July 22, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Since 2010 Brooklyn-based Taitu Records has been producing noteworthy roots reggae and dub music, which was mainly released on 7" and 10" vinyl singles. Label producer Amanda Ford worked with veterans such as Prince Alla, Yami Bolo, Max Romeo, Willi Williams, Johnny Clarke, Fred Locks, Willi Williams and Linval Thomson, but also selected interesting young artists like Micah Shemaiah, Kabaka Pyramid, Addis Pablo and Samory-I to voice the label's riddims. For the mixing and dub works she collaborated with UK-based roots specialists Russ D, Dougie Conscious, Roots Injection and King Earthquake.
After last year's excellent roots juggling project called "Go With Jah", Taitu Records now comes up with a stunning showcase album entitled "Haile O". The latter gathers vocal efforts and dub outings that previously appeared on 10" vinyl singles. Things get started with four tracks from the 2010 released Yami Bolo/Cologne 10" single. Yami Bolo's "War In The Garrison", voiced at Ghetto Roots Studio NYC, comes across Russ D's wicked "African Soul" riddim. Delivered in his instantly recognizable style, this piece is a winner and definitely belongs to the roots singer's best efforts. It's followed by Russ D's heavyweight dub version with Yami Bolo's vocals coming in and out of the mix. Cologne's ganja tune "No Pull Over" is a solid effort, but then real excitement is caused by "High Grade Dub", dubbed up by Russ D in a totally different way than the "Garrison Dub".
The next four tracks date from 2011, when Taitu Records released a 10" single that featured tunes from Daweh Congo and Mark Wonder. The former, an under-recorded Jamaican roots vocalist, treats the listener to "Go With Jah", which is underpinned by the same titled riddim. It's a top notch deep roots tune delivered in the singer's great distinctive style. Also "Real Battle Axe" by Mark Wonder is a massive tune, while Russ D's two blistering dub versions are nothing less than essential. Two 10" singles were released in 2011 featuring tunes by Mikey Melody, Max Romeo & Cologne, Mark Wonder and Abijah, all on the awesome "Report" riddim and all replete with their corresponding Russ D dubs. Killer vibrations come from Mikey Melody's "Haile O" and Abijah's "Word Of Life", while also Mark Wonder's "Let Me Be" makes a good impression. Although it's nice to have the straight riddim version of Russ D's "Go With Jah", it doesn't make much sense to put this one between the eight pieces that graced these 10" singles.
In case you missed out on the vinyl releases, now is your chance to finally get them (i.e. if you're not a vinyl neophyte). You simply can't let this one slip!