Still One Drop
March 25, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
The Austrian reggae label Irievibrations Records was founded in 2004 by the two brothers Syrix and Professa, who are also known as Iriepathie. Along with Bassix, who strenghtens the producing section alongside Syrix, and Matty Dread who assists Professa in the management department, the brothers have managed to establish Irievibrations as a well-respected record label due to the constantly high quality standard of its releases, which include 7inch selections for the "Peace", "Love Bird", Caribbean", "Elevator", "Hit Drop" and "Work Off" riddims, and albums by Jamaican artist Perfect and Uwe Kaa from Germany.
"Still One Drop", the latest release coming from this Vienna-based production house, is an excellent compilation of tunes that were recorded over the last few years by the Irievibrations producer trio. This 18-track album with over 68 minutes playtime features previously released singles and new produced material that hasn't been issued before from well-known Jamaican artists like e.g. Morgan Heritage, Sizzla, Luciano, Anthony B, Perfect, Burro Banton, and Turbulence, alongside promising newcomers such as Tifa, Sojah, and the much-anticipated Konshens. Furthermore the label stays true to its philosophy to support the Austrian and European reggae community by including contributions from local talent Mishu Laika, Conscious Fiyah feat. Jahcoustix, and Raf & Daddy Supa.
From beginning to end this compelling set is stamped with class all over. The artists and their songs fully benefit from the excellent accompaniment from a live band. The Iriepathie band expertly plays riddims ranging from modern roots to rocksteady and dancehall, thus providing the perfect vehicle for the artists to excel. Herein the production values of the Irivibrations producers, being harmony and sparkling clear backdrops, come to full expression.
Once the nicely done "Intro - Still One Drop", which for some reason reminds us of Bob Marley's "Natural Mysic", has faded away, the set really gets started with Sizzla's huge "Africa Chant". The latter comes across a wonderful slow roots riddim and brings us the reggae superstar we know and love from the early stages of his career. The wicked vibes keep flowing with Morgan Heritage's great "Live To The Fullest" over the "Caribbean" riddim, Konshens' soon to be released single with hit potential "All About The Paper", and Jah Mason's solid lovers tune "Don't Deny Me" on the awesome "Hit Drop" riddim. All in all a breathtaking start, and it certainly doesn't stop here as this compilation contains more niceness and great efforts.
Just listen to the combination tune "Love Don't Love Me" by Tifa & Ward 21. Both artists are mainly known for their hardcore dancehall outings, but here they show that they are also able to deliver a worthwhile tune across a one-drop riddim albeit with a slight old skool dancehall vibe. Sojah's "So High" is a decent herb tune, followed by Anthony B's hard-hitting "Throw It Pon Dem". Veteran Burro Banton delivers his Run The Streets Red on the "Work Off" riddim in his typical gruff-voiced style. Even though this part of the album isn't as strong as the previous one, it has definitely some very nice material to listen to.
It's Gyptian's "Stepping Higher" on the "Love Bird" riddim that marks the start of another shining part. Sweet-voiced songstress Mishu Laika forms a great combination with conscious word-slinger Perfect, which makes "Rasta Lovin" truly worth of hearing. We have to admit that we weren't big fans of Turbulence's efforts in recent times as they were too often a bit of a gimmick and uneven, but here he makes a good impression with the solid "Castaway". Perfect's "30 Pieces" was one of our favourites from his "Born Dead With Life" album (from Irievibrations) and likewise, it remains here.
The last part of the compilation kicks off with the "Elevator" riddim that underpins "Faux Croire" by Raf & Daddy Supa feat. Anthony B. It would have been great to have this as a solo tune of Anthony B, but despite it's partly French sung lyrics it's a decent piece anyway. "No Love" is another piece that shows Ward 21 is able of bringing something else than hardcore dancehall tunes. The only track that doesn't feature a Jamaican artist, "Faith" by Conscious Fyah feat. Jahcoustix, is a very enjoyable one. We're not overly fond of Mojo Morgan's solo efforts and although his reworking of the Police's "Roxanne" (re-titled "Red Light") sounds nice we're still not convinced that he can excite us with his current works. The Ska-fueled "Lively Up" by Iriepathie feat. Anthony B & Perfect rounds off in fine style.
Anyone looking for quality reggae music should check "Still One Drop", an entertaining compilation full of great vibes.