Reggae Grass Roots Vol. 1
Shadyville Music / Donsome Records
June 24, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 3|
Donsome Records -- headquartered both in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica and Bronx, New York -- has given us a catchy compilation of well-produced modern reggae music called "Reggae Grass Roots Vol. 1". Headed by Adrian Hanson (aka Donsome or Ras Handsome), several music projects have emanated from the label including riddims such as "Hard Rock", "Life Journey", "Kill Dem" and "Crime Stop". And now there's a compilation set with tracks from the aforementioned juggling riddims as well as other stuff that was mainly produced by Adrian 'Donsome' Hanson and also Peter 'Shady' Harrison of Shadyville Music. One look at the artist line-up tells us that it includes many established names as well as a few talented newcomers.
One of the rather unknown artists, Erasto, has been granted to open this collection of tunes with the fine "Tek Away", a cut on the "Hard Rock" riddim which was built by the legendary Sly Dunbar (of Sly & Robbie fame) and saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser, at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston. Also present here are two cuts on the "Crime Stop" riddim (best known from Gyptian's hit tune "Mama Bawl"). It's the decent "Famine And Drought" by I-Wayne that drops first, and then there's also I-Octane's "Lost Our Way", which makes an even better impression on this beautiful slow-paced riddim.
Then it's time for the heavy bass driven "Live Wire" riddim, built by Peter 'Shady' Harrison and powered by Dean Fraser's horn riffs. It backs Lutan Fyah's "What A Whoa" and furthermore Perfect's outspoken "Black Seeds", known from Lutan Fyah's dbl cd Africa" and Perfect's "Born Dead With Life". Great 'live' played riddim track with matching vocal efforts. Jah Mason's solid tune "Speedy" comes on the Dr Marshall produced "Life Journey" riddim from 2006. Donsome Records' most recent riddim, a relick of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Mr. Brown", underpins a real fine cut from Jack Radics called ("Pull Your Kotch"). Ginjah's "Guide And Protect" and Lukie D & Busy Signal's "(Man A) Yardie" is tried and trusted stuff on Shadyville Music's "Skank" riddim.
But there's much more niceness featured on "Reggae Grass Roots Vol. 1". This definitely includes Ce'Cile's mesmerizing "Da Truth", Anthony B's awesome "Tired Of Sleeping In The Rain", Ms Diva's musically and lyrically strong reality song "We Trade", Sizzla's "Put It Away" and "No Matter Dem", Jimmy Riley's collaboration with Kush Riley. Even though it's pure dancehall and thus doesn't really fit the mood of the album, you shouldn't overlook Jigsy King & Tony Curtis' "Man A Yaad" with its 'old skool' vibe either.
What can we say?! This album simply gives you very good value for money!