Rhythm 2 Rhythm Vol. 8 ~ From Creation / Real Iron
Cou$ins Records - Black Arrow
June 12, 2007

Track list
    'Real Iron'-riddim
  1. King Of Kings - Luciano
  2. Holy Mount Zion - Sizzla
  3. My Baby - Gregory Isaacs
  4. Glory To The King - Frankie Paul
  5. Glorify The Lord - Fred Locks
    'From Creation'-riddim
  6. From Creation - Don Carlos
  7. Stand Up For Your Rights - Michael Rose
  8. Rasta Man - Everton Blender
  9. Jah Messengers - Junior Reid
    'Real Iron'-riddim
  10. One More Time - Ultimate Shines
  11. Ras Did It - Brown Lion
  12. Hail To The King - Anthony B.
  13. Stick To The Good - Mikey General
  14. Physically Critical - Eek A Mouse
    'From Creation'-riddim
  15. From Creation - Clive Hylton
  16. From Creation (Original Mix) - Don Carlos
  17. Creation Dub - Dean Frazer
  18. Creation Dub (2) - Mafia & Fluxy
  19. Borrowed Time - Sandeeno
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Following the dropping of two albums on the heels of each other in the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series in august last year, with its 4th volume 'Watch This Sound & What A Feeling' and its 5th "Volume 5 ~ Warrior Charge & Drum Song", Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style with 'Rocksteady & Beatitude' and the strong various artists albums "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1", "JA2UK Singers Vol. 3" and last year also "A Tribute 2 Studio One & Treasure Isle Records" - 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 like the very successful first attempt at a one drop 'Street Swing' 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.

Now Cou$ins Records releases its 8th volume of the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series compiling two older selections from UK producer Steve Martin a.k.a. Blacker Dread with the 'Real Iron' from 2003 and 'From Creation' from 1998 (though earlier in 1984 recorded). 'Real Iron' is a very powerful riddim that upon its release especially got much acclaim for the Gregory Isaacs tune also included on this set that was on Gregory's "Masterclass" album in 2005, getting the right treatment from Luciano on his "King Of Kings" and from Sizzla on the wonderful "Holy Mount Zion" that unfortunately is included on my misprint of the CD, with Fred Locks' strong "Glorify The Lord" unfortunately lacking. Gregory Isaacs' "My Baby" is a great tune that is followed by Frankie Paul (who always delivers nice tunes for Blacker Dread) excelling on the conscious "Glory To The King".

The second riddim is based on Clive Hylton's until a couple of weeks impossible to find on CD 1976 recording "From Creation", of which the instrumental "Underground (Root)" appeared on Lee Perry's "Super Ape", but only on Trojan's recently released "Ape-ology" have 4 heavy cuts including Clive Hylton's original been included as bonus tracks. Here the 1998 version of Don Carlos' take on Clive Hylton's "From Creation", Michael Rose's "Stand Up For Your Rights" and Everton Blender's "Rasta Man" over a slightly different mix of the riddim with horns all grab you immediately because of the sheer power of the relick by Mafia & Fluxy together with Dean Fraser and Dwight Pickney, and so does Junior Reid over an alternative stripped down bass heavy cut of the riddim with "Jah Messengers".

Time for the next 5 cuts on the 'Real Iron'-riddim, on which both Ultimate Shines with "One More Time" and Brown Lion with "Ras Did It" deliver efforts that don't work too well, before Anthony B.'s "Hail To The King" which in fact is a rather pathetic tune in combination with this great Nyahbinghi drumming influenced riddim by the Firehouse Crew together with Earl 'Chinna' Smith and Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace with its pumping horn accents on top turns out to be a real killer tune. Mikey General also contributes a very nice tune with "Stick To The Good" before Eek A Mouse delivers the very strange "Physically Critical" story about the backsets of a black man in the Caribbean that might turn of many but has my full approval for both its lyrics and odd slow flow.

The best five tunes have been saved for last, as Clive Hylton's brilliant own re-recording of "From Creation" over the horns version of the riddim is followed by the original 1984 version Don Carlos voiced for Blacker Dread then as "From Creation (Original Mix)" before the riddim is given the dub treatment twice, first with Dean Fraser's saxophone on top in "Creation Dub" and then with Mafia & Fluxy themselves dubbing it up even more in the extremely bass-heavy "Creation Dub (2)". These 2 versions however are not the last tunes on this very nice two riddim album, with enough classic tunes for every roots aficionado to pick it up, as the album is brought to a close by UK singer and UK born Jamaican DJ Sandeeno, who in the 80s as Superman was one half of the highly rated JA DJ combination Superman & Spiderman, but it is as singer Sandeeno that he had his biggest successes in the UK, here singing the magnificent "Borrowed Time".