November 19, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Attention all lovers of reggae with a strong lovers rock vibe, 'cause Stingray Records' latest digital album release called "Moonlight Riddims" is definitely one for you. Founded in 1994 by brothers Carlton "Dillie" McLeod and Raymond "Sting" McLeod, Stingray has established itself as one of the best production camps in the UK, with a reputation for unique "yard style" mixing outside Jamaica. Since their emergence they have produced both the best local artists such as Peter Hunnigale, Sylvia Tella, Peter Spence, Don Campbell, and Vivian Jones, and big names from Jamaica like e.g. Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul, Luciano, and Bushman. Of particular interest are their compilation series "Stingray Collection", which featured great riddims such as "Muzik Street", "Meditation", "Runaway", "Rainbow Country", "Village Rock", and "Key To The City".
And now there's the 'two riddim' set "Moonlight Riddims", featuring 9 cuts on the "Moonlight Lover" riddim, actually a relick of the Treasure Isle riddim that underpinned Joya Landis' single "Moonlight Lover" from 1968, and 4 cuts on the "Moonlight Kisses" riddim. This brand new compilation, which fully showcases Stingray's arresting production style from beginning to end, predominantly features tracks voiced by some of the finest UK reggae artists. Besides that there are also a few artists from Jamaica such as crooner Stevie Face, and veteran Frankie Paul, who contribute to the album.
It's sweet-voiced singer Stevie Face whose "Winner" kicks off the wonderful "Moonlight Lover" riddim. This very nice tune is followed by a solid cut from the currently hotter than hot Gappy Ranks. "Dream Girl" shows the versatility of this artist as he utilizes a vocal style that perfectly suits the riddim. Tenna Star first came to our attention with "Zion In A Vision" (not the Garnett Silk song), utilizing a vocal style reminscent of Garnett Silk. Here he delivers the entertaining "Answer Me", on which he sounds very much like Sanchez. And although it looks like Tenna Star is still working on creating a style of his own, he's definitely a name to watch for in the near future.
Although Claire Angel's "Carry On", with a chorus that brings to mind Mr. Vegas' "Do You Know" on FiWi's "Old Skool" riddim, and also "So Glad" by the duo Frankie Paul & Sandra Cross are real nice lovers tunes, it are especially Nereus Joseph's "Standing Tall" and Lorna Asher's "Blessed Love" that both vocally and lyrically make a truly great impression. The "Moonlight Kisses" riddim is a nice sounding original backdrop, but here it's overshadowed by the "Moonlight Lover" riddim. Best cuts are Sandra Cross' heartfelt "Race For Life"" and Sylvia Tella's "Sometimes".
Overal opinion is that the "Moonlight Riddims" set is another crisp and clean produced collection from Stingray Records.