April 20th… we leave for Ghana, and leave you with reggae+dub


We dig Dubian’s weekly radio show Dubearth, and sure enough our new Quebec City homie was down to compile some of the sounds from Jahman Eselem and Eden Roots Liberation‘s albums. Enjoy his tasteful set of roots reggae, perfect for today’s occasion… below are links to listen and download both albums. The right column of this blog has other links to iTunes and Amazon, and you can listen to more of Dubian’s mixes here.

In Dubian’s own words:

“I’ve been into dub and reggae for a number of years now but it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I started to really make it my main style. It had always had its place in my music collection which is varied but I’d say that I developed a real passion for rootsy sounds about 7-8 years ago when I started getting my hands on everything that I could.

Musical styles which have really inspired me include delta blues, bebop, krautrock, jungle, dubstep and funk carioca to name some of the ones that keep popping back up in my sets. More than anyone else I think King Tubby and Scientist have the biggest influence in my current sound.

This mix came together very fast, I felt very inspired making it. I spent a whole day just going trough my collection trying to find the right tracks. When you have the right tracks everything just comes together and selection is often the most neglected part of the job. Basically within a few days of organizing the project through twitter and skype with Benjamin from Akwaaba we had a finished product.

I love the fact Jahman Eselem decided to cut versions for each track on his album. Big ups to keeping tradition alive! And what massive dubs they are. As for Eden Roots Liberation they have a great sense of groove and hook and write some damn catchy riddims. Great Players too a very tight band. Both were a lot of fun for me to include in this mix and I just hope I managed to bring out the best in their irie sounds.”

We think he did manage… do you think do?!?!

From Freetown to your ears

I had a chat with Lloyd today, half of Sierra Leonian duo Eden Roots lIberation. We chat about music and how he became a musician. Here are some of his words:

“From the very begining, I loved music, in particular reggae music. I was also living with musicians. When I was looking at them playing, I wanted to be able to do the same. In the same time I was learning to play bass, I began creating my own songs and singing them. It was something obvious for me. I was here to be a musician, a composer and a singer.”

Growing up in Sierra Leone, Lloyd was subject to many new world influences, in particular Caribbean music:

“My most important inspiration comes from Joseph Hill from the Jamaican group Culture, who died recently. They came to Sierra Leone and I saw their concert in Freetown, it was a big moment. I was also inspired by Don Carlos, who was a member of the 12 tribes and who taught me to play music.”

Eden Roots Liberation now has an album under their belt, they’ve been playing consistently throughout West Africa and are eager to spread their message of awareness – as in the song “Open your eyes”, peace and love, especially for the younger generations. Lloyd hopes to play and push his message as far as the US, especially “because the reggae doesn’t seem to be very popular [there]”.

Eden Roots Liberation - Akwaaba Wo Africa

Eden Roots Liberation

Through Bamako’s French Cultural Center I met Lloyd Tommy, half of Eden Roots Liberation. He and his partner Patrick Kousi are originally from Sierra Leone, the met in Freetown in 1990 through Massive Roots Band, a local reggae group. They started touring West Africa playing for Malian reggaeman Askia Modibo in the late 90s before settling in Bamako, Mali in 2000. After collaborating with many other regional artists, Eden Roots Vibration released its first album, Genesis, in 2006 in Mali, and eventually in Sierra Leone in February 2008. Akwaaba will release the album worldwide in late 2008. Eden Roots Liberation - Akwaaba Wo Africa

The CCF points to cool stuff

Contacts at the Centre Culturel Français (French Cultural Center) of Bamako pointed me in the direction of young musicians experimenting with traditional sounds and new music styles. I met Chanana, leader of Diata Sya, who’s first album is both creative and diverse, with hip hop and dancehall songs using typical Malian instruments and chords. Yet it’s never been released outside of Mali, it almost got released in France but the project fell through the cracks. We’re happy to give it a second chance, this time worldwide!

Through the CCF I also met two other great singers. First I met Lloyd, a Sierra Leonian who fled the war in his native land, and settled in Mali where he formed Eden Roots Liberation with his partner Patrick. I also met Jahman, who is originally from Cameroun but also chose to live in Bamako. Akwaaba will release both of their reggae albums, Genesis and Waiting for the News, which were produced and arranged by roots-sound wizard Manjul. Oh and Jahman’s album has some very nice dubs…


Eden Roots Liberation’s Sierra Leonese singer Lloyd Tommy (Bamako, Mali)