The Armour Riddim
October 28, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
The arrival of any collection of tunes produced by Frenchie always generates some excitement in reggae and/or dancehall circles, and this is no exception. The reason why is obvious. Throughout the years, avid fans have learnt that they won't experience any form of disappointment as the music released on the producer's mighty Maximum Sound record label is always of good to excellent quality.
It's known that Frenchie doesn't like to include too many artists on his roots reggae related juggling projects, because he's convinced that these kinda riddims (unlike dancehall riddims) in most cases don't lend themselves for having many people on them. And thus "The Armour Riddim" features only 7 tracks (plus a dub version) provided by a very fine group of artists out of Jamaica (Tarrus Riley, Iba Mahr and Addis Pablo), England (Gappy Ranks, Ras Demo aka Demolition Man and Mr Williamz) and Canada (Exco Levi). All artists involved come up with stellar efforts, which makes it a real pleasure to listen to this collection.
Tarrus Riley leads the way with "We Want Better", a compelling message tune which vocally and lyrically makes a serious impression. This tune fully shows that he's a real big artist in today's reggae scene. Iba Mahr hasn't reached the status of Tarrus Riley yet, but he's a major talent who has attracted notable attention from reggae fans worldwide with songs such as "Will I Wait", "Talk If Dem Want", "Let Jah Lead The Way" and "Diamond Sox". Here Iba Mahr contributes a noteworthy tune entitled "Worries Tonight", which sees the singer, who is known for his soulful vibrato voice, in real good shape. All in all these two cuts open this set in a great way. And it doesn't stop here as Exco Levi delivers the fully satisfying "Yardman", while also Gappy Ranks comes up with a truly big tune entitled "Picture On The Wall". Ras Demo, whose vocal style & pattern is inspired by the deejay Papa San, brings in his widely known 'fast tongue, motor mouth' style of spitting lyrics in "Sekkle Up The Score", a wicked tune full of energy. Next drops the matching "Jah Armour" by Mr Williamz, who emerged onto the reggae scene in 2008 with his successful debut single "Babylon In Helicopter" for Curtis Lynch Jr's Necessary Mayhem label. It's a bit surprising to see Addis Pablo, son of the legendary musician/producer Augustus Pablo, appear on this riddim set. However, his melodica play adds a great vibe to the riddim track and turns "Azania Rock" into a beautiful instrumental. The "Armour Dub", mixed by Gregory Morris, is the icing on the cake and a worthy finisher of this highly enjoyable set.
Maximum Sound has a history of doing excellent riddims, which is reaffirmed by "The Armour Riddim".