June 5, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Luciano - which means the bearer of light - is undeniably an ambassador for Jah, who's always committed to the survival of roots reggae. Since the release of his landmark CD in 1995, "Where There Is Life", he has recorded over 40 albums, many of them being regarded as true roots classics.
Justifiably known to many as The Messenger aka The Messenjah, Luciano, born Jepther Washington McClymont in Davey Town, Jamaica on December 20, 1974, was raised singing in the choir at an Adventist church and as Luciano grew older, he began rocking the mic at local dances and youth clubs. At the age of 17 he made his first recordings for producer Earl Hughes, but it was with Sky High from Mau Mau Productions that he got the opportunity to release his work on an album, although under the name Luciana. After working with Sky High he moved on to Castro Brown's "New Name" label before he teamed up with reggae vet Freddie McGregor, which resulted in the release of an album entitled "Shake It Up Tonight" aka "After All".
However, his real breakthrough came when he met Xterminator label head and producer Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell. It was a series of trend-defying Xterminator singles that pushed his career in the right direction as they made his name and fame grow. It actually resulted in the release of his first Xterminator album "Moving Up". In the years that followed Luciano rose to the top and undoubtedly became one of the major forces in developing modern cultural music. Luciano's association with Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell and musicians like Sly & Robbie, The Firehouse Crew and Dean Fraser played an important role in Luciano's stages of development. Over the years he has become an ambassador for spiritual roots reggae music. This what he has to say:
"I came out of roots and culture as a reggae singer and have proven to people that I can fit into any genre of music. I sing reggae, gospel, roots, I will sing rock too but always keeping my message clean, spiritual and cultural. Over the years I have listened to international artists like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Jim Reeves, all these great brothers so I have learned to appreci-love other works. There are no barriers in music, although I am well known as a reggae culture singer, I have an international message so I cannot leave it just to reggae people. I have to extend it to people of all walks of life."
He's one of those Jamaican artists who likes to team up with non-Jamaican producers and thus keep the reggae light shining all over the world. His latest effort is called "Rub-A-Dub Market", a project with the Austrian production house IrieVibrations Records. They gained fame with albums from Perfect, Sojah and Mark Wonder and producing nice riddims such as 'Work Off' and 'Caribbean'.
The excellent album "Rub-A-Dub Market" features some new songs alongside previous IrieVibrations riddim releases. The track Feeling Good is across the ska flavoured 'Work Off' riddim out of 2008. Elijah Prophet did an awesome version of that riddim called 'Wicked A Fall'. In 2006 IrieVibrations surprised the world with the 'Love Bird' riddim, name given by the tune from Perfect. Here Luciano delivers his version of the riddim called Living My Life. One of the top tunes here is Always Around, which rides the 'Caribbean' riddim.
The album opens very strong with the title track. Both lyrically as well as musically it's an outstanding song. Luciano sings about the loss of spiritual awareness, roots and to much commercialization of rasta. Seems nothing has changed since Jacob 'Killer' Miller sang about 'False Rasta' in the 70s! Hard Road is a great tune about worries and problems one faces: "life is a hard road to travel... but jah is my navigator". The album has nuff nuff good tunes, we couldn't spot a weak tune here. The album closes with the nyahbinghi tune Bun Dem, but don't switch of your player. After a few minutes you'll be treated to the hidden bonustrack, an uplifting combination tune with Konshens and Delus.
Firm and strong roots album from the Messenjah... Check it out!