Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

The Kingston Session
Sebastian Sturm & Exile Airline
Rootdown Records
CD / Digital Release
May 5, 2015

Track list
  1. True Music
  2. Get Going
  3. This Change Is Nice
  4. Free Man
  5. One Moment In Peace
  6. Grand Day Out
  7. Time
  8. Don't Look Back
  9. Faith
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Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
There are countless European Roots Reggae units on the frontline right now. The dream of going to Kingston and recording with the industry's elite at one of the most historic studios became reality for one of the musically rich region's premier bands, SEBASTIAN STURM & EXILE AIRLINE. These six uber talented musicians travelled to Harry J's Studio and recorded nine live studio tracks in just two days. The results are aptly called "The Kingston Session". An organic and triumphant affair that is the pinnacle of this band's achievements thus far...

Sebastian Sturm & Exile Airline have been at the forefront of the German Roots scene since 2006. Sebastian started in Pop Music with "Jin JIn" before becoming captured by the vibes. This powerful singer (with Indonesian heritage; yes-Indonesia is brimming with talent with such messengers as Ras Muhammed) is backed by Christian Golz (bass), Samuel Reiben (drums, b/vox), Phillip Breidenbach (lead guitar, b/vox), Joonas Lorenz (keys) and Moses Christoph (riddim guitar, percussion, b/vox). They are a stellar presence in studio and on stage. Albums include "This Change Is Nice" (2007), "One Moment In Peace" (2008), "Get Up And Going" (2011) and the classic "A Grand Day Out" (mixed at Harry J's). Their live performances are electric with rave reviews throughout Europe and rocking the house at the famed Redbones Club (St. Andrews, JA). No small feat! The future is bright for this solid Roots unit.

"The Kingston Session" project became reality after a relentless Crowdfunding effort, which reflected the support and respect this band has attained. With the necessary financing, they travelled to Kingston in January, 2014. Sessions at Harry J's were organized by the legendary Stephen Stewart and Samuel Clayton Jr. Samuel is the son of Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari member Samuel Clayton and has worked with Steel Pulse and Toots & The Maytals. In two days, nine "live" tracks were realized. Guitarist Phillip masterfully mixed the sessions and fellow countryman MARTIN ZOBEL added the artwork.

"The Music" is a flowing masterpiece. Sebastian possesses a powerful voice completely original but naturally has nuances of Groundation's Harrison Stafford and Mr. Robert Nesta Marley. Over a gorgeous riddim with outstanding harmonies, a true ode to Reggae Music, it's delivered heartically. Accomplishment indeed! "Get Going" is ethereal. With great bubbling and guitar licks, Sebastian abounds like a Lion; delivering a humble message of positivity and powerful observation. Superior songwriting and arrangements all the way. "This Change Is Nice" is a lively visit of one of their earliest tracks. With Marleyesque proportions, the listener is captured with golden harmonies, lyrics of intelligency and incredible musicianmanship. Exile Airline have visited some classics during their career. Freddie McKay's "Free Man" is handled with absolute class. Sebastian has true Love for Reggae Music and those who paved the way. This songs shows the versatility of the band as we are treated to a beautiful Jazz tinged excursion. Top a top. "One Moment In Peace" revisits their 2008 work in fine style. We are taken back to The Golden Age with an immaculate riddim and Sebastian in a meditative mood that's intoxicating in nature. Could have easily been recorded in the '70s. True music, yes indeed.

"Grand Day Out" is a whopping great time. From their previous album that first linked them with Mr. Clayton Jr, it shows the band has been totally visionary throughout their career. Sebastian scats verily so and is niced up by great backing vox by all. The magic continues with "Time". The singer injects some Harrison Stafford stylings that totally work. Christian's intricate bass works twines just right with Samuel's taut drumming. "Don't Look Back" shows the mixing mastery of Mr. Breidenbach (besides being a wicked guitarist). A song of forwardness, Sebastian trods triumphantly over a textured riddim peppered with some great harmonies. For real! "Faith" is pure Fyah. A song that shines on Sebastian's vocal prowness. Over a stark and powerful riddim, his raw power is brought to full light. Nice way to finish out this album.

Well oh well! SEBASTIAN STURM & EXILE AIRLINE's "The Kingston Session" absolutely cements their capabilities as an enduring Reggae band who have truly embraced the essence of our beloved music. An album void of overdubding, reliance of computerization, but full of talent and music theory. After listening to this album, one can feel the strong bond between these six musicians. 2015 is shaping up to be yet another incredible year for the advancement and integrity of King's Music and "The Kingston Session" is a standout for years to come. Highest recommendation. GO DEH!!