Culture Dem 3
Lustre Kings
September 12, 2009

Lutan Fyah - Culture Dem Track list
    'Salam Addis' riddim
  1. Natural Black, Lutan Fyah & Turbulence - Move Out
  2. Noble Society - Mama So Divine
  3. Midnite - Dew
    'Clean Life' riddim
  4. Norris Man - Live Yuh Life Clean
  5. Al Pancho - Worlien
  6. King Imani & Lutan Fyah - First And Last
    'Afrobot' Riddim
  7. Jah Mason - If Night Should Turn To Day
  8. Determine - Bun Out Fi Dat
  9. Mabrakat - I-Aughters
    'Rainbow' riddim
  10. JahDan Blakkamoore (of Noble Society) - Golden City
  11. I Lue - See Dem Going Down
  12. Norris Man - Wish They Were There
  13. Lutan Fyah - She's Like the Rainbow
    'Proverbs' Riddim
  14. Messenjah Selah - She Ask Me Say
  15. Chezidek - Right Time
  16. Khari Kill - Levitate
  17. Lutan Fyah - Slow To Anger
  18. Chrisinti - Same Hands
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 7-
Very Good -Votes: 1-
Good -Votes: 6-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 14
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Four years after Lustre Kings released "Culture Dem Vol. 2", the label from Oakland CA (rather unexpectly) puts out the third instalment in the series. Just like the previous two compilations this brand new collection features a few riddim segments, including "Salam Addis", "Clean Life", "Afrobot", "Rainbow" and the "Proverbs" riddim. The latter has been musically arranged by Nick Fantastic, who scored big in 2005 as the creator of the "Hard Times" riddim which boasted huge hits for Capleton and Richie Spice. The inclusion of the rootical "Proverbs" riddim is a real nice sneak preview into Lustre Kings' forthcoming 'one riddim' set.

In a recent review of the Rastar Records compilation "Defender Of The Faith" we've pointed out that the most interesting and innovative releases don't come from Jamaican production houses anymore, but from labels such as I Grade Records from the U.S. Virgin Islands and California's Lustre Kings. This "Culture Dem Vol. 3" set emphasizes our statement as it contains worthwhile fresh sounding modern roots music that incorporates hip-hop, dancehall, live roots, and R & B elements throughout. Not only well-known JA artists such as Jah Mason, Turbulence, Lutan Fyah, Natural Black, and Chezidek are included on this compilation, but also up and coming much talented artists like Khari Kill, Al Pancho and Messenjah Selah have been given the opportunity to shine on one of the distinctive Lustre Kings riddims.

The album opens in real fine style with the acoustic "Salam Addis" riddim, which reminds us of Levi Roots' wonderful "Greedy Bug" riddim from 2000. It creates a meditative atmosphere, with Midnite, Noble Society and the combination Natural Black, Lutan Fyah & Turbulence delivering worthwhile efforts. Each track has it's own merit, but our choice cut is Noble Society's evocative "Mama So Divine", which is taken from their "Take Charge" album. Great tune with a noteworthy lyrical content. The mood and vibe changes with the full sounding "Clean Life" riddim. Norris Man's "Live Yuh Life Clean" and Al Pancho's "Worlien" are solid tunes taken from their recent albums "Know The Road" and "Joy Bells Ringing" respectively. The combination tune "First And Last" by King Imani & Lutan Fyah is a new cut for the riddim. It outmatches the one's delivered by Norris Man and Al Pancho, and besides being one of our favourite tunes it's also one of the standouts on this compilation.

Another change of mood and vibe comes with the "Afrobot" riddim. It's a hiphop flavoured backdrop with a funky groove with Determine and the relatively unknown singjay Mabarak delivering decent cuts, while Jah Mason's "If Night Should Turn To Day" is a rather avarage piece. Next up is the beautiful "Rainbow" riddim with its nice Arabian vibe and subtle guitar riffs. The first time this riddim drew our attention was when we listened to Lutan Fyah's "Time And Place" album, which contained "She's Like A Rainbow", a song that also graces this collection. Almost five years after we heard this tune for the first time it still sounds real good. Norris Man's wicked "Wish They Were There" is already known from his earlier mentioned "Know The Road" album. Noble Society's JahDan Blakkamoore "Golden City" is a never before heard cut and the same goes for I Lue's "See Dem Going Down". Both are outstanding tracks with JahDan's "Golden City" being the slightly better one.

The first piece on the "Proverbs" riddim is Messenjah Selah's "She Ask Me Say", which is simply a great tune. The rest of the tracks, actually completely new to our ears, maintain the quality throughout. Chezidek's "Right Time" is a solid tune, Khari Kill's "Levitate" makes an even stronger impression, while the skilled, agile Lutan Fyah comes up with the outstanding "Slow To Anger". In recent times we haven't heard that much from Chrisinti, so it's good to have him here to round off a great riddim and a worthwhile set with a big tune entitled "Same Hands".

If you belong to those who, for whatsoever reason, have missed out anything released by Lustre Kings, this third volume in the label's "Culture Dem" series is a good investment to get familiar with the label's material.