Kingstone - Groove Attack
CD / LP
February 17, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
Born in Manchester (Jamaica) on April 28,
Cardiff Butt, a.k.a. (formerly General) Degree often had to hide as a
child from his strict christian parents in order to get a taste of what
was happening on the airwaves. It was only a few years later in his early
20s, that Degree was hitting those same airwaves with his brilliant
imitation of a grandmother in his first number one hit "Granny" - his
first recording for Main Street producer Danny Browne. "Granny" reigned in
the dances and charts for one year straight, and that humorous vine has
thrived throughout Degree's career and is a component he naturally
possesses. Degree's impressive parade of number one hits continued both at
home and abroad, and lends great credence to the fact that he certainly
does know what he's talking about. Tunes such as "Granny", "Brinks", "Mr
Dweet Nice", "Bodyguard", "Pianist", "Hold Yuh Tonight", "Spark Plug"
and countless others have had fans skanking. Like many of his contemporary
fellow dancehall stars he started to do production works himself (under
the alias Snapple Dapple) and founded his own "Size 8" label.|
And now the in Cologne, Germany based soundsystem and recordlabel Kingstone puts the very nice Degree album "Generally Speaking", giving this in my opinion, despite his never ceasing popularity, underrecorded and underrated DJ a release he truly deserves. Opening this successor of "Yeah Man" is his very entertaining take on Christopher 'Longman' Birch' 'Striptease', "Hot Wata" that is followed by the for his own Size 8-label self-produced (but its riddim also together with Christopher 'Longman' Birch built) soca-ish "Do You Feel Alright?" and the very funny Trevor Bonnick produced tribute to nice round asses like that of (the name-checked) J-Lo "Bumpa To Bumpa". The combination "Dance With U" with great dancehall singer Chico is a perfect tune, which is followed by his fine take on Longman's 'Military' keeping his lyrics in sync with the riddim's name in "Soldier Girl".
And even if Degree goes slack it's never X-rated, but pure humorous, as in his "Willy Wap Wap" where he proclaims over his own 'Poison Gropper'-riddim to his girl to put up yuh foot, put up nuh barrier, cause i'm a bed room lover, not a bed room warrior, before going really serious over Trevor Bonnick's 'Bush Fire'-riddim speaking out against pedophilia in "Cradle Robber". Beres Hammond joins in with his sweet singing in the wonderful "Naw Flex Right" followed by the scorcher "Almighty God" over Frenchie's adaptation of Bob Marley's 'Waiting In Vain'-riddim and the excellent "Non Genuine" over Longman's 'The Return', based on Keith (Rowe) & Tex (Dixon)'s 1967 Derrick Harriott produced all time classic "Stop That Train", that was revived in 1983 for Clint Eastwood & General Saint's chartbusting version, the riddim here features the characteristic guitar lick from a sample from the 1970 take on the riddim by Ike Bennett & the Crystalites "Stop That Man".
"D'Music" rides legendary riddim twins Sly & Robbie's hip-hoppish (yet heavy reggae bass driven) 'Big Up'-riddim to full effect paying tribute to reggae music and the extremely nice "Deh Yah" in which Degree claims so tell Ashanti, Beyonce, Mariah / come round ya fi di real ting ... it deh yah in this fine party tribute to Jamaica is produced by Steven 'Lenky' Marsden over his great 'Bubble Up'-riddim, before Degree delivers more great stuff in "Dutty River" over the by Computer Paul for his Boot Camp Records produced 'Snypa'-riddim and "Have Weh Yu Waan" over Longman's 'Wild 2 Nite'-riddim for Big Yard, the answer version to Macka Diamond & Black-Er's "Bun Him", over the riddim with its striking similarity to the riddim-pattern of Dave Kelly's 1998 'Showtime'-bashment-riddim, even incorporating the 'Hey'-exclamations that were so prominent in it, but the arrangement and added synth-strings and horns make this foremost a Big Yard riddim. "My Fat Thing" is a really swinging almost poppy Richie 'D' Martin production, that is followed by the excellent R&B and latin-tinged combination "Fire Tonight" alongside Richie Stephens, who produced the tune for his Pot Of Gold label. The audio-part of this extremely entertaining (though largely identical to the VP Records "The General") album is closed by General Degree's brilliant answer version to Tanya Stephen's "It's A Pity" over Germaican Records' 'Doctor's Darling' inviting the lady still as "It No Matter" showcasing his wit and timing once more. As an extra the "D'Music & Bumpa To Bumpa" (Video Mix) adds an extra 3 minutes of visual pleasure, especially the "Bumpa To Bumpa" part illustrating magnificent what the tunes is all about. If you don't own "The General" yet, you must buy this album, to hear one of the best underrated and underrecorded DJ to emerge in the early 90s.