21 August 2018
The penultimate party at the Main Stage is dedicated to Rototom Sunsplash’s birth country, Italy, but also to the country that has embraced it since 2010 in this amazing phase: Spain. Lastly, we will go on a trip miles away until New Zeland of the amazing Fat Freddy’s Drop.
We are starting with the catalans Green Valley, established after some experiences in the sound system scene by Ander Valverde at the beginning of the century. The band opts for Spanish as a way of expression and for the idea that reggae music tends to have influences from hip-hop, rock and pop. They got started in 2007 with ‘Inmigrantes’. However, after several concerts and ovations, the true start was in 2010 with ‘En tus manos’, and later on with ‘La voz del pueblo’ in 2012, and lastly, ‘Mírame a los ojos’ and ‘Hijos de la tierra’. They played for the first time in the 20th anniversary and we are pleased now to have them being part of the 25th anniversary at the Main Stage.
Following Green Valley will be the turn of a very particular perspective of Italian reggae that is also an homage to the the place where the festival was born. The Sardinian rootsmen Train To Roots will be joined by a diverse support band of different artists offering a wide range of Italian reggae versions. This will include Africa Unite, pioneers of the scene who have appeared at various points in their 37 year career. The ska voice of Giuliano Palma, will also join, who was an ex-singer in Casino Royale and Bluebeaters but is currently a solo artist. The vocalist Raiz from Napoli was also part of Almamegretta, a band that mixed the Mediterranean sound with dub and electronic sounds in collaborations with Bill Laswell, Ben Young and Adrian Sherwood. Through a long affiliation with Villa Ada Posse, Brusco has started a solo career and in a very short time has become one of the stalwarts of the dancehall scene thanks to his dexterity writing in Italian. Nina Zilli is a renowned pop singer who hasn’t forgotten her soul and reggae roots, who has come to the festival to show her Jamaican soul. Formed in 2004, Train To Roots is the most famous group from Sardinia and with their latest albums have seen their fan base grow and have sown seeds abroad too. Finally, Michela Grena was the singer in the project dub BR Stylers for a long time and now forms a part of Wicked Dub Division, without doubt one of the best live Italian dub bands at the moment and often collaborates vocally with Zion Train.
We stay in Italy with the return of Mellow Mood, whose rise to fame has been closely linked to Rototom Sunsplash. Their debut with ‘Move!’ (2009) seems a long time ago and the group of the twins Jacob and Lo have taken giant steps thanks to experiences and exchanges with Jamaican artists in their frequent journeys.From afar, they are the most loved Italian band abroad and tour frequently to the other side of the ocean. Their latest album ‘Large’ is a personal homage and features the deep roots of Jamaican sounds, which will surely be well structured in the show we’re excited to see and hear.
The Main Stage will close with another exciting moment; the performance of Fat Freddy’s Drop. Reggae is one of the many ingredients in the mix of the band hailing from New Zealand, which amplifies their intense sound. They also mix elements of hip-hop, jazz, dub, techno and original blues, among other influences. In their discography, their latest album ‘Bays’, from 2015, includes references to Maori culture and this makes them global ambassadors of music from New Zealand.
Aside from the Main Stage, we have other key moments such as the exhibition of the Jamaican Samory I on the Lion Stage, the dub meeting/soundclash between Alborosie and King Jammy in the Dub Academy and the dancehall sounds of Northern Lights and Herbalize It.
Written by Pier Tosi and translated by Cárol Ferré Pellicer, Berta Asensio and Finn Darco