Silver Kamel
7" single
June 6, 2005

Artist & tune

  • Deyansa - Holding Onto Life / Riddim Zone - Holding On Dub
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
"I tried so many times and I failed in life -- but I am holding on to life. I've got a long desert to cross, the dust is covering up the path, sometimes I wonder if I will get lost. Now that everyone turned their back on me, I am falling down on my knees -- Still, I am holding onto life (Deyansa/Riddim Zone)."

Tough sentiments from the man Deyansa and Riddim Zone on the excellent Silver Kamel label. This is a powerful roots-struggler's lyric, with an intense sense of stoicism and patience.

Fortunately, Deyansa's vocal style avoids an inane and empty bashment approach -- It also thankfully avoids hoarse and flat J.A. DJ chanting styles, which are to some, unlistenable.

Instead, Deyansa has a style similar to a more restrained Tony Rebel -- Think Tony Rebel's immaculate, poetic wisdom song, "Keep Your Joy Inna Secret Place", albeit with a far more gentle tone.

This is stoic roots poetry, with a taut snare and pummelling bass. The only reservation is the inclusion of a weak keyboard horns line, which sounds dated and reminiscent of UK roots of the mid 90's. There is also a misplaced -- yet thankfully brief -- guitar solo.

Besides these points, it's a strong tune, with an original and courageous lyric.

This is reminiscent of current works out of Disciples studios and works by Dub Judah -- It does though, have the commercial sensibilities of the Ras Ites and "Brutal" era Black Uhuru. The dub is satisfyingly dark with nice snare echoes.

One of the strongest lyrics of 2005, with a pure intention -- It will be interesting to see what Deyansa and label mate Nemo produce next.