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CD REVIEW

Best Japanese/overseas albums of 2010: Rockers Channel

by Keitaro Kitano

Arm Strong — “Strong World”

Coming out of Osaka, the fiercest contender in Japan’s reggae battleground this year was raggamuffin DJ Arm Strong’s “Strong World” album. I always recommend this album to people suffering from winter blues or post-holiday depression. “Strong World” is lively enough to melt even the most frozen of hearts.

Konshens — “Real Talk”

Konshens has become popular among reggae fans in Japan. He is an unusual Jamaican musician, in the sense that the album “Real Talk” could not be more optimistic. The bright views of the future present in Konshens’ music have started to define him as a musician. The song “Winner,” as the title suggests, is literally about getting over hardships to reach the stars and saw the artist collaborating with 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt.

Rockers Channel is a Japanese-language Web magazine that focuses on specifically on reggae and dancehall music. The site is filled with interviews, music videos and concert footage from both Jamaican and Japanese artists, as well as charts, lyrics and event information — all of it for free.