November 15th, Im Keller, Dortmund, Germany... Dr.Ring-Ding, former vocalist of German ska band Dr.Ring-Ding & the Senior Allstars, and currently one of Germany's dancehall dons, is a great entertainer, and this evening he was going to prove it alongside Selector Chris & Marcus Kyah of Rocking Vibes soundsystem. When I arrived at the well attended 'Im Keller' - which stands for 'in the basement' (with the great invitation to come in "Wer nicht lieb ist, kommt im Keller" i.e. "If you are naughty, you'll be sent to the basement") Dr.Ring-Ding was just getting on steam doing "Big Up", the title song of the last album he did with the Senior Allstars, released like all Dr.Ring-Ding & the Senior Allstars albums mentioned in this impression by Grover Records, before doing a tune that always moves the crowd, from the heydays of the Senior Allstars until now, every audience willingly participates in his "Call Di Doctor" from the "Ram Di Dance" album. The next, dancehall as well, selection from "Big Up" is the fine "Fever", and another tune from 1997's "Ram Di Dance" follows, the self-boasting "My Sound" over one of the top dancehall riddims of last and this year (guessing allowed) and once again Richie Senior a.k.a. Dr.Ring-Ding proves he can give it to you deep and rough or sweet and simple. He continues riding some more Sean Paul hit-made riddims, before going into a little speech about being totally stunned by the discovery of there being such a thing as the GBM (German Black Music charts) and then finding out being in it as a 'whitey' with the first 7" only German release ever to achieve that, the Germaican Records release of "Doctor's Darling" the fabulous relick of Gregory Isaacs "Night Nurse" by Germany's top reggae outfit Seeed, of course, with his vocals so close to the original Cool Ruler Gregory Isaacs when he wants it (if you'd close your eyes you'd have a hard time telling who you're hearing), he includes snatches of "Night Nurse".

1) Listening fully concentrated to Jah Tiger and Joseph Blue on the mic.
2) Dr.Ring-Ding selecting with a fellow Münsteraner singing and toasting as Joseph Blue listens and watches.

Next up is one of the true Studio One foundation riddims "Real Rock" for a soundboy adaptation of Willie Williams "Armagideon Time" and then from the 1998 album with the Senior Allstars "Dandimite" "Rudeboy Style" over the same riddim, as well as an audience sing-a-long including not only the for reggae all too familiar 'wooyoos' but "(Wimoweh) The Lion Sleeps Tonight", the Melodians "Rivers Of Babylon" and excerpts from "Das Lied der Schlümpfen". The Rocking Vibes Crew takes over then, to give Dr.Ring-Ding some rest before his return for a second set. They play a very nice bashment selection that keeps the crowd moving. When Dr.Ring-Ding takes the mic for his second set of the night, he continues where he left us, more foundation riddims, starting with "Stalag" where he even raps some anti-gun lyrics with a real hiphop flow. More foundation riddims, more freestyles, very very enjoyable. Doing "Good Times" before getting the (probably most of them ignorant) ladies in the audience to show by the number of their fingers held up in the air their "Pum Pum Size" was funny again, ragga with very slack, yet funny lyrics (also having the man using their smallest finger to show their 'dickie size'. Dr.Ring-Ding delivers the dancehall-mento of "Ruckumbine" in a true dancehall style tonight, including snippets of Seeed & Anthony B's "Waterpumpee" and his own new dancemove "Step In A Shit". A short story about one of collegues, identified by his trademark deep 'Awhoo Awhoo'-wail, meaning D-Flame, advising Richie to record some German lyrics introduces his excellent take on Germaican's "Geisha"-riddim "Vom Vatter".

3) Dr.Ring-Ding fading in and out ready to pull up.
4) Pass the mike pon the righthand side.
5) Dr.Ring-Ding giving the audience '10 reasons to bawl fi him'.

Then it's 3 the hard way, when Dr.Ring-Ding is joined by Jamaicans Jah Tiger and Joseph Blue, and even for a short while 4 the hard way, when a fellow Münsteraner is also passed the mic, but it is Dr.Ring-Ding himself striking the first blow (while selecting and mixing at the same time as well) riding the "Answer"-riddim (in fact named after the tune countering Slim Smith "Never Let Go" by DJ Lone Ranger) giving the audience "10 Reasons Them Bawl For Mi" before doing a tribute to one of his musical heroes, the 'Man In Black' who died this September 21st, Johnny Cash, by doing the legend's 1963 "Ring Of Fire" over the "Answer"-riddim as well. Dr.Ring-Ding entered the German pop charts with this song in 2000 done alongside Münster's rockers H-Blockx. Joseph Blue takes on the "Full Up"-riddim for not only "Pass The Koutchie" but for a rendition of Tracey Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You Tonight" in reggae amongst others covered by Sanchez as well, before Dr.Ring-Ding takes over for some 'Pass Di Dubplate'-lyrics. After a short selection of more "Stalag" the next riddim is the absolute Studio One killer by Lloyd Robinson "Cuss Cuss" on which Jah Tiger drops some freestyles, before being hampered by mike problems, after which he catches up nicely. The last riddim is one of those real bashment riddims, Dr.Ring-Ding riding the "Showtime"-riddim to full effect with some mic-passing to Joseph Blue who renders R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly", before Dr.Ring-Ding thanks the massive and gives over to the Rocking Vibes Crew for another selection of pleasant bashment tunes. Dr.Ring-Ding, ready to embark for a tour - backed by the Germaicans - of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia (check the tour dates on Germaican Records), presents his latest work entitled "Mafia" over the latest Pionear riddim "Typhoon" from Germaican Records. Both on vinyl and for a limited time of one week (writing this November 25th, 2003) as free download on their site!

Text & Photos : Souljah

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