Tramplin' Down Babylon
Ini Kamoze
9 Sound Clik
Digital Release
May 5, 2016

Track list
  1. Hill And Gully Ride
  2. They Don't Know
  3. Trample
  4. Goodness And Mercy feat. Sizzla
  5. Hardware
  6. Jah Never Fail I
  7. One A Dem
  8. Whosoever Get Slay
  9. Good For Nothing
  10. How U Livin'
  11. Hotter This Year (aka Hot Stepper)
  12. Trample feat. Lupa
  13. Hill And Gully Ride (XTM Nation Remix)
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Total votes : 6
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
The late Philip "Fatis" Burrell started his production work in 1984, but it lasted until the 1990s that he was in full swing with his Xterminator label (at first Exterminator), recording and producing gems by artists such as Marcia Griffiths, Cocoa Tea, Beres Hammond, Sugar Minott, Freddie McGregor and Gregory Isaacs. However the most successful artists from his stable were Luciano and Sizzla, who became major figures in the development of modern roots in the 1990s. Philip "Fatis" Burrell's productions were among the best crafted, whether on refreshed vintage riddims or innovative drum-dominated fresh backdrops.

"Fatis" also worked with Ini Kamoze, whose reputation as one of Jamaica's most powerful and original singer/songwriters rests mainly on his number 1 US hit "Here Comes The Hotstepper" and a trio of fine albums for Island Records produced by Sly & Robbie in the mid-1980s. However, despite having recorded nuff tunes for the highly acclaimed Xterminator producer, no full length album was ever released. The reason for that might have been the seven album deal Ini Kamoze signed with Elektra Records in November 1994. It wasn't until 2009, that "Fatis" released a digital 12 track album entitled "Fatis Presents Ini Kamoze". That album featured almost all the songs that now appear on this "Tramplin' Down Babylon" set, although some are newly re-recorded by Ini Kamoze and 9 Sound Clik.

"Tramplin' Down Babylon" takes off with "Hill & Gully Ride", originally produced by Philip "Fatis" Burrell for Xterminator Productions in 1994 on a wicked relick of Horace Andy's "Mr. Bassie" riddim, and in 1997 released again in a remixed version. Not as well known as "World A Reggae" and "Here Comes The Hotstepper", but definitely one of Ini Kamoze's best songs due to a wicked combination of quality production and illuminating lyrics. 2014 saw the release of "Hill & Gully Ride (XTM Nation Remix)", which was produced by "Fatis" Burrell's son Kareem for XTM.Nation and its that version that rounds off this album with great bashment vibes. Also included here is the amazing "They Don't Know", which comes across a revitalized version of Ernest Wilson's late '70s tune "I Know Myself", by "Fatis" also used for smashing cuts of Sizzla, Luciano (in combination with Beres Hammond) and Cocoa Tea in the mid-1990s. Actually the original version of the riddim comes from a Conscious Minds tune called "Something New".

Furthermore the album features two versions of "Trample", a great roots piece that grows on you. Besides the straight vocal version, there's the combination with Lupa, a New York native of Italian heritage known for his rough and roaring style, who lends his talent on the alternate mix of "Trample". Sizzla Kalonji joins Ini Kamoze on a fresh take of the superb "Goodness & Mercy", which was released as a solo cut in 2006. It's followed by "Hardware", a tuff tune originally released as a 7" single in 1991, that samples Wayne Smith's "Under Me Sleng Teng". Then there's the 1995 released "Jah Never Fail I", another huge tune across an echo-laden riddim. From 2000 comes "One A Dem" over the "911" riddim, also known from Sizzla's "Taking Over", Beres Hammond's "Mary Mary" and Cocoa Tea's "Feel The Power". Another strong moment and one of the album's highlights is "Whosoever Get Slay", a tune that creates some wicked vibes. The funky groovin' "Good For Nothing" is a decent effort with crossover appeal, very different to 1995's "How U Living" on a stripped-down relicked version of Alton Ellis' "Can't Stand It" riddim. And, of course, this set can't do without Ini Kamoze's smash hit "Hotter This Year" (originally called "Hot Stepper") from 1990.

Great to finally have an Ini Kamoze album that collects works he did for "Fatis" Burrell, a producer who is heralded as a profound influence on the generation of artists currently in the reggae forefront.