Ancient Future
Yasus Afari
Senya-Cum Records
December 11, 2012

Track list
  1. Wah Gwaan
  2. Who Put The Pressure-w/Benjamin Zephaniah
  3. Feel Like Crying
  4. Meditate
  5. Hard & Tuff
  6. Black Majik-w/Angel S and Annabelle Mitchell
  7. The Wish-w/Freya Horsey
  8. Light Your Light-w/Toots Hibbert
  9. Set It Off-w/Kukumo and Black Goddessess
  10. Carry Jamaica
  11. Rise Up(New Zealand)-w/King Kapisi
  12. Amazon Song
  13. ISUS Reborn
  14. Brand New Experience-w/Black Uhuru
  15. Look To Africa
  16. Guide INI O Jah-w/Dub Vijaan Band
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Dub Poetry was single-handled put on the map by Dread poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and his late 1970's debut "Dread Beat And Blood". Powerful commentary over pumping Dub riddims. This led to the genre where legendary poets Michael Smith, Jean "Binta" Breeze, Oku Onuora and perhaps the most successful, Mutabaruka. The most prominent of the new generation is Yasus Afari. With a number of powerful releases under his belt, he has come forward with a mature new effort, "Ancient Future".

Born John Sinclair in St. Elizabeth parish, Jamaica in 1962; Yasus was a childhood idren of Garnett Silk. He became artistically and socially while in college and started performing at the University of West Indies. He released his first single, "Anti-Litter Law" (1986) to little recognition. Everything changed when he linked musically with Garnett Silk. The result was his contribution to Silk's adaptation of "I Can See Clearly Now"; just one of many projects with the late Mr. Silk. Styling his approach after Muta, he ascended both in studio and stage. In 1995, Yasus toured with Black Uhuru. The following year, he toured Ithiopia with Muta, Uton Green and Tony Rebel. The following decade saw him headlining with Maxi Priest and Freddie McGregor. In 2007, he toured the U.K and ended up with a residency at the University of Birmingham; allowing him to iducate and promote his ites book, "Overstanding Rastafari". During these decades, he was able to record notable albums such as "Dancehall Baptism (1993,RAS) "Mental Assasin" (1995) and "Gift Of Vijaan" (2000). Like Dub Poets before him, he had hits with Everton Blender, Tony Rebel and General Degree.

"Ancient Future" features musicians like Dub Syndicate, Jermaine Forde (Brinsley's son) and Mikey Silk (Garnett's brother). Numerous studios were used, including Tuff Gong, Digital B, Plantation (New Zealand) and Fly-t (Jahpan). The first two tracks are a clash of sorts. Yasus has amazing power of voice but the serious Dubstep riddims are confusing. It is nice to hear Benjamin Zephaniah deliver hard on Who Put The Pressure. Yasus has always used Dancehall as a message board so these tracks do have purpose. Feel Like Crying is outstanding with a classic Muta delivery and a Hi-Timesesque riddim -- yes I. Meditate boasts an organic bubblin' backbone that shows Yasus has his Poetry degree! Hard & Tuff is a rough Dub Syndicate fueled anthem that is Yasus at his best. Black Majik is a combination track that falls short. The Wish (despite Freya's sweet sounds) is another misnomer; too much going on at one time. Things get nice with Light Your Light. The combo of Yasus' progressive poetry and Toot's timeless voice is brilliant over easy on a plate of true riddim.

The highlight is the Dub Syndicate backed Carry Jamaica, which traces the link of Jamaica to the international community -- wicked, wicked riddim wise. Rise Up (New Zealand) is a good traditional outing; easy and cool. King Kapisi offers up a Roots touch. Amazon Song is a truly unique acoustic track. Ancient meets future riddim, old meets new. Exceptional poetry; surefya ode to untouched nature. ISUS Reborn features a nicely redone "Satta" riddim that Yasus rides like a veteran. Black Uhuru sounds solid on Brand New Experience. This is a Dancehall riddim that fits Yasus just fine. Nice Bobby Digital production with Dean Fraser magic. Look To Africa is total Roots; Yasus inna Muta stylee iducating about the link of Africa and Jamaica. The final track, Guide Ini O Jah is a Niyabinghi fueled winner that is a fitting finale. The Dub Vijaan Band are well accomplished!

"Ancient Future" does live up to its title. There's plenty of modern stylings with Yasus Afari holding it together with his craft that is as ancient and raspectable as can be. He is a highly accomplished author, scholar and poet. Despite a few filler tracks, "Ancient Future" is a winner. Keep your expectations open and you will get the Roots of the matter. Yasus Afari gets his poetry readings across inna fine style. Go deh.