Goodness Gracious ~ Reggae From Finland
Fat Belt Records
December 30, 2005

Track list
  1. Studio Red - Puffin' Dub
  2. Hosni - Easy
  3. Momo Cat & Papa Zai - Pressure
  4. Lightman - Barely Human
  5. Natty Kauka, Puppa J with Tasottavat - Heart Not Clean
  6. Blood Dracula - Happy Boy
  7. Puppa J - Tree Of Life
  8. Studio Red - Nights Inna Dubtank
  9. Jukka Poika & Jenkkarekka - Sticks For The Stove
  10. Le Logan Rockérs - Rootsikka Mello
  11. The Valkyrians - Valkyrians Ska
  12. Blood Dracula - Speeding
  13. Lightman - Yasser Gosser
  14. Roots Cultivation - Mama Africa
  15. Roots Cultivation - Fruits And Flowers Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 2
Not that many reggae fans outside Finland will know that this country situated in Northern Europe has a rather small but nevertheless flourishing reggae scene. Most likely the reason why lies in the fact that Finnish reggae is hardly distributed in other parts of the world. However once in a while releases do reach the reggae massive from other countries like for example the early 2004 released debut album "Spring Time" from multi-talented instrumentalist Lightman, a noteworthy collection of instrumentals. And now there's "Goodness Gracious ~ Reggae From Finland", a compilation of Reggae, Old Skool Dancehall, Dub and Ska from the deepest swamps of Finland, released by Helsinki based Fat Belt Records. Even though this album presents music delivered by Finnish singers, toasters, groups, musicians and producers, each (previously unreleased) effort included here stays true to the roots of Jamaican music.

Those familiar with the Finnish reggae scene will instantly recognize names such as the aforementioned Lightman, Puppa J, and Jukka Poika. The latter, in combination with Jenkkarekka, delivers the indisputed highpoint of this set. Their wonderful serious roots tune "Sticks For The Stove" tells the story about living in the Finnish countryside, backed by a wicked slow-paced riddim. Also worth of hearing are the two tracks from musican/producer Deadly Kojak's studio project Studio Red. The 70's style dub track "Puffin' Dub" is a solid effort, which is outmatched by the deep roots sounds of "Nights Inna Dubtank". Puppa J's "Tree Of Life" is an entertaining tune, which is done in association with Deadly Kojak. Lightman's "Barely Human", strongly reminscent of early Augustus Pablo works, features great melodica plaiyng and a wicked organ solo. Hosni's "Easy" is a very enjoyable conscious effort with a more contemporary "live" backing complete with full horns section.

There are some weak moments around including Le Logan Rockers' "Rootsikka Mello" and The Valkyrians' "Valkyrians Ska", but all in all this is a decent compilation with distinctive sounds and some real strong efforts to enjoy.