Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Mental War
Uwe Banton
AL.TA.FA.AN/Rasta Yard
CD
December 25, 2012

Mental War - Uwe Banton Track list
  1. Work feat. Mikey General
  2. Education
  3. From Yuh A Walk With Jah
  4. Mental War feat. Luciano
  5. Love Sweet Love
  6. Better To Know feat. Cornadoor
  7. Can't Forget
  8. The Roots Of It
  9. No Control feat. Jahcoustix
  10. Thought I'd Let You Know
  11. Ithiopian Ites
  12. Put It Down
  13. Love Sweet Love (Vibes Mix)
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 27-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 2-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 32
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Germany has been a Rootical and Heartical force in authentic Reggae Musik for a long time. Artists like Gentleman and Ganjaman have put out original and pleasing material. Groove Attack and Echo Beach are labels of the highest calibre. The uber-humble Uwe Banton has released his third set, "Mental War" and elevated his credentials to one of Europe's hardest artists.period. This long anticipated album is finally here!

Uwe "Banton" Schafer was born in 1966 in the small village of Lippe, outside Berlin. He found his musical calling in 1981 during a trip to Yard. By 1985, a young Uwe was ably toasting in clubs around Berlin. He continued his endeavours and linked with the band, Movements. Collectively, they mashed it up across Europe and Jahplan from 1992 until Uwe's departure in 2002. The devout Rasta quickly embarked on a solo career that garnered two great sets; "Jah Roots (2006) and "Rightful Place" (2009).

"Mental War" is an organic release that was planted, grown and cultivated in Germany across the board. Uwe's own Rasta Yard Studio, Growkammer and UCY Studio were utilized. Instrumentation was provided by Uwe, various members of Gentleman's band, Dub Inc and The Evolution Band. Uwe and Ganjaman juggled the bulk of the production work. The opener, Work was reviewed previously here and is a nice way to start this rootical affair. Education is a joyous and triumphant track accentuated by Florian Munzer (Gentleman band) and his brilliant guitar work and some bubblin' keys. Uwe has clear authority on the mic and fantastic songwriting abilities -- this chune is true to the core. The spiritual ode, From Yuh A Walk With Jah continues the ambience -- "Faith and fear have never been friends". This is brimming with intelligence and demands instant replay! Luciano (Jah Messenger) shows up strong on the title track; sounding eerily like Dennis Emmanuel Brown. Uwe's delivery is genuinely Marleyesque and raises awareness of the media's stronghold on the unsuspecting public. Love Sweet Love is sweet all the way strong; a horn driven plea for universal love just chock full of consciousness! DJ Cornadoor adds a rugged edge to Better To Know -- wicked combination over a supertight riddim.

Can't Forget is a reality Rocker with gritty observation. Mr.Banton constructs his sound well; no constriction here. No Control with Jahcoustix is a nice blend with both singers sounding urgent and real. It is a progressive track that aches for banning nuclear weapons. A much visited situation that is pulled off nicely here. Thought I'd Let You Know is a slower love ballad that boasts thoughtfulness and full sound. Ithiopian Ites is a spiritual journey that slowly builds into an ethereal masterpiece with rich horns and lilting bass. The acoustic Put It Down shows the obvious influence that Nesta had on Uwe as a youth -- this is a worthy track! The vibes mix of Love Sweet Love is tastefully done and Dubfully presented -- well done.

Surprise of the year -- almost. Top Ten album of The Year -- Yes I! Uwe Banton has been humbly honing his craft for over twenty five years and this is his time. "Mental War" is a culmination of work, education and the roots of it. Every track is pure upliftment and solid craftsmanship to the max. He is at the top of his game and "Mental War" will not be a stock on the shelf anytime soon. Go deh!