For a long time the public has lamented the lack of essential riddim projects that amplified the potency of the 90s golden age. Just like in the 90s when Xterminator largely re-energized the local reggae sound within the digital production space, they are still here pushing that same line with their latest project Special Request. Literally, back by popular demand, Special Request is a vibrant, soulful, groovy but most importantly cultural riddim featuring veteran artists like Morgan Heritage, alongside young and promising acts like Dyani. This first release under the title is sure to fill the void in the reggae dancehall space for the music of the Dropleaf Riddim-esque anthologies depicting the most real aspects of Jamaican culture. This new offering by the XTM.Nation label is scheduled for release on February 10th.
This XTM.Nation release by Kareem ‘Remus’ Burrell is in fact a continuation of the legacy set out by his father Fatis, who had a similar ambition of mixing older traditions within the sounds and narratives of the music with a fresh perspective. Special Request is just that. It is a look back at an era in which we were all in love with our own music at the same time. The quality of it was a great factor in that, and in a similar way, the quality in the production of Special Request is evident. But it is also uniquely it’s own sound, which Kareem achieves by tapping into the reggae dancehall’s sister genre Hip Hop. An influence we can hear faintly in the bass drums that create the initial excitement, like a great sales pitch. Only to enrapture the audience in a thorough musical drama.
With four tracks in its initial release, this Riddim project is kicked off by the lead single Just A Number by Morgan Heritage, scheduled for release the 27th of January. The highly anticipated single by the grammy-winning artists will also be supported by an official video directed by Samo, as well as a lyric video by Joshua Solas. These veteran artists do what they are known for which is writing, creating, and performing lyrics and melodies that make us wonder how they do it.
Younger acts on the project like Natel delivered exceptionally with the single Island In Your Sea, producing vocals that rival that of a choir on his own. Medisun’s Take You Home is another amazing performance on a beautiful but complex and traditional riddim. Special Request is a great listen but it’s not in any way easy to jump on. These younger artists like Dyani demonstrated expertise and skill on his single Live A Little, by not just creating great stories but also matching the skill level of grammy veterans like Morgan Heritage.
This latest project by the Xterminator label not only combines the old and the new, but it also brings together the old and the young in terms of artists, and as a result audience. This is something the label is famous for as it initially began out of Fatis’ drive to give a platform to younger acts like Sanchez, Pinchers and Thriller U, although he later went on to work with some iconic veteran artists like Josey Wales, Cocoa Tea, Frankie Paul, and Ninjaman, as well as Ini Kamoze. Special Request‘s first release will be available for streaming and purchase on all platforms on January 27th.