Ruff Like A Rock (EP)
Dr. Ring Ding vs. Mashed Beans
Kingstone Records
December 7, 2007

Track list
  1. Ruff Like A Rock Original Version
  2. Ruff Like A Rock Dancehall Mix by Jbuzz
  3. Ruff Like A Rock Strong Like Lion Mix by Dub Tao
  4. Ruff Like A Rock Ruff'n'Rockers Mix by Atex
  5. Ruff Like A Rock Ruff'n'Tuff Mix by Marsmellow
  6. Ruff Like A Rock Step Up Mix by Brilliantcutter
  7. Ruff Like A Rock Video
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Münsteraner ska, reggae and dancehall don Richard A. Jung a.k.a. Dr. Ring-Ding began his professional career in 1987 playing trombone with El Bosso & Die Ping Pongs, one of Germany's most famous ska bands. His experience in El Bosso led to his life long love for Jamaican music. By early 1993 he had formed his very own band, Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars, and over the next ten years they would release five albums, numerous singles, and two excellent albums backing legendary Jamaican vocalists Doreen Schaffer and Lord Tanamo. American releases on Moon Ska and Jump Up! helped solidify his fan base in the United States, and soon Dr. Ring-Ding was enjoying a worldwide audience for his snappy vocal style and tremendous musicianship. Dr. Ring Ding is not only a popular live performer, he is a studio musician, arranger, and producer in many different music genres such as swing, rhythm & blues, hip hop, rumba and punk, but, above all, in reggae, dancehall and ska. As soon as Dr. Ring-Ding and The Senior Allstars split Dr.Ring-Ding branched out as a solo dancehall artist and solo and often featured calypso and ska artist who recorded great tunes over the last five years.

Dr. Ring Ding first compiled an album for Jump Up Records himself that was more of a personal favourites and rarities collection than a best of, the great "Back And Forth" focusing on his ska and calypso tunes, but including dancehall tunes as well for an eclectic outcome (of which 3 tunes are included on this album as well: "Doctor's Darling" of course, "Badness" and "Millionaire"). And now alongside Rodney, the MC, booker and label-manager and in this case executive producer of the Cologne based Kingstone-soundsystem, an album for the dancehall massive - that has been forthcoming for about three years now - has been released "Nice Again". "Ruff Like A Rock" is the first single taken from that album alongside 2step/drum 'n' bass/hip hop and many more collective Mashed Beans, the tune was featured in a VIVA/MTV commercial and became so popular it 'had to be' released officially. Produced by Mashed Beans' Jbuzz, this tune has rocking guitars, reminding of Dr. Ring Ding's 2000 collaboration with the H-Blockx covering Johnny Cash' "Ring Of Fire" and surely has the same crossover potential. The "Ruff Like A Rock (Dancehall Mix)" by Mashed Beans' Jbuzz is also included on "Nice Again" and is the very nicely done remix of the tune that was my favourite of the two album versions.

This Maxi-CD features four more mixes of the tune, kicked off by Dub Tao's "Ruff Like A Rock (Strong Like Lion Mix)", a great oldschool jungle drum'n'bass remix by the Berlin duo that also remixed Vybz Kartel's "Breeze", followed by Atex' "Ruff'n'Rockers Mix" on which hard rocking guitars unfortunately dominate riddim and vocals and the very funky (though minimal) "Ruff'n'Tuff Mix" by Marsmellow. The last remix is the "Step Up Mix" made by Brilliantcutter which is a project from the jazzsaxophone player Jo Hirt. Two years ago, the saxophone player of Soulfood International started to use his computer as an instrument and built up a little homestudio in his room, where creates music of all styles. You can hear him on flute, saxophone and clarinet in combination with his virtual band, influenced by jazz, reggae and electronic music, with all his influences audible in this great heavy bassline driven mix. The truly stylish "Ruff Like A Rock (Video)" is included as well for a single on which the alternative mixes and the inclusion of the video add enough to recommendate it even if you already bought "Nice Again".