Various artists album review
Warrior Style
The Age Of Venus Records
September 18, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Earl 16 - Evolution
  2. Ranking Joe - Rough To Grow A Youth
  3. Jah Warrior - Evolving Dub
  4. Tena Stelin - The I Mantra
  5. Jah Warrior - Mantra Dub
  6. Peter Broggs - Free Up The Herb
  7. Jah Warrior - Herbal Liberation Dub
  8. Afrikan Simba - Impostor
  9. Jah Warrior - Impostor Dub
  10. Lutan Fyah - It's Your Society
  11. Jah Warrior - It's Your Dub
  12. Jah Warrior - Jah Warrior Rock
  13. Jah Warrior - It's Dubbing Time Again
  14. Jah Warrior - A Dub A Day
  15. Jah Warrior - Happy Dub
  16. Jah Warrior - Imperial Rockers
  17. Jah Warrior - So Long In Dub
  18. Jah Warrior - Righteous Children Remix
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4

Since the second half of the nineties musician/producer Steve Mosco has managed to create a contemporary deep roots sound that sets him apart from other UK based roots producers. His "Warrior Style" incorporates a truly heavy bass dominated sound, which forms the basis for the heavyweight riddims, conscious vocal deliveries and creative dub outings. Steve Mosco became interested in reggae music during the mid 70s when he heard his first reggae sound system at a "Rock Against Racism" festival. Throughout the years he continued to attend many sound system sessions. In the 80s he joined Humble Lion sound system as their selector. In 1987 the sound system crew played more sessions and the name was changed to Jah Warrior. This in turn led to Steve producing music, initially exclusive dub plates for the sound system. He released his first music in conjunction with Mr Modo Records and in 1995 released his first tune on the Jah Warrior label, a single entitled "22nd Book". The rest is history...
"Warrior Style" contains efforts from veteran Jamaican artists such as Earl 16, Ranking Joe and Peter Broggs. Furthermore this set presents the longest established singer on the UK roots scene, Tena Stelin. He's been singing since about 1986 and has worked with Manasseh, Conscious Sounds, Disciples and many other labels. Also around for a long time and featured on this compilation set is one of the wickedest roots deejays in the UK, African Simba, who has recorded with the likes of Zion Train, Dub Judah & The Truth. Last but not least there's also Lutan Fyah, a young Bobo dread artist from Jamaica who made his way in the business by passing an audition at Buju Banton's Gargamel studio.
The album opens strong with three tracks for a riddim that incorporates nice jazz horns lines and a wicked deep bass. Earl 16 - an distinctive singer who has often pleased his many fans with his melancholy and reflective tones - delivers a great tune, although he could have paid more attention to his lyrical delivery. In fine classical style Ranking Joe delivers his lyrics to the vocal cut on "Rough To Grow The Youth", truly worth of hearing. The trilogy is rounded off with the awesome "Evolving Dub". The most outstanding track on this cd comes from Tena Stelin. "The I Mantra" is an impressive and very enjoyable effort, well worth playing over and over again. And the same goes for its dub version, surely one of the most creative dub efforts done by Steve Mosco. Peter Broggs definitely has a distinctive, original style, but that simply ain't enough to keep you involved to the very end when his lyrics fall flat as is the case with "Free Up The Herb". The latter is a version of Jah Mason's hugely popular "Rainbow Circle Throne". Nigerian DJ/MC Afrikan Simba makes a solid impression with "Impostor", a song from some three years ago that was featured on the "Rootical Vibrations" set. Lutan Fyah's "It's Your Society" is a solid piece, underpinned by a weird, but fairly fascinating offbeat riddim, once again experienced when listening to "It's Your Dub". Then it's time for seven more dub experiences inna "Warrior Style" with "Happy Dub" being the most notable effort.
Even though not every track is a winner this album is certainly a worthwhile find.

Teacher & Mr. T.