Travail d'Artiste
Daddy Mory
Dainty Records
CD / Digital Release
April 7, 2016

Track list
  1. Travail D'Artiste
  2. Les Gunz Tuent
  3. Parabole
  4. Ici C'est Paris
  5. Roots Reality & Culture
  6. Deux Chemins feat. Masicka
  7. Ready Fi Di Party
  8. Interlude Backa Backa
  9. Mauvaise Reputation feat. Sumerr
  10. Parti Trop Tot
  11. Wine Mi Gyal
  12. Good Ova Evil
  13. Le Remede
  14. Je Suis Malien
  15. Imagine
  16. Ma Force
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Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Even though he has released two solo albums, "Ma Voix Résonne" (Sony BMG Music, 2003) and "Reality" (Downyard, 2007), for many fans in and also outside France, the name Daddy Mory is synonymous with Raggasonic. The latter, a French ragga group consisting of Big Red (born Stéphane Joaquim) and Daddy Mory (born Mory Samaké), were discovered after the compilation "Rapattitude" was released in the early 1990s. They signed to the Virgin label in their home country and released two successful albums, Raggasonic (1995) and Raggasonic 2 (1997), both produced by Frenchie. The group broke up in 1998 and both members embarked on a solo career. Raggasonic reunited in 2009 and made a proper reappearance in 2012 on the PIAS label with their "Raggasonic 3" album.

Mory Samaké, who chose his artist name Daddy Mory in honor of Mory Kanté, was born October 27, 1973 in the 14th arrondissement of Paris to a Malian father and a mother from Martinique. Inspired by Jamaican dancehall artists like Papa San and Lieutenant Stichie and the recently passed away Azrock, a French deejay, raggamuffin toaster, dancehall activist from Montreuil, he recorded his first dubplate at the age of 16 for sound veteran Blues Party. His career actually began in the Parisian Sound System scene, where Daddy Mory made himself known to the public. In 1990 he participated in founding the Sundjata Sound System (named after an ancient king of Mali) with Big Daddy, Just Well and Big Red. With the latter he then formed Raggasonic. The rest is history.

Nine years after the release of his last solo album, Daddy Mory returns with a brand new set entitled "Travail d'Artiste" for which he collaborated with producers like Frenchie, Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor, Trevor James and Demolisha. The album opens with the title track, a hard-hitting dancehall tune delivered in real sound system style & fashion, in which Daddy Mory vigorously proclaims his return. The vibrant "Les Gunz Tuent", a song in which he denounces violence in the Caribbean, sees him spitting his lyrics in a even faster style than on the album opener. Much in the same vein is the next track, the previously released single "Parabole", which gained notable attention as it was presented as a clash against a fire breathing deejay from out of Madinina, Martinique named Kalash. Then it's time for "Ici C'est Paris" across TJ Records' "Toasted" riddim from 2013, one of the standouts here. With its simple marching band drum structure, the riddim is strongly reminiscent of early '90s riddims, and Daddy Mory rides it in great style.

After the dancehall madness, things slow down a bit with the solid "Roots Reality Culture" and the wicked "Deux Chemins", which features Masicka. Then Daddy Mory takes us into the party zone with "Ready Fi Di Party", "Mauvaise Reputation", the collaboration with female singer Sumerr, and "Wine Mi Gyal". In between there's the beautiful "Party Trop Tot", one of the album's highlights. The spiritual "Good Ova Evil" comes across a slow-paced haunting riddim and is a solid song with English lyrics. The decent ganja tune "The Remedy" is underpinned by the original riddim of John Holt's classic song "Ali Baba", which was given to Frenchie by Bunny Lee, while "Je Suis Malien" comes across the Frenchie produced "Jah Blessings" riddim, a modern roots riddim with a sound that shines bright throughout. The album is rounded off with the nice "Imagine" and the solid "Ma Force", tunes that go into dancehall territory again.

Overall opinion is that ""Travail d'Artiste" is a quality album from an exciting artist. Even if you don't understand French lyrics, this collection is well worth hearing.