Strange Things
Irie Ites Records
March 27, 2010

Mafia & Fluxy & Bongo Herman - Strange Things Track list
  1. John Holt - Strange Things (Discomix)
  2. Junior Kelly - Shake It Woman
  3. Chezidek - Bun Di Ganja
  4. Sizzla - Revolution
  5. Lutan Fyah - Work It Out
  6. Lorenzo - A So Dem Stay
  7. Ras McBean & Sena - Travelling So
  8. Trinity - Strange All Over The World
  9. Mafia & Fluxy, Earl "Chinna" Smith & Bongo Herman - Strange Things Riddim
  10. Calvin "So So" Francis - Strange Dub
  11. Pressure - Ina Dancehall
  12. Spectacular - Badda Dan Dem
  13. Cali P - The Champion
  14. Sena - Strange Days
  15. Keefaz & Don Pako - Vendredi Soir Special
  16. In The Clash Tonight (Flex Remix)
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Essential -Votes: 2-
Very Good -Votes: 9-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 13
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Since 2005 the in Le Mans, France based Irie Ites label has been causing quite a stir with a series of 7" singles and 'one riddim' albums including the superb "Zion", "Borderline" and "Only Solution" riddims and quality relicks of Burning Spear's "Rocking Time" and Culture's "Down In Jamaica". Last year they released a great recut of Phil Pratt's classic "Strange Things" riddim, originally voiced by the legendary John Holt in 1971. Just like the previous ones the riddim was expertly (re)built by the famous drum & bass duo Mafia & Fluxy, who -- alongside Earl "Chinna" Smith and Bongo Herman -- recorded it at JA's Anchor Music Studio. It was then well mixed by Calvin "So So" Francis and Jericho outta France's XXS Studio.

All the 7" singles of the riddim plus a few previously unreleased tunes are now gathered on this "Strange Things" album. The honor to open the album has been given to veteran singer John Holt, who delivers a real nice (extended) updated version of his classic tune. Then it's time for a far younger generation of artists to show their skills and talent on this brilliant riddim. The first to ride the riddim is Junior Kelly, whose "Shake It Woman" shows the singjay in fine form. Then the listener is treated to three standout efforts in a row. Chezidek regularly records herb songs and here he delivers another one, the excellent "Bun Di Ganja". Next comes Sizzla's "Revolution", a very strong tune from one of Jamaica's topnotch artists, which is followed by Lutan Fyah's equally strong sufferer's tune "Work It Out".

Lorenzo (born Andel Henry), a Jamaican singer from the parish of St Ann, delivers the wonderful "A So Dem Stay", while "Travelling So", performed by Guyanese singjay Ras McBean in combination with songstress Sena (born to a Hungarian mother and a Ghanaian father), makes a serious impression. Together with John Holt, Trinity holds the flag for the veterans on the riddim. His "Strange All Over The World" is a decent effort, but nothing special. Usually the clean version of a riddim rounds off a 'one riddim' set, but in this case it comes in after eight vocal tracks with still five more to go. The reason for this is the fact that the last part of the album features the hip-hop infused versions of Pressure, Spectacular, Cali P, Sena, and the French duo Keefaz & Don Pako. With these cuts the mood changes as it gets a stronger dancehall vibe. Best efforts come from Pressure, Spectacular and Sena.

Do check Irie Ites' latest 'one riddim' album, because it's good value for money.