Riddim Driven ~ Rocksteady
VP Records - Groove Attack
April 12, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already
proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style - also showed a nose for picking the
right riddims to license on the three various artists compilations, as "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1"'s
inclusion of CJ James 'Without Love'-riddim and of course Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett's 'Heavenly'
and then on 'Mo-Bay' & 'Desperate Lover' two riddims from Byron Murray's In The Streetz label were
featured, strange as it may seem with In The Streetz not only being an outlet for Byron Murray's own
productions, but through their Rhythm Streetz Series Byron Murray (and Mr. Vegas) also released on CD
and LP some extremely successful riddims by other extremely hot producers.|
Cou$ins Records kicked off a new series of one riddim instead of two riddim albums called Ride The Rhythm with "Hail The I" featuring the first riddim on the Riddim Kings label produced by Stefan & Sean Shelton a.k.a the Riddim Kings and then one month later they returned with a string of one drop releases licensed from Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's Flava Music and No Doubt Records. Kemar McGregor, who of course cemented his name as one riddim producer with the 'Triumphant'-riddim backing Gyptian's "Mama" and then chipped in with the nice 'Road Block'-riddim and the very nice various combination album aptly titled "Combination" provided Cou$ins with the three excellent one-riddim albums "Trumpet", "Flute" and "Key Riddim" with three volumes in the Ride The Rhythm series in just 8 days.
And Greensleeves, who seemed to have stalled their one drop one riddim releases just like the (dancehall) Greensleeves Rhythm Album series, must have felt they missed out on one too many album there, thus suddenly breaking the Cou$ins connection and releasing the very successful '83 Rhythm' to have their link taken over then already after one album for the release of Kemar McGregor's 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim by VP Records in their still running Riddim Driven series that now featured the next No Doubt Records riddim 'Rocksteady'. The 'Rocksteady'-riddim is an as strong and as big riddim from No Doubt Records as the aforementioned 'Triumphant', 'Trumpet', 'Flute', 'Key', '83 Rhythm' and 'Rub-A-Dub' are and this riddim again provided Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor with wonderful tunes by many of the artists often voicing his riddims.
This album opens with one of them, Etana with her brilliant "Bad Mind" followed by I-Wayne with the excellent "One Hit Wonda" - the first tune I believe he voiced for Kemar McGregor - and Richie Spice with the strong "Why Should I". Nesbeth impresses once more on a riddim for the label he is signed to with the great "Injustice" and then Capleton follows with the once more almost subdued but because of that extremely strong "Save Dem" (just like he voiced his tune over the 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim). Chuck Fender's "Survivor" is followed by Fantan Mojah delivering another top class tune with "Rising" followed by the biggest surprise on this riddim Cocoa Tea with the wonderfully smooth "Sweeter" and Duane Stephenson with the equally heartfelt lovers tune "Crying Out". Konshens delivers an almost R&B-ish yet strong lovers tune with "Let Me Know" before Teflon excels with his social commentary "One Thing".
Both Ginjah with "Where Is It" and veteran sweet voiced and ridiculously underrated singer Stevie Face with "Not Going To Wait" show what great singers they are as does Glen Washington with the wonderful "Baby". Lutan Fyah closes this very impressive riddim-album with the also extremely sweet sounding "Girls Don't Cry". It's a pity that the clean version of Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's 'Rock Steady'-riddim has not been included, but this selection still deserves to be in your record collection right next to the other scorchers he's produced like the 'Triumphant', 'Trumpet', 'Flute', 'Key', '83 Rhythm' and 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim.