Various artists album review
Cultural Merger Volume III
18 - 10 - 2002
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".|
The third set of "Cultural Merger" features some outstanding tunes including the album opener "Joy" by the combination Sizzla & Messenger Selah. In recent times Sizzla more than once proved that he had become a "hit or miss" artist. However, this tough combination tune fully shows that Sizzla can't be ignored when he's really on fire. The "Scorcher" riddim - laid by Christopher Birch - is probably best known from Buju Banton "What Is To Be". Also sweet-voiced Cocoa Tea has voiced the riddim and the final result is an impressive seventies style roots tune delivered in his unique vocal style. Taffari delivers a solid vocal and lyrical delivery with the wicked "Rough & Tough" across the "Addiction" riddim. It's a fresh full sounding, mid-tempo roots riddim with superb horn lines, laid by the Taxi Gang & Paul Crossdale of the Firehouse Crew. Reggae vet Tristan Palmer is in good shape and he puts out a solid cut with his ode to Jah entitled "Blessed Is He", which is a real cultural treat. The "Heavenless" riddim underpins Mr. Biggs above par tune called "Incomplete", which is followed by Yami Bolo's awesome "Harsh Reality" over the "Addiction" riddim. Ruddy Thomas' "Let Me Into Your World" is a catchy "feel good" reggae tune across an irresistible latin flavored riddim track laid by fine musicians Sly Dunbar, Steve "Lenky" Marsden and "Bopeep". Somewhat out of order is Sizzla's "Big League" as it is delivered over a more dancehall oriented beat. However, promising singer Stevie Face returns to the reggae mood with a solid cultural piece entitled "Praise Him". Both Lenn Hammond and Triston Palmer have nice lovers tunes, which are followed by a somewhat odd tune by the combination Cobra, Brian & Tony Gold.