Graduation In Zion Riddim Vol. 1
Lone Lions
August 17, 2007

Track list
  1. Graduation In Zion - Kiddus I
  2. Woman A Di Yard - Thriller & Philip Fraser
  3. Watch What You Doing - Gyptian
  4. Graduation In Dub - Lone Ark Riddim Force & Beat Vendors
  5. Blind Souls - Roberto Sanchez
  6. Ojos De Leon - Nano Bravo
  7. My Love Is Burning - Mark Wonder
  8. Shoot First Ask Question After - Capleton
  9. Graduation In Zion Riddim - Lone Ark Riddim Force & Beat Vendors
    Special Bonus Tracks
  10. Graduation In Zion (Audio Mix)
  11. Graduation In Zion Dub Part 2 - Lone Ark Riddim Force & Beat Vendors
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4
Ever since the first showing of the movie "Rockers" in 1978, one of its theme songs of which the recording was included because "Rockers" director Theodoros Bafaloukos had seen Kiddus I (born Frank Dowding in Jamaica, December 1944) - who was a member of Ras Michael's Sons Of Negus from 1971 to 1978, singing and playing funde drums - recording "Graduation In Zion" two years before the film was made, has been a sought after tune. So it should be considered a miracle it took so long to have a full selection of tunes using this riddim, as now the Spain based Lone Lions label treats us with. Lone Lions is a new spanish label, the result from a collaboration between Mad Lions Producciones (Valencia, Spain) and A-Lone Productions (Santander, Spain) to build a new platform for reggae at an international level, produced between Spain and Jamaica.

Lone Ark is Robertos Sanchez' musical project as a musician, singer and producer. In this way he tries to recreate and express himself through the classic reggae sound and production of that classic sound. Roberto's influences are: musicians like The Revolutionaries, the sound from Channel One and Black Ark studio, mix-masters like King Tubby and Scientist and producers such as Bunny Lee and Linval Thompson. Lone Ark's musical activity focuses on three points:
- The Live band: Lone Ark Riddim Force, formed by A-Lone's musicians, of whom are also featured on this album: backing vocalists Nano Bravo, Ines Pardo & Roberto Sanchez, with Nano Bravo & Roberto Sanchez drumming as well, Dubby Ambassah providing percussion and Roberto Sanchez contributing all other instruments; bass, guitar, piano, organ and drum programming.

The man who recorded the original "Graduation In Zion" opens this "Graduation In Zion Riddim Vol. 1"-album with a great 30 years later done rerecording of his seminal tune, Kiddus I leads by example with his great version, that is followed by the smashing tribute to Jamaican women "Woman A Di Yard" by Thriller & Philip Fraser and Gyptian's great advice to young girls to "Watch What You Doing" and avoid boopsing the wrong men. Roberto Sanchez' skills at the mixing desk are fully exploited in the great "Graduation In Dub" with Kiddus I's vocals in and out of the wonderful dub.

Roberto Sanchez himself, who earlier came to my attention with his excellent take on Lloyd Parks "Slaving" that was released two years ago by Paris' Heartical, delivers the stunning "Blind Souls" before co-producer Nano Bravo uses the melody of Willie Williams' seminal 'Real Rock' classic "Armagideon Time" for his "Ojos De Leon" in Spanish. Mark Wonder delivers the absolutely stunning lovers tune "My Love Is Burning" before Capleton has the honour to deliver the last vocal on this album and returns the favour with the superb "Shoot First Ask Question After", followed by the (luckily included) clean "Graduation In Zion Riddim" version of this brilliant relick.

Two extra bonus tracks have been included (on this still too short album), a very fine megamix "Graduation In Zion (AUDIO MIX) that in its 6 1/2 minutes also includes - besides the tunes featured on this album - a cameo by Prince Jazzbo (?) with "Too Much Sufferation In A Babylon / What A Boderation" and a second - even heavier - dubmix "Graduation In Dub Part 2". This album is so magnificent, that despite its running time of only 45 minutes, it's worth every cent/penny you pay for it, you can not afford to miss out on it.