Various artists album review
Kings Of Reggae Vol. 2
Artists Only! Records
21 - 07 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Luciano - Visions
  2. Freddie McGregor - Key To The City
  3. Bushman - Higher
  4. Sanchez - Incomplete
  5. Dennis Brown - Mr. Brown
  6. Admiral Tibett - War And Crime
  7. Michael Rose - Judge Not
  8. Jimmy Riley - Negativity Bow
  9. Richie Davis - Centre Of The War
  10. Sugar Black - Here I Come
  11. Jesse Gender - Trodding Along
  12. Prezident Brown & U Brown - No MIA
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

In 1994 the McCleod brothers founded their own 24-track "Big House" studio and label called "Stingray Records". Since their emergence they have steadily built a reputation, not only as one of the leading production houses in the UK, but also as the most "Yard" sounding of all the UK outfits. Throughout the years they also started to record in Jamaica itself, where they used Bobby "Digital" Dixon's Digital B Studio and Freddie McGregor's Big Ship studio, as well as in New York, using Phillip Smart's HCF Studio on Long Island, and Living Room in Brooklyn. The characteristic sound of tunes on Stingray Records is fairly traditional, but built with all the advantages of modern studio equipment. Besides the production and engineering talents of Carl "Dillie" McCleod and the expert mixing of Paul Brown, Jermaine Forde or "Dillie" McCleod himself, it's the involvement of great musicians like Computer Paul, Jazzwad, Kenton "Fish" Brown, Tony "Ruff Cutt" Phillips, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, Winston "Sax" Rose and Tan Tan that creates a crisp and clear vibe.
The Artist Only! compilation "Kings Of Reggae Vol. 2" collects some of the finest and most popular tunes from the Stingray camp. Although they have always specialised in showcasing UK acts this set focusses on the more celebrated Jamaican artists. All twelve songs represent the best of modern British reggae production as can be experienced when spinning such outstanding tunes like Luciano's brilliant "Visions", Freddie McGregor's impressive "Key To The City", Sanchez's superb "Incomplete" and Bushman's awesome "Higher", a mournful sufferers' lament that demonstrates the old maxim of "who knows it, feels it" in a very powerful way. Vital matching cuts are Dennis Brown's wonderful "Mr. Brown", Admiral Tibett's "War And Crime" and "Judge Not" from Michael Rose. Furthermore one is treated to solid efforts by reggae veteran Jimmy Riley, Sugar Black and the combination Prezident Brown & U Brown. The only UK reggae artist featured here is Richie Davis. His solid Centre Of War" fully shows that this singer deserves to be placed amongst his Jamaican counterparts as he definitely belongs to the group of leading UK talents.
Reggae tunes coming from outside Jamaica are often ignored, but there's no excuse for overlooking this collection of class productions!

Teacher & Mr. T.