dancehall beat.

There were lots of hit ska and rocksteady instrumentals, but in the dancehall era, not so many. I was just cutting tracks. When I listen to dancehall, there is nothing exciting happening.

So I started to search for something different that people can listen to. I even go back to kumina and mento on tracks like Linstead Market and Coronation Market.

Indeed, Red Hills Rd. is not merely a Dancehall album, it is more in the league of experimental masterpieces by Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell and the like, blending the old with new to create something previously unheard that people enjoy.

1. Yaw Yaw Yippe
2. Mad Piano
3. Linstead Market
4. Belly Dancer
5. Sweet Dub
6. So Far Away
7. When Love Is New
8. Haul And Pull Up
9. Santa Barbara
10. El Bang Bang
11. Sweat Box
12. Two Thirty
13. Coronation Market

This vibrantly authentic, and hypnotizingly magnificent new album - that was named after the street that was a hotbed of music during the 60s and 70s, with up to a dozen clubs featuring live bands - opens on the lively synth pop hip hop of Yaw Yaw Yippee and the smooth drum-led Mad Piano, backing those up with the Celtic-imbibed hipsway of Linstead Market, the Eastern-flavored Belly Dancer, and then we get both the remix playback vibe of Sweet Dub and the Caribbean evenflow of So Far Away.

On this electronic and jungle bass-influenced masterpiece of an album from the dub and reggae legends, one which Sly & Robbie have to thank Evil People and Tit For Tat for it coming to be (as the duo met the duo and decided to form their renowned act!), next up is the soulfully vocalized When Love Is New and the electronic funk of Haul and Pull Up, and they in turn are followed by the magnificently ambient Santa Barbara, the Latin flow of El Bang Bang, the more pronounced Beat Box, and then the album rounds out on the Blancmange-esque (UK synth-pop band) Two Thirty, closing on the atmospheric, street party-infused Coronation Market.

Each record is protected within its record sleeve by a white vellum anti-dust sleeve.

Linstead Market official music video featuring Lenky Marsden

Belly Dancer featuring Stephen Maxwell

So Far Away featuring Dean Fraser, Willie Bridges, and Billy Nichols

Haul & Pull Up

Sly & Robbie @ Bandcamp

Official Purchase Link

Sly & Robbie @ Facebook