Manudigital – Digital Kingston Session II
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Capleton)
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Devon Morgan)
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Peter Metro)
Digital New York Session (feat. Red Fox)
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Junior Cat)
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Bunny General)
Digital Kingston Session (feat. Jigsy King)
Digital Paris Session (feat. Deemas J)
In April 2018, French riddim maker, bass player, and producer specialized in digital Reggae, Emmanuel Heron aka Manudigital unleashed the 7-track vinyl LP Digital Kingston Session. That at the time eagerly awaited unique project featured recordings done in the streets of Kingston, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago with Manudigital playing the riddims on his Casio MT-40. It were the preceding video clips, which were shot while doing the recordings, that caused excitement amongst fans of computerized dancehall. This revolutionary sound emerged in the mid-’80s when producer Lloyd ‘Jammy’ James recorded several artists on the Sleng Teng, one of the first fully computerized riddims that became influential in Jamaica’s popular music.
While the first volume of Digital Kingston Session featured names like King Kong, King Everald, and Pad Anthony who were part of the group of artists who jumped on the bandwagon when everything had gone digital, this follow-up set has two other artists who experienced the shift in reggae music up close and then also played their role, namely Peter Metro and Bunny General. Most of the others showing their ‘freestyle’ skills here started and became known in the ’90s or, like Deemas J, even in the 2000s. Next to the Kingston Sessions, the album contains two bonus sessions recorded outside Jamaica, one in Brooklyn NY with Red Fox and the other in Paris with the English MC Deemas J.
The first track features Islington, St. Mary-born Clifton George Bailey III, better known by his stage name Capleton, but who is also referred to as King Shango, King David, The Fireman, and The Prophet. The veteran reggae dancehall star’s freestyle delivery across the riddim comes in his well-known fiery style and is a perfect opener to get the feel and vibe of this album. The next artist to showcase his skills on the mic is Devon Morgan aka Likkle Devon. Here he revisits his wicked song Time Bomb, the title track from his 2018 6-track Maxi Single for Tiger Records. Initially performing under the name Peter Ranking, Peter Metro released five albums in the 1980s. His track proves that he’s a very good micman with a great flow, who here takes lyrics from a couple of songs and melds them very well together. One of the album’s highlights! Red Fox, the most New Yorker of Jamaican deejays, rounds off in truly great style. In all, a very entertaining side of this vinyl platter.
The Other Side
Really curious if the next four artists are able to maintain the excitement caused on this side. Junior Cat, born Ricardo Maragh in Kingston, is the younger brother of Super Cat who is considered one of the greatest deejays within the Jamaican dancehall scene to date. In his early teens, Junior Cat used to hang out in the local clubs, shops, and street corners of the Cockburn Pen community, where he quickly developed a reputation for his witty free-styling ability before he started to hone his craft on various sound systems. Here he effortlessly rides Manudigital’s riddim track and shines to the fullest. For his cut, Bunny General utilizes the ‘fast chat’ style of deejaying, which in the ’80s was made very popular in the UK by chatters like Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, and Papa Levi. Jamaican dancehall artist Jigsy King made an impact in the first half of the ’90s. In 1994, Courtney Cole’s Roof International label released the single Gimme The Weed, which here is given new life. Wicked ganja piece! The last track comes from Deemas J, who has been accompanying Manudigital on stage since 2018. It’s a nice ‘fast chat’ style effort with lyrics worth listening to. Although not every track on the other side is as exciting as on this side, they’re all worth hearing more than once.