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Old 04-19-2016, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Default Need help with reggae tracks please

Hello forum,

Respect to all reggae music lovers.
I have a track question I need help with. I am currently making a mixtape for myself and friends. I’m looking for a specific vibe to the mixtape (but more on that later).
I have made the intro and now am up to placing the songs in sequence. I have gone through 3 different start versions, but I’m not happy with the flow and vibe.
The tracklists I’ve had was:

1st edit:
1. Intro
2. Morgan Heritage – The return (chopped up sections not whole song)
3. Konshens – The realest song (blended in with backbeat of MH TR)

2nd edit:
1. Intro
2. Alborosie & Ky Mani – Natural Mystic (chopped up sections not whole song)
3. Steel Pulse – Roller Skates (blended in with backbeat of AK NM)

3rd edit:
1. Intro
2. Carlton Livingston – Come one come all (chopped up sections not whole song)
3. Cocoa Tea – Sunset in Negril (blended in with backbeat of CL COCA)

The vibe of the mixtape (which is probably why I’m having a hard time finding suitable song matches) is pretty specific. If possible, I want to make a mixtape (and please excuse the abstract descriptions) to have the following vibe:
* Good to play at BBQs, etc
* Something to dance to and possibly have the same dance vibe as a club for the over 30s (not moving into dancehall etc, more great production reggae)
* Good energy (not too political or weed orientated, I will do these mixtapes later)
*”Big tune” tracks and high production songs (not straight B sides, unless the vocals were re dubbed eg. Alborosie’s Rastafari Anthem over Collie Buddz’s Come around instrumental).
* A “head nodding” mixtape
*Be about the same kind of themes:
Big up Africa, Jamaica and the islands eg: Sunset in Negril, Jhikoman & Peetah Morgan Afrika Arise
Love of reggae music eg: Roller skates, Reggae Tempo by Determine and Capital D, Rasta got soul Fantan Mojah
Good vibes: Feelin Irie by Jah9, Rastafari Way by Dre Island

Basically if these following songs can show the general direction I’m looking towards:
Mr Vegas – Reggae Live
Morgan Heritage – Strictly Roots
Stephen and Damian Marley – Jah Army
Alborosie – Rastafari Anthem
Steel Pulse – Your House
Steel Pulse – Roller Skates
Blend Mishkin & Roots Evolution Ft. Exco Levi - Settle Down
Cali P – Guiding Shield
Cocoa Tea – Sunset in Negril
Dre Island – Rastafari Way
Fantan Mojah – Rasta Got Soul
Gentlemen – Love Chant
Jhikoman & Peetah Morgan Afrika Arise
Alborosie – Kingston Town
Koro Fyah – Eyes Red
LMS – Rastafari Mi Salute
Morgan Heritage – The Return
Protoje feat Chronixx – Who Knows
Tarrus Riley feat Captain Sinbad and Bel – World Wide Rebel
Damian Marley – We’re Gonna make It
Ziggi – When The Youths Cry
Protoje - Kingston Be Wise

As you can see, the BPMs and vibes are close (for a large chunk of the list) but not really flowing. The mixtape will be80mins (just like my others) and will start at the lower bpms and progress to the faster tracks. I’m blending and beat/key matching these to progress from head nodding/danceable to the faster dancing reggae tracks (Steel Pulse – Your House). Obviously from trails and testing, it’s hard to speed up reggae without it sounding different, so the bulk of the tempos will have to be within 10bpms of each other (not that I’m expecting anyone to bpm tracks, I will do that, just to give you an idea).
The songs will all be chopped up and not just played in its entirety. Every track will be about 2 mins (Intro+1xverse+hook+outtro mixed into next song), so for an 80min tape, I’ll need at least 40-50 raw tracks to work with. It would be awesome if I could have 100-200 similar sounding songs to the list so I have a bigger canvas to work with.

I appreciate any help you guys could give me. I really want this mixtape to be of a higher production than my previous mixtapes, and I guess I really dove in to the deep end since Reggae isn’t my specialty genre (was re-introduced to Reggae a few years ago by a friend showing me a Rodigan Clash). Most of my Reggae knowledge comes from late 80’s, early-mid 90s Reggae (Jimmy Cliff, Maxi Preist, the Marley’s of course etc).

Thank you in advance...

PS:Blend Mishkin & Roots Evolution Ft. Exco Levi - Settle Down is the anchor vibe of the mixtape. I've got this tune in my head 24/7, so this kind of vibe.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3

Hey..thanks for the reply..

Well, that's a lot to take in, but if I were having a reggae all-nighter that started with a outdoor hot-plate special,
I'd start the late afternoon/early evening festivities with some rub-a-dub stylee while people are having their drinks and chatting.
When the party picks up (after dinner) and you want some dancing, then you segue more dancehall into the mix.
When you want people to "simmer down" and the late-night is getting closer to day, you start stirring in some
mystical roots sound and lovers rock with a few Virgin Front Line 70's style classics and that should ease it on into
the early dawn of a new day.

Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely look this up when we're having the next BBQ.
What I was more after is that I'm doing a mixtape battle with my friend. The list of tracks listed was a joint shared number we both decided on, then we each separately choose their own additional tracks.
He has done a few mixtapes, while this is my 1st.
As an example, here's one of his mixtapes: www (dot) mixcrate (dot) com/milz10/milz10-presentstha-fantastic-voyage-9063171]Milz10 - Milz10 Presents...Tha Fantastic Voyage - Mixcrate[/url])

I want to do this type of blending mix. The part where I'm having difficulty is finding riddims that gel with the tracks I've chosen.
3rd edit:
1. Intro
2. Carlton Livingston – Come one come all (chopped up sections not whole song)
3. Cocoa Tea – Sunset in Negril (blended in with backbeat of CL COCA)

The riddims gel, but CL-COCA's theme doesn't match with CT-SIN. Obviously I'm not going to get the same topics throughout the mixtape, but it's a bit of a jump from CL- basically a soundclash track, and CT- a song upping Negril and Jamaica.
Maybe I'm being too pedantic.

I might add: people aren't gonna be listening real hard to your mixes if it's a party vibe.
The tunes should be good, but that usually means that there'll be something catchy that'll
have people want to do what the music was intended to instill in them - it'll be automatic
if the tunes are good, but don't spend all that much time on flow. Just use some common sense
that doesn't necessarily pair two tunes that are jarringly different from the mood you're wanting to set.[/QUOTE]

In this case, people will. Though it's a friendly battle, I still want to make the best mixtape I can.
If you have a listen to the example, I like how my friend even makes the vocal cuts blend in with the theme of the next song. Eg: "so what we're gonna do today is....then song starts...get down on it".
Maybe I am overthinking it.
If possible, do you have any song matches for the artists/songs in the list just so I can pool as many tracks as possible, then start feeling out the vibe after grouping them by bpm and vibe.

Thanks heaps..
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3

Originally Posted by rostasi View Post
OK, I missed that it was a mixoff - I was just using the
as leverage. Since this really isn't an ideal situation to make comparisons based on personal wishes,
I'd recommend that you either Google "mixtape reggae" (use any of the reggae styles in the search too)
and just listen and compare mixes/tunes. The other thing is sharing ideas back 'n' forth with your friend.
It's the first step to creating your own "stylee." Back in the 80's, if I wanted to probe the secrets of House,
I'd get with Frankie Knuckles or Ron Hardy, a.o. to learn and then bend the rules some to come up with
some variation. Giving you lists of things may not actually be all that helpful without hearing them in context.

That's where you come in.
Awesome, I'll definitely use these tips. Thanks heaps for that.

Add: I've just searched and found the rub a dub style with King Kong - Sweet Rub A Dub. Yep, so that's what I might open up the mixtape with and progress to the faster tracks towards the end eg. Steel Pulse - Your House.
Awesome. Can you let me know the different sub genres in the list. You've mentioned rub a dub, dancehall and roots, any other sub genres I can use for the mixtape?
PS:The only thing is we can't do the back 'n forth. We did it for the list, but now the challenge is to fill the rest of the mixtape out (80 mins) with out own searched extra tracks..So from Mr vegas to protoje (in the list) is a shared track list, now the hunt is on for those big tunes and riddims (which will gel with the list).

Last edited by sashadjuric; 04-20-2016 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Of course if it's a barbecue, or any other kind of meal, the mix has to start with "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" by Black Uhuru.
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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But why start with the slow tracks? Wouldn't they be better for the later evening?
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zitterbart View Post
But why start with the slow tracks? Wouldn't they be better for the later evening?
I agree, build up from first track, drop to a calm vibe through middle section, build back up to a strong last track with an ambient 2 minute mix to fade out on imo
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Smile Reggae Song

You should listen to Matisyahu's song, "King Without A Crown.
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