Stagalag Riddim
Juke Boxx Productions
May 20, 2010

Track list
  1. Busy Signal - High Grade
  2. Romain Virgo - Ghetto
  3. Assassin - Bam Bam
  4. Tarrus Riley - Mi Homeland
  5. I-Octane - Nuh Let Them Kill Me
  6. Demarco - Skull Inna Belly
  7. G-Whizz - Nuh Wah Si Dem
  8. Chino - Sound Excecution
  9. Busy Signal - Hearse
  10. Timeka Marshall - I Say You
  11. Bugle - Criminal Lawyer
  12. Chuck Fenda - Cease Fire
  13. Elephant Man - Nah Deal Wid Love
  14. Kiprich - Suppose
  15. Romain Virgo - Memories
  16. Busy Signal - Dun Wid Dem
  17. Nymron - Caan Tek It Nuh Langa
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
After the well received and successful release of an updated version of the "Boops" riddim, the first ever riddim cover issued on the Juke Boxx Productions label as a tribute to the late Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson of renown producers/musicans duo Steely & Clevie, it's revival time again. Now it's the ever popular "Stalag" riddim, often referred to as "Stagalag", that has been dusted off and given a contemporary sound by Shane C. Brown, son of legendary Treasure Isle and Tuff Gong engineer Errol Brown. Musicians Kirk "Kirkledove" Bennett and Aeion Hoilett have relicked the riddim, while background vocals are provided by Nikki Burt

Since Winston "Techniques" Riley released his overdubbed cut of Ansel Collins' 1973 instrumental "Stalag 17" - utilized for the late Tenor Saw's dancehall anthem "Ring The Alarm" - the riddim has become one of the most popular dancehall riddims of all time. The riddim also influenced early hip-hop and can be discerned on Public Enemy's hit "Don't Believe The Hype", while a samples of Yami Bolo's "When A Man's In Love" and Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" have been used for Mad Lion's "Take It Easy" and Main Source's "Just Hangin' Out" respectively. And now, even though it's never been away as it is still regularly played at dances worldwide, it's back again to rule the dance halls.

The usual suspects, including Busy Signal, Elephant and Assassin to name three, have come to voice the "Stagalag" riddim along with young budding stars like Romain Virgo, G-Whizz, Bugle and Guyanese songbird Timeka Marshall. Busy Signal is the leader of the pack with no less than three versions, all of them worth hearing!! With "Hearse" he delivers a standout effort, followed by the matching "Dun Wid Dem" and the solid herb tune "High Grade". Also sweet-voiced Romain Virgo is present with more than one tune, the wicked reality song "Ghetto" and "Memories", a medley of love songs earlier done by Sanchez.

Don't know whether it is the strength of the riddim or solely the fact that the artists have put much effort in giving the best of their abilities, but there's no real weak cut around. Assassin's "Bam Bam" (not a cover of Sister Carol's piece) makes a decent impression and so does Chino's soundbwoy tune "Sound Execution", Chuck Fenda's "Cease Fire", Demarco's "Skull Inna Bell", Nymron's "Caan Tek It Nuh Langa" and the lovers piece "I Say You" by Timeka Marshall. Slightly better efforts can be credited to Elephant Man's conscious "Nah Deal Wid Love", Kiprich's "Suppose" and I-Octane's "Nuh Let Dem Kill Me", while standouts are Bugle's "Criminal Laywer", G-Whizz's "Nuh Wah Si Dem" and Tarrus Riley's "Homeland".

Even if we know this riddim for a very long time, this revitalized version and its fresh vocal cuts are another worthwhile release from Shane C. Brown and his Juke Boxx Productions label.