Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Inside The Kete Heart
Rampalion
Drug Recordings
CD / Digital Release
June 27, 2015

Track list
  1. Ancestors
  2. Meditation
  3. Roots
  4. Revelation
  5. I and I
  6. Happiness
  7. Prosperity
  8. Love
  9. Peace
  10. Hope
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
How good and pleasant it is to discover a Roots Reggae band's sound and know it's just the beginning of something absolutely visionary, unique and sincere. To witness their growth and watch them rise from strength to strength and region to region. Talking about RAMPALION. Their debut set, "Songs 'Bout Love And Fight" was a limited release masterpiece with unlimited potential. They have come back again with "Inside The Kete Heart"; an instantly engaging and deeply Rooted excursion that shows the Royal leaps and bounds that these messengers have taken...

RAMPALION hails from Barcelona, Spain and have a solid following throughout Europe since trodding humbly on the Roots corner in 2013. Following the release of their debut, they have supported The Wailers on tour and have had resonating stage presence at festivals like Rototom Sunsplash and numerous club dates throughout the region. Foundation members Juan Manuel Villa Escribano and Oscar Montesinos Marques returned to Rampalion Studio and created ten Royal tracks from Feb 2014-Jan 2015 with an ancestral concept that revolves around the conscience of the Kete drum. The Kete, Bass and Funde drums are the musical foundation of Niyabinghi. A project of ancient order delivered with manners and respect. Juan remains as lead vocalist and handles bass, guitar, keys and percussion well versatile. Oscar is solid on drums and keys. The horn section of Nando Pico Esteve (sax), Alberto Perez Jordana (trumpet) and Josep Blanes (trombone) is tremendous. Javi Lombardia (whose guitar blazed on the debut) lends his chops on "Roots" and axeman Marius Alfambra is solid on "Meditation". Great backing vox from Juan, Larrick Ebanks, Louise Miller and Clara Valls. Juan and Oscar continue to demonstrate their massive engineering and production skills throughout.

"Ancestors" is an incredibly uplifting track! Over a Niyabinghi fueled riddim with lively African guitar stylings, Juan gives absolute respect to African ancestors. His voice has naturally matured over the last few years and has more edge and range. The ethereal chorus adds miles to this true testament that binds together so well. Brilliant! "Meditation" is top grade. Juan offers raw emotion and hope; truly describing the power of the Kete drum and its importance in Life. Serious bubbling, lilting basswork and Juan's seasoned songwriting make this instant rewind. Rampalion's message delivers on a personal and universal level. "Roots" is a powerful anthem indeed. "My first cry was a freedom cry" exemplifies his vision and is delivered in full vocal range. Full scale Roots excursion that hits Heart and Soul. "Revelation" fires on all cylinders. With an intoxicating and horn rich riddim in place, Juan is clearly at ease at the microphone stand. Wisdom flows freely from this messenger like a river in Springtime. Lyrics to riddim-wise! "I and I" is a Joyous sound. "One more living as one, one more day living united". As on their debut, Juan displays slight nuances of Big Mountain lead singer Quino (a good thing); this album displays that and a more rugged feel that is experience. A glorious song that exemplifies the commitment and progression of this talented band.

"Happiness" continues the element of Joy in Life. Rampalion riddims are organic creations and the dynamics are so pleasing. Flawless musicianmanship that's mixed just right and never "in your face". Juan is a great percussionist and his drumming adds to the sincerity of this sweet project. Sound scape is well crucial! "Prosperity" is a ray of sunshine. Juan soars mightily above a riddim sweet with broad key, bass and guitar work. Dash in some great harmonies and this is a tour-de-force! "Love" is for all seasons. Positivity abounds with potent lyrics that offer clear skies and a lively musical backbone that beckons repeated listening. Proper song! "Peace" is musical meditation to the maximum. An anthem of universal unity delivered with intelligence and complete competence. Well rounded delivery. The closing, "Hope" is a skanking classic. A song that grabs your attention and is full example of how this band is so ready for the international arena.

RAMPALION's "Inside The Kete Heart" lives up to its title in grand tradition. An album that is an affair of Heart, Mind and Soul on many levels. The concept is pure Roots and is presented with full confidence with striking the balance with true respect and honor. Juan, Oscar and crew absolutely respect Roots tradition in every sense and present that in a truly dynamic and unique style that will carry their sound to higher heights. Highest recommendation. GO DEH!!!