Immer Vorwärts
Rootdown Records-Soulfood Music
May 30, 2005

Track list
  1. Immer Vorwärts
  2. Bleib Positiv feat. Mellow Mark
  3. Strandleben
  4. Flex
  5. In Den Schönsten Farben
  6. Kick feat. Nosliw
  7. Charme Gewinnt
  8. So Nah
  9. Worte Wie Feuer
  10. Mein Weg
  11. Heut Nacht
  12. So Vergeht Die Zeit
  13. Nach Dem Sturm
  14. Schau Nach Vorn
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
After showcasing in 2002 with his EP "Wochenend" that it was still possible to get the attention with fresh crisp sounding roots, without any hiphop or dancehall influences in the blossoming German reggae scene, Nattyflo, born Florian Borns, is back at full length. Not only an artist on a mission, being one of the founding editors of German reggae/dancehall magazine Riddim, but one of the pioneers of reggae in his motherlanguage. After a short early stint with Frankfurter band Kehraus he started recording a demotape over old Studio One riddims, before linking up with another Frankfurter now living in Köln, Rootdown Records' producer Thilo Jacks a.k.a. Teka, who is responsible for the riddims and production of most tunes on this album, and most tunes released by artists from the Rootdown camp like Nattyflo, Nosliw, Mono & Nikitaman and upcoming Maxim. Pure consciousness and upliftment, as is clear from the tune opening the album "Immer Vorwärts" over Sheldon 'Calibud' Stewart's 'Love Jah And Live'-riddim named after the Warrior King tune. Nattyflo has a very pleasant voice and flow, and in my opinion one of the strengths of all Rootdown album releases so far (including the label sampler "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1") has been featuring great vocalists, great riddims and always clever and mostly positive lyrics, even in the party tunes. The next tune (featuring Mellow Mark) is over Ganjaman's 'Too Long Riddim' (that was also used for Nosliw's "Geht Uns An") the uplifting "Bleib Positiv" ensuring that one day you'll make it if you stay positive. The very relaxed 'Cote d'Azur'-riddim for "Strandleben" is played live and produced by Nattyflo's live backing band One Drop before the first riddim by Rootdown's own Teka is backing the party tune "Flex", with the 'El Mariachi' providing a latin-flavored dancehall vibe. The beautiful love song to Mother Earth "In Den Schönsten Farben" over Teka's rootsy 'Karma'-riddim was already included on "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1", Gib Mir Den "Kick" is a very nice dance-party tune over another live One Drop Band riddim together on which Nattyflo shares the vocals with labelmate Nosliw. Degree's very melodic and infectious 'Mutton Snappa'-riddim backs "Charme Gewinnt" before Nattyflo delivers the beautiful loverstune "So Nah" about being so close over Marco Baresi wonderful 'Valentine'- riddim. Rootdown Records' and producer Teka's very successful 'Crystal Woman'-riddim is the backing behind the great anti-establishment song "Worte Wie Feuer". The uplifting and grateful "Mein Weg" uses Sam Gilly's House Of Riddim's 'Burning'-riddim that also backs the combination with Maxim "Gut Gemeint" on Nosliw latest Maxi-CD "Musik (EP)", before Stuttgart/Winnenden's Stonerock Productions' 'Crisis'-riddim that has also been voiced by Luciano, Tony Rebel and Queen Ifrica is used for the convincing lovers tune "Heut Nacht". The acoustic 'Changes'-riddim is the full band arrangement of the backing used for Nosliw's "Ich Geb Nicht Auf (I Won't Give Up)" and the vocal delivery by Nattyflo on "So Vergeht Die Zeit" is as skillful intimate in this lovers take. "Nach Dem Sturm" is also a slow jam over Teka's 'Sad Monkey'-riddim about not being afraid as the light is always coming out after the storm. "Schau Nach Vorn" is closing this album, the brilliant take on Beatschmieda's 'Elemental'-riddim, to finish Nattyflo's "Immer Vorwärts", yet another magnificent full length debut album from a Rootdown artist, after last year's Mono & Nikitaman and Nosliw albums. Chapeau for this constant flow of conscious great roots from Hürth, another must-have album, even if your German isn't up to par. Oh well, I'll spoil the fun, there's a great hidden track as well over Alton Ellis 'I'm Still In Love'-riddim, "Ich Tu Was Ich Lieb, Lieb Was Ich Mach" and that's what this whole album shows!