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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.

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.