He's My Guide
Aqua Livi & Roots Imansion
Track One Records
CD / 2LP
October 20, 2000

Track list
  1. He's My Guide
  2. Mystery Babylon
  3. Free My People
  4. This Is A Warnin
  5. Born To Win
  6. Bless Us
  7. Children Know
  8. Abba Father
  9. Roots, Roots, Roots
  10. Ites, Gold & Green Deh
  11. Blackstarliner
  12. He's My Guide Dub
  13. RootsImansion Dub
  14. Blackstarliner (Meditation Mix)
  15. Children Know (Meditation Mix)
  16. Where Is Life (Meditation Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
From Reading, a town located in the south east of England, comes roots singer, songwriter, musician, arranger and producer Aqua Livi, who is in reggae business for quite some time now. His father's record shop set the foundation for his musical career. By the time Aqua Livi was barely a teenager he was toasting regularly with sound systems around the area and writing his own lyrics. In the early eighties he was a member of Reading's first official roots reggae band Urban Warrior. After Urban Warrior disbanded in 1983 Aqua Livi and two other members set up a new band by the name Roots Dimension. The sound of this new band was enhanced by Aqua's remarkable vocals along with a melodic rhythm guitar. In 1986 Aqua released his first 7" single entitled "Who Is Gonna Try". This tune got such positive response that it was followed by the 10" singles "Uptown" (1987) and "What You Gonna Do About It" (1988) and the 12" single "Straight From The Heart" (1989), the latter recorded in Jamaica with renown musicians/producers Steely & Clevie.

The many recordings that were done in the eighties led to the band's first album release "Bustin Loose" (1989). The album created lots of interest in the band and made things really going. It was also the time that the band relaunched a new name; Aqua Levi & The Roots Imension. Three more singles followed before they released their second album "Come For Your World" (1993). By 1995 the line-up musicians changed - which happened several times before - whilst keeping the tradition they were known for. In 1995-1996 the band returned to the studio and started working on tracks for a new album whenever time permitted them. Around this time Aqua officially changed his name from Aqua Levi to Aqua Livi and Roots Imension to Roots Imansion due to faith and prophecy.

It lasted until the year 2000 before the new album "He's My Guide" was released, but it was definitely worthwhile waiting for as Aqua Livi & the Roots Imanion have delivered an excellent self-produced roots & culture set. Unlikely most UK roots albums this one incorporates a more melodic, accessable sound. The entertaining "He's My Guide" album features 12 vocal and 4 dub/meditation cuts, all well produced and stamped with quality all over. Aqua Livi is an appealing vocalist with a warm and accomplished roots and culture vocal style, who is expertly backed by Roots Imansion. On this album these experienced musicians mainly provide an infectious sound as a fine vehicle for the deliverance of their conscious reggae music. A solid album always makes it hard to point out the standouts, so let's stick to personal favorites : the title track "He's My Guide" (which is also released as a 7" single), "Born To Win", "Bless Us", "Blackstarliner", "Roots, Roots, Roots" and the impressive vocal and lyrical delivery "Where Is Life".