Rootdown Records-Soulfood
November 14, 2005

Track list
  1. Endlich
  2. Gut Gemeint feat. Nosliw
  3. Für Mich Bestimmt
  4. Stark Sein
  5. Verlier Mich
  6. Wein Nicht Mehr
  7. So Lang
  8. Täusch Ich Mich
  9. Ist Es Schon Soweit
  10. Steh Mir Nur Im Weg
  11. Morgens Im Park
  12. Reg Dich Nicht Auf
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3/4
After the two excellent riddim albums "Crystal Woman Riddim Compilation GSA" and "Crystal Woman & Musik Two Riddim Sampler" released recently, Rootdown Records release from their small Cologne, Germany suburb another album of an artist from their own roster, with Maxim's self-titled full album length debut. Although Maxim like many other German reggae artists also has something of a hiphop background, his reggae seems to be less rooted in those hip hop roots and (thus) less dancehall inspired, in fact much more created from a singer-songwriter's attitude. He impressed the first time I heard him on "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1" with "Energie" over Teka's 'Coming'-riddim and "Paradies" over the 'Shimma'-riddim. His smooth vocals are backed by an almost jazzy bassline transcending into a one drop for the beautiful lovers tune "Endlich" habe ich meine Angst überwunden / endlich habe ich mich getraut / endlich habe ich ihr gesagt was ich fühle / endlich ist es raus with nice saxophone and hammond accents, in a riddim that is, contrary to the usual Rootdown productions, not just composed by Teka, but by Maxim himself as well, and that applies to more of the Rootdown tracks on this album. The great 'the girl is mine'-combination "Gut Gemeint" with Nosliw over the Sam Gilly built Bassrunner's 'Burning'-riddim is next, followed by "Für Mich Bestimmt", the first tune that is going to be released as a single from this album, a beautiful tune starting out in one drop style, but near the end becoming a great uptempo stomping ska love tune, certainly having the potential to storm the German pop charts. "Stark Sein" and "Ich Verlier Mich" are both superb slow ballads over by Rootdown's in house producer Teka composed acoustic riddims, followed by the excellent "Wein Nicht Mehr" is a beautiful comforting lovers tune over Rootdown's 'Musik'-riddim, that was (of course) also included on the "Two Riddim Sampler" and the strong anti-establishment tune "Solang" over Ganjaman''s 'Too Long'-riddim, originally scheduled as a one-riddim-album, but now released as a series of 7"s that haven't unfortunately been collected on album yet. "Täusch Ich Mich" is Maxim's (on the "Crystal Woman Riddim Compilation GSA") great take on Rootdown's excellent 'Crystal Woman'-riddim, before the great acoustic Silly Walks production with Alexander 'Lobstarr' Samimi on piano & bass and Nils 'Criminal' Leske strumming his guitar for the brilliant love-gone-wrong ballad "Ist Es Schon So Weit" that is every bit as excellent as Caramelo Criminal's "La Mina" closing their self-titled debut album was. Teka takes over the production duties and provides the riddims for the last three tunes on this album, "Steh Mir Nur Im Weg", a tune about feeling depressed and having the feeling you're just standing in your own way, followed by the acoustic ballad about the hope being on your own in the early morning in the clean and pure environment of a park could give "Morgens Im Park", followed by the upful soca-inspired warning against the feeling of pressure to be in a hurry all day, and to avoid getting agitated "Reg Dich Nicht Auf" closing an excellent debut album by this promising young German artist. Another great Rootdown album, and Maxim has proven to be a great expansion of their already fine roster joining the likes of Nattyflo, Mono & Nikitaman and Nosliw.