Various artists album review
It's A Cyprus Thing Vol. 1
Olive Tree Music-All Records
October 19, 2004
Disc 1 - Urban
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 3/4||Backing : 3/4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 4|
As described in the review of "Pair Of Olive Leaves" by the Poetz4Peace, Olive Tree Music is the label home to them in Cyprus. Olive Tree Music LTD is a newly formed record label from Nicosia, Cyprus. It is the first ever "Bi-Communal" project of its type and has been funded by the United Nations Office of Project Services. OTM's main goal is to bring the people of the divided nation of Cyprus together by providing a structure in which artists from both Cyprus and northern Cyprus can work freely together to heal many, if not all the old wounds. Poetz 4 Peace combines the talents of Haji Mike (a Greek Cypriot poet and MC), Zeki Ali (a Turkish Cypriot poet), Mike Minas (an English Cypriot bouzouki master), Mike Cherry (keyboards) and Steffen Franz aka Standout Out Selector (a Northern California based producer and founder of PSM Recordings), the main beatmaker of Poetz 4 Peace.They have now released a new album, a double CD in fact, featuring over 19 artists & groups from both sides of the dreaded Greenline. This package includes both an Urban and World CD. The philosophy for 'Cyprus Thing' is as simple as the sun shining over the world each day. Bringing people together, far below the radar of politics, Olive Tree Music aims to show how people can work together in a creative, multicultural and multilingual environment. The celebration of such diversity marks a great occasion on this Mediterranean island, where pop music from Greece, Turkey and all the usual globalized icons tend to dominate. By turning a new kind of page, the makers of 'Cyprus Thing' aim to build a different kind of common future, and in the process hope to establish a thriving independent local music industry. This review is concentrating solely on the Urban CD (the ratings are also awarded solely for the first disc), as the second disc is completely mediterranean folk music based, and I'm not too fond of it, but couldn't compare to any other release only showcasing this music. The album opens with the soulful vocals of Pinky and the US-styled raps of The Joker, in the very fine track "Movement" singing and rapping about much needed peace in Cyprus. Haji Mike rides a rootsy reggae/ragga riddim with nuff original samples boasting he's the "Vragga Dagga Don". Napa Connection's "Angel" is a beautiful moving ballad, with some East Mediterranean influences, M.B.59 is more US-styled raps over an old-school riddim with nice keys on top of it, and mostly ununderstandable lyrics, if your Turkish is not excellent. More mainly synth driven especially US-urban influenced tracks with nice flows and catchy melodies follow, as well as The Joker's rap-ballad "Wanna Be Your Lover" and belly-dance disco "Just Wanna Be Friends", Haji Mike's strange but entertaining "Love Napa" and fellow Poetz4Peace member Rocker T going Cyprus-style in "Tear Down The Walls". An entertaining set for a good cause, not exactly a reggae or dancehall album, but nevertheless a very enjoyable set for music lovers with an open mind and ear.Souljah.