Riddim Driven ~ Lava Splash
VP Records
December 13, 2005

Track list
  1. Lava Ground - I Wayne
  2. Randy - Queen I-frica
  3. Heart Of Gold - Tony Rebel
  4. Just Once - Bascom X
  5. Stop Fighting - Sizzla
  6. Expected - D.Y.C.R.
  7. God Is My Witness - Chuck Fender
  8. I've Got You - Richie Spice
  9. These Lines - Chrisinti
  10. Rainbow - Mr. Perfect
  11. Tell Me If It's Real - Luton Fyah
  12. Tender Loving - Prestige
  13. Runaway - Donna V
  14. Bloodshed - Anthony B
  15. Break The Law - Ha-Money
  16. Lava Splash (Version) - Patrick 'Mr. Z' Henry
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Although it's more than a year ago that this one drop riddim started its march to the higher positions in the charts, it's in no way out of fashion yet, still bringing in big forwards in dances. The 'Lava Ground' (or 'Lava Splash' as it's been renamed by VP Records to avoid confusion with I Wayne's recently released album "Lava Ground") riddim with its acoustic guitar, maracas and melodic bass pattern was written and produced by Patrick 'Mr. Z' Henry & Nigel Burell for their Loyal Soldiers Music. They put themselves firmly on the map with both the 'Lava Ground' and their version of the 'No Warrior/Father Jungle Rock'-riddim (that was under I-Wayne's "Can't Satisfy Her"). I-Wayne (born Clifford Taylor, was raised by his aunt and her husband Ansel Collins - of 1970 "Double Barrel" fame alongside Dave Barker - the keyboard player on this riddim) with his brilliant apocalyptic "Lava Ground" opens this album, followed by Queen I-frica's at least as brilliant "Randy" about living (having lived) with a criminal man, a brilliant, moving, well delivered story...

Sittin pon ah bench ah write ma news
On di tings wi used to do
Even tho mi know yuh deh ah shot ah licks
Mi try mi best fi talk to yuh
It was ah joy just fi tell ah gal
Seh mi mon will buss yuh skull
Steppin as ah wife of ah criminal nuh really mek nuh sense at all
Cau him dun never did deh guard him own head
Fire tun on and pon di concrete him drop dead

Sometimes i miss yuh randy (baby)
Sometimes i miss yuh randy (baby)
Yuh shudda listen randy
And now yuh gone and another mon ah cream yuh corn

Tony Rebel contributes the excellent "Heart Of Gold", and the also like I-Wayne high-pitched voiced singer Bascom X delivers the great call for unity "Just Once". Sizzla goes fully into his falsetto delivery for the same-themed "Stop Fighting", D.Y.C.R. walks in Mutabaruka's footsteps for "Expected" and former 5th Element Crew member Chuck Fender is superb on "God Is My Witness" and co-founder and still 5th Element member (recently Anthony Cruz also left after in January this year setting up his own Shan Shan Music named after his daughter Shanice) Richie Spice is in a lovers mood on the fine "I've Got You". Chrisinti's love-gone-wrong tune "These Lines" is also above par, followed by Mr. Perfect's great tribute to his girl "Rainbow" and Luton Fyah still tossing and turning and therefore asking his girl "Tell Me If It's Real". Newcomer Prestige, who delivered fine tunes on both the one drop 'Hard Drugs'-riddim and Christopher 'Longman' Birch' outrageous gospel/soca/dancehall 'My Swing', now contributes the slow spoken/sung "Tender Loving" before Studio One graduate Donovan 'Donna V' Pinnock shows once more he is ridiculously underrecorded ever since his work for Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, with his smooth voice that so closely resembles that of Cocoa Tea singing the beautiful song about the troubles here and the longing for a promised land "Runaway". The harsh ghetto reality is depicted in Anthony B's excellent "Blood Shed" before Ha-Money deliver the last vocal tune, lyrically related, "Break The Law" on the riddim, and then the album closes with the clear "Lava Splash Version". This album is in fact a case of better late than never, so all non-vinyl buyers hurry to the recordstores to get the great tunes on this great riddim.