Mafia & Fluxy Presents Rocksteady Vol. 1
Mafia & Fluxy Records
January 19, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Mafia & Fluxy are the best known UK reggae riddim section and production team consisting of brothers Leroy and David Heywood. Their successful career began with London reggae band The Instigators in 1977. They backed countless Jamaican artists on UK and European tours, but also went to Jamaica where they build riddim tracks for renown producers such as Bunny Lee, King Jammy, Donovan Germain, and Philip "Fatis" Burrell. They became one of the most in-demand riddim sections of the reggae and dancehall scene. Leroy Mafia did well on the reggae charts with some fine (mostly lovers) tunes. They started their own label, producing artists such as Sugar Minott, King Kong, Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne, Cornell Campbell, and many many more. Wether it's a tough dancehall riddim, an ultra smooth lovers tune or deep roots tune, they can handle 'm all.
The album "Mafia & Fluxy Presents: Rocksteady, Vol. 1" collects some 14 tunes, all across well known and lesser known rocksteady/reggae riddims from the past, played by the UK riddim twins in fine & smooth fashion and voiced by UK based artists and an occasional JA artist. Leroy 'Heptones' Sibbles probably is the best known artist here. His career starts somewhere in the '60s with The Heptones and he's still going strong with productions for his own Bright Beam label as well as voicing tunes for several producers. For this album he relicks the beautiful Studio One Heptones rocksteady tune "Why Must I", a tune they he also recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark. Reggae veteran Derrick Morgan shows up for a vivid recut of his 1969 hit "The Conqueror". This riddim is best known as Cornell Campbell's "The Gorgon". The Pioneers was a group led by Sydney Crooks and the tune "Give Me Little Lovin'" was their first session with Joe Gibbs, with Jackie Robinson as the newly hired lead singer. Leroy Mafia and Mr. Benz ride the same riddim but we can't figure out the name of the riddim. Mr. Benz's tune is a highlight here, it's said that this unknown vocalist hails from Panama where he started his career around 2000.
Marcia Griffith's Studio One classic "Melody Life" riddim provides the background for Marie Claire's "Little King" and Don Campbell's "Finally". Marie Claire comes from Dominica and she's an Italian-trained classical singer, fusing reggae with her classical background. Check out her tune here and you know what we mean. Very nice tune! Brixton based deejay Troublesome makes a solid impression with his social commentary tune "Crime Don't Pay". Brothers Andrew and Peter McGregor along with Eamon Sterling are the original founders of Abelwell Foundation. Their lyrical content highlights consciousness, respect and love which they believe are of particular importance for these challenging times in which we live. "I'll Never Walk Alone" fully emphasises this statement. UK vocalist Santana does a smooth do-over of "Blessed Are The Meek", while reggae vet Winston Reedy goes back to 1968 for the Treasure Isle classic "There Comes A Time" by The Techniques. He calls it "Last Laugh". Sarah Tobias is a musician (saxophones, clarinets, flute) and recording engineer based in London. She has worked in many genres of music, currently it's mainly reggae. She closes the album with an instrumental cut of Winston Reedy's tune.