Various artists album review
Easy Star Volume 2 ~ Dancehall Culture
Easy Star Records
02 - 03 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Luciano - Hopes On High
  2. Luciano, Beres Hammond, Triston Palma, Marcia Griffiths, Michigan, Delly Ranks, Courtney Melody - God Love
  3. Frankie Paul - Just One Moment Away
  4. Anthony B - Third Eye Blind
  5. Mojah - Search
  6. Half Pint - Love Potion Number 9
  7. Tony Tuff - Wanty Wanty
  8. Sister Nancy - A Fool Say In His Heart
  9. Meditations - Run Away Heathen
  10. Anthony B - Love So Divine
  11. Dollarman - Don't Wanna Leave
  12. Rob Symeonn - Keep On Trying
  13. Minx - Jah Breathe Life Inna Me (Extended Mix)
  14. Triston Palma - Two Roads
  15. Guyanese - Hit Tune
  16. Cool Down Dub
  17. Trying Dub
  18. Thai Stick Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

The New York based label Easy Star Records put out its first disc "Easy Star Volume 1" in 1998 and that release marked the beginning of a string of noteworthy releases of quality reggae/dancehall music. That album featured a range of artists, from living legends to current stars as well as up and coming talents. In early 2002 the series continues with a second volume of original Easy Star productions called "Easy Star Volume Two : Dancehall Culture". The album (the label's tenth full-length release) collects excellent singles released in the last two years across three killer riddims all written by Michael Goldwasser. First there's the 'Thai Stick' riddim (a contemporary sounding riddim flavored with a cutting vintage roots style) with boomblast licks by Anthony B. (Third Eye Blind) and Luciano with Hopes On High. The Meditations' Run Away Heathen is the third piece across the riddim and Rob Symeonn delivers an excellnt outing with Keep On Trying. Triston Palma's tune Two Roads became the title track of his release on the Easy Star label.
The 'Cool Down' riddim was conceived as a tribute to one of Michael G's favorite band, The Roots Radics. Here you'll find four licks acros this melodic old school riddim, with outstanding performances by Frankie Paul (Just A Moment Away), Tony Tuff with Wanty Wanty and an extended tune (Jah Breathe Life Inna me) by Minx, a young deejay from the island of Monserrat.
Easy Star entered the realm of straight-up dancehall with the release of the infectious 'Pick Up' riddim. While tracks were voiced both in Nework and Kingston, the Jamaican sessions were notable in that they were coordinated by Triston Palma. The lead-sinle on the riddim -the all star flavored God Love- features household names such as Luciano, Beres Hammond, Delly ranks and Marcia griffiths. Reggae veteran Half Pint delivers a nice effort with Love Potion Number 9, but the songs from Mojah and Guyanese, two young deejays from Jamaica that are beginning to make waves in Kingston, are definitely stand-out deliveries of the riddim. The same goes for the New York based deejay Dollarman with his tune Don't Wanna Leave. Anthony B's lick across the riddim, Love So Divine is a powerful anti-abortion song. For good measure the album includes the instrumental/dub versions of the riddims.
Easy Star Volume 2 ~ Dancehall Culture is a boomblast collection of topnotch quality reggae and dancehall.

Teacher & Mr. T.