Various artists album review
Version City Rockers ~ Darker Roots
Antifaz Records
December 14, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Glen Brown - Let's Live Love
  2. Sugar Minott - Nah Bodda Wid It
  3. Ronnie Davis - Sing And Pray To Jah
  4. Sister Nancy - Jah Have The Handle
  5. Ranking Joe - Africa
  6. Cedric Brooks - It's Up To You
  7. Little John - Give Jah All The Praise
  8. Yabby You & The Prophets - Rough in Babylon
  9. Congo Ashanti Roy - Why Dem A Galong So
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

"Version City Rockers ~ Darker Roots" is a notable various artists compilation on which the loosely-knit U.S. East Coast band Version City Rockers (consisting of members of Stubborn All-Stars, The Scofflaws, Skavoovie, the Epitones and Inspecter 7 plus Skatalite Cedric Brooks) provides unfailingly solid backup for classic Jamaican vocalists and deejays like Sugar Minott, Yabby You & The Prophets, Ashanti Congo Roy (Congos), Sister Nancy, Ranking Joe, and Ronnie Davis (Itals). Produced and engineered by Jeff Baker, better known as King Django, this cd features refreshing new live dubby roots and rockers riddims that are strongly rooted in the classic sounds of the 1970s. The Jamaican artists featured here, some of them inactive in the reggae circuit, were brought together in a series of recording sessions that took place around the fall of the twin towers in 2001 to late 2003. These recordings, done at Version City, New Brunswick, NJ, combine the post-9/11 melancholiness felt throughout New York and the world with a late 70's social consciousness and deep yard sound. "Version City Rockers ~ Darker Roots" is a truly wicked disc from beginning to end. "Let's Live Love" urges Glen Brown on the opening track, followed by proclamations of strength, faith and unity like Ronnie Davis' excellent "Sing And Pray To Jah", Ranking Joe's "Africa" and the burning conclusion of Congo Ashanti Roy's "Why Dem A Galong So", a tale of Babylon based around the events of 9/11. Every aforementioned track has its own merit and is worth of hearing. Besides these efforts we'd also like to credit Sugar Minott's "Nah Bodda Wid It" and Cedric Brooks' awesome instrumental piece "It's Up To You" as our favourite tracks, with the remaining cuts being not far behind.
"Version City Rockers ~ Darker Roots" is a highly recommended album, which shouldn't be ignored by those who prefer true and pure roots stuff that is spiced up with a classic flavor. Get it while you can!!

Teacher & Mr. T.