Rough Out There
Sounds from the Roof-Echo Beach
June 9 - 2005

Track list
  1. Automatic
  2. Walls Of Silence
  3. This Is Not A Gun Thing
  4. Rough Out There
  5. Walking
  6. Ruff Like A What
  7. Demons
  8. Perdido
  9. Bushmasta
  10. Kung Fu Fighting (Noiseshaper remix, featuring Carl Douglas)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
I've been playing this CD a lot the last few days. This is a big step up from Noiseshaper's last CD, "Signal," which had its moments, but overall seemed rather run-on-the-mill downbeat, pleasant at times but not leaving a whole lot to chew on afterwards.

"Rough Out There" has several cuts that rival the boomshot "The Only Redeemer" from the first CD "Prelaunch Sequence" of this Viennese-born duo (Axel Him and Flo Fleischmann).

My favorite is the title track, great vibes and a conscious lyric by Michael Madden, with an impressive delivery by vocalist Juggla. "It's rough out there/tough out there But still I know in my heart there is good everywhere I know who is who an who I can trust That's why I stay conscious It's rough out there/tough out there But still I know in my heart there are people who care I fight for my right cause I know who I be I beg you journey with me"

This track has a memorable bass line by the legendary Dennis Bovell.

The Jamaican youths passing through my house and my own kids really latched on to "This Is Not A Gun Thing", Juggla in a more yardie style:

"This is not a gun thing a just a fun thing." What a great closing line: "Talk from the heart an me lik it like thunder a niceness me unda"

The remix of Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" is a sure-fire crowd pleaser.

I also really liked "Bushmaster," again featuring Juggla and Bovell on bass. "Cyan get to Zion with a Bushmast, an M-16 or a revolver." Straight up classic dub here.

Another first-rate dubby cut is "Walking", with another conscious lyric written and delivered by Jackie Deane. "Life is such a long walk Blood and pain some game Fight all the way You must defend yourself"

There is a non-violence theme running throughout much of the album. Another stand-out track, "Walls Of Silence", has this memorable line: "To the ones in the suits and all the ghetto yutes What do we need to get a share of the fruits?" and the chorus "Now in a fi dis time we no want no violence Come mek we tear down this walls of silence"

This CD has cross-over potential written all over it. Tending towards rootsical modern international dub, but with several cuts inflected by contemporary Jamaican music ("Ruff Like a What"), and the odd vibesy instrumental impressionism ("Perdido").

After several listens, I still haven't found a weak cut. A rare ting dat, in dis day. But what I've come to expect from continental dub-inspired music, with the triangle of Austria, Germany, and the UK putting out the most consistently high-quality reggae-inspired but "post-Jamaican" music.

The recording studios for this project say it all about sources of the creative fusing of Jamaican and European music: Home, Berlin, Germany, The Elephant House, Birmingham UK and On-U Sound, London UK. Highly recommended.