Mafia & Fluxy Presents ~ From R&B To Reggae Volume 2
Mafia & Fluxy-Cou$ins Records
March 13, 2008

Track list
  1. No One - Adele Harley
  2. Lost Without You - Adele Harley
  3. Umbrella - Sylvia Tella
  4. Say It Right - Marie Claire
  5. Unfaithful - Toria
  6. It Don't Matter - Mercedes
  7. Bed - Nato
  8. If I Was Your Man - Santana
  9. Freak In You - Nato
  10. 4 Page Letter - Marie Claire
  11. Undercover Lover - Toria
  12. Live It Up - Sylvia Tella
  13. The Way To Treat A Woman - Winston Reedy
  14. Whatever You Want - Richie Davis
  15. Calling My Mansion - Sandra Melody
  16. Gal Control - Troublesome
  17. Because I'm Hot - Mercedes
  18. Millions - Deanie Ranks
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 3
Following the dropping of two albums on the heels of each other in the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series in august last year, with its 4th volume 'Watch This Sound & What A Feeling' and its 5th "Volume 5 ~ Warrior Charge & Drum Song", Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style with 'Rocksteady & Beatitude' and the strong various artists albums "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1", "JA 2 UK Singers Vol. 3" and last year also "A Tribute 2 Studio One & Treasure Isle Records" - also showed a nose for picking the right riddims to license on the three various artists compilations, as "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1"'s inclusion of CJ James 'Without Love'-riddim and of course Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett's 'Heavenly' and then on 'Mo-Bay' & 'Desperate Lover' two riddims from Byron Murray's In The Streetz label were featured. Then Cou$ins Records released its 8th volume of the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series "From Creation / Real Iron" compiling two older selections from UK producer Steve Martin a.k.a. Blacker Dread with the 'Real Iron' from 2003 and 'From Creation' from 1998 (though earlier in 1984 recorded).

And joining all the releases of albums either relicking or revoicing great rocksteady riddims from Studio One and Treasure Isle but even Bunny Lee - like Colin B's "Rain Or Sunshine" over Bunny Lee riddims, the Blackstones' (Coxsone Dodd produced) "Tribute To Studio 1" over Studio One riddims and a couple of great releases paying tribute to Duke Reid's Treasure Isle riddims like Bitty McLean's "Peckings Presents... On Bond Street With The Supersonics" and "Made In Jamaica", the Peckings compilation "Old Skool Young Blood Volume 1" and last but not least the Blackstones' combined tribute to Studio One and Treasure Isle "Greater Power" and Mike Brooks' Treasure Isle tribute album "Break Free ~ Singing On Classic Tracks From Treasure Isle" - was the excellent "From Bond Street To Greenwich Farm" release from Donville Davis' Cou$ins Records on which the singers deliver their beautiful tunes over classic Treasure Isle and Bunny Lee riddims. The latest release on Cou$ins Records comes courtesy of Donville Davis' real life cousins (pun intended), North London singers, musicians and producers Mafia & Fluxy who reggaefied with some very fine vocalists some of the biggest R&B hits for their "From R&B To Reggae Volume 2".

The first tune not only shows that Mafia & Fluxy are true masters when it comes to reggaefying pop and R&B tunes, but also that if England were in need for a white souldiva not doing the amount of drugs that Amy Winehouse (ab)uses, Adele Harley could step up, as her rendition of Alicia Keys' "No One" is absolutely impeccable and so is her soulful take on "Lost Without You" by Robin Thickes. UK lovers rock icon Sylvia Tella delivers a fabulous version of Rihanna's "Umbrella" whose "Unfaithful" gets a great reggae treatment by Toria, with Marie Claire's sensual cover of "Say It Right" squeezed in between. Akon's "It Don't Matter" is turned into a fine piece of slow-flow deejayed reggae by Mercedes, before upcoming UK singer Nato maintains the R&B-vibes in his vocal over the reggae backing of J. Holiday's "Bed" and Santana does the same in his take on Joe's "If I Was Your Man". Jodeci's beautiful "Freak In You" remains a gem when Nato delivers it as his second tune on this album, followed by Marie Claire's cool version of Aaliyah's "4 Page Letter" and Toria's very UK version of Smooth' "Undercover Lover".

Sylvia Tella contributes another scorcher when she turns the male/female tables on John Legend's "Live It Up" followed by Winston Reedy's great "The Way To Treat A Woman" on which he sounds like a more soulful version of Simply Red's Mike Hucknall and Richie Davis after a true Barry White styled intro seguing into a great rendition of the big man's "Never Gonna Give You Up" retitled (for whatever reason) "Whatever You Want" here. Sandra Melody's well delivered chat "Calling My Mansion" unfortunately suffers heavily from bad sound (at least on my copy) and then Troublesome delivers his (first) underground hit "Gal Control" also over Missy Elliot's 'All N My Grill'-riddim, before the album is brought to a close with two versions over a reggae-version of M.I.M.S.' 'This Is Why I'm Hot'-riddim, Mercedes second tune on this album twisting the tune into the great "Because Me Hot" and Deanie Ranks impressing with "Millions". This album combines Mafia & Fluxy's riddim-building & production skills to reggaefy pop and R&B tunes by some very fine (UK) vocalists to guarantee more than 70 minutes of pure listening pleasure.