Various artists album review
Truly Reggae Compilation Vol. 1
Humal Records
05 - 01 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Lymie - Pressure
  2. Sylvia Tella - Why
  3. Justin Hinds - Save A Bread
  4. Freddie McGregor - I'm Concerned
  5. Skibu - Call On Me
  6. Admiral Tibet - How Long
  7. Prince Malachi - Ghetto Love
  8. Macka B - Homeland Africa
  9. Junior Kelly - Burn Rome
  10. Queen Omega - Many Mountains
  11. Frankie Paul - Millennium Girl
  12. Daddy Freddy - Raggae Information
  13. Nerous Joseph - Show Little Love
  14. Fkire Selassie - Free My People
  15. Bongo Chilli - Action Alone
  16. Vivian Jones - Your Name
  17. Jimmy Riley - Jah Is Magnificent
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2

In recent years Humal Records broke through with some fine singles, including the one included here, coming from classic "old school" singer and songwriter Jimmy Riley - former member of the Uniques and the Sensations - called Jah Is Magnificent. The tune is across the 'Thank You Lord' riddim, just like Skibu's Call One Me, a tune which is also included on his excellent 1999 debut set 'Surround Me With Love'.
The record label is the brainchild of Ransford AKA 'The African', who came to the UK in 1977. He played percussion with a jazz/funk band before taking up the drums. With his 24-track studio he has the dream of "creating a UK version of Motown Records".
This compilation is a more than excellent introduction to the sound of Humal Records. The label concentrates on quality songs and arrangements and searches to enhance the authentic reggae format at every turn, defining old school musical values, even as they point the way forwards.
The set contains some previuously unreleased tracks such as Your Name, delivered in his well known manner by Vivian Jones, and Bongo Chilli's dancehall tune Action Alone. For many of Junior Kelly's fans Burn Rome might ring a bell because the singjay already chanted the lyrics before but here he delivers a far better effort, across the "Determination" riddim. From the Big Ship camp comes Paul 'Lymie' Murray who opens the album with a typical Humal Records tune, Pressure, with its bright and breezy melodie, conscious lyrics and a finely honed reggae backbeat, and Freddie McGregor who delivers the beautiful lovers tune I'm Concerned.
Veteran deejay Daddy Freddy - scoring six top ten hits on the Jamaican charts in the middle of 1986 - delivers a very nice dancehall tune. Former Treasure Isle legend Justin Hinds met the African in 1993 and the result was the re-recording of the classic track Save A Bread. One of the best singers of the UK lovers rock scene, Nerous Joseph requests that we Show A Little Love to enable to "get a little love", while Macka B uses his typical style on Home Land Africa with crisp and clear lyrics and making perfect sense. Both tracks are reworkings of the Paragons' classic "You And Your Smiling Face". With the 'Determination' album out now, rootsman Admiral Tibet is a very active member of the Humal family. He seemingly benefits from his teaming up with the production crew of Humal Records. Here he's present with the excellent track How Long, a song not included on his album!
Needless to say that we love this album, filled with quality reggae music delivered by fine and well respected artists from yard and the UK!

Teacher & Mr. T.