Scrolls Of The Levite
Mark Wonder
Nowtime Sound / Heartbeat Europe
CD / Digital Release
May 2, 2015

Track list
  1. Must Be A Way
  2. Visions
  3. Rude Boys In Town
  4. Oh I
  5. Buzzrock Soldiers
  6. Long Road
  7. Hail JAH
  8. Hail JAH Dub
  9. Awake
  10. Look Out For The Signs
  11. Break Free
  12. Rebels
  13. Revolution
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Essential -Votes: 17-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 1-
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Total votes : 21
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
A truly quality Roots Reggae album takes time. A rushed or forced production usually doesn't make a lasting impact. MARK "Dragon Slayer" WONDER's latest offering, "SCROLLS OF THE LEVITE" is years in the making. The highly anticipated album exemplifies the phrase "nothing before it's time. This is Roots with absolute quality embedded with a forward progression...

Mark Wonder (Mark Thompson) has been firmly on the Roots corner since the late '80's with Black Scorpio and has steadily become one of King's Music's most relevant and pertinent messengers across Creation. After a slew of crucial singles, his "official" debut "Jeremiah" (1999) made an international splash (note: "Sign Of The Times" (1995) has yet to see full release due to circumstance). Further albums like "New Land" (live set with Prince Theo from 2001), "Break The Ice" (2005), "Victory-The Mystery Unfolds" (2007) and the timeless "Working Wonders" (2012) have cemented his credentials. Combine that with dynamic live performances and appearances on numerous compilation/one riddim albums and it's a perfect recipe for the longevity of this forward Rastaman. This is a man who has worked with numerous producers (Anthony Senior-AL-TA-FA-AN Records) has been a solid supporter all the way. He has huge respect from JA to Europe to U.S.A and back again and offers up works of the Highest degree year after year, time after time.

Mark and producer Sikandar Syed first linked in JA in 2000 and stayed in touch. Mark visited California to perform at 2007 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and extended his visit for some time. The bulk of the tracks were realized at Sikander's Bay Area (region that includes San Francisco, Oakland and Palo Alto) home. The progressive riddims used were created by Nowtime's Fernando Cardoso with additional recording at Bobby Digital (JA) with contribution from Dean Fraser/Nambo Robinson and legendary backing vocalist Nikki Burt. Nowtime Sound is a visionary label/sound system whose first release is the incredible "Nowtime Remixes Cellblock" (a collaboration with legendary producer Syl Gordon (Cellblock Records). The musical creativity that took place at Sikandar's home is simply amazing with pure inspiration flowing through. The unity between Mark and Nowtime is clearly evident and so vital. Majestically speaking...

"Must Be A Way" is pure Fyah! Mark's delivery grabs your full attention with a track of Hope. Just amazing these riddims were recorded seven years ago; sounds in very good shape with unique approach and razor edge. Dean/Nambo's horn blasts add ites dimension. Top tune with solid production. "Visions" is pure meditation. On top of a progressive and broad riddim, Mark soars mightily so. He possesses one of the most solid voices in Reggae today (yes, Stevie Wonder is a huge influence). Mark consistently delivers Roots anthems that resonate and "Rude Boys In Town" is top ranking! Instantly engaging, Mark delivers a standout track of herbal observance and dealing with Babylon with his emotional and true delivery. Dash in a truly deadly riddim and great production and you have an instant rewind. The masterclass continues with "Oh I", a deeply Rooted affair that is a testament of JAH LOVE. Some artists claim certain things but when Mark sings, one can feel the Truth in his message. So solid! "Buzzrock Soldiers" is intoxicating to the core. Written by Sikandar, this one is pure Fyah. Musically and lyrically potent all the way. Nikki Burt is angelic on backing vox. Mark shows nuff versatility on a riddim that beckons for a Dub album!! "Long Road" features the "Jah Children Riddim" (Nowtime's first riddim) and it's hotta fyah. Mark shows true grace and flow over this forward track with verve and conviction. This track brings back memories of his vocalisms on "Break The Ice" (a classic in it's rightful way).

"Hail JAH" is solid as a Rock. Over a hypnotic backbone that is genius, Mark exalts praises in dynamic way. Standout selection for real. One can feel the Royal vibes felt during these recording sessions. We are treated to a tasty Dub that holds tight. A showcase of Sikandar and Nando's skills and vision. A whopping great atmosphere!! The magic continues with "Awake". A solid skanker that is layers of Royal niceness. A rally to raise up the level of consciousness in Africa; this is a flawless affair of Heart and Soul. "Look Out For The Signs" was recorded at Gabre Selassie's Sholin Temple and is a winner indeed. A pertinent and observant song that's delivered with true conviction. Mark is a sincere songwriter and sings with an amazing degree of emotion and soul. Top grade riddim that's mixed just nice. "Break Free" is pure Joy. The rich riddim is a glorious reworking of a classic Johnny Osbourne track ("Jah Promise" out of Studio One) and Mark is in pure meditative delivery. Nikki adds her magic touch and this is one of the top tunes of 2015 thus far. "Rebels" fires on all cylinders. Over an ethereal riddim, Mark is fine form; originality and versatility abounding. "Revolution" is tuff. Over a broad and visionary riddim, Mark is triumphant and this track solidifies his absolute solid foundation as JAH messenger. Seriously powerful track!

MARK WONDER's "Scrolls Of The Levite" is a Roots album that will not be forgotten in this time. This is an artist that goes from strength to strength with each release and this release exemplifies his forward trod. He has linked up with two of the most visionary producers in the business and delivered a Royal work. This project was to be a 5 track EP but thankfully it became the beautiful album it is. All killer, nah filler. If you are aware of MARK WONDER, then you'll be more than fulljoyed. If you're not, pick up a copy and be prepared to be amazed!! One of the top albums of 2015 thus far and certainly of Mark Wonder's career. GO DEH!!!