Various artists album review
Ruff Cutt In Roots
Tabou 1-Walboomers Music
05 - 02 - 2000

Tracking list

  1. Freddie McGregor - Give Jah The Glory
  2. Mighty Diamonds - Beware Ethiopians
  3. Kanni - Green
  4. Trevor Dixon - War
  5. Michael Rose - Last Chance
  6. Nereus Joseph - Rise Up
  7. Vivian Jones - Babylon Trap
  8. Barbara Naps & Nereus Joseph - Work
  9. Little Roy - Rock Steady
  10. Gregory Isaacs - Love Triangle
  11. Richie Dan - Hear The Sound
  12. Bongo Dashi - Chalwa Dub
  13. Junior Kelly - Jah Jah Live On
  14. Lorna Asher - The Champion
  15. Desi D - Down A Yard
  16. Little Roy - Payaka
  17. Vincent Napp - Get Up Stand Up
  18. Interlude
  19. Mighty Diamonds - Beware Ethiopians Nyah Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Since their entrance in music business London-based Ruff Cutt has had several number one hits and is behind many of the UK hits recorded in the UK by many of the top producers. Furthermore they have recorded some of the finest reggae artists, from both Jamaica and the UK, in their own Ruff Cutt Studio, providing the recordings with their typical Ruff Cutt sound. Throughout the years they have built themselves a reputation through their impeccable quality production of sound and artistry. Whether it is dancehall/ragga, lovers rock or roots, Ruff Cutt has proven to be equally at home with all genres of Reggae music.
This album mainly focuses on the roots side of the Ruff Cutt production work and is further proof of the high quality level they have reached. Established reggae stars like Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs and the Mighty Diamonds are joined by upcoming talented artists like Richie Dan (member of London's Status Crew) and Junior Kelly. The album opens with Freddie McGregor's storming "Give Jah The Glory", definitely one of Freddie's best roots tunes over a powerful, thumping stepper, laid by Paul "Jazzwad" Yebuah and Tony Philips, featuring the horns of Dean Fraser and the Matic Horns. The Mighty Diamonds deliver the next, noteworthy cut with the excellent Beware Ethiopians" across a riddim track that incorporates a part of Bob Marley's "War" riddim. Rather unknown Kanni delivers a solid reality effort, before Trevor Dixon is the next artist to perform his conscious lyrics across another revitalized Bob Marley riddim, in this case "Heathen". Michael Rose's "Last Chance" dates from quite some time back and was one of the Ruff Cutt produced UK hit songs. Still very enjoyable to spin today. "Rise Up" showcases excellent vocal and lyrical delivery over a great riddim from the somewhat underrated, but truly one of finest vocalists in the UK, Nereus Joseph. Another fine vocalist is Vivian Jones, whose "Babylon Trap" can match the best efforts on this album.
A wicked combination tune from Barbara Naps and Nereus Joseph preceeds Little Roy's do-over of the Wailers' song "Rock Steady", with the harmonies of the original Wailers added to Little Roy's delivery. Gregory Isaacs' contribution is delivered in this vet singer's well known style, a nice effort in its own right. Richie Dan's "Hear the Sound" is an appealing and entertaining tune, which continues with the wicked instrumental of this piece from Bongo Dashi. Newcomer Junior Kelly has the benefit of a well laid riddim, but besides that truly makes a good impression with "Jah Jah Live On". Female singer Lorna Asher, UK's new singing sensation, shines in a wonderful conscious song, entitled "The Champion". Desi D contributes with a nice tune, which happens to be a new lyrical interpretation of an old US hit song called "On Broadway". Then Little Roy delivers his second Wailers cover. This time he and the Ruff Cutt team rework "Payaka", an impressive effort - vocally as well as musically - and one of the standouts on this compilation set. The following track is another Marley tune, now covered by Vincent Napp, nicely performed by both singer and musicians. As a kind of bonus this disc ends with an excellent alternate (nyah) version of "Beware Ethiopans", with those wonderful voices of the Mighty Diamonds shining bright.
"Ruff Cutt In Roots" is a solid contemporary roots album with no real weak tune to be found, a treat for all reggae fans worldwide.

Teacher & Mr. T.