Various artists album review
Mad Guitar
July 12, 2004

Tracking list

  1. It Tight - Vybz Kartel
  2. Have U Man - Beenie Man & Ms. Thing
  3. Tump Di Sky - Elephant Man
  4. No Tek Check - Buju Banton
  5. Passa Passa Part 2 - Leftside & Esco
  6. Chrome - Bounty Killer
  7. Oh No - Tami
  8. Tek Gun Shot - Vybz Kartel
  9. Hot Over Cold - Nicky B
  10. Try Wid Him - Macka Diamond
  11. Realist - Bling Dawg
  12. Do Me - Ms. Thing
  13. Feel Like It - New Kidz
  14. Get Fit - Frisco Kid
  15. U Man Waan You - Roundhead
  16. One Burner - Ward 21
  17. U Can Wine - General B
  18. Hair Doo - Timberley
  19. Why Should I - Waine Marshall
  20. Mad Guitar Rhythm - Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett & Craig Marsh
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

And another one! Don Corleon Records' producer Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett has alongside Stephen 'Lenky' Marsden been dancehall's hottest producer last year. After building 'Egyptian' together with and for Daniel 'Blaxxx' Lewis and producing the hit riddims 'Mad Ants', 'Krazy' and extremely succesfull 'Good To Go' and producing Sizzla's not by everyone well received "Rise To The Occasion" and a major contribution on the production side of Vybz Kartel's very well received "Up 2 Di Time" he built together with Paul 'Teetimus' Edmund and Andre 'Suku' Gray the 'Trifecta'-riddim to take us into 2004. After hitting out after that in 2004 with the 'French Vanilla'-riddim and his involvement in H20's 'Marmalade'-riddim and In The Streetz' recent and very hot 'Worried'-riddim and the co-produced with newcomer Kirk 'Cool Face' Ford 'Cool Fusion'-riddim he now really has reached the stages of single-handedly providing the main contributions to Greensleeves Rhythm Album series. At least every second release in the series, maybe even more, seems to have his name attached to it. Fortunately, and that's his strength, there's no downside to that. Every riddim he builds or produces seems to be as strong as its predecessor. And this riddim is no exception, it's a great dancefloor filler, uptempo and infectious. With the great though very slack "It Tight" by dancehall's War Angel Vybz Kartel, one of the lines in this tune gave the riddim its name I finger girl like a .... Another slack but very fascinating tune by Vybz Kartel, his voicing of Germaican Records' Pionear ska-based 'Messer Banzani'-riddim is for a limited time downloadable from their germaica.net. Another great combination by Beenie Man alongside Ms.Thing after their "Dude" success is their "Have U Man". Ele does what he normally does on "Tump Di Sky" lispeling his mixture of dance instructions and slackness to full effect. Buju Banton is very convincingly riding the riddim on his "No Tek Check". Next up is the absolutely outrageous "Passa Passa Part 2" by riddimbuilder extraordinaire Craig 'Leftside' Parkes and Esco, who bring the tune as if interviewing the artists 'about people medling in their lives' and imitating then Assassin, Kiprich, Alozade, Ninja Man ("Hold on! Me say me dun wid di war but then me fan then say Killer gon kill wid di war"), Spragga Benz, Gargamel, Capleton, Richie Spice replying all VERY convincingly! For everyone wondering whether "Passa Passa Part 1" has slipped through, no it hasn't, the tune is on Christopher 'Longman' Birch's (next week reviewed) 'Thrilla'-riddim. The War Lord Bounty Killer continues to show off his fine form with "Chrome". Tami, who voiced her debut "I" on Black House's 'Blackout'-riddim, chips in with the smooth & sensual sung "Oh No" to make herself noticed once again, before Vybz Kartel delivers his second take on the riddim, the badman tune "Tek Gun Shot". As always on a 'Vendetta' riddim Nicky B(ennett) delivers a well sung tune "Hot Over Cold" is - I'd almost write of course - partly vocodered, and a fine gals tune. Macka Diamond, formerly known as Lady Mackerel, has since bouncing back into publicity and popularity not released too many tunes, but "Try Wid Him" shows she aims for quality over quantity. Ricky Rudie, as he was known, seemed to many dancehall followers just passing by, but as Bling Dawg he has proven to be a mainstay, and tunes like "Realist" will maintain that status. Ms. Thing delivers has a second track, now solo, on the riddim, and uses it for her plea to "Do Me" right / work all night. New Kidz have a fat convincing party-DJ sound, and use it for their "Feel Like It", I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from these guys in the near future. More tunes from the low-voiced DJ-department stem from Frisco Kid preaching to "Get Fit" to step pon chi chi man, Roundhead pleading in an almost soca-ish style "U Man Waan You", and the madmen of Ward 21, who do an excellent joke in the intro on Bounty Killer's trademark cross, angry, miserable before praising the hardcore love in "One Burner". General B's "U Can Wine" is the odd weak one out on this riddim, but I'm never impressed with the combination of his voice and timing. One of the tunes scoring excellent on the strange lyrics chart is Timberley's "Hair Doo", stepping away from her hot-gal / independent-gal theme. Nice for once, but it should remain a gimmick. Then the fine voice of Wayne Marshall gets completely vocodered for "Why Should I" neglect a friend in the chorus, and yet it's a typical and strong Wayne Marshall tune. Even more typical and even stronger is the "Mad Guitar Rhythm" proof that Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett, here alongside Craig Marsh, has taken his Don Corleon Records to the number one position in the dancehalls worldwide.
There is however a slight problem coming up for the Greenleeves Rhythm Album series as VP Records seems to be less willing to share all tunes by VP artists. On the 'Cool Fusion'-riddim T.O.K.'s "Sayonara" wasn't included, this time it's Capleton's "Dash A Fire" that is missing. That did in both cases not harm the impact of the albums as a whole on me, but it's something I'd love to see solved. (Because we all know, buying CDs instead of singles or vinyl LPs, we'd end up having to buy the artist CDs just for that one tune).