Various artists album review
Cultural Merger Volume II
Walboomers Records
18 - 10 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Mikey General - Conquer All My Foes
  2. Ras Shiloh - Hard To Live
  3. Taffari - Rise
  4. Yami Bolo - Babylon Is Burning
  5. Admiral Tibett - Nah Tarry Yah
  6. Hopeton Lindo - Your Tender Touch
  7. Paul Elliott - Ease The Pain
  8. Sugar Roy - Who Start The War
  9. Gregory Isaacs - City Life
  10. George Nooks - Musical Sweetness
  11. Taffari - Her Eyes
  12. Spanner Banner - Gonna Be
  13. Anthony Redrose - The Truth
  14. ARP - Oh My Rock
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

Walboomers Music, besides being European distributor for Black Music also releasing music on its own label Walboomers Records, has unleashed three decent compilation cd's entitled "321 Strong Presents Cultural Merger". The tracks gathered on these brand new cd releases are produced by Syl Gordon from Kingston JA for his own 321 Strong Productions. Syl Gordon, who co-founded with Buju Banton the Cell Block (CB321) label/recording studio, emerged in the nineties and has managed to establish his name by recording and producing noteworthy material from many topnotch Jamaican artists. This international renowned studio engineer and producer has worked with the likes of Buju Banton, Cocoa Tea, Luciano, Sizzla and double Grammy Award winner Shabba Ranks. For his work on Shabba's album " As Raw As Ever" he was awarded a Gold Plaque, among other awards. Furthermore he also co-produced with Buju Banton the highly acclaimed album "Til Shiloh".
Just like the first volume of "Cultural Merger" this second installment treats the reggae massive to a strictly conscious selection, actually a nice blend of well produced cultural tunes and lovers songs delivered over "live" played original as well as revitalized riddims. "Cultural Merger Vol. 2 " is a well balanced set which opens strong with Mikey General's "Conquer All My Foes", a solid cut for the full sounding "Addiction" riddim. Also Ras Shiloh is in good shape and his "Hard To Live" definitely belongs to the highlights of this collection. Taffari makes a decent impression with "Rise", a fine, entertaining roots piece which is followed by Yami Bolo's excellent "Babylon Is Burning" across the fresh "City Life" riddim, performed in the singer's instantly recognizable Waterhouse style. The underrated Admiral Tibett comes up with an above avarage cut across the resuscitated "Heavenless" riddim entitled "Nah Tarry Yah". Then Hopeton Lindo, whose Your Tender Touch" is a nice lovers tune across the "Bonzi" riddim, but somehow fails to keep you involved till the very end. Another cut for the "Heavenless" riddim is presented by Paul Elliott, a singer who is blessed with a powerful voice. With "Ease The Pain" he delivers a solid tune worth of hearing. "Who Start The War" by deejay (and sometimes producer) Sugar Roy is another piece for the "Heavenless", but in this case not one that belongs to the best efforts for the riddim. Although "City Life" isn't a great tune it's already noteworthy when Gregory Isaacs manages to deliver a decent effort and in this case he does. Again the "Heavenless" riddim for George Nooks' "Musical Sweetness", Taffari's "Her Eyes" and Spanner Banner's "Gonna Be". The "Bonzi" riddim drops next for Anthony Red Rose's "The Truth", before this set is rounded off with the mediocre "Oh My Rock" by the vocal outfit ARP. The usage of real instrumentation, the conscious vibes and the fact that we're treated to enough solid pieces makes this collection well worth checking out!

Teacher & Mr. T.