Various artists album review
Strictly Dancehall
Jamdown Records-Walboomers Music
07 - 01 - 2000

Tracking list

  1. Elephant Man - Elephant Man
  2. Nitty Kutchie - Couldn't You
  3. Chico - Nuh Worry Den
  4. Tony Curtis - Money Taker
  5. Mr. Vegas & Don Yute - La La La
  6. Don Yute - Ends Out
  7. Anthony B - Needy Greedy
  8. A.R.P. - Lion Sleeps
  9. Family Tree - Mad Dem Anthem
  10. Delly Ranks - Scandal Bag
  11. Alley Cat - Pretty Girl
  12. Don Yute - Caddy
  13. Saba Tooth - Subway Train
  14. Captain Barkey - Hol'up Yuh Hand
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

No mega-mixing this time, but a serious compilation of 14 full length Dancehall tunes straight from yard on this latest 'Jamdown' release, entitled "Strictly Dancehall". Approximately 45 minutes of Dancehall goodness starts with four cuts to Black Shadow's R&B related "Ready Fi Bun" riddim. The first track comes from Scare Dem Crew member Elephant Man, whose delivery stays close to the piece originally performed by Timberland. It is a solid effort, which is matched by the cuts from Nitty Kutchie and Chico, who also deliver entertaining versions to the riddim. Sweet-voiced Tony Curtis revitalizes his own "Money Taker", an enjoyable song he recorded some four years ago for London-based Stingray Records. Then, artist/producer Jason Williams aka Don Yute himself contributes with two tunes. His nice combination with late nineties Dancehall sensation Mr. Vegas showcases the singing skills of the latter on a singer/deejay adaption of the Fugees hit smash "Killing Me Softly", actually originally done by Roberta Flack. In contrast to "La La La", "Ends Out" is a hardcore Dancehall tune across a haunting riddim. Bobo Dread Anthony B was one of those cultural deejays, who brought consciousness into the Dancehall music of the nineties. He mainly established his name through his association with Star Trail's Richard 'Bello' Bell. However, "Needy Greedy" he recorded for Paul Nelson's 'Our House' Productions, and although Anthony B gets somewhat repetitive in his lyrics, it is a fine message tune after all, delivered across a bare Dancehall riddim. The very same riddim is also utilized for A.R.P.'s very danceable and excellent "Lion Sleeps". Also the rather unknown outfit Family Tree benefits from the riddim. Their performance is reminiscent of such better known crews as Monster Shack and Scare Dem and with their "Mad Dem Anthem" they provide a good example of their style and fashion. After Paul Nelson's production work the compilation returns to the production skills of Don Yute. For his "Golden Child Inc." he engaged Delly Ranks and Alley Cat to voice the very same riddim he himself used for his self-produced tune. Both Dancehall deejays have fine efforts across the riddim, however they don't manage to match Don Yute's awesome cut, "Caddy". "Subway Train", produced by Clive Kennedy and performed by Singjay Saba Tooth, is an avarage Dancehall tune, which fails to make a real impression. Actually the same goes for Captain Barkey. His "Hol'up Yuh Hand" - produced by Vivian Stephenson aka Tanya Stephens - lacks a good, hardhitting Dancehall riddim to be regarded as a solid effort. However, "Strictly Dancehall" contains nuff Dancehall niceness to make this compilation set well worth checking out !

Teacher & Mr. T.