Stingray Rockers Showcase Vol.5
August 21, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Stingray is a UK reggae recording studio and label that was founded in 1994 by the McLeod brother's. It's based in the West London suburb of Perivale with Carlton "Dillie" McLeod and his younger brother Raymond "Sting" McLeod as producers who have steadily built a reputation for producing unique "Yard Style" mixing technique outside Jamaica.
In the past Stingray had worked and produced some of the best UK finest performers such as Peter Hunnigale, Sylvia Tella, Lloyd Brown and many more. On the other side of the globe Stingray have also worked and produced high profile artists from Jamaica such as Dennis Brown, Luciano, Freddie McGregor, Bushman, Morgan Heritage, Mykal Rose, Sanchez, Tony Curtis, Lukie D and many more names to mention.
The characteristic sound on Stingray's production is fairly traditional and filled with classic 70s Reggae feel, but built with all the advantages of modern studio technology. Besides the production and engineering talents of Dillie, Stingray use musicians of the finest calibre such as Mafia & Fluxy, Sly & Robbie, Computer Paul, Firehouse Crew, Gumption Band, Jazzwad, Carlton Bubblers Ogilvie, Ernie Wilks, Daltone Browne, Dean Fraser and Tan Tan.
Their current release is a three riddim album voiced by mainly UK reggae artists and an occasional Jamaican vocalist such as the late great Dennis Brown. The first nine tracks are fine reworkings of Alton Ellis's Studio one hit 'A Fool'. The album opens up with Acting Like A Fool, an heartfelt version by Christopher Ellis, the last son of Alton. Christopher is quite active nowadays, voicing for several UK labels such as Peckings. The unknown Frenchie King makes a decent impression with his powerful rendition of the riddim. What a treat to hear the late great Dennis Brown again, one of reggae's all-time greats. UK reggae star Richie Davis delivers a fine lovers tune, while Spanner Banner's Happiness is not the best tune he has ever recorded. Raymond Wright shines on One Step, great voice and nuff emotion! Sandra Cross, once Ariwa's songbird, is on good shape with Thank You. Frankie Paul stays one of Jamaica's finest vocalists, although his output is far from prolific nowadays. What a difference when he started out in the first half of the eighties! Anyway, his tune Hurry On back was recorded a couple of years back and is still one of his finest moments on the Stingray imprint.
The next three tracks are across another Studio One riddim. Freddie McGregor and Jennifer Lara sang the lovers tune "Too Late" for producer Coxsone Dodd, Sugar Minott licked the riddim and called it "Is It true" and the riddim was revitalized in the 90's by producers Super Morris and Peter Chemist. Here we see UK vocalist Robert Emmanuele in a splendid do-over of that Sugar Minott tune, while Robbie Valentine, another top notch UK vocalist, draws attention with My Heart Belongs To You. The last two tunes are versions of the 1973 Heptones' hit "Book Of Rules". Lukie D stays pretty close to the original, while Sandra Cross's version is a real super sweet relick!
Nice 'n' relaxed compilation set!