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LIGHTNING + THUNDER CD RELEASE PARTY
Friday, March 28th, 2008
Varsity Theater (1308 – 4th Street SEth, Minneapolis, 55414
21+. Doors 9:00pm. $7.

TRU RUTS/SPEAKEASY RECORDS + SMOKESIGNYL PRESENTS LIGHTNING + THUNDER CD RELEASE
First Compilation of its kind in Minnesota fusing Reggaeton, Dancehall, Reggae + Hip Hop

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records + Smokesignyl Productions join forces to release HIGHSTYLEKYLE + TRU RUTS present LIGHTNING + THUNDER (VOLUME ONE), the first compilation of its kind in Minnesota, fusing reggaeton, dancehall, reggae and hip hop. Featuring the talents of twenty musical luminaries of the Twin Cities, LIGHTNING + THUNDER, highlights the musical dexterity of producer, Highstylekyle, member of noted hip hop band, Leroy Smokes, who produced all the tracks on the album, along with cohorts Fredy Kruger (of the Good Fellas), J Skills and Hashbrown, and is executive produced by the powerhouse duo of e.g. bailey + Shá Cage. The album includes an all star cast of Twin Cities trailblazers, such as Maria Isa, The Kamillion, Don Xaba + Backup Plomo, Prince Jabba, Innocent, Truthmaze, Pee Wee Dread (Dread I Dread), Unicus, St. Paul Slim (G.O.B.), Buss One, Chico Fino, members of Leroy Smokes, and much more. LIGHTNING + THUNDER sets the stage for the next musical movement to catch the Twin Cities by storm. The album will be available in March 2008 on Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records.

The Lightning + Thunder CD Release Party will take place at the Varsity Theater, on Friday, March 28th, and will feature performances by artists from the album, backed by The Lightning + Thunder All Stars band. Such to be a high energy night, featuring the global musical forces of the Twin Cities, it’s an event not to miss.

Additional information on the reggaeton genre and the album, from the liner notes, is provided below:

“The diasporic sounds of dub and reggae music spawned dancehall in Jamaica, hip-hop in New York, reggaespañol in Panama, and reggaetón in Puerto Rico. Reggae and dancehall riddims transferred to Panama at the turn of the 20th Century with the influx of labor from Jamaica to construct the Panama Canal. Workers took with them basic beats such as the Dem Bow, the Kimbo King and the Punnaney Tegereg. Artists offered innovative translations of these riddims with new improvisations constructing Spanish versions of classic dancehall tracks such as well-known repertoires by Nando Boom, Little Lenny, La Atrevida, and later commercial cross-over artist El General. In New York the reggae influences were felt as a key element to the inception of hip-hop. The original dub proposed the concept of the instrumental beat and the Jamaican oral tradition of ‘toasting and boasting’ offered an ego-based musical competition as an alternative to street warfare as an avenue for unleashing youthful exuberance. History reveals hip-hop icons such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa as integral players of this infusion. In Puerto Rico, Spanish rap, also termed Underground, due to its limited distribution outlets, looked to New York for lyrical flow and the surrounding Caribbean for compositional rhythm. The island is a U.S. territory, thereby intimately linked to American art movements, youth genres, production resources, and market interests facilitated by liberal U.S. migratory and capital transfer policies. Artist such as Vico C, Ivy Queen, Don Chezina, and groups such as The Noise spoke to audiences in both Puerto Rico and New York proposing a fusion of Caribbean dancehall backgrounds with an American flow containing Spanish rap lyrics. A decade later, influenced by freestyle and Latin house music it took on the official title of reggaetón (‘a ton of reggae’)…Minneapolis and St. Paul have become artistic niches for artists from strikingly diverse nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Lightning and Thunder is a Spanish and English bilingual production with accents from Spanglish to Patuá. Contributing artists implement lyrical styles that are native to the Twin Cities yet come from Haitian, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Tanzanian, South African, Dominican, Jamaican, Panamanian, Trinidadian, and Costa Rican diasporas.” – M. Riviére (Emetrece Productions)

“As the underground hip hop movement gets prepared to show what it can do on the national stage, reggaeton may be the next musical movement to catch the imagination of the Cities. It is the essence of this movement that we’ve tried to present here, on our second compilation, HIGHSTYLEKYLE + TRU RUTS present LIGHTNING + THUNDER (Volume ONE). Though not in specifics, the compilation represents the roots, the range, the influences, and perhaps the future of the movement. A fusion of diverse styles and genres. It celebrates the cross-pollinization of musical communities in the Cities, moving fluidly thru dancehall, reggae, hip hop and reggaeton.” – Tru Ruts

“Lighting and Thunder producer High Style Kyle, alongside Leroy Smokes Band founding members Jesse Lee and Fredy Kruger, synchronize these unique vocal styles and eclectic interpretations of the genres with live compositions of guitar, keyboard, and trumpet arrangements that contain minimal samples. The format of Lightning and Thunder consisting of live production rather than standard various artist collections coutures diverse musicians together not only on the same album, but goes further by joining them as never before on the same tracks together. Lightning and Thunder is by far the most diverse reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and reggaetón compilation published to date representing the diverse global musical roots and production genius of the Twin Cities.” – M. Riviére (Emetrece Productions)

The LIGHTNING + THUNDER CD RELEASE PARTY will take place Friday, March 28th, 2008 at the Varsity Theater (1308 – 4th Street SEth, Minneapolis, 55414). 21+. Doors 9:00pm. $7.

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