Bass Chalice
10 Ft Ganja Plant
November 24, 2005

Track list
  1. Blood Money
  2. Engine Trouble
  3. Last Dance
  4. Suits and Ski Masks
  5. To Each feat. The Meditations
  6. Burning James
  7. Your Voice
  8. Swedish Prison
  9. Deliver Us Jah
  10. Bass Chalice
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 1
From the interesting ROIR label, who brought us the adrenaline hardcore Bad Brains records in the late 70's -- and more recently, the outstanding Honeychild tracks -- comes this new album from 10 Ft Ganja Plant.

Their band name says it all --

The sound is spacey, tripped out orthodoxy, with touches of rock sensibility in places. It is very very orthodox roots music -- but with a hint of mid 60's Chicago blues in the arrangements and guitar work, and, at points, hints of jazz arrangements. The latter influence works particularly well, and might point to a future direction for the band. (After all, in the UK reggae scene Manasseh made Impulse jazz influences work well with tracks such as "Paper Soldier.")

The band sound like they love making this music -- the whole project comes over, not as an exercise in innovation -- but rather as a dedication to old reggae forms and as a labour of love.

If you enjoy latter day Israel Vibration, late 70's Marley, the Meditations (who feature on this album), and even a touch of Dylan -- then this is an album for you.

The most "out there" track amongst the other very conventional arrangements is the Pharaoh Sanders influenced "Swedish Prison" (three guesses what the composers of this tune are likely to have been in jail in Sweden for ? .) : With its overtones of jazz meets Deadley Headley with a spicing of early African Head Charge, this track adds some heat to the orthodoxy -- It is very satisfying, bringing to mind the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Defunkt and John Lurie. Think Lounge Lizards' "Big Heart", albeit sedated by dub!

"Deliver Us Jah" is convincing Ska /early Gladiators/ Coxsonne period Marley, with 10 Ft Ganja Plant guitarist and vocalist Ras Jay taking vocal duties.

Some listeners will find this album far too conventional composition wise -- and sure, it doesn't take any chances throughout, besides the aforementioned dubjazz workout -- but people probably won't be buying this album to hear edgy, aggressive and out there tunes, but rather these tracks seem directed at an audience that already knows very well what it likes.

Now, the only question to urgently ask ROIR is: when is the Honeychild album going to be released?

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