African Children Riddim
Oneness Records
Digital Release
May 27, 2014

Track list
  1. Exco Levi - Blood Tears
  2. Denham Smith - Not the Same
  3. Luciano - Build A Better Land
  4. Raymond Wright & Fyah T - Elohim
  5. Vanguard Leader - Just A Plant
  6. Naptali - Boasy Slave
  7. Mark Wonder - Nubian Glory
  8. Ras Muhamad - Lion Roar
  9. Michelle Gordon - Ready For The World
  10. Oneness Band - African Children Riddim Version
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Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
The beginning of 2014 saw the release of "One Love, One Heart, Oneness", a fine sampler from the top notch German reggae label Oneness Records, best known for its top of the bill productions, including albums from Mark Wonder and Naptali, plus some wicked riddim sets such as 'General Key', 'Rise Up' and 'Backstabber' to name but a few. The label's latest effort is the magnificent riddim set 'African Children', a traditional reggae riddim delivered in fine style by the Oneness Band.

The set opens in powerful style with one of the best new roots vocalists of today, Exco Levi. His tune Blood Tears is one of those musical social statements one should listen to over and over, such a wicked tune! Denham Smith, an upcoming vocalist who surprised us in 2013 with "Down In Jamaica" a solid reality song about street life down in JA, hails from St. Ann, Jamaica, now residing in Cologne, Germany, where he keeps building up his career. He sings the poignant Not the Same, another social commentary tune. A massive ganja tune, Just A Plant, is done by Vanguard Leader, who used to be called Fitta Warri... strictly for the sensi massive! We don't know why, but the intro reminds us of a tune by Anthony B. It seems impossible for the ever faithful Luciano to deliver a mediocre tune and his positive conscious tune Build A Better Land is a worthy contribution to this album.

The most powerful lick of the riddim comes from the combination Raymond Wright & Fyah T. Their Elohim tune is a prime example how a singer and a deejay team up in well balanced style. Raymond Wright's smooth and proud vocal delivery goes very well with the assertive - not aggressive! - deejay style of Fyah T. This song is our favorite here. Keep it spinning! Naptali and Mark Wonder do what they are expected to do: deliver roots tunes with a message that matters. Ras Muhamed is an artist we haven't heard of before. He comes from Jakarta, Indonesia, where he's a producer and also a host for a reggae radio program. During his stay in Hew York he got involved in the local music scene, and started to develop his musical and artistic talents. His strong and commanding vocal delivery makes his tune Lion Roar more than worthwhile checking out! Michelle "Songbird" Gordon is the only female artist here. Inspired by vocal legends, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, she smoothly combines classic soul, RnB, gospel and reggae to create her own signature style and started her career somewhere back in the nineties (last century!). The very entertaining Ready for the World rounds off a superb one riddim set!

"African Children Riddim" is an album that every roots reggae aficionado should check out.