Various artists album review
Shining Stars
Germaican Records
CD / 2LP
24 - 01 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. T.O.K. - Shining Star
  2. Anthony B & Seeed - Water Pumpee
  3. Beenie Man - Nah Go Cry
  4. Mystic Dan - Reggae Fi Days
  5. Sizzla - Show The Interest
  6. Tanya Stephens - It's A Pity
  7. Jah Mason - Hill Vibes
  8. Martin Jondo - Der Rebell
  9. Ce'Cile - Ride Bwoy Thug Life
  10. Dr. Ring Ding - Doctor's Darling
  11. Turbulence - Celebrate
  12. Skarra Mucci - No More Babylon
  13. Tanya Stephens - Need You Tonight
  14. Nosliw - Nur Dabei
  15. Degree - Right Now
  16. Lobbstarr - Babylon Threat
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

In recent years Germaica aka Germany appeared to be a fertile ground for homegrown reggae and dancehall music with a strong connection to Jamaican artists. Probably the most prominent representative of Germaica's booming reggae dancehall scene is deejay, multi-instrumentalist and above all producer Pionear. Following in the wake of Pionear, producers such as his brother Tom Topp, the notable Seeed crew, Ingo Rheinbay of Cologne's Pow Pow Sound System and Beat Schmieda emerged in the new millennium. All of them contributed four bashment tunes for this wicked compilation set entitled "Shining Stars". Thus we're treated to sixteen tracks across four riddims, ranging from modern reggae to yardcore dancehall. The album opens with a bouncing, jump-up dancehall riddim called "Cure". So far seven cuts were released on 7" single, but here we're treated to four vocal tracks from namebrand artists T.O.K., Sizzla, Ce'Cile and Tanya Stephens. All tracks were produced by Tom Topp, and with the quality of the tunes ranging from solid to excellent one can only say that he has done a real good job. Jamaica's hype outfit T.O.K. kicks off this set with "Shining Star", a decent tune, well worth of hearing. Tanya Stephens' "Need You Tonight" - our favorite piece across the riddim - is an excellent effort, while Ce'Cile comes up with "Rude Bwoy Thug Life" which happens to be a matching piece. However, the best effort for the riddim is delivered by Sizzla, whose "Show The Interest" is a real good conscious tune.
The second riddim that drops in is an awesome "live" played riddim called "Doctor's Darling". It's the follow-up to the "Frog Ass" riddim, with again German's very talented Seeed crew in charge of the production work. The "Doctor's Darling" riddim - actually a revitalized version of Gregory Isaacs' "Night Nurse" - is voiced by namebrand artists such as Jamaica's Anthony B and Tanya Stephens and German's own Dr. Ring Ding, Nosliw and Seeed. The latter are doing a wicked combination tune with Anthony B, actually a new version of the Original Fireman's "Waan Back", a track from his "Universal Struggle" album. Both, Seeed and Anthony B, deliver an inspired performance which makes this tune a real killer. Also Tanya Stephens' "It's A Pity" makes a solid impression and the same goes for Dr. Ring Ding, who fully shows that he's an artist with enough experience to fully benefit from the strength of the riddim. Nosliw's "Nur Dabei" is a nice conscious tune performed in the German language.
Next riddim, "Celebrate", comes courtesy of Ingo Rheinbay and Pow Pow Productions. Again well known Jamaican artists across the riddim including Beenie Man, Jah Mason, Turbulence and Degree. "Celebrate" is an infectious uptempo riddim which incorporates a nice Spanish style guitar picking. Best tracks are Beenie Man's "Nah Go Cry" and Turbulence's cultural "Celebrate". Also Jah Mason's "Hill Vibes" makes a decent impression, while Degree doesn't live up to expectations with his rather mediocre tune "Right Now". Outside Germaica unknown artists Mystic Dan, Martin Jondo, Skarra Mucci and Lobstarr complete the roll call of this very entertaining compilation set. Produced by Beat Schmieda these artists ride a full sounding "live" played reggae riddim called "Elemental". Especially Skarra Murci and Lobstarr attract attention with truly solid efforts, both dealing with the Babylon system.
Do check out the four riddims that run Germaica in 2002!!

Teacher & Mr. T.