Various artists album review
Rhythm Streetz Series #2 ~ Chaka Chaka Rhythm
Fire Links - In The Streetz
CD / 2 LP
March 21, 2005
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Jamaica's Byron Murray and Clifford 'Mr.Vegas' Smith' In The Streetz label seems to have taken up the glove to fight against the US (VP Records' Riddim Driven Series) and UK (Greensleeves' Rhythm Albums and to a lesser extent Jetstar's Riddim Rider Series) domination in the one-riddim-album market from Jamaica (it seems South Rakkas Crew will join them, after the highly successful releases of 'Clappas' and 'Red Alert' as Greensleeves Rhythm Albums their 'Bionic Ras' will be released independent as well in their own Riddim Riddin Series). After the excellent "Drop Leaf"-riddim album kicking off the Rhythm Streetz Series, now Fire Links' 'Chaka Chaka' is featured as #2 in this intended challenger of non-Jamaican one-riddim-album series. After his very successful first, loosely based on Gloria Estefan & The Miami Soundmachine's "Conga", riddim 'Mad Instruments' former Bodyguard selector Dane 'Fire Links' Johnson has alongside Craig 'Daseca' Marsh - who built the 'Mad Guitar' alongside and for Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett, and helped building Michael 'Alozade' Sterling, together with riddim builders 'Computer' Paul Henton, Ernesto 'DJ X' Mitchell, Carlton Hugh 'Renegade X' Williams and Daniel 'Blaxxx' Lewis, his 'Chrome'-riddim before enjoying success with the 'Anger Management'-riddim on his own Daseca-label - created a riddim that divides the dancehall massive into two factions, one hyping this new 'Chaka Chaka'-riddim and the others covering their ears in disgust, because of this as they call it: circus-techno. It's got C&W-harmonica, a banjo sample, soca-beat with a four-to-the-floor feel and is extremely danceable. Sounds messy?, well, chaka-chaka actually means: messy and untidy, no surprise thus. Alaine (misspelled Allian on the cover) opens this set of 20 tunes on the riddim singing "No, No, No" i don't want no more chaka-chaka love before Red Rat not only DJs & singjays but strongly vocodered sings this drug has taken its toll on me / every day me "High" / higher than the day before and Razor recommends the youths to "Grow Bigga". DaVille strays into badman terrotory for his "Wi Nuh Wah", and Vybz Kartel uses the melody of Abba's "Dancing Queen" to full effect for his "Dancehall Queen", followed by Macka Diamond's "Lexxus & Benz" dissing all male DJs on her tune that is on heavy rotation in Jamaica right now and heading for the Number 1 spot. Frisco Kid seems to have found his confidence back, as he shows in "Who's Coming Next", and Tanya Stephens contributes the fine and rather slack "Bleach Pon It". Fire Links himself, who already voiced "Dancehall Vibes" on Arif Cooper's 'Phantom'-riddim now brags about god bless mi with / the "Talent" weh mi have. Kiprich "Turn Yu Roll" creates a great bashment vibe, before Beenie Man sends out his "Chaka Tall" to all haters, followed by Elephant Man in overdrive for yodeling hill billy style through "Who Nuh Like" when wi talk / s@ck yu madda. Assassin's "One Gal" is not up to par with his recent tunes, and Harry Toddler is slightly better in "Dem A Carry", before Degree completely focuses on the carnival-orchestration on the tune for "Good Time", as does Elephant Man in his dance-encouragement "Chaka Chaka Dance", before Beenie Man explains the meaning of Chaka Chaka in his dance-instruction hanging out is against the law / we don't dance like that anymore / if yuh can't do di chaka dance / step a side and leave di dance floor / "Dance To The Chaka", before Elephant Man delivers his third tune on the riddim "Rise Dem Up" returning to badman lyrics. Sizzla's "Gunz And The Gangz" is probably one of his best tunes ever on this kind of up-uptempo riddim, and is followed by the "Chaka Chaka" clean version that clearly shows how crazy and yet how infectious this riddim is.Souljah.