Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Hardcore Reggae
D'Nations
Idlers Corner Records
CD / Digital Release
March 6, 2016

Track list
  1. Trample Bad Mind
  2. Bad Mind Dub
  3. Agony Haffi Gwaan feat. Raggana
  4. Dub Haffi Gwaan
  5. Drop Dead (Jah Line Mix)
  6. Drop Dub
  7. Play Boy (Taxi Mix)
  8. Play Boy Dub
  9. Star Ting
  10. Star Dub
  11. Niceness
  12. Nice Dub
  13. Earth Red
  14. Dub A Run Red
  15. Be With Me
  16. Dub With Me
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Idlers Corner Records is a France based reggae label owned by producer/engineer/riddim maker Marshall Neeko, co-founder of the defunct VI Connection Label, which in 2006 brought the reggae massive the "Sane Kry Riddim" featuring top artists from the USVI on a riddim track created by Russ Disciples. Since 2012 Idlers Corner Records has been producing reggae music, ranging from digital-roots to contemporary roots, with international reggae artists such as Yami Bolo, King Mas, Exco Levi, Niyorah, Pad Anthony, Carl Meeks, Little Kirk, and Avaran.

In 2014 Marshall Neeko released the single "Agony Haffi Gwaan", the first fruit of his collaboration with D'Nations, a Jamaican duo formed by Dervin Dawes and Donald Marshall, who together with singer Anthony Hill formerly formed The Determination, a trio founded in 1979. In the 1980s they also recorded under the name The Mighty Rulers and released a true digital masterpiece with upful lyrics called "Chat Yu Mouth" in 1987. Further recordings followed and in the fall of 2015 the French producer unleashed a full length album by D'Nations entitled "Hardcore Reggae". The latter actually is a Showcase album as each vocal track is followed directly by its dub version.

"Trample Bad Mind", an awesome conscious piece, instantly makes clear that musically the tracks on this album hark back to the late '80s/early '90s, when riddims entirely (or mostly) created by using digital instrumentation was the order of the day. And it turns out that this approach works perfectly well for D'Nations' vocal and lyrical delivery. After the worthy album opener, the listener is treated to wicked remixed versions of "Agony Haffi Gwaan", "Drop Dead" and "Play Boy", which were already featured on their "Agony" cd. However, in terms of quality these new versions exceed the original ones. Listening to these tracks and their dubs, it's striking to hear that Marshall Neeko has succeeded in reproducing the characteristic sounds of producers like Jah Life's Hyman Wright & Percy Chin and Taxi Gang's Sly & Robbie. "Agony Haffi Gwaan", which features a nice deejay part by Lenford Jones aka Raggana, makes a solid impression, while "Drop Dead" - a song about bad intention, evil anger, rejection, or indignation toward someone - is one of the highlights. Other goodies included here are "Niceness", across a reworking of Horace Andy's classic "Skylarking" riddim, and the superb "Earth Red".

In the past few years, three albums of The Determination/D'Nations were released ("Agony" and "Come Let Us Join Hands" being the other two), of which "Hardcore Reggae" is the one not to miss.