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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.

August 26, 2011

Pray for Sizzla

Controversial Reggae superstar Sizzla has been in an bike accident and has been seriously hurt, let's pray for his fast recovery. Get better soon!!!! Here's an link to Jamaica Star's coverage

August 19, 2011

The Maytones & Vernon Buckley

Out of the many great vocal groups that came in the late 60 ies and all throughout the 70 ies iv'e always felt that "The Maytones" where among the best and most underated. They originates from the May Pen area in Clarendon and consisted of Vernon Buckley and Gladstone Grant.

They got their start recording a few cuts for "Studio One" that never got released and moved on to record for Alvin Ranglin and his GG Records. The hits kept on coming throughout the 70ies but compared to the output from many other groups "The Maytones" never did release that many albums.

Fans of Roots Reggae should not be fooled by their clean cut looks, many of their tracks are str8 Rasta dealing with Zion, repatriation etc.... "You dont haffi dread to be a rasta" In 1980 Vernon Buckley moved to Canada and "The Maytones" split. I have no idea what happened to Gladstone Grant but Vernon Buckley has kept on recording and releasing albums, although very irregularly.

There's 3 albums i know of; Raw, Rocky road and the latest, Words of wisdom  who was just released on his label "Music Life". I just ordered the album and an review will follow, the samples iv'e heard sounds very positive. Time may have passed, Vernon may be getting older but his voice is still one of the best in Reggae music. You owe it to yourself to check "The Maytones" out, their music is too good to not be heard.

August 15, 2011

Check out Caribinghi

Im always for trying to support the Swedish Reggae scene and make folks aware of it. This guy may not be all that established and big yet but quality wise he can hold his own. This new video showcase him at his best, it has an hit factor while staying true to the roots. Go check his site, he got plenty of free music for y'all to download.

August 4, 2011

Let's open our wallets.......

Share food, change lives

Everyone knows about the hunger crisis on the horn of Africa by now. I dont care who you are or how rich or broke you are, if you can get online and read this post it means you have the resources to give at least something.
Does not have to be much, i know i did not have a whole lot and im sure many of y'all are kinda broke as well. But please, skip buying that CD or vinyl u where planning to get and donate a few pennies. There's plenty of causes that i would never donate to (some of y'all might get offended if i mentioned which) but this is not one of them. Be as generous as y'all possibly can.

July 23, 2011

Flash Fever

It was quite some time i reviewed an African movie on here, been watching em regularly though and thought it was time to write another one. My review for Spade (im awaiting the sequels shortly and will review them) has almost gone viral popping up on Nigerian sites all over internet. Let's see how this one does. Ghanians has a taste for horror movies, i like that and i most certainly like this movie. It was a big hit when released in Ghana and it's easy to see why.

The plans where that Akose's boyfriend Kwranteng where to seduce & marry her rich Employer madame Serwa and kill her so that they could live happily ever after in her big house. The plans changes when he really falls in love. Akose kills her herself and assumes everything is back on track but is instead thrown out of the house. Scorned and hurt she takes help from an evil wizard and kills Kwranteng who has just signed over ownership of the house to this poor family he decided to help. Akose will stop at nothing to get "her" house back and the stay at their new house will be anything but joyfull for the unfortunate family who moves in there.....

Wow, I did not expect all the special effects or how good they are, people catches fire, spikes are shooting out from bodies, folks puke worms and the miscarriage scene is both atmospheric and whit imaginative FX work. Iv'e seen plenty of American low-budget horror movies looking way less polished than what "Flash Fever" does. Being the Ghanian "super block buster" that this movie is im surprised it has no big actors. Not that it needs them though, the cast does good and Ewurabena Bray who plays Akose is quite an looker.

Coming to the question of pace, it do clock in at around 180 minutes and 3 parts but it feels a lot shorter and never feels as if it's dragging or has a bunch of scenes that's unnecessary. One good thing with long movies (if they work) is that you really care about the characters and it's very much evident here. I liked this movie a lot, it has cool effects, a good story and I strongly recommend y'all to watch it.

June 27, 2011

Is the blog dead?

Some of y'all might have checked out the blog lately and wondered why it's never being updated? Don't worry, it's not dead, it's just taking a nap. Been bussy whit stuff in my life and have not been too motivated but i will be back, just be patient.

Was going to do a post about the genious of Yellowman but another blog where faster than me and im no copycat, lol :D So to keep it short, i'll be back in a moment.

May 25, 2011

News from Cocoa Tea...

Been wondering for a while now whatever happened to "Cocoa Tea", his "Obama" album isn't exactly new anymore. As i was surfing around i found this article on "The Gleamer" where he reveals he got a new album coming, hopefully we will not have to wait till next year as he hints.

He's also droping a few lines on the current state of Reggae and it's future.

"....However, the overall project 'Whe De Reggae Deh?' speaks to something that he says people are asking about when he does performances outside Jamaica. "Everywhere I go in the world, people ask me where the reggae gone from in Jamaica. People are saying we are trying to export hip hop, rather than import hip hop and export reggae," Cocoa Tea said.

He said the queries have come across Europe, England, the USA and Canada, as well as Japan. "People used to the type of reggae that we sing. It is music that can inspire a people and a nation," Cocoa Tea said. That is in contrast to a lot of music being produced in Jamaica now, which Cocoa Tea said "is about dancing and the riddim."

Read the whole piece here:

May 10, 2011

New Lee Perry documentary

There already is a documentary about Lee Perry consisting mostly of him talking bout stuff in front of the camera, without any history, archival videos or anything. Now there's a more complete movie around who seem to tell the complete story of "The Uppsetter" and im very excited about it.

Hopefully there will be a DVD out soon, this is one movie i have to get. While waiting, go and check out the website at:

May 9, 2011

Earl Zero - Market place

 We read a lot about how the rootsreggae stars of the 70 ies are dying of one by one and it is sad that we are loosing a whole generation of artists much appreciated. It's enlightening and much needed to hear about players from way back when that is still doing good. Earl Zero may not be the most prolific of all the acts from "the golden era of reggae" but he sure is the real deal and seem to be doing great both health and career wise. Last years "And god said to man" was a great throwback to the 70ies sound with live instrumentation and high quality work all the way and now we got "Market place" who promises the same organic, high quality vibes as the previous album.

It both is and isn't at the same time, we get tons of live instrumentation and high quality vibes but the feel and sound they went for is completely different. The first song is "Get up", an energetic track with a heavy "rockers" vibe to it, i kinda get a Bob Marley feel when listening to it, like as if he was still alive today and did a song trying to cross over to the masses. I don't say this in an negative way, even though it's very far from what i usually listens to it's not bad, if you like songs that's 50% rock and 50% reggae this is a great track with all it's wailing guitars, piano etc.. Second song "Black mans time" sounds way more "Reggae" than the first song with a distinct back-beat and typical conscious lyrics fusing black pride with a  RastafarI message. This is easily the most rootsy song on the album and one of my favorites on here.

Pretty good also is track 4, "Back up in the woods" where he looks back at how things where in Kingston back in the day. It has a slight back-beat but also a strong rock vibe to it. The lyrics are very interesting and very much ads to the songs quality.  There's a coupla dubs on here as well such as "Lion dubs again" which i guess is okay if u are into dub music. Im no huge fan of dub and cant decide whether it's better or worse than a lot of other dubs. Last song before the 2 finishing dub tracks is "I love you little darling", Earl might sing about doing things "in a roots man stylee'" but the song feels very funky with a heavy bass presence an plenty of assorted sound effects.

Being a good reviewer (I try to be) you have to be able to  look beyond your own taste sometimes and determine if an album is of high quality regardless of what you think of it. That's what i did here, being honest im not all that crazy about this album. It's too much rock and influences from other genres to really get me going, sure the reggae's still there and this ain't no sell out a'la Ini Kamoze 's "Lyrical gangsta" but im too much of an purist to really appreciate this album. Still, denying that it's a high quality product from start to finish  would be unfair. It's nice to see old veterans still doing good and still being relevant so in a weird, indirect kind of way i still dig this album. Have a good listen to it before you decide to buy it though, it will alienate a lot of listeners (but then again, it's on Ernie B's top seller list so maybe not).

April 10, 2011

Another practice cd-cover....

While writing new reviews i decided to upload another of my "practice" cd-covers here. Artists and labels who sees this, im available and inexpensive.

April 7, 2011

Volcano revisited

Seem as if rite now is a good time for Reggae books, this one is brand new and seem very exciting with plenty of fancy photos and interesting interviews. This book is on it's way to me so expect an review as soon as iv'e got it and read it. Until then, here's the info from the publisher/author:

Tero Kaski – Pekka Vuorinen:
Volcano Revisited
Kingston Dancehall Scene 1983
Eronen, 2011 (company based in Finland)
208 pages, 4/4 colours
169 x 211 mm, 460 grams
ISBN 978-952-92-8643-0
R.r.p. 24 € / 33 $ / 20 £

" In September 1983 Kingston dancehall scene was full of energy and excitement.
New sound system Volcano was giving tough competition to established sounds like
Gemini, Lee’s Unlimited, Black Scorpio, Killamanjaro and others. Producer and
sound system owner Junjo Lawes had brand new equipment, best dubplates and a
talented crew led by deejay Burro Banton and selector Danny Dread with prominent
artists like Josey Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Barrington Levy and Tony Tuff. Night
after night Volcano Hi-Power was playing in and around Kingston for a loyal and
enthusiastic following.

The backbone of dancehall music is created inside the studios. At Channel One
where we meet Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke, Al Campbell and many others; at Harry
J we discuss with ‘the original Scientist’ Sylvan Morris and producer Roy
Cousins, and interview Prince Far I for the last time, a few days later he was
brutally murdered. King Tubby tells about his future plans - which were only
partly fulfilled. We meet Studio One veterans Devon Russell, Pablove Black and
Bagga Walker, and Jackie Mittoo reflects the past and future of Jamaican music
in a rare interview. And Brent Dowe smiles when Rivers Of Babylon comes to mind,
and gets us assured that dancehall is not a new thing but the very essence of
Jamaican music.

In 1983 Jamaican dancehall culture was rapidly changing: modern dancehall
music was born with Volcano. Volcano dancehall tape selection gives accurate
evidence of how many prominent artists passed through the Volcano stable in


April 1, 2011

Sugar Minott book

Let me revise the info, this book by Beth Lesser is already out and available to buy, it's 212 pages and contains photos (dunno how good the reproduction of them are) if youre outside of the UK it's £ 10.50  and that includes shipping. U order from Small Axe and they do accept paypal.

It seem as if this book is already out of print, at least for the moment (new copies is said to arrive shortly) but i will try my best to get me a copy and review it here. This is a book im very eager to get.

March 24, 2011

Irie Up so far......

 I've been reading "Irie Up" ever since it's first issue and have kept on buying every new magazine coming. I did an thorough review some time ago and as this is being written 8 issues have been produced. Perhaps it's time to take a look at the journey so far and asses what's good, what's bad, what needs to be changed and what's not. One thing needs to be stated and very clear before anyone continues reading, everything is written in good faith and im grateful that there's at least 1 English spoken magazine dedicated to our beloved genre and will keep on buying every new mag. as long as they are distributed in the country where i live.

In the review of the first issue i said it kinda lacked a structure, this have been worked on and the way the content is presented makes more sense now. It could be tightened up even more but it's not anything urgent. I mentioned that i was wanting a review section and there is one now. It's great that they review both vinyl and cd's (along with digital releases) but i wish they would cover a wider section of the market. Rite now it's mostly the small, local underground acts tht is featured, forget releases from VP, Greensleves or any of the bigger guys like Anthony B etc....

As far as articles go, what is covered? Just like the first issue they have continued to have a strong focus on the soundsystem scene and the promoters. There is interviews and features with artists and groups as well but nowhere near as many as i would like to see. To generalize it seem as if we are more likely to have a feature on a flyer distributor in (let's say) Bulgaria or a concert promoter in Cologne than an artist. I would love to see a more balanced magazine, keep the stuff that's in there but ad more artist coverage. When and if that is being done, feature all sub-genres. I wanna read about new and old acts, roots as well as dancehall/ragga and established artists as well as those who is barely starting out.

When it comes to the look of the magazine i have absolutely no complaints, it's gorgeous and professional looking whit nice color photos throughout the pages. Whit that being said, if there is a choice between producing a fancy magazine or a thick one with plenty content i would rather go for the later. If you could ad 20-30 pages by printing on paper of a lower quality and mix color pages with black and white ones i would rather go for that. Still, what you got going is flawless.
The passion from the first issue is still there and i comend you for not loosing interest or getting lazy, every issue oozes with love for Reggae. Seem as if plenty of folks are getting fed up with the scene nowadays and looses themselfes in nostalgia trips over how good it used to be way back when.

When talking paper magazines i guess the web presence is less important but their re-vamped website is looking a whole lota better than their old one (which was still good) but i would love a web-forum and perhaps a consignment shop selling material from all the obscure acts one reads about in the magazine. There is no convenient way of obtaining anything with all the local act's being mentioned. Also, a web directory would be great but not essential. Well, i guess that's it from me, i hope this wasn't to long and incomprehensible. I love the magazine, y'all are doing an important job and is filling a big void.

Swing-A-Ling Soundsystem Volume One - Various artists

The popularity of Reggae in Sweden may have exploded in recent years compared to what it used to be and there's no lack of talent among local acts. Unf. it does not seem to be much support for local releases. This have however not stopped the albums from coming, Swedish artists have dropped titles since way back in the 70 ies when veterans like native Peps Person and immigrants like Babatunde Tony Ellis entered the scene.
This is the first of several reviews where i take a look at some Swedish releases that's dropped through the years. I start whit one of my own favorites, the compilation "Swing-a-ling Soundsystem Volume One" who dropped in 92 when i took my first stumbling steps as a fan. It features some of the biggest names of the scene at that time, some who are still active and even at least one minor hit who managed to receive Tv exposure. Whit that being said, the main thing this album did for me was to introduce me to "Daddy Boastin", the funnyman of Swedish reggae. He has remained a favorite throughout the years and nowadays he's mostly active as a part of Sweden's premier soundsystem, "Trinity".

Starting things of is "Drum & bass" by Lion/Sly, an duo (i assume) i know little about, Lion has continued with soundsystems like "Meditative Sounds" but who and where Sly is i don't know. I remember i really liked this song but im not 100% sure that it has held up all that good, it's still nice but i notice it's flaws way more now. To start of i'd say it's a fast song whit drums that feels flimsy and artificial. It owes a lot to the current, commercial club sound of the time, good? Yes but not the masterpiece i remember it to be. Right after it comes "Newspaper say so", a vintage "Daddy Boastin" cut about current events and the news medias reporting. While i love the goofy, humorous image he has nowadays it's nice to hear him on a more serious note. One can tell mr.Boastin has more intellectual capacity than what he's showcasing nowadays. Also, his kinda trademark rough voice is not present, he sounds smoother and more melodic than what he does now. Over all, this sounds good.

I skip one song (whit the artist Papa Dee, which i never liked) and we get another "Daddy Boastin" cut, "Aids warning" which is one of my favorites on here. While having serious lyrics on how you gotta protect yourself and wear condoms this is a party track with a bubbly beat and a infectious (pun intended, lol) harmonica loop. This would work just as well on the dancefloor now as it did then. After this comes "Reggae down on me" by Isust, a lighthearted crossover track who gained radio play and Tv exposure when it came. Not bad, melodic with Saxophones and real instruments but to "urban contemporary" for my taste. Isust have been active in various constellations thru the years and is still recording.

More suited for sweaty bodies on a dancefloor is "Slammin body" by Rudy, another artist i know nothing about and never heard outside of this compilation. He is doing a good job and toasts well. I wanna get out of my chair and start dancing when hearing this, the lyrics do what they where set out to but will not impress (then again, that prob. wasn't the intention). It's a short album with only 9 tracks so next up is the last song, "Heartical vibes", another track by "Lion/Sly". It's about coming to Sweden and features a few Swedish phrases which makes u go, "hmm...... was that in Swedish? ". It's a catchy, anthem like song and a great end to an good (if not perfect) album which deserves it's place in the Swedish Reggae history. Just wish i knew more bout some of the artists though......

March 18, 2011

Earl Zero - And god said to man

Way back in the early 90 ies when i started listening to Reggae i was very much all retro in my taste and almost exclusively listened to 70ies Roots-reggae and vocal trios. Somewhere along the line my focus changed and my taste became way more current. I feel that might change again and go back to a more 70 ies flavored taste. While being a new album i consider this an important turning point as it sounds just like something being released in the mid to late 70 ies and features an artist who was in his prime during that period (although this release proves he still got it).

It was released last year by the Spanish based "A-Lone Productions" who recently released the amazing "From creation" by Alpheus (who most likely will end up being the album of the year). Ernie B reggae summed things up good when they wrote "You can no longer say that "they don't make roots reggae like they used to". " This showcase album does not sound anywhere near being recorded in 2010. Im not huge on dubs but the ones on here are quite massive, tons of instrumentation and incredible production values.

There's 6  different song with dubs included so it total there is 12 tracks on here, a few new songs like the title track "And god said unto man" along with re-makes like "None shall escape the judgment" which most potential buyers should know already. All in all this is an amazing album, they obviously took their time with it and i hope folks have and are buying this album so that we can get more in the same flavor. I got absolutely no complaints!!!!

REggae Britannia

Someone posted the whole show on youtube, enjoy!!!!

February 26, 2011

Ancient King - Judgement

Hello, as promised im back with another "Mystic Vision" related review, this time with "Ancient King" a chanter/sing-jay from St.Croix, Virgin Islands. The album was produced by the "Mystic Vision" team and also features background vocals from them. This is his second album since he was first heard on a compilation from "I Grade Records" in 2001 when he recorded under the name "Wilson".

As with so many Bobo artists he's deeply Rastafarian and this is very much present in his lyrics which is no-nonsense Rasta from start to finish but perhaps without the "new age" feel that much of the "Mystic Vision" material has. Anyways, the first song is "Be still" and is about the power of Reggae and how it can uplift and teach the people. I would say that "Ancient King" belongs to the more rowdy of chanters, at first i took that as him having less control over his voice and that he was just screaming. After listening some more I realize that would be an unfair statement, he has a good, energetic flow and should appeal to any fans of artists like "Sizzla" while still having a style of his own.

I would say the "Mystic Vision" camp does a great job producing, the sound on here is more scaled down than on their own albums and it allows "Ancient King" and his vocals to be in focus. Skipping ahead a track we come to "Jah speak" featuring singing from John Bento. It's the most melodic on here and could just as well have been a "Mystic Vision" song with a feature from "Ancient King" as vice versa. It's one of my favorites on here and the two acts complements each other very well.

The title track "Judgement" is a rowdy, scaled back digital sounding song where "Ancient King" pass judgement on the "Roman Catholic" church and all who do their works. Besides his chanting i'd say the drums and bass is the most dominant features on here and it would work perfect ina sweaty dancehall with bodies in motion. It's not my favorite on here. All albums have to feature a dedication to weed of high quality, "High grade time" is the weed anthem of choice on here and it's a good song, a lil bit more melodic and less rowdy (to be honest, i rather go less rowdy but htat's just a personal preference).

On a more "hip-hop" vibe is the next song, "Full time shotta fe satta" who is a warning to all bad men out there who rather let their gun talk for them than anything else. It's a nice track which ad some versatility to the album and while i would probably be bored with a album full of these kinda tracks i welcome it. Last up on here is "What make them judge him for" where he's back in full force with a very rootsy finish to the album. I must say i absolutely enjoyed the album, i very much enjoy chanters/singjay's and always welcome albums with these kinda artists in my collection.

Like i said before, he's kinda rowdy in his delivery and those who prefer the calmer and more singing style of, let's say "Lutan Fyah" should be aware of that. This is not to say he is bad in any way, shape or form though. Personally i wouldn't say he's up there with the best but he does not come to far behind and this is a good album well worth buying even though it's no mind blowing,"must have" classic.

February 24, 2011

Toots & the Maytals - Reggae got Soul

Finaly, iv'e seen the "Toots & The Maytals" documentary from BBC after some delays (i got stuck watching this silly Swedish street gang documentary) and im ready to give y'all a rundown on whether it's good or not. I was slightly disappointed after "Reggae Britannia" as it did not satisfy my apetite for details and coverage of obscure acts & anecdotes.

Let's start this review with saying that this is a much better documentary than the previous "Reggae Britannia" and i definitely liked it. I guess you could say it is loosely based on the time-line approach to documentaries, it kinda starts from the beginning but it's not strictly from point A to point B to point C and so on, we get a multitude of interviews and input from folks close to Toots as well as other musicians who admire him and music industry fans in general. This is a very loving documentary and no one has one single negative word to say about him.

I gotta admit, i don't claim myself as the biggest Toots fan in the world, I do like him and his music, got some of his songs on compilations but I've never been one of the huge fans. This documentary kinda reveals that Toots have played a bigger part in my Reggae fandom than i was aware of, I've been enjoying far more of his music than I thought i did. That's the major thing this documentary did for me, making me realize how much i dig his music.

There's plenty of interviews with big names such as Marcia Griffiths, Eric Clapton,Keith Richards, Ziggy Marley, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Cliff, Sly & Robbie and of course Toots Hibberts himself. There's been talk about how a generation of classic Reggae artists are dying of so it was nice to see how healthy and young some of these folks look. Toots was in good shape, so was Jimmy Cliff and i can't believe how Marcia Griffiths just keep looking better the older she gets. Im sure she's in her 60ies by now but she's still hot (in a classy way). It was kinda funny seing this guy Wayne Jobson who looks like a long lost member from Aerosmith but who speaks with a mild but obvious Jamaican accent (shows how diverse the population of Jamaica really is)

BBC certainly got it right this time around, it's not the ultimate "single artist" music documentary (like i think "Stepping Razor" is) but there's plenty to like about "Reggae got soul". There's so many legendary artists in Jamaica that deserves their own documentaries, im glad that we can cross out "Toots Hibbert" from the list. Now someone needs to do one on "Burning Spear" before it's too late.

Hopefully this documentary will result in plenty of album sales for Toots and an re-assurance that he is still valid as an artist. This documentary shows that he's very much still active and it seem as if he does good music and isn't only living of of past merits. I will have to buy me some of his releases in the future. Well, im sure there will be plenty of places online to download this from, i got mine at "Uk-Nova" (as always when it comes to British television.).

February 20, 2011

Chris Boomer - I am who I am

Im back with a new album review, im taking a brief break from "Mystic Vision" related material (i'll be back with em in my next review) and i just got the new "Toots & The Maytals" documentary from BBC that is waiting to be reviewed, stay tuned for plenty of interesting stuff on this blog int he future. But let's get started........

This guy from Guam was discovered by SOJA's front-man Jacob Hemphill while they where touring the island and an instant friendship started to bloom. They've written songs together and this EP is Boomers first release. To my knowledge it's only available as an digital release but for those who are into melodic roots reggae (conscious, yes but not necessarily Rasta) this should be a very interesting release.

This is a very melodic and well produced album, Chris Boomer goes for real instruments all the way and is not the kind of artist who relies on Riddims used by others (not saying that is wrong though) and goes for originality and an organic sound. In interviews he states Lucky Dube as an influence and you can def. hear that in his sound, or an African reggae vibe in general. One thing is for sure, Mr.Boomer is not from Jamaica and he sounds nothing like any Reggae coming from there (you decide for yourself whether that is good or bad).

Anyways, things start with "I am who I am" (which bear no relation or resemblance to the Peter Tosh tune "I am that i am") which is about Babylons oppression and how who he is and where he's at has nothing to do with his oppressor. I'd say that this opening track is the best song on the album, it's very relaxed but whit an energy that make u wanna get up and do something, the lyrics are inspiring.

The 3rd song is a love-song, "I know how" it's a really beautiful song who pulls quite an emotional punch about how he is totally lost without his lover. I somehow feels that this would be a very good song for an romantic movie, like the part when the 2 characters are separated and longs for each others. This might be roots reggae but not without a strong pop-music vibe to it. I would not be surprised if his music will find it's way beyond the "reggae-nerd" circuit i belong to.

Another high point on this album is "Bossman" about who is really running things in this system and how you may be more in charge than what you think you are. Chris Boomers songs are clever, philosophical and with quite an empowering message to boot. This song is a prime example of all that and very mellow as well. He get his message across without feeling to threatening or preachy. Things end with the acoustic "Can't stop me" who has an "Redemption song" feel to it and continues with the socially conscious theme of the previous songs where Chris Boomer tells us how he can't be controlled or stopped by Babylon.

Well, i very much enjoyed this album and im somewhat surprised i did as it at times felt very much like an intelligent pop album. Chris Boomers music has an mass-appeal that i usually think is very unappealing but he somehow pulls it of, i would not be surprised if he somewhere along in his career will have a huge cross-over hit. His voice reminds me a little bit of Bob Marley but as i said earlier, there's nothing Jamaican about his music and those wanting that element in their Reggae can forget about this album. There's nothing more to say really, i thoroughly enjoyed this album.

February 18, 2011

Is Buju innocent?

I read a piece on the re-trial of Buju Banton that was published by "Jamaica Observer" and it's very hard to make up your mind on what to think of things. Buju admits that he "talked the talk" and posed as a drug-dealer. They have him on camera when he tastes cocaine from a knife, Buju claims he was just goin along with things, kept up with the act and that he was scared of his life.

Judging from personal experience i know that he could very well tell the truth. One night (many years ago) i was approached by 2 junkies, felt very uneasy and pretended to be one myself just to get away from the situation. Then again, Buju boasted and claimed he was a bigtime drug-dealer on an airplane, where there was no danger.

We are talking bout a guy whit a very spiritual image, who sings bout justice and the hardships of the poor and who has a very successful career. The way i see it he's either guilty and a scumbag or immature whit some character flaws. I really want to believe he's innocent as he's from an artist point of view one of the best "modern" reggae artists ever with a slew of amazing albums behind him but i just don't know.....

Even his character wittnesses (Morgan Heritage & co.) admits he does a lot of talking but claims he's no drug-dealer. Should someone who either is or runs around and pretends he's a bigtime drug-dealer go into a studio and record all these spiritual and philosophical songs? While admitting to his genious i dunno if i will ever look at Buju in the same light again, regardless of his guilt or not......

February 16, 2011

low-budget titles, dont fear them....

I just got a big, big package from "Ernie B Reggae" with about 40 cd's, except for 4-5 of them that where $1.49 they where all like $1.00 or even below. Many of them where from artists i have not heard too much about and yeah, i took a risk buying blindly like that but it paid of surprisingly often. With the business in turmoil there's some great deals to be made if you're adventurous and dare to buy unknown artists.

Most albums where quite amazing if you consider what i paid for them and some would have been a good purchase even at "full price". I recommenced y'all to do the same, go to their bargain section and just order away, get anything that's cheap, no matter whether you know how it sounds or have heard about them. It's very enjoyable to get a huge package with an overwhelming amount of new albums to check out and more often than not they turn out to have at least 1 song that made it worth buying.

Believe it or not, "Ernie B" did not pay me to post this, this post is not a part of some sorta clever marketing scheme. If y'all wait some im sure y'all get to read my "buy full priced albums to keep the genre alive" post also, love to contradict myself (lol).

February 14, 2011

Reggae Britannia

It finally aired, iv'e been looking forward to see this ever since it was announced that my favorite station where to air this newly produced documentary on Reggae in the UK. Rarely have my expectations been so high, would this beat outstanding documentaries like "Reggae in Babylon" and "Aquarious" ? It's good enough but im afraid i got a bit disappointing. This was not made for "reggae-nerds" like me and deals with how Reggae affected British society at large rather than feature as many anecdotes from as many artists as possible.

It has Dennis Bovel, folks from "Aswad" and "Steel Pulse" along with brief segments from Tippa Irie and Asher Senator but totally leaves out much of the current artists and super important folks like Jah Shaka or Mad Professor. The parts on "lovers rock" are bigtime disappointments as it does not feature any of the big names like "Peter Hunningale" or "Bitty McLean" but just a few female acts from the 70ies and 80ies.
It also features Chris Blackwell who started Island records but as there was a show strictly about him not too long ago it feels like repetition.

The same goes for the part about the UK ska revival, it's interesting and i do like some of the songs/groups but they got their own show as well. I think UB40 sucks but knowing how big they got i guess they had to feature them on here, too bad they skipped out on all good white reggae/dancehall acts that's from the UK. And talking about UK dub and leaving out "Alpha & Omega" and the whole steppers scene, that should border on criminal negligence (lol).

I guess this would appeal more to someone with a big interest in music in general who would like to get a overview of British reggae and what the genre has meant to the UK rather than someone who lives and breathes Reggae on a daily basis. Still, i rather have this flawed documentary than none at all and there are interesting parts in it. Worth watching but not as impressive and "all inclusive" as i had hoped. Now im awaiting the "Toots & The Maytals" documentary that is to come, let's hope tha one will be better. Can be downloaded from torrent sites like "UK nova", im not going to upload it here this time.

February 9, 2011

Andres - Monsoon kiva

Been jamming "Mystic Vision" and affiliated artists like crazy lately, it's amazing they have managed to stay so unknown with all the material they have out. It's not just quantity either, they got some production values. One of their producers and band members is Andres "Draezey" Estrada who has 3 solo albums out as well as tons of music produced for others. I believe this is his first album and it stretches back to 2007. Anyone who enjoys his efforts in "Mystic Vision" will enjoy this album.

It starts in a no-nonsense way with " Jah live" who has a strong acoustic presence and lyrics about how everything relates back to Jah who gives everything living power, humans as well as animals and plants. While definitely being RASTA all the way i have always felt that the members of "Mystic Vision" has a strong "new age" feel to them and their music and this is a perfect example of that as it features elements of nature worshiping and ties it together with more traditional Rastafarian subjects like Haile Selassie I, the power of Jah etc... It's a very solid and powerful song with amazing production.

As so often with artists I like but who's music is unobtainable for me i keep on checking their Myspace pages and listen to them from there. Song 3, "Send me away" is prob. the first song that made me open my eyes to this collective of artists. There's a video to this song on "Youtube" that impressed me big time and im happy to finally have it on CD. It's not as directly about returning to Africa as one may think but more about escaping all the bad stuff in the world, it's a slow meditative song as well as being really catchy but i feel as if the version on here is very short compared to what i remember from the video which seem to no longer be online.

Three songs further in is "Intention", a deeply personal song about some sort of relationship where Andres did not keep in touch the way he should have and here he let whoever know how sorry he is for it. Nice that he ads an song about relations to break things up and ad some variety to the material, as far as backing/melody goes it's still in the same nature as many of the other songs on here which is not a problem. "Lion and the lamb" with the rapper"Jam-One" (who does not have the usual NM gangsta swagger) is a bit faster and upbeat than the other and is about the struggle Hispanic people go thru in United States, it's more of an political song than spiritual. Other features on here is from the inimitable Vaughn Benjamin on "Build love" and a few others (incl. band-member John Bento). As usual I've excluded a number of songs in this review to not make it too long but all songs on here are winners, this is a "no skipping required" cd.

There is no doubt that this is another hit from the "Mystic Vision" camp an it features their own brand of spirituality and RastafarI along with personal reflections from Andres. I like his voice and it kinda reminds me of John Bento's in that it's kinda fragile and sensitive sounding while still being very original. There is plenty of "real" instruments on here, guitar solos, drums etc... It's refreshing with an artist who actually is a songwriter and don't relies on other producers riddims (although i like plenty of "riddim riding" artists). Quality all the way and very recommended.

February 4, 2011

Releases you should check out

As y'all know Reggae dont get the attention it should in regular media and that makes it very easy to miss out on interesting artists and releases. To prevent this from happening i decided to compile a lil something about some lesser known, fairly recent albums u should def. take a second look at. Don't consider this a review as im far to brief in my rundown for that. My original plan where to create a playlist for each and every album but due to some error in either divshare or blogspot i could not have multiple playlists in 1 post. That's why i had to include all samples for these releases into one playlist at the end.

Mighty Howard - Jah soldier

This colorado/new york raised artist is nowadays settled in Germany where he has been recording for some time now. To my knowledge this is his first release, downloadable from digital distributor Juno. Y'all who like traditional rootsreggae with a contemporary, modern flair to it will certainly enjoy this album and i look forward to hear more from him.
I-Taweh - Overload

It's easy to forgett about Jamaica (wow, can't believe i actualy wrote that) with so much amazing material coming from all over the world nowadays but the fire is still burning strong in our beloved genres birthplace. Wanna know more bout him? His website is very good and informative, except for missing a webshop this is how all artists sites should be, not half-assed and poorly updated. This album has strong production values, plenty of live instruments and I-Taweh sure is not one to compete in the "riddim race", i could only hear exclusive, original productions on here. A must for all of y'all oldschool Roots fans.

Zion - Stricktly roots

The oldschool sounding Rootsreggae is alive and well, this Dominican islands imigrant currently settled in USA goes for the Bob Marley type of sound without being an copycat artist (Bob Marley wannabes bore me) and manages to impress me quite a bit. The release is of high quality with a very imformative cd-booklet.

Spiritual - My world
Wow, more brand new & fresh oldschool roots vibes from Jamaica, this guy knows what he's doin and sounds kinda like an slightly more mellancholic verision of Culture or perhaps Burning Spear. I don't think this will dissapoint anyone who it's intended to please. Just a shame it's a download only release, still..... WAY TO GO.

January 30, 2011

A detail from the new logo

Some of the details of the logo just ain't coming out when shrinking it down to fit the page, I just wanted to share this with y'all.

Mystic Vision - Living in troubled times

Hopefully y'all ain't getting tired of seeing the results of my superlative addiction and nerdy fanboy behavior spiced with regional favoritism (im always one to support the acts near me as long as they show even a small grain of promise). If you are i suggest you pass on this new "Mystic Vision" review (and blog in general). You may not have heard of these guys before but they have been active for some time now, producing others as well as several of their own album on their label "Fullgrown Records".

They hail from the middle of nowhere, more precisely Tijeras in New Mexico, a US state not known for all that many things, esp. not reggae. Unless u feel comfortable buying digital tracks their music aint easy to obtain and for years i had no idea they even existed. But they do and their new release "Living in troubled times" proves that what NM reggae may not have in quantity they make up for in quality, i really like this album. First song is "Cut throat", an virulently catchy song that have managed to get stuck in my head with the intention to stay there. Those who suffer from the afflictions of blind patriotism may be so put of that they scrap "Mystic Vision" completely (if you think "Michael Moore" has betrayed his country you may be one of those). The song is very critical to the politics of United States ("them a cut throat and kill I if they could, cause them a cut throat cause that's the way of the US of A") Regardless of whether you agree with the lyrical content, this is an AMAZING song, John Bento has an fragile, sensitive quality to his voice that I absolutely love and it works well for the spiritual/philosophical nature of this track.

Two songs further into the album comes "Jah is real", they have added a subtle "autotune" effect to parts of the singing and usualy i don't like it but here it works and complements the singing. It's also a smooth and spiritual track about how and why Jah is real. They do liven things up and raises the tempo a bit towards the end of the album though whit songs like "It's strange" who features some rapping over a melodic track with electric guitars and live instrumentation. This is a carefully produced album whit great musicianship and a mix of (what sounds like) digital and more organic instrumentation. The song before the last track, "War on the people" is another of my favorites on here and is also featured on the latest "Draezy" album. It's clear that "Mystic Vision" has done some serious reasoning on the state of mankind and would like to share their conclusions to their listeners, it's a very interesting and great sounding track.

It will come as no big surprise that im enjoying this album a lot and i like Mystic Vision's compromiseless and serious attitude to music. They are clearly on a mission and will do music the way they think it should be done. This does not mean they are immune to being influenced by what goes on. It's a modern and contemporary sounding album but "Mystic Vision" chooses their influences and how to apply it to their sound without selling out. We need more artists/acts making music from this perspective. A great album well worth buying.

January 28, 2011

music samples on the blog

I will start including a few tunes with each review. Im still confident to not be a pirate blog so these samples will be in low quality and only streamable. I wanna stay friendly with artists and labels. Starting from today i will look at all previous posts and try to ad a few samples to em, if any artist or label has issues with it, let me know and i will remove the tunes.

New Alpheus coming soon

A new album from Brittish Alpheus is coming soon and there's a promo available before it's officialy released. His first album was okay, showed a lot of promise but wasn't amazing, his second album was a lot better and this seems to be absolutely amazing. In a recent interview (whit "United Reggae") he says he's kind afed up with modern reggae so he went back to the good ole days of ska and rocksteady. Well, nuff said, here's a few samples from his soon to be released album, i will certainly get it once it comes out.

January 25, 2011

Mystic Vision

Got a package with releases from Mystic Vision and associated artists today. For those who don't know them they are a deeply spiritual rootsreggae band with ties to Midnite and Benjamin Vaughn. Im very excited and the little iv'e heard sounds great. There will be a heavy Mystic Vision coverage on here in the days and weeks to come. Finaly som New Mexican reggae blastin from my speakers.

Go check their website, it's vastly improved from their old one and you can sign up to download a bunch of free mp3s (sign up and they mail u a link).

Buju Baton practice cover

Sometimes it gets a bit frustrating that i never get's the oportunity to do an real album cover for an decent artist that's not full of bullcrap talking and promises that he never follow thru with (talkin bout graphic designs only) but i keep on practising cause im realy enjoying graphic design although i doubt it will ever make me any money.

Nico D & Amiral P - To the world

I just can't stop being amazed at how international our bellowed genre has become, nowadays you can find great acts from virtually every country on earth. Ad Norway to this list, it's the neighbor country to Sweden (where im from) and if my country has a small scene i would say Norway has an even smaller one. I have relatives there and iv'e visited a few times in the late 80ies so it shouldn't feel to exotic but a Reggae album from there still is. I guess this album would fall under the category "modern roots/dancehall".

I would definetly say this duo pulls some punches on this release, it's a quality production, very current but firmly rooted in the long tradition of of rootsreggae. They seem to be a bit heavy into "autotune" but distort the voices very lightly so it does not distract. First up is "Eyes wide open" an open call to all in the struggle to keep things positive no matter how hard things seem. It's done over a very smooth backing track, a very high qualty production and a great start to the album. Im impressed so far and the second song, "Woman of creation" does not let me down either. It's an ode to all positive women and a sorta mix between a roots and a lovers song with some great chanting and singing over another great production. Track 5, "Say it ain't so" is an realy amazing love song with a very rootsy feel to it and with a great trumpet (or trombone) melody loop in it.
If my sources are correct song 6, "Spinnvill" done in Norwegian was quite a hit and has quite an retro vibe to it, kinda like a "Peckings" production or something like that. Im a huge fan of these retro tracks with a modern twist and this is a great song, i wanna hear more songs like this from "Nico D & Admiral P". As far as lyrical content it's an love-song and im much pleased that i actually understand most of it. Right up after it is the "English" version of the same song, "Woman of my dreams", also great. The local vibes continue on "idiot" who is also in Norwegian, im surprised at how good it sounds as i think Rap in Norwegian often sounds kinda funny.

While not being retro i would say that "Handle the pressure" is another great song, rootsy and uplifting with a minor melancholic vibe to it. The heat continues on next song "Neva grow" who delivers more outstanding modern roots with an uplifting message of standing strong and resist the pressures of Babylon. It ends with "Mama", an typical ode to their Moms whit the usual thanks and praises. There's nothing wrong with the song but it feels a bit too formulaic. Still, let's not end this review being too negative cause i really liked this album and was amazed at how great Norwegian Reggae sounds. It may not be the most original group ever, there are other artists who sounds similar but who cares? This sounds very good and polished, kinda in the same style as artists like Norrisman, Jah Mason or Gappy Ranks. Well worth looking up, i look forward to more releases.

January 17, 2011

Bushman-Sings the Bush Doctor

This has been an album that has been advertised as "coming soon" for quite a while now and many have been waiting patiently. It took time to record it and even longer to secure the rights from all copyright holders. Who knows if it would ever have been released if it wasn't for the fact that "Bushman" himself was very passionate about it. But now it's here and im about to review it for y'all. Is it worth getting or just one of many cover albums out there?

Well, personally i have split opinions on covers, they can be great and very welcome if they bring something new to the table but i don't care much for an album where the artist singing tries to sound exactly as the original. No matter how much i love Bob Marley other artists who does his songs and tries to sound just like him bores me to death. So with this in mind i guess an album full of Peter Tosh covers will have a hard time winning me over.

First on my agenda where to see if my own Tosh favorite "I am that i am" was on here and im sad to say that it wasn't. There's some big and great songs on here though so im not going to hold that against the album, we all have different favorites i guess. Some of the songs on here is "Stepping razor", "legalize it" and another of my favorites "Mama Africa" ft. Buju Banton along with a few more tracks. Usually i comment on a bunch of individual songs in my reviews but im going to skip that here. Everyone knows how these songs sound and Bushman didn't go for the "modernizing-old-classics" route on this album. They sound very much like the Tosh originals did and i feel everything already has been said about them.

If you will enjoy this album depends on what u demand out of a cover, do you want the artist singing them to interpret the songs his way and bring something new to the table? Well, don't bother with this album then. If all you need is an well made album and you like "Bushman" and "Peter Tosh"? Go and get the album as soon as you can, the production is flawless and anyone who says anything else is out their mind. The quality is crystal clear, live instruments and great vocals from "Bushman". So whether you will like it depends on your own preferences, this is a high quality release (but in my opinion slightly pointless).

January 16, 2011

Jah Turban - Africa is our home

Im not one to jump any bandwagons and enjoying the latest just to belong to the in-crowd but that's not to say im beyond influence. If i hear about an artist over and over again and he or she is compared to someone i really dig i will most likely check that said artist out. This is what happened with "Jah Turban", an Jamaican chanter/singjay who migrated to Denmark (of all places).

When he was compared to one of my alltime favourites "Lutan Fyah" i had to see what all the fuss was about and why he pops up on blogs and sites all over Internet. I  checked out his video "Babylon Doom" on youtube and was hooked, i see the similarities in the comparisons and understands the hype, he's just simply GREAT! Unf. he don't have any CD out, this digital EP is all we have to satisfy our apetite with. Things start with "Babylon doom", an incredible uptempo Roots anthem where Turban predicts the fall of Babylon and enthusiasticaly cheers it on. It's very catchy and the similarities with "Lutan Fyah" are at their most obvious here. Saying that he's one of these copycat artist all popular Reggae artist have would be unfair though. I would guess Lutan is more of an strong influence than someone "Jah Turban" is trying to copy. He follows up the first track with "Mystics of Jah", an ode to the greatness of god, a good uptempo roots song but kinda fades a bit in comparision to the first one.

The title track "Africa is our home" is another great song and the perfect summer track, it's easy to listen to without being dumbed down and get u in a good mood. On a slightly more melancholic vibe is "Move vampire" about all bad men and how they are enemys to the Bobo man. It's not realy all that depressive and with a slow tempo but still the most mellancholic out of the six songs on here. Well, so what's the verdict? 6 songs doesn't satisfy my apetite, this is an artist i very much enjoy and i would love to see him dro an full-lenght album and do so the oldfashioned way, no digital releases. They are okay but i don't like to spend money on something which is not a physical product, i guess im oldfashioned like that. Keep your eyes and ears open, im sure we are going to see big things from "Jah Turban" in the future.

January 11, 2011

interesting news from BBC

Found this online a few days ago, nowadays you can download anything online and particularly Brittish tv, courtesy of the amazing torrent site "UK-Nova" so this should be of international interest.

"BBC Four today announced that it will celebrate reggae’s impact on British music, culture and society with four exciting new programmes on Friday 11 and Friday 18 February. The channel will spotlight some of the genre’s most influential and greatest artists with two new documentaries, Reggae Britannia and Toots And The Maytals – Reggae Got Soul, a specially filmed Reggae Britannia At The Barbican concert and Reggae At The BBC, a choice compilation showcasing a range of archive content.

Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, BBC Music and Events, says: “In the great tradition of BBC Four musical treats, we are delighted to be celebrating UK Reggae with two new documentaries, a special Barbican concert and a host of treasures from the BBC archive.” Kicking off on 11 February at 9pm, and continuing the highly successful and critically acclaimed Britannia series for BBC Four, Reggae Britannia explores and celebrates the impact of reggae on British music and culture from the Sixties through to the mid-Eighties. The documentary delves into the world of reggae, examining everything from the music, the bass lines and the spliff, to black kids speaking brummie or cockney, the romance of Jamaica and the smell of British streets in the Seventies.

Travelling through the years, the programme talks to the performers who brought their music to the UK from Jamaica, discusses how reggae helped forge Rock Against Racism, showcases the New Wave bands of the Eighties who were influenced by the genre and explores how the genre became a part of the British mainstream my the mid-Eighties.

Directed by Jeremy Marre, the programme hears from Jerry Dammers and Neville Staple of The Specials, Dennis Bovell, Chris Blackwell, UB40, Paul Weller, Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson, Dennis Alcapone, Boy George and many more. A special Reggae Britannia At The Barbican concert will be held in London on Saturday 5 February. The broadcast of the concert will follow the documentary at 10.30pm.
From Ska, through Rocksteady, Roots, Dub and Lovers Rock, it promises to be an evening of hits from the Sixties through to the present day. Featuring some of the most important Reggae musicians in the British scene, the programme will see performances from Dennis Alcapone and Winston Reedy, Dennis Bovell, Dave Barker, Pauline Black, Ali Campbell, Ken Boothe and many more.

The channel will serve up its second helping of programming on Friday 18 February, spotlighting a reggae legend in the new documentary Toots And The Maytals – Reggae Got Soul, at 9pm. This never-before-told story from one of Jamaica’s most influential artists features intimate performances from Toots and some hand-picked musicians, rare archive from throughout his career and interviews with Toots himself, contemporaries and well-known fans. From his beginnings as a singer in a Jamaican church choir to the universally-praised Grammy award-winning artist of today, this film tells the story of one of music’s true greats and features contributions from Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Cliff, Willie Nelson, Paolo Nutini, Bonnie Raitt, Marcia Griffiths and many more. Following the documentary, Reggae At The BBC will showcase a choice archive of great reggae performances filmed at the BBC Studios. Ranging from Top Of The Pops, Old Grey Whistle Test and Later… With Jools Holland, the programme will feature classic performances from artists including Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Prince Buster, Dennis Brown and many more."

Info taken from

Issiah Mentor - Rasta government

The first time i heard of "Issiah Mentor" was when he was going to have an concert in "Santa Fe" where i was living a copula of years ago. Regrettably I could not afford going, i have not been to a reggae concert in ages (and i miss it). Since then I've been visiting his myspace page regularly (as always with artists i like who has no releases out) and come to appreciate his music a lot. While being unknown to most he's no newcomer, he started out as "Lily Melodie" in the 80ies and did some very current sounding dancehall music.

Since then he has converted to RastafarI, changed name to "Issiah Mentor" and did finaly release his first album, "Rasta goverment" wich i'm reviewing here. It's to my understanding that he took a break from music for some years before this transformation into "Issiah Mentor". This album often has an 80'ies roots/dancehall vibe to it. Things start with "One love" a song wich kinda personifies my previous statement, it's a good uptempo dancehall cut with a hint of melancholy. It's good, catchy and easy to like and kinda set the tone for the album. If you like this song you will love the album, if not just move on to another cd. Next is "Fist class" with "Turbulence", it's more uptempo dancehall with a rootsy feel to it, not bad but not a favourite either.

Skip ahead one song and we come to the titletrack, "Rasta goverment" wich is the best song on the whole cd, i absolutely love it. It reminds me a lil bit about the first track but is way, way better. The riddim is kinda simple and repetitive but ohh so good and proves that sometimes less realy is more. Issiah absolutely kills things vocaly and lyricaly. It's about how Rasta forces needs to take over the government and change everything that is wrong. This is the kinda song u can put on repeat and listen to 10 times over. The next song,"Cry Africa" sounds very diferent, less Reggae and more contemporary Pop. It's not bad but i doubt that the peopole buying this album will be very interested in it.

A few songs further in the album we find "Save me now Jah", a song from the perspective of a "Shotta" (Jamaican gangsta) and how he finaly realises the wrongs of his ways and how he can't go on like how he has. I dunno if it's autobiographical or not but it's an amazing and moving song which shows "Issiah Mentor" in his very best light. There's a few songs on this album who feels as if they are kinda an atempt to create a crossover hit. The only one of these i realy like is "Show them father" where he has managed to scale down the reggae vibes without loosing any of his apeal.

There is a few songs on here i don't care for that much, "Issiah Mentor" sounds the best when he doesn't try to update his sound. When he goes for a more R&B/Pop sound he fails to captivate me (most of the time). However, out of the album wich contain 16 songs there is just 3 or 4 songs im not feeling that much. That still leaves me with about 12 songs of high quality Reggae and 1 super great song. Once the math is done id say that the few minor distractions does not change the fact that this is a great album. Fans of late 80ies-early 90ies roots/dancehall will not be disapointed.

January 7, 2011

Mister Kali-Step fast

There is a fair share of New Mexican rappers out there (even though most unf. couldn't care less bout distribution & promotion) but Reggae acts from here? I'm afraid this state is a bit to backwoods for that really, there is Mystic Vision who i have contacted twice about buying albums from but have not heard anything from. There is "Native Roots", a native American band im not sure is still active and then there's Mr.Kali from Santa Fe.

Iv'e been listening to his songs on his myspace page for years, eagerly awaiting the promissed debute who never seemed to come. Then finaly, while browsing new releases on i found it and ordered it almost emediately. It can be found on Vp Records online store and as well (can't believe it, an NM artist who actualy bothers to make his release easily available).

Mr.Kali belongs to the dancehall/ragga sub-category of Reggae while also being a Rasta who incorporates his religious beliefs in his music. So yeah, this can be considered roots-reggae if you belong to those who like to place your music in a genre/sub-genre name ( I, myself belong to the later crowd). With that being said, it's a modern sounding album with plenty of references to urban music & hip-hop. If you want a Roots album the way they where made in the 70 ies this album will dissapoint you.

Anyways, the first song, after the intro "Psalm one" with it's Nyahbinghi drums and melodica is "No escape" dealing with all the injustice goin on in Babylon and how there's ultimately no escape from god's judgement so you better get your act together. It's a faster kinda track (but not a rowdy one) that would work perfect for the dancehall while still being smarte nough to dig into while being at home. On a slower tempo is the third song, "Love is my armour" ft. "Draezy", one of my favourites on here. It's basicaly about how love is the answer to things and how it can protect you from a whole lota bad stuff. Realy like this one and the singer compliment Kali's toasting realy well.

More hype, energetic vibes are presented on song 5, "Don't panic" who is considerably faster and dancehall oriented while keeping the serious, deep lyrical content of the previous songs. I would say this is one of the albums strengths, the songs work on an intellectual level as well as on a "let's get crunk", danceable way. The listener can choose whether it want to analyze the songs or just go with the vibes. Another great song is "I love jah" wich serves us more fast, danceable vibes with a "rub-a-dub" taste to it. Lyricaly it probably comes as no surprise that it's about glorifying god and Haile Selassie I. Other good songs is the love song "Lovin, lovin" ft. "Sgt.Remo" who showcases Kali's softer side and is a pasionate ode' to the woman of his dreams or the faster tempoed "Vampires" about enemies of RastafarI.

Over all this is a very good debut album showing you can make a highly modern and urban album without straying from the roots. You can jam this for the grooves alone or choose if you wanna digest it on a more intelectual level as well. There is no well known features on this album, the collaborations is with unknown artist but they all do good and complements Mr.Kali rather than takes away focus from him. As long as you don't demand your Reggae to sound too oldtimey and retro you should be pleased with this album.