AL.TA.FA.AN./Rasta Yard
7" Single
August 29, 2012

Artist & tune

  • Uwe Banton feat. Mikey General - Work / Work Version
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
Although a familiar name in German reggae circles and perhaps also on neighbouring countries, Uwe Banton might need some introduction to reggae fans world wide. Uwe "Banton" Schäfer has been active in reggae music since the mid-eighties, when he started as a deejay (hence the name Banton) riding the popular dancehall riddims of the time. In the early 90s he joined his first band as it became clear that he would find his genre within musical realms of roots reggae music. He later joined a new band called Movements, which consisted of musicians from Jamaica, Africa and Germany. For over 10 years they played authentic roots reggae at the big festivals and in the club circuit.

In 2003 Uwe banton linked up with artist/producer Ganjaman from Berlin, which led to the release of his solo debut album "JAH Roots" on the MKZWO label. In 2009 he released his sophomore album entitled "Rightful Place", which just like his first album was well received. That same year Uwe Banton went to Jamaica with some riddims of Matthias The Dread aka Fyahs in his bag. The latter, a veteran in the German reggae scene, is a great producer but is probably better known as the former percussionist of Gentleman's Far East Band. One of those riddims underpins "Work", Uwe Banton's first single taken from his soon to be released third album entitled "Mental War".

Fyahs used the basic sample of an unreleased track from King Tubby to create a riddim with an original roots sound and heavenly trumpet layers. To complete the production Uwe Banton collaborated with Jamaican singer Mikey General and his Berlin based colleague Ganjaman and AL.TA.FA.AN's Anthony Senior. The final result is a solid tune driven by a modern roots riddim with a groovy touch and subtle hiphop elements. The song literally honours the value of "Work" and is directed to all hard working people and particularly to the Youth: "Work with what you already have, until you can afford what you're wishing for, instead of craving for what you can't have right now."

In all a very entertaining tune -- great to have the "Work Version" too -- that raises expectations for the ""Mental War"" set.