The Reasoning
Elephant Wise
Lava Camp Royale / Dasvibes Jamaica
Digital Download
September 9, 2009

Track list
  1. Intro
  2. Fire Blaze
  3. Burning Slow
  4. Highest Grade feat. Deadly Hunta
  5. 21 Gun Salute
  6. Cool Down feat. LNX Dread & Elijah
  7. Interlude 1
  8. Belly A Di Beast
  9. Run Dancehall
  10. Oman feat. Amsie Brown
  11. Sugar Nancy
  12. Interlude 2
  13. Burning Out
  14. Legalize It
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Born in Kenya to a fourth generation Indian father and a Swedish mother, Elephant Wise is a descendant of the Coolies. The Coolies were exploited workers who were imported by the British from Asia in the 1800's to pick up where the slaves left off. Spending most of his childhood and adolescence in Kenya, reggae music and culture are always at the heart of his early memories. Moving to Sweden in his teens Elephant Wise found himself at the centre of an emerging European reggae scene in a country that, whilst in his blood, was not keen to accept him. Unable to find the laidback, tolerant lifestyle that suited him in his mother's home land, Elephant Wise moved to Australia in his early twenties. It was at this time that his interest in music changed from being a keen listener to putting his creative talents to use behind the mic. In Australia Elephant Wise found a country with a lot to offer and a reggae scene still in its infancy.

Now permanently located in Brisbane, Queensland, Elephant Wise puts Australia on the Reggae map internationally with the release of his debut album "The Reasoning". Earlier he already attracted notable attention on a local level with his 2006 independently released mix tape "One A Few" and the singles "21 Gun Salute" and "Burning Slow". On his first full length album Elephant Wise has worked with many up and coming producers such as Reality Chant Productions who have several international releases under their belt, High Stakes Records from New Zealand and Not Easy At All Productions from the Netherlands. Besides solo efforts this album also features collaborations with emerging UK dancehall star Deadly Hunta, Amsie Brown from Africa and Sweden, and local Australian talents LNX Dread and Elijah.

After a nicely chosen "Intro", i.e. sounds from the jungle, "The Reasoning" kicks off with the blazing dancehall tune "Fire Blaze". It's followed by his second single "Burning Slow", a solid effort worth of hearing. "21 Gun Salute". Next drops the combination with Deadly Hunta, "Highest Grade", the inevitable herb tune that seemingly has to appear on almost any reggae album. All in all a decent opening of an album as it makes you anxious to hear more of this artist. "21 Gun Salute", with its nice sample and dubby effects, is a highlight and the same goes for the slow paced "Cool Down" featuring guest appearances of LNX Dread and Elijah. "Belly A Di Beast" is solid reality tune. It tells the story of Elephant Wise who found himself in the midst of a high jacking incident whilst travelling on a local bus from Mombassa to Dar-es-Salaam in 2007. The incident made him re-evaluate his vision for his life and gave him the push to start creating music on a more serious level. "Run Dancehall" is a wicked soundbwoy tune with an old skool vibe. "Oman" with Amsie Brown is a nice appealing song, whilst "Sugar Nancy" fails to make a serious impression. With "Burning Out" things are getting better, but it's still a tune that doesn't impress that much. The second Ganja tune, "Legalize It", rounds off this collection in fine style.

"The Reasoning" is a very entertaining debut set from a much promising artist who deserves to be heard by an international audience.