Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Minstrel Riddim
Various
Dublife Muzik / Kulcha Shok
Digital Release
December 13, 2015

Track list
  1. Ras Attitude - Humble Ways
  2. Perfect Giddimani - Natty Promise
  3. Purpleman - Go General
  4. Natty Remo - Get High
  5. Terry Linen - Ungrateful Woman
  6. Ras Kokay - Hole In My Heart
  7. P-Dub - Black Woman
  8. Monsoon - So Ungrateful
  9. Fyakin - I Miss Your Love
  10. Predator Dub Assassins - Humbleness (Instrumental)
  11. Predator Dub Assassins feat. Perfect Giddimani - Natty Promise To Dub
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Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Although rocksteady with its super skanking riddims was a short-lived phase of Jamaican popular music, it was hugely influential on reggae, dub and dancehall. Many bass lines originally created for rocksteady songs were relicked throughout the decades that followed, such as the riddim from Sound Dimension's "Real Rock" and "Full Up", "Never Let Go" by Slim Smith (sometimes known as the "Answer" riddim), "Train To Soulsville" by Cool Tricky (known as "Heavenless" riddim) and The Heptones' "Get In The Groove". Also "Queen Of The Minstrel" by Cornell Campbell & The Eternals from 1969 appeared in various reworked versions, underpinning tunes such as Prince Jazzbo's "Prophecy A Fulfill", Gregory Isaacs' "Leading Me" and Sizzla's "Guide Over Us", and Morgan Heritage's "Jah Seed" to name only five.

And now there's another rendition of the riddim from "Queen Of The Minstrel", simply called "Minstrel Riddim". It's actually the second joint venture (the earlier this year released "Irreplaceable Riddim" being the first) from the collaborative team of US based Kulcha Shok & Dub Life Muzik. The original Studio One riddim, as we already knew, is catchy as hell and so is this reworking done by New York City based Predator Dub Assassins. It's really hard to shake the riddim from your senses (not that we've tried very hard).

Ras Attitude, the chanter from out of St. Croix, opens this juggling project in a glorious way with the gorgeous "Humble Ways", a beautiful song in which he expresses his love for his queen. This time Perfect Giddimani doesn't come up with the obligatory ganja tune (as we were getting used to). Here he makes a serious impression with a strong cultural piece entitled "Natty Promise", which turns out to be one of the artists greatest moments in recent times. Next comes Purpleman, the veteran deejay from the '80s who made his comeback in 2014 with a new album entitled "Home Once More", brings in some wicked old-skool dancehall vibes with the solid "Go General". "Get High" by Natty Remo, one of our favourite cultural artists from the mid '90s who unfortunately has been overlooked by then leading production houses, shows that he's still in good shape. He rides the riddim with ease in his typical singjay style and surely doesn't lack lyrics.

Time to go into lovers territory with first "Ungrateful Woman", a great lover's lament by Terry Linen, whose vocal style is reminiscent of Garnet Silk. It's a captivating song that can really touch you. It's followed by "Hole In My Heart", a decent cut by the rather unknown Ras Kokay, while the soulful voice of P-Dub, frontman of the Predator Dub Assassins, graces the solid "Black Woman". Then it's Monsoon's powerful message tune "So Ungrateful" that demands full atention, before Fyakin returns to matters of the heart with the real nice "I Miss Your Love". At the end of this the listener is treated to "Humbleness (Instrumental)" with wonderful sax play and Natty Promise To Dub, the dub version of one the project's highlights.

You cannot afford to not pay attention to the "Minstrel Riddim" as it has quite a few top notch performances.