Various artists album review
Mafia & Fluxy Presents... Roots & Culture Vol. 5
Mafia & Fluxy-Jet Star
June 5 - 2004

Tracking list

  1. Gregory Isaacs - Down The Line
  2. Levi Roots - Cool Me Off
  3. Everton Blender - Fret Dem Ah Fret
  4. Luciano - Mankind Cease (JA Mix)
  5. Mykal Rose - Day & Night
  6. Niney The Observer - You Better Know
  7. Leroy Mafia - Where Are You Hiding
  8. Danny Red - Welcome
  9. Winston Reedy - Mother Earth
  10. Everton Blender - No Vanity
  11. Leroy Mafia - Jah Covenant
  12. Niney The Observer - Moaners
  13. Levi Roots - Mix Up
  14. Mafia & Fluxy - Mix Up Dub
  15. Mafia & Fluxy - Down The Line Dub
  16. Mafia & Fluxy - See & Know Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Already the fifth instalment in the "Mafia & Fluxy Present... Roots & Culture" series and a truly worthwhile follow up to their previous compilation set from early 2003, then widely regarded as "arguably their best yet". This brand new collection of roots tunes is stamped with quality all over. The listener is treated to an entertaining 16 track cd featuring a veritable trainspotter's delight of classic riddim do-overs of the legendary 1970s roots tunes the Heywood brothers grew up on. Over the years UK's finest riddim section Mafia & Fluxy have established themselves as an in demand drum & bass section, not only in the UK but also in Jamaican recording studios such as Penthouse Recording Studio and Black Scorpio. Probably one of the wickedest riddim tracks that they have mixed in Jamaica was the fresh original "Slate", underpinning Everton Blenderís "Fret Dem A Fret" and Luciano's "Mankind Cease". These tunes sold down the place in the UK on 10" vinyl and were sought-after but hard-to-get releases for fans in other parts of the world. Both tunes are excellent efforts and it's a real joy to find them on this cd release. Would have been even better when Mikey General's cut for the riddim, "Cut And Clear", was included here as well, but unfortunately you can't always get what you want... When Gregory Isaacs' "Down The Line" leaps from the speakers you'll recognise the almost "Take Five" horn line and riddim, which also is put underneath Levi Roots' solid "Cool Me Off". Grammy kid Michael (Mykal) Rose delivers "Day & Night" over an updated version of an old Niney riddim, while veteran producer/singer Winston Holness aka Niney The Observer himself turns in two fine vocals on the decent steppers "You Better Know" and "Moaners". Without doubt one of the standout tracks is Everton Blenderís beautiful former single "No Vanity", which comes over a refurnished version of the Wailing Souls' classic "Firehouse Rock" riddim, also utilized for Mafia's "Jah Covenant". Further highlights are Danny Red's Pablo Moses-esque "Welcome" and its dub, and Levi Roots' flying steppers "Mix Up". The latter samples the horn line from the In Crowdís classic "Ethiopia". Then the cd rounds off in fine style with three rumbling Gussie P dubs.
A recommended collection of tunes!!

Teacher & Mr. T.