Rastar Riddim
RaStar Records
January 9, 2007

Track list
  1. Fall Hard - Lutan Fyah
  2. Cut Dem Off - Yami Bolo
  3. Beautiful World - Jah Mason
  4. Blood Shed - Natty King
  5. Avoid Dem Blood Stain - Army
  6. Faith In Jah - Ras Attitude
  7. Mr. Bigman - Tony Curtis
  8. Live My Life - Luciano
  9. People Haffi Deh Yah - Jr. Reid
  10. Save Ethiopia - Gregory Isaacs
  11. We Shall See - Niyorah
  12. This Is The Way - Lady Passion
  13. Gi Dem - Midnite
  14. Politician - Tily Bap
  15. Ridaz - Jamatek
  16. Corrupted System - Norris Man
  17. Africa Is Calling - Jahyut
  18. Rastar Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Since being revamped for Damian Marley's massive "Welcome To Jamrock" After Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley conquered the dancehalls with his "Welcome To Jamrock" on Taxi's 1983 Ini Kamoze 'World A Music'-riddim (of course also known in its Jammys version backing Junior Reid's "Boom Shack A Lack"), it was only a matter time for some producer to come up with a full selection on the riddim. Frenchie, the talented in the UK residing French producer of Maximum Sound was the first one who alongside Captain Sinbad of Kingston's Bad 2000 Music produced the wicked relick of this Sly & Robbie riddim by the Firehouse Crew to full effect for Greensleeves Rhythm Album series #73 "World Jam", before two great non-straight but heavily inspired by 'Jamrock' riddims were recorded. Both IMMusic (i.e. Irie Massive Music)'s very nice one riddim album containing their 'Gangstalaw', a riddim that seems a strange and unique but well-working blend of inspiration by the Mighty Diamonds "Right To Come" and the 'Welcome To Jamrock'-riddim, built, recorded and produced by Frederic Palzer & Marius Kuhn with DanPiano on keyboards and Michael Oliver Morgan, a.k.a. Rasta Voice as executive producer and this earlier released first production on the Fort Lauderdale in Florida based new RaStar Records label profit from the strengths and immediate recognition of the 'World A Music' hook-riff without sounding as straight copies, topped with great vocal efforts across it.

And although this 'Rastar Riddim' album was already released early this year, it still deserves a review here, because with a top-notch production by RaStar Records' Nicole & G. Bonnito, this live-played on 'World A Music' based riddim (with Benbow Creary on drums, Milo on bass, Yami Bolo on keyboards, Carl James on organs and Tuff Lion on guitars) is an instant classic, making it a pure joy to listen to it. Whether Jamaican veterans like Yami Bolo with the brilliant "Cut Dem Off", Luciano with "Live My Life", Junior Reid like Yami Bolo bringing back memories of the heydays of Waterhouse style wailing in his "People Haffi Deh Yah" and Gregory Isaacs showing very fine form in "Save Ethiopia" or younger Jamaicans like Lutan Fyah with "Fall Hard", Jah Mason with the very uplifting "Beautiful World", Natty King with "Blood Shed" and Tony Curtis with the biggest tune on this album (which is an achievement given all the strong tunes on this set) "Mr. Bigman" for which he uses the melody of Bob Marley's "Burning And Looting" to great effect, newcomer Tily Bap with "Politician" and Norrisman with "Corrupted System", they all represent Jamaica with great vocal efforts and fine conscious lyrics.

The other tunes feature some of the finest and best known artists from what has become the other center of roots in the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands and these all show perfectly why St. Croix, USVI has drawn so much attention over the last couple of years, as Army with the very impressive "Avoid Dem Blood Stain", Ras Attitude with "Faith In Jah", NiyoRah with "We Shall See" or female singer Lady Passion with the only tune that is a bit less convincing "This Is The Way" before the most influential artists from the Virgin Islands Midnite, the band around Ron Benjamin and his brother (and lead-vocalist) Vaughn Benjamin, whose delivery will always bear a great resemblance to early Twinkle Brothers roots tunes, with the almost hypnotic "Gi Dem" all prove how much talent is coming from the US Virgin Islands. Local youths Jamatek with "Ridaz" and JahYut with "Africa Is Calling" also deliver worthwhile tunes, before this great set is closed by the clean "Rastar Version" that makes clear that the production and arrangement of this 'Rastar'-riddim contributes as much to the strength of this album as the great vocals across it.