Album review
Das Spiel Beginnt
Mono & Nikitaman
29 - 03 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Intro
  2. Du Bist Nicht Allein
  3. Get Started feat. CÚCile
  4. Weil Wir Parties Lieben
  5. Soundbwoy Dead
  6. Limit Is The Sky feat. Degree
  7. Dusch-Skit
  8. Beweg Dich
  9. Ohgottohgott
  10. Ich Mach Musik
  11. Reggae-Skit
  12. Solang Die Sonne Scheint
  13. SMS-Skit
  14. Sand Im Getriebe
  15. Radio Moskau-Skit
  16. Gras Ist Legal
  17. Es Geht Los feat. Nattyflo, Nosliw & Maxim
  18. Seid Ihr Bereit
  19. Chiemsee-Skit
  20. Letzter Tune
  21. Outro
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4

After the "Intro" in pure live performance style played by their often used backingband Soulfire from Neuss, the German (albeit a born Dutch/Austrian) combination of Nikitaman and Mono kicks of their Rootdown Records debut album, already home to many of their tunes, with the as usual socially engaged "Du Bist Nicht Allein" 'You Are Not Alone', not over one of Rootdown's home producer Thilo Jacks a.k.a. Teka, but using the skills of Hamburg's Beatschmieda production duo. Not only they, but Soulfire and Teka as well succeed in catching the live energy (check the impression here to see how their performance grabbed me) of Mono and Nikitaman. The next tune is one of the first featuring another artist, in this case CÚCile on the selfboasting split English/German lyrics tune "Get Started". Mono sings the intro of the next tune "Weil Wir Parties Leben" 'Because We Love Parties' using the melody of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" before this second Teka built and produced bashment tune fully kicks in. Next up is Mono's also on "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1" featured "Soundbwoy Dead" over Teka's 'Crystal Women'-riddim. Next is the absolute boomtune "Limit Is The Sky" played by Soul Fire, and coproduced by them alongside Teka, featuring an impressive contribution by my underrated favorite Jamaican DJ Degree. The first skit is Degree trying to cope with the German language before the oriental influenced riddim for "Beweg Dich" 'Move Yourself' invites for a ragga-bellydance. Like Dr.Ring-Ding praising the father in German on his "Vom Vatter" over Germaican Records' 'Geisha'-riddim (featured on "The Excitement", Nikitaman follows suit very convincingly in "OhGottOhGott", before Mono joins in again on another Teka riddim for "Ich Mach Musik" 'I Make Music' telling the listener they do it for themselves and for the fun it brings, nothing else. And that it was this tune clearly shows. Another skit follows, before the beautiful clearly influenced by Pow Pow's '007/Shantytown'-riddim "So Lang Die Sonne Scheint" 'As Long As The Sun Shines' follows, followed by an anarchy promoting "SMS Skit". The anarchy is then preached alongside labelmate Nattyflo in the very strong "Sand Im Getriebe" 'Sand In The Engine'. The "Radio Moskau Skit" is a bit too lacklustre, but that can't be said of the envisioned future in "Gras Ist Legal" 'Weed Is Legal' in which weed is legal, but state controlled perfectly brought by the German energy god Nikitaman over Teka's rootsy 'Karma'-riddim. The also already on the "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1"-sampler take on the 'Champagne'-riddim "Es Geht Los" 'Now It'll Happen' featuring labelmates Nattyflo, Nosliw and Maxim is a BIG tune as well, as is the following superb jump up soca of "Seid Ihr Bereit" 'Are You Ready'. This first full length one (well two) artist album on Rootdown Records is closed between a short live "Chiemsee Skit" and "Outro" with the massive Mono sung syncopated "Der Letzte Tune" 'The Last Tune', having lived up to the promise of the several Rootdown artist Maxi-CDs and the above mentioned sampler. This also makes me wanting for the upcoming Nosliw album, this very strong Mono & Nikitaman full length debut.