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Wha ah gwaan? Im Krikon and this is my blog, it's dedicated to everything i find interesting, esp. Reggae but also movies and graphic design. My reviews feature some low-quality, streaming samples but im not an illegal mp3 blog and will never be. Any artist or label who want their samples removed, let me know. If you want your album or movie reviewed here, post in the chat box and i'll get in touch with you.

March 30, 2010

Junior Kelly - Red pond

 Whit so many Reggae artists being insanely productive "Junior Kelly" is something of an anomality, he has never been one to jump every new riddim that comes out and does not drop 5-6 albums a year on various labels. The last we heard from him was 2005's "Rough life" and many of us have wondered what ever happened to him. So, a new album on "VP" is a big deal and great news, keep on reading and i let y'all know whether it was worth waiting 5 years for.

Things start whit "Celebrate life" and lyrically I'd say "Junior Kelly" is exactly where he should be, he keep things strictly conscious while not feeling quite as judgmental as some of the other "Bobo" chanters out there and that's one thing I've always liked. The track is uptempo and very well produced, it very much sound like he have had a real backing band and not relying on digitally made one-drop riddims shared whit a ton of others. Reading on the "VP Records" site i learn that my assumptions where right. I like the song but im not amazed by it. He continues whit "Nothing wrong whit the world" where he tells people to quit their fussing and fighting cause there is nothing wrong whit Mama earth, this is one of these  feel-good tracks that ads sunshine to rainy days, i really like it.

I get the feeling from this album that he partially went for a cross-over vibe and songs like "She's gone" whit "Luckie D" confirms my suspicions, it's not bad but one hardly expects any soul vibes on here. But then again, remember i used the word "partially", songs like "Murderer" (who probably is the rowdiest song on the album) and "Waan lef di ghetto" quickly takes things back to more familiar Reggae vibes. Changing things up slightly up again, "Slackness" treats us to a Ska-lite vibe, it's a much pleasant tune where he explores why folks turn into a slack state of mind.

We hear plenty of dedications to mothers in both Reggae and Rap music but where's the dedications to dads? It can't be that all men are irresponsible bastards who don't take care of their kids and are unworthy of songs? It's a nice change to hear dads getting some appreciation on "Papa's song" which he does together whit "Ras Shiloh". Personally i think the backing to this osng is a lil bit too soft and sappy but i could live whit it, i don't really got too much to complain about. More combination's on the lovers track "Too late" whit "Queen Ifrica" and while being very smooth i would say this is one of the better songs on here, this is a classic lovers track that im sure will stand the test of time.

Well, so what's the verdict on "Red pond" ? It's absolutely a good album, very well produced, you can hear that "Junior Kelly" and his producers took their time on this one, they did not rush. It's pleasant to hear songs made the old-fashioned way, whit real musicians as opposed to computer programed songs. However, sometimes it do feel a lil bit too slick and over produced and a lil bit more dirt and grit would probably have added to the album. Over all a good and well made album but not a mind blowing classic.

Red Pond

March 28, 2010

Naptali - Long journey

From Clarendon via Kingston and released by the German based "Oneness Production" comes the first album from an artist i'm sure we will hear a lot from in the years to come. Whit so much crappy Ragga coming from Jamaica nowadays it's nice to see a Roots artist willing to drop an album that is not a part of the way to crowded "riddim" ghetto. Having a quick peek at the cover it's easy to think this is just one of many "Bobo Shanti" singjay's.

I guess one could label him singjay but that is an term i kinda opose, he certainly leans toward the later but I think he's far too much of an singer to be comfortable whit putting that label on him. One could call guys like "Capleton" or "Jah Mason" str8 singjays as they rap just as much as they sing but not "Naptali". It's always convenient to compare new artists whit more established ones but i'm not all that comfortable whit doing that this time, if someone put a gun to my head and forced me I guess i would say he got "a pinch" of "Lutan Fyah" in him (and that's a huge compliment given that he's one of my alltime favourites) and in places even oldschool faves like "Half Pint" (dunno if anyone will agree whit me on this one though).

Anyways, let's begin whit taking a look at the first song, "Show them love" dedicated to all "ghetto youths", a popular subject in Reggae where "Naptali" tells us to support the "ghetto youth", not bad lyrics but we have heard it a few times before. What is impeccable though is the way he rides this track, realy emotional and heartfelt over a great beat that lands somewhere in between happy and melancholic, an amazing start to a great album. Next up is "What goes around", an apreshiation of everything Rasta and how his culture/religion/way-of-life makes the world go round. Im going to keep it short and just say that it's another good song but not my favorite on here (however, all songs are good enough to play from start to finish, the worst songs on here are better than many albums best tracks).

Im going to skip to song 5, "Grandma" one of my favourites on here, we hear tons of dedications to moms but few to grandmas. This is a highly biographical, deep song that surpasses the usual shallow "mamma i love you" songs (i equal mama/grandma as they are used in the same kind of context here) by providing plenty of details on why he feels how he feels. I was very touched by this song (on an unrelated note, if you want another outstanding Mama song, try "Wayne Lyrics - Momma don't go", a 99c album on

Since i don't get paid by the word (actualy, i don't get paid), im going to resist the temptation of writing up every song and therefore i jump to song 9, "More love" ft. Lutan Fyah, this is a match made in heaven for sure, they complement each other very, very well. I'd love to see them release a duo album full of socially aware, religious and emotional love songs. There's also this guy on here i have not heard about before, "Arofat", i guess he does well also. The song is another "Ghetto youth" anthem and covers the same ground as many other songs of this nature, another standout track on here.

Skip one song and we come to track 11, "Redeemer" where Naptali asks what's wrong whit mankind only to state that god is always whit us. If I have to choose 1 out of the 14 tracks on here as my favorite it would be this one, it's soooo smooth and uplifting i can't even explain. Iv'e already said Naptali is a singjay who leans more to singing than toasting and i would say this is a str8 singing track, AMAZING!

Over all this is an incredible album, i just can't grasp how "Naptali" came up from nowhere sounding like such an accomplished artist. Being an singjay he belongs to the smoother side of the camp, this really ain't no rowdy, hype stuff. According to his website most of the songs where recorded whit a live band and you can tell, it does not sound like someone just spitting over riddims (nothing wrong whit that though).

While a few guest artists is an great adition to any album there's a very fine balance between diluting the sound too much and ad diversity and variation to the album. I would say "Long journey" does a great jobb in not having too many features and whit artists like "Lutan Fyah" and "Luciano", how can u go wrong? The future sure looks bright whit guys like this, let's hope this album will be huge success and is followed by a bunch of equally amazing releases. I have a new favorite artist!

Long Journey


I dunno if I caught on too late, when everyone has already seen the movie and moved on but i felt i just had to post this, i laughed and laughed and laughed again. This is pure genious from start to finish.

 Dr. Tran: Number One American Icon

March 23, 2010

Mountain of Evil

Finally, after long wait I have started whit my reviews of African movies (read Nigerian and Ghanian), hopefully this will be a regular feature on the blog. What one needs to know before starting to watch these movies is that while the talent involved in the Nollywood industry is just as great as it's Hollywood counterparts the budgets of these movies are small and technically speaking they are primitive. Don't expect any lavish sets or flamboyant special FX. Also remember how long the US film industry has existed vs the Nigerian and Ghanian ones that pretty much started out in the early 90ies. But at the end of the day, a bad movie is still a bad movie!

First movie to be reviewed is "Lost in the Jungle 1-2" and it's sequels "Mountain of Evil 1-2". Now for all of y'all who are not used to Nigerian movies, let me tell you that 99% of all movies come in 2 parts and the second one is a direct continuation of the story, remember these ain't Hollywood movies. Well, whit all public announcements out of the way, let's start.....

6 students from "National Youth Service Corps" are assigned to a remote village for their primary assignment, on their way they get lost and their car breaks down. As they start wandering aimlessly, trying to find someone or something to help them out of their predicament they come across Soumo who take them  to his village, the kingdom of Kokoruma. The plan is to leave as soon as possible, heading to their original destination, Mamoro village but the king has different plans. Due to practicalities they will have to wait 2 weeks before they can leave. As they wait and tries to comply whit they strange customs of Kokoruma they start to sense that something is not right in the kingdom. Shall they do their best to ignore the strange ogoings or shall they oppose them and put themselves in danger?

As an old horror movie fan i gotta say that i found the storyline of this movie very promising and interesting, folks being stranded in remote places and having to deal whit backwoods folks always makes for a movie whit a lot of potential. Seeing Africans taking on this tried and tested formula was something i was very much looking forward to. While liking the movie i have to admit that it was not without it's share of problems, the pacing was veeeery slow and things took forever to happen. In total the movie and it's 4 parts took approximately 4 1/2 hours, this is way too long. Whit tighter editing im sure the movie could have clocked in at 2 hours (or perhaps 2 1/2 hours).

Technically it was a bit rough in some places, when someone on the movie screamed or yelled the sound got distorted and it was kinda hard to make out what was being said. Speaking of that, while the movie was in English the accents they spoke in sometimes was kinda extreme, my wife often did not understand a word but having had plenty of African friends i where able to get most of what was being said. As said i enjoyed seeing what Nigerians did whit such a typically American horror movie script and all the typical characters where there, the nice and humble ones as well as the more rude and arrogant one who where the first one to meet his faith.

However, one thing you don't see in most American movies of this kind is the strong emphasis on Christianity that is being put in 99% of all Nigerian movies. There was plenty of praying and talking about Jesus and god in this movie. Personally i have no problem whit this but folks whit a phobia against Christianity may find this very annoying. If you're not cool whit this, just forget about Nigerian movies in general and horror themed movies esp. as they are more inclined to include a Christian message.

Whit the nature of this movie im sure all of y'all are eager to know about the special-FX in this movie, did it have any gore and blood, any sex or nudity? Well, it did have a few ritual offering scenes, some chopped of limbs and the end where they tries to escape from the village and get attacked by demons the village witch conjures up offers some violence. Still, if you're out looking for a bloodbath this movie will disappoint. So will it if you expect any graphic sex, sure some of the characters have sex but is more implied than shown in graphic detail.

All in all i did enjoy this movie but it was terribly slow and i don't know whether i liked it because i like African culture so much and decided i have to like it or if it was because it was a good movie. I have not seen tons of Nigerian productions (so my base of reference is not that good) but i know that there is better movies out there than this one. It showed great promise, somewhat delivered but in the end "Mountain of Evil" could have delivered way more than what it did. A recommendation whit reservations.

March 21, 2010

Rise Up Reggae Star

I decided to delete my upload of "Rise Up REggae Star" as someone complained and was goin to report it, i dunno wheter it's just someone whit a bad sence of humor or wheter to take it serious but i decided that it was better "to be safe than sorry". Notice that this was a recording of a  foreign tv-show not legaly available here in the USA and is covered under "the berne act"

"There is a section of the American copyright law known as "The Berne Act" that Clearly states: films unreleased in the United States, including original versions of films altered and/or edited for release in the United States, are NOT protected by American copyright; thus, they are considered public domain."

This documentary is not available anywhere for purchase and can be streamed from the bbc site so i don't think any harm was done but either way, it's gone.

March 14, 2010

Swedish Reggae, Free legal downloads

Y'all up for some free. legal mp3 downloads? Diegojah is a Swedish reggae/dancehall whit Hispanic roots who has released high quality, free music online for a while now. This is good enough to be commercially released but 100% for free. Go to his myspace page and check out the "Discography" section for several free albums available.