Album review
Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels
Jan Delay
09 - 04 - 2001 (re-released 11 - 04 - 2003)

Tracking list

  1. Sam Ragga Styler
  2. Ich Möchte Nicht Daß Ihr Meine Lieder Singt
  3. www.hitler.de
  4. An Die Bürger Von Konsolien feat. Sam Semilia
  5. Vergiftet
  6. Rebecca & Svenja feat. King Rockodub Schamoni
  7. B-Seite
  8. Söhne Stammheims
  9. Der Rote Knopf
  10. Flashgott feat. Xavier Naidoo & Dennis Dubplate
  11. Die Sonne, Die Scheint feat. D-Flame
  12. Die Party Ist Zu Ende
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Jan Delay, who was born as Jan Eißfeldt, started out as a member of German hiphop crew Absolute Beginner (now just Beginner), but with fellow members of Absolute Beginner and other artists around his Eimsbush label and Mathias Arfmann of Turtle Bay Country Club he started a reggae band: Sam Ragga Band, and in 2001 they released this album as the Jan Delay solo album "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" with a title and a cover inspired on the famous Dexy's Midnight Runners album. Musically however, this is a pure reggae album, even with so many of the guests coming from the German hiphop-scene, the beats are Germaican all along. "Sam Ragga Styler" is a tune boasting their own (contributions to) the scene of Loktown and Eimsbush over a dubby riddim, introduced by Heidelberger hiphopper Torch, featuring the real horns of The Johnny Blazers. "Ich Möchte Nicht, Daß Ihr Meine Lieder Singt" is a great song about all those square people of whom Jan Delay finds they shouldn't be allowed to sing along with his songs, another Sam Ragga Band riddim with an irresistable horn-riff. "www.hitler.de" is all about the dangers of right-wing extremists using the web, over an 80s digital dancehall riddim by Joni Rewind a.k.a. DJ Dynamite, who worked for his upcoming (November) album with a.o. Capleton and Junior Reid. "An Die Bürger Von Konsolien" is another Sam Ragga Band backed song, featuring toasts by Sam Semilia, great horns, and lyrics about those 'typen aus der Nachbarschaft den jeder für 'n Loser hält, doch daheim in seiner Computerwelt ist er Superheld'. The absolute standout track of this album is "Vergiftet" (also receiving the Mathias Arfmann dub treatment on Turtle Bay Country Club's "Dub Decade") a great anti-haters song, over a great riddim with the real horns providing the extras again. "Rebecca & Svenja" is a skit by King Rockodub Schamoni, who also wrote the lyrics and built the riddim for a pastiche of the Laidback "Sunshine Reggae" style and a stupid conversation about non-reggae reggae and performing live with 'Gags auf der Bühne'. "B-Seite" is a Jan Delay riddim track under a song about B-sides, co-produced by Tropf with whom Jan Delay also records as La Boom building electro-soundscapes on the album "Atarihuana". "Söhne Stammheims" is a very cynical song over another Jan Delay self built funky dub riddim about the 'terrorists who have finally left'. On "Der Rote Knopf" the Sam Ragga Band and the Johnny Blazers are back again, to provide the backing for a song about the inability to use the red button to turn off your TV. On "Flashgott" Eimbush labelmate Dennis Dubplate is joining Jan Delay, alongside now turned superstar German rapper Xavier Naidoo, who enjoyed a BIG German popchart hit recently with "Ich Kenne Nichts (Das So Schön Ist Wie Du)", a collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan beatcreator RZA, over a self-built riddim by Jan Delay. "Die Sonne, Die scheint" is a dancehall combination tune over a riddim built by Jan Delay together with Tropf, featuring one of Germany's best known dancehall MCs D-Flame. Closing the album with an appropriate tune, the Sam Ragga Band and the Johnny Blazers lay down a slow jam for "Die Part Ist Zu Ende", to finish a very strong album. After 24 minutes into this last track, that is more than 20 minutes of silence, there is a hidden 6 minutes-telephone-conversation skit. Jan Delay proves with "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" that he is as capable of singing reggae, and building reggae riddims, as he is of doing hiphop as one third of Beginner, or electro as half of La Boom. For more information on Jan Delay and his music, check www.jan.delay.de This album is a great buy if you are fluent in German, but even if you aren't, you still won't be disappointed by the music itself.