ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2019 is “STAND UP FOR EARTH” 26th Edition

 

The international Reggae of the Rototom Sunsplash puts the finishing touches to its imminent edition with some twenty artists who will grace Benicasim, August 16 to 22. With Anthony BMicah Shemaiah & The DreaditesAaron Nigel SmithAcsel & The Reggae Rebel BandRhomanife and Jamaleònics, to name but a few.

Reggae legends celebrating milestone anniversaries, revivals of classic reggae movie soundtracks, a wealth of female empowerment, and an international gathering at three sound system areas… Rototom 2019 offers all this and more

The Main Stage hosts live shows from some of Jamaica’s biggest artists. It’s the place to see Grammy winning son of Bob, Ziggy Marley, cultural reggae’s 21st century heir-apparent Chronixx, highly creative dancehall “deejay” Busy Signal, and first family of modern reggae Morgan Heritage. A recent addition to the top tier of the lineup is fiery Rasta lyricist Anthony B. Also on the Main Stage are veteran harmony groups Israel Vibration, and Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill, versatile Rasta vocalist Queen Ifrica, deep-voiced cultural singer Bushman, and groundbreaking, trendsetting first lady of reggae song, Marcia Griffiths.

In addition, the stage hosts some special anniversary shows. Devout Rastafarian close harmony group the The Abyssinians celebrate their 50th year, progressive reggae outfit Third World commemorate their 45th, while British ska ensemble Selecter and Rasta prophets Misty in Roots both hit their 4th decade in music.

2019 marks Rototom’s 10th year in Spain, and in honour of this momentous occasion and the growth of Spanish reggae, local legends Green Valleymake a triumphant return to Benicassim. They will be putting on a very special show, filled with special guests.

Also representing Spain on the Main Stage are Navarran future dub duo Iseo & Dodosound with the Mousehunters, Madrid harmony trio Emeterians, and Barcelona’s multi-award winning reggae rumba and funk influenced Macaco

The songs from two of reggae’s greatest feature films are showcased by special collaborative performances. The soundtrack to Ted Bafaloukos’ 1978 reggae film Rockers will be recreated on stage by Bernard Collins of the Abyssinians, Big YouthKiddus I and drummer/lead actor Leroy Horsemouth Wallace. Franco Rosso’s powerful British reggae film Babylon will be revisited by original soundtrack creator Dennis Bovell and the movie’s lead, Brinsley Forde.

Completing the Main Stage lineup are Bob Marley’s grandson Jo Mersa, highly intellectual poet Jah9, veteran mento legends the The Jolly Boys, silky-voiced Protoje-signings Lila Iké and Sevana, hugely popular Californian band Slightly Stoopid and French hip hop collective L’Entourloop.

The neighbouring Lion Stage is a home to rising and seasoned reggae talent. It’s the place to find the African dancehall of Ghana’s Stonebwoy, a new album launch by Jamaica’s Warrior King, the soulful conscious reggae of France’s Nâmaan, honey-voiced Jamaican veteran Linval Thompson, and French sound system and production house OBF with emcees Charlie P, Sr Wilson and Shanti D. A diverse line-up includes Polish reggae ambassadors Bednarek, England’s hugely popular Gentleman’s Dub Club, French rebel singer Tairö, and Italian stalwart Brusco. Two brand new announcements are Jamaican roots revivalist Micah Shemaiah and Billboard chart-topping US-based protest singer and educator Aaron Nigel Smith.

The remainder of the Lion Stage roster is testimony to reggae’s international flavour. Europe is represented by Stand High Patrol featuring Marina P (France), Acsel & the Reggae Rebel band, Istituto Italiano Di Cumbia All Stars and exciting new announcement Rhomanife (all from Italy), Eva Lazarus and Mad Professor’s Young Robotiks Band featuring Lady Marga, Zeena, Redhed QI, Joe Ariwa (UK) and Forelock (Sardinia). From further afield come The New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, The US Virgin Islands’ Reemah, and Puerto Rico’s International Dub Ambassadors. The diversity of Spanish reggae is to be heard in the music of Itaca Band, Lasai, The Dance Crashers, All B, Koers and new Lion Stage addition the Jamaleònics. The festival’s commitment to female energy in dub music is enshrined in Women Soldier, a special ensemble of talented vocalists out of Barcelona and Italy, curated by producer Chalart 58.

Rototom has three spectacular sound system areas, each devoted to a different corner of Jamaican music. The Dancehall area hosts a pulsating party with appearances from UK chart hit maker Stylo G, New York-based Jamaican singer Kranium, Kingston collective Ward 21 and recently added Spanish deejay Mad Muasel. Also in attendance are Jamaica’s Stone Love, Renaissance 30, Freddie Krueger and ZJ Liquid, joined by Japan’s legendary Mighty Crown and Jah Works Sound, Germany’s Sentinel, France’s Drum Sound, Panama’s DJ Chiqui Dubs, Israel’s New Zion Sound, England’s V Rocket and Spain’s Blackup. Italy’s Northern Lights celebrating their 20th anniversary, and Rototom legend Lampa Dread are in residence.

The frenetic sounds of 2 Tone, Ska and Cumbia can be heard in the Caribbean Uptempo area. Highlights of the line-up include Jamaican veteran Winston Francis, the UK’s Natty Bo and former Selecter member King Hammond, as well as Colombia’s Banda Melao with appearances by Colombian and Honduran traditional dancers.

Heavier vibrations await at the Dub Academy. The area has invited an unprecedented gathering of sound systems, including The UK’s Iration Steppas, Jah Tubbys and Sinai, plus the Netherlands’ King Shiloh, Barcelona’s Greenlight Sound, France’s Blackboard Jungle, and Italy’s 48 Roots,  Each of these sonic giants will be bringing to this hallowed ground their own stacks. Further guests will be Mad Professor, the Ivory Coast’s producer Jacin, together some surprise acts.

Reggae’s roots in Africa can be experienced in the eclectic rhythms of the African Village. Artists confirmed for this year are Ghana’s quirky Fokn Bois, Senegal’s electronic Sabar and Mbalax fusionists Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, Ghanian highlife from Kwame, multilingual Guinean female artist Marga Mbande, Ethiopian instrumental quintet Qwanqwa, and Afro-fusion group Sahad and the Nataal Patchwork. DJ sets include Lisbon’s Celeste Mariposa, highlighting and exploring the Afro-Portuguese connection.

Interview with KOFFEE: “Just want to put out more conscious music to create a positive young reggae movement” (2018)

Gege Vibes Team meets the young jamaican singer Koffee during the 25th edition of Rototom Sunsplash 2018 in Spain before of her performance with Cocoa Tea on the main stage of the Festival. Koffee is only 18 years old but she is an aware artist already with a really conscious mentality and she is able to inspire the new generations as well. Koffee says her main musical inspirations are firstly Chronixx and Protoje (she performed together with them last November in London, UK for the event BBC Introducing at Tobacco Docks and the day after at the prestigious venue Alexandra Palace for a sold out show of ten thousands people), but even artists like Agent Sasco Buju Banton, Sizzla and many more. Her last single “Toast”, from upcoming Rapture Ep out on every platform from last month, got very good feedbacks in the worldwide musical panorama. “Gratitude is a must”, Koffee tells in the lyric of this song. She is actually considered a rising reggae star and definitely the revelation of last and this year.

Interviewer: Gege Vibes

Shooting: Noctis 

Editing: Bussweh Visuals

 

ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2018 DAY 01 / Stars of the main stage : Julian Marley, Cocoa Tea Ft Koffee and Ben Harper

The first night of “Rototom Sunsplash 2018 – 25 years walking together” was explosive. The day one of the biggest European Reggae Festival started last evening with high-level performances. On the main stage there were Julian Marley from Jamaica, Cocoa Team ft Koffee from Jamaica and Ben Harper from Usa. Julian Marley & the Uprising gave us a great show as usual. “Juju” conquered the spectators reinterpreting some Bob Marley’s hits like One Love and Exodus. The brand new album of Julian Marley will be out very soon. Then there was the turn of Cocoa Tea that smashed up the stage. His energy was incredible for the whole performance and his special guest Koffee was the real revelation for the Rototom’s crowd. Koffee is only 18 years old, but her talent and intelligence is impressive. She was defining herself blessed to have the opportunity to share the stage with a veteran name of the Jamaican music as her mentor Cocoa Tea. Last star on the main stage was Ben Harper. Ben leaded the massive during the show with his historical band the Innocent Criminals and the sound of his own guitar. After it everyone moved in the dancehall area to enjoy Spice’s performance and the New Level Bcn Crew, sound system from Spain. Spice confirmed yesterday in Benicasim her title of “Reina of Dancehall” and we must give a big up to her official dancer Rebel as well. Tonight we’re attending legendary names on the main stage: Groundation (Usa), Sly & Robbie, Yellow Man, Johnny Osbourne, Bitty McLean (Jamaica/Uk) and “dulcis in fundo” Jimmy Cliff (Jamaica).

Article Eugenia Conti

Photo Gallery Noctis

Skarra Mucci breaks down “Dancehall President” for Gege Vibes @Rototom Sunsplash ‘016

The dancehall president Skarra Mucci joined us in Spain last summer at Rototom Sunsplash 2016. In the back stage of festival’s main stage we had the opportunity to interview him before the show with Dub Inc. The singer explained us the power of dancehall vibes that are able to spread positivity in every person and we talked about his last musical project “Dancehall President”.

Interview Eugenia Conti 
Shooting Giorgio Nuzzo 
Editing Vincenzo Morello

Dancing & attitude rubric / Interview with Rafa Redvolcon from Barcelona

Nice interview with a great dancehall dancer from Barcelona : Rafa Redvolcon. We met the artist last summer during Rototom Sunsplash 2016 in Benicassim, Spain. Rafa was part of the official Rototom dancers Crew with Alevanille, Ragga Shugo, Irie Queen and Swaggi Maggi.

Check the video !

 

Interview : Eugenia Conti 

Shooting : Giorgio Nuzzo 

Editing : Lucia Rosato 

SOUND SYSTEM RUBRIC / Video interview with Lexxy Lexx from Bass Odyssey (Jamaica)

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Gege Vibes met Lexxy Lex in Rototom Sunsplash (Spain). He explained to us the history of his prestigious sound system : Bass Odyssey from Jamaica.

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They are a team of 12 selecter known as the champions for excellence. We also had a talk with him about the culture of sound clashes and dubplates.

Interview Eugenia Conti Shooting Giorgio Nuzzo Editing Morello Selecta