Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Reggae Survival
Raphael
Sugar Cane Records
Digital Release
April 25, 2016

Track list
  1. Dread inna Babylon
  2. Joka Soundbwoy feat. Triston Palma
  3. Skit
  4. Rebel
  5. Stock Of Weed
  6. Skit
  7. Who Dem A Pree feat. Lion D
  8. Sweet Motherland
  9. Skit
  10. Rise Up
  11. A Place For Me
  12. Skit
  13. Another Peace Song
  14. Dread Inna Dub
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Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Afro-Italian reggae singer and songwriter Raphael, the former lead singer and founder of Italian reggae band Eazy Skankers, unleashed his first solo release, the 8-track EP "My Name Is Raphael" in April 2012. It was followed in October 2013 by his highly acclaimed full length debut album "Mind vs Heart", for which he teamed up with the experienced and well respected production crew of Irievibrations Records from Vienna, Austria. And now there's his much anticipated sophomore album entitled "Reggae Survival", released on the US based Sugar Cane Records from producer Don Sugar, who together with Raphael and furthermore French Irie Ites Records ("Who Dem A Pree") and Italian Bizzarri Records ("Rebel") produced this album.

"Reggae Survival" features 9 brand new songs and a dub version of the previously released single "Dread Inna Babylon", interspersed by skits - featuring people like Fela Kuti, the unforgettable king of Afrobeat, Uruguay's revolutionary ex president Josť "El Pepe" Mujica, the legendary David Rodigan and an unknown newsreader - used as an introduction of the tracks that follow. Lyrically Raphael touches themes that are mainly related to social rights and human values, with a strong appeal to Africa and to his personal origins analyzing the world and his life in a very intense way. Musically all brass sections were run and supervised by legendary Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser.

The solid single "Dread Inna Babylon", underpinned by an appealing roots riddim, gets the album started in real fine style. It's followed by an updated version of Triston Palma's 1981 ganja anthem "Joker Smoker". While the latter was a praise of herb smoking, this wicked new version done by Raphael and Triston Palma, who also took care of some sessions in his studio in Kingston JA, tells today's sound system dj's that they should at least once play vinyl and know about dub plates before they start to call themselves a soundbwoy. "I see nuff deejays on the facebook page, they never make a vinyl play, dem a joker soundbwoy..." Raphael's pleasant sounding voice comes to full expression on "Rebel", which comes across a beautifully vibed 'one drop' riddim. With "Stock Of Weed", Raphael brings in his own ganja anthem which comes on an infectious revitalized riddim version of The Ethiopians' "Engine 54", a minor rocksteady classic from 1968. "Who Dem A Pree", a standout tune that deals with current socio-political issues, sees Raphael teaming up with fellow Italian international reggae artist Lion D. Then Raphael goes back to his origins with "Sweet Motherland", a great uplifting song that aims at Africa's younger generation. The light-hearted sounding "Rise Up" is a social commentary with a positive message for all those who are suffering in the world. With the huge "A Place For Me" Raphael delivers a personal track that makes a serious impression, while "Another Peace Song" is worth hearing over and over again.

Raphael's second studio album is a compelling album that fully showcases the talent and skills of this artist.