Various artists album review
Rootdown Allstars Volume 1
Rootdown-Guerilla Medien - Sony
August 18, 2003

Tracking list

  1. Wie Weit - Nosliw
  2. Energie - Maxim
  3. Es Geht Los - Allstars
  4. Mein Weed - Nikitaman
  5. In Den Schönsten Farben - Nattyflo
  6. Mi Señor - Criminal
  7. Soundbwoy Dead - Mono
  8. Niggiman 2000 - Nikitaman
  9. Boahh! Remix - Nosliw
  10. Paradies - Maxim
  11. Reflexionando - Criminal
  12. Darf Ich Mich Freuen - Mono
  13. Roots - Nattyflo
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4

With "Rootdown Allstars Volume 1" Rootdown Records presents from their small Cologne, Germany suburb an excellent overview of their current artist-roster and the productional qualities of label co-owner and producer Thilo 'Teka' Jacks. Kicking off this disc is singjay Nosliw, whose "In Vollen Zügen" featured his wicked "Nur Dabei" over the 'Doctor's Darling'-riddim. Here he rides the live played Teka riddim 'Crystal Woman' for "Wie Weit" 'How Far', a tune that has the same conscious lyrical themes. Maxim's "Energie" on Teka's 'Coming'-riddim (that has been released on three 7"s so far) is also featured on "Dancehallfieber Volume 3" and is followed by the Allstars track "Es Geht Los" 'Now It'll Happen' where Mono, Maxim, Nosliw & Nikitaman ride the 'Champagne'-riddim bigging up their own Rootdown posse. Nikitaman's "Mein Weed", featured on "Dancehallfieber Volume 2" over the picked guitar driven 'Sunday'-riddim, one of the best tracks on this album is followed by another scorcher, Nattyflo's wonderful love song to Mother Earth "In Den Schönsten Farben" 'In The Most Beautiful Colours' over the rootsy 'Karma'- riddim. The same great 'Beaujolais'-riddim featuring Richie Senior's trombone that was used for Nattyflo's "Wie Ich Abbrenn'" (check the review of "Wochenend") gets a Spanish lyrics treatment on "Mi Señor" by Raggabund member Criminal. The second tune on the 'Crystal Woman'-riddim is Germany's (although Austrian born) best female dancehall DJ lady Mono, doing the strong clashtune "Soundbwoy Dead". The next riddim 'Racer' is the first riddim ever that featured a string of tunes in 2000/2001 with German-lyrics only . One of the best tracks on that riddim is featured here, German energy-god Nikitaman's "Niggiman 2002", and another selection that originally rode this riddim, Nosliw's superb sex-lyrics tune "Boahh!" is remixed here over the appropriate titled 'String-Ting'-riddim. Half-French/half-German Maxim, who like many other German reggae artist has a hiphop background, discovered reggae while being an exchange-student in Guadeloupe, and fell in love with the music. His "Paradies" is over the 'Shimma'-riddim, with lyrics about the difficulty to accept that life is not not fair, and in fact we're living in paradise. Criminal's second track on this album is in Spanish as well, "Reflexionando" over the pretty spare riddim, spiced up with acoustic guitar, of the same name. Then Mono treats us to the beautifully sung "Darf Ich Mich Freuen" 'Am I Allowed To Be Enchanted' over the 'Reflection'-riddim. The tune to finish off this excellent and entertaining sampler of Rootdown Records tunes is one of the tunes from the early days of the label, Nattyflo's strong (and on Dancehallfieber Volume 1 featured) "Roots", showing that Rootdown Records know where they come from. The one month later released vinyl-album contains 3 extra tracks, the versions of the 'Crystal Woman', 'Coming' and 'Champagne' riddims.