Rule Dem
Garnet Silk
Trojan Records
May 8, 2006

Track list
  1. Message: Killamanjaro Remembers Garnet Silk
  2. Bless Our Soul
  3. Marley Medley
  4. Fight Back (with Richie Stephens)
  5. Philistines On The Land
  6. Pressure
  7. Respect Jaro (with Capleton)
  8. Evacuate
  9. Jaro Ruling (with Lukie D)
  10. Green Light
  11. Poor And Needy
  12. You Still Care For Me
  13. The Hard Way (with Richie Stephens And Scatta)
  14. Rule Dem (with Luciano)
  15. Blessing
  16. One Blood
  17. Rub A Dub Soldier
  18. Jump Up, A We Rule
  19. Dancehall Business
  20. Complain (with Capleton)
  21. One Of A Kind
  22. Joyful Noise
  23. Sing With Me (with Dennis Brown)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Put simply, this is a strong, emotional collection.

These are dubplate versions, with Killamanjaro and Bunny Lee at the sound desk.

If, like this reviewer, you consider that reggae in 2006 is going through a severe creative low, a period in which old tunes are redone incessantly, not to inject anything new, but rather to cynically cash in, or due to redundant imagination on the part of too many producers and engineers -- then you would do well to check out this album to remind yourself how re-doing old rhythms SHOULD be done, and how they surely can be reworked to maximum effect.

This is an inspired collection of old school Coxsonne, Duke Reid and Channel One bass lines -- but reworked with fire and inspiration.

"Joyful Noise" is a true highpoint here, reworking "Real Rock" -- but simply running the sinuous b line, without drums or percussion -- the final effect is that of a hymn.

"Blessing" showcases Garnet in totally focussed, reflective mood, invoking protection from the Creator, with Biblical Psalms style lyrics. ("I am in the midst of strangers -- people without love and mercy. Bless me, so that they can't hurt me.")

Junglist fans amongst you will notice that this tune was reworked by Congo Natty on the "Tribute To Sellassie" album in the mid 90's.

"Jaro Ruling" also featured on Junglist white labels in the mid 90's.

This is an excellent album from start to finish, highlighting the hardness -- as well as the capability of digital music to carry the singer's lyrics as a spirtual vehicle -- whilst still proving popular in the dancehall.

These tunes from Garnet and Killamanjaro really were as good as digital gets before Xterminator came on the scene with their trademark urgent synth pulse. It also proves further the inextricable chronological/musical/production aesthetic link between Reggae and mid 90's London Junglist releases.