Album review
Trodin' On
Four Music-Columbia
22 - 06 - 1999

Tracking list

  1. Heat Of The Night feat. Richie Stephens & Mighty Tolga
  2. Tek Time Fi Grow feat. Meli
  3. Jah Jah Never Fail feat. Terry Linen
  4. Fade Away
  5. Lion feat. Mighty Tolga
  6. Outa Space
  7. War & Crime feat. Jack Radics
  8. Human Being
  9. True Love feat. Brooke Russell
  10. A Who Dem Want Blame
  11. No Competition
  12. Right Side Of Life
  13. Allstar Jam feat. Max, Afrob, Ju & Sekou
  14. Trodin On feat. Sekou & Max
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Now 27-year old German singjay Gentleman - born Tilmann Otto - first left for Jamaica ten years ago. In those days he was a reggae-novice who owned but a couple of reggae records, most of which he had found in his brother's record collection. On the Island, he got to know the rough country life where the living standard is more than poor when you compare it to western countries. A few years later, Europe's culture television channel Arte showed a programme on reggae in its "Lost In Music" series, with Gentleman featuring as one of the outstanding connoisseurs of reggae music. His many journeys to Jamaica have become a dear habit to Germany's premier reggae star and they have left a deep impact on him. Two hearts beat in the breast of the traveller between Cologne and Kingston, but they both definitely beat in the riddim of reggae. The early enthusiasm for reggae in all its colourful variety has grown to a natural self-sufficiency and expanded consciousness which surpasses a simple knowledge of styles and sounds. The close ties to Jamaica on both a professional and a personal level (he's raising a family with a Jamaican woman he has been with for seven years now) make him not only one of Germany's most influential reggae artists, but they also give his music an authenticity.
His music has conquered the hearts not only of the reggae and dancehall massive, but of many listeners in his homeland, with his new CD/DVD "Gentleman With The Far East Band - Live" presently entering the German album charts at #15! In 1999 Gentleman delivered his locally well received debut album "Trodin On" which featured a wide variety of dancehall riddims. The album already has all the niceness of its successor "Journey To Jah". gentleman rides modern roots & dancehall riddims recorded in Jamaica and 'Germaica' with the likes of Richie Stephens, Richard Browne, Anthony Red Roze, Cologne's Roger & Shorty, Leipzig's Leander Topp of Germaican Records fame, Stuttgart's Tommy W., Hamburg's Silly Walks Movement, having intrumental backing from Sly & Robbie, Jazwad, Gitsy, Dean Fraser, Lenky and the various production teams. Add to it Gentleman being a great singer and a good DJ, doing combinations with Richie Stephens, Jack Radics, Germany's own Mighty Tolga, and on the hiphop tune "Allstar Jam" the German hiphop crew of Max, Afrob, Ju & Sekou. From wicked party tune "Heat Of The Night", going through the conscious slow-jam "Tek Time Fi Grow", doing my favorite track of this album "Jah Jah Never Fail" in a superb combination with Terry Linen, "Fade Away" being almost a blueprint for "Runaway" on his next album, "Lion" where Gentleman DJs/singjays alongside Mighty Tolga's sweet singing on another Germaican riddim, all through the album to closing of with the acoustic ballad "Trodin On", this is a great album, in my opinion there is not a weak track to be found, and it's almost a burden to pick standout tracks, because Gentleman has delivered a very fine disc. I admit that I can't wait to hear a next album, after following up this album with the succes of "Journey to Jah", and the "Live" album.