Otentikk Street Brothers
June 1, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
This album "Revey Twa" by the Otentikk Street Brothers
a.k.a. OSB Crew, from the small island of Mauritius proves that there are
still places on this planet where there are great musicians making
innovative music, that is so far completely unknown to the rest of the
world. Bruno Raya - alias Master Kkool B - the undisputed head of the
group, Jean Clario Cateaux – alias Blakkayo - fast toaster and singer,
Pascal Ferdinand – alias Dagger Kkila - representing the softer sides of
OSB and Kensley Lafolle – alias Tikkenzo - firmly rooted in hip hop
together form the Otentikk Street Brother, on stage accompanied by backing
vocalists Sista Marie Michele Perine and Sista Marie Helene Lascarie and
the members of the reggae-group Natir Chamarel. Thanks to Christoph Moser of DHF Records their Reggae-Creole
combination of reggae, ragga and dancehall with the traditional musical
heritage of the Mauritian Creole inhabitants called Sega.|
Opening track "Jah Merci" a.k.a. "Vive La Musique" immediately shows the energetic mixture of 4-bar reggae grooves with the African 3-bar roots of Sega-music, resulting in an irresistable African reggae vibe. Their lyrics in French-Creole language, used to denounce arrogance of Babyloon and the ambivalent materialism of today's Zeitgeist lend an extra exotic aspect to their sound, despite making it harder to understand their political socially engaged conscious messages, with the backing always giving the serious subjects an undeniable party-potential. "Devwar Ris" and "Protez La Natir" (despite separated by the ultrashort "Respekte Jardin Jah (Interlude) maintain that party vibe before "Ki Si Sa Sa?" is what I can only describe (as a very succesful attempt at) - even more at the dancefloor aimed - African style (ragga-)soca.
. "Kreolite" is a more traditional uptempo (African) reggae tune except of course for its lyrics in Creole, followed by "Zil Rodriguez" in which (the French colonial influence of) an accordian on top of the soca-ish riddim with salsa-like trumpet accents cry party from the first to the last tone. The melodic up-tempo "Mo-Nas" with its poppy ska sound is followed by the more traditional reggae of title track "Revey Twa" and the soca-tinged "Zilwa Leve Lebra" with its (for me too far upfront mixed) keyboard-riff, before the pace really gets slower for the one-drop of the beautifully sung "Toulezour Mo Dir Li".
"Ragga Donn Sa" has a very nice percussive dancehall riddim that is guaranteed to get everyone moving, if you're not standing, you'll dance in your chair and preceded by the African chants of the "Pas Bliye Sa (Interlude)" the first single taken from this "Revey Twa" album, the latin-tinged "Vibrasyon Ansestral" that could easily become this year's surprise cross-over worldmusic hit of the summer is the last regular tune of this very nice European debut album of this Mauritian outfit that will try to build upon the foundation laid with this release when they perform their tunes live in the coming weeks (e.g. at the 2007 Summerjam in Cologne). Two alternative versions or remixes as I'd prefer to call them rather than dubs showcase the solid backing on this album, "Kreolite (Dub)" and "Revey Twa (Dub)" close this very nice debut album by the Otentikk Street Brothers, who with their crossover-appeal will surely find not only reggae-listeners but reach a hip hop, worldmusic and pop audience as well.