Various artists album review
Shining Stars Volume 3 (Four Riddims That Run Germaica In 2004)
Germaican Records-Groove Attack
CD / 2LP
December 6, 2004

Tracking list

  1. It's Appropriate - Sizzla - 'Messer Banzani'
  2. Runaway - T.O.K. - 'Señorita'
  3. Baby - Capleton - 'Curefix'
  4. Valentine - Lukie-D - 'Valentine'
  5. All A Di Gal Dem - Ill Inspecta & Bobby Buster a.k.a. Germaican Scout - 'Messer Banzani'
  6. Classical Party - Buccaneer - 'Señorita'
  7. Release - Seeed - 'Curefix'
  8. My Love Is Real - Glen Washington - 'Valentine'
  9. If I Love You And You Love Me - Admiral Tibet - 'Messer Banzani'
  10. Shake Your Ass - CéCile - 'Señorita'
  11. She Want - Wayne Marshall - 'Curefix'
  12. You And Your New Lover - Gregory Isaacs - 'Valentine'
  13. Step 2 The Fire - Capleton - 'Messer Banzani'
  14. Ich Bin Wie Ich Bin - Lazy Youth - 'Señorita'
  15. I'm In Love - Delly Ranks - 'Curefix'
  16. Far Away - Sweet Cess - 'Valentine'
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

This year the wait hasn't been as long, thanks to the release 3 months ago of "German Stars" and "Premium Stars" to celebrate 5 years of Germaican Records for the follow up to the highly acclaimed first 2 volumes of "Shining Stars". After showcasing Cobra and Vybz Kartel on the latest riddim masterminded by Lanni 'Pionear' Topp, the 'Messer Banzani'-riddim, called after the band of which 'Pionear' and Tom Topp were member, and from the ashes of which Germaican Records was the Phoenix rising, this album opens with Sizzla's very entertaining take on this ska-inspired midtempo riddim girls "It's Appropriate", later Bobby Buster and Ill Inspecta a.k.a. Germaican Scout deliver the very convincing "All A Di Gal Dem" of which the video is included as extra feature on this enhanced CD, Admiral Tibet (where has he been?) strays from the cultural path for the lovers tune "If I Love You And You Love Me" and Capleton mixes his usual theme with a hidden dance instruction in "Step 2 The Fire". As was the case on the first volume (the second only featured Germaican Records productions) also non Topp Entertainment productions are included, in this case the riddim that propelled Kingstone from Cologne to the top of the charts. Like the album "Gebe Nicht Auf" by their selector Lazy Youth recorded at his Basslabor studios, gold was struck immediately with T.O.K.'s "Runaway", and CéCile's "Shake That Ass" is just a noselength behind. Buccaneer doesn't use his opera style (although the title might have you fear he's going for it once too often) for his "Classical Party, before Lazy Youth himself shines in the only German lyrics tune on the album "Ich Bin Wie Ich Bin" I Am Who I Am. The 'Valentine'-riddim built by Far East Band drummer Marco Baresi, who had his 'boss' Gentleman voice it for the soothing "After The Storm" that outshone Sizzla's rather excellent "I'll Always Love You" on it gets the full treatment here by singers Lukie D for his "Valentine", Glen Washington for "My Love Is Real", a remarkably good sounding Gregory Isaacs for his sad "You And Your New Lover" and female songbird Sweet Cess, who already had a great tune on the the VP Records released "Riddim Driven ~ Doctor's Darling", and now proves she is here to stay with "Far Away". Three tunes over the 'Curefix'-riddim have already six months available on the Seeed "Release EP", but it's great to have the Wayne Marshall take on it "She Want" along them on this album. This compilation is another excellent showcase of the constant stream of high quality of riddims and tunes coming from Leipzig Germaican Records crew and their German and Jamaican associates, and while it's a pity (pun intended) that the CD doesn't contain 4 more tracks (that is clean versions of the riddims for those not buying vinyl like me), this is an absolute must have. This is the top of European produced reggae and dancehall that matches also the best stuff coming from the other side of the pond.