Yo! Jamdown ~ The Best Of Reggae And Dancehall Classics Vol. 1
Abood Music-Jamdown UK
April 22, 2006

Track list
Disc 1

  1. Mad Love - Bounty Killer
  2. Don't Give Up - Wayne Marshall
  3. Cyan Touch You Again - Beenie Man
  4. Mek A Toast - Vybz Kartel
  5. Wine - Elephant Man
  6. Tell Santa Dis - Busy Signal
  7. Lolly - Idonia
  8. Long Time - Capleton
  9. Many Ways - Buju Banton
  10. Ready Now - Spragga Benz
  11. Johnny - Ce'Cile
  12. Real Mckoy - Mavado
  13. Excuse Me - Nitty Gritty
  14. Fire - Junior Reid & Michael Rose
  15. All Shot Down - The Mighty Diamonds
Disc 2

  1. Short A Nut'n - MBC
  2. Must Be Love - FYA & Smujji
  3. Wherever We Go - The Wee Papa Girl Rappers
  4. Baby - Tippa Irie & Peter Hunningale
  5. That Girl Can Dance - Saint & Campbell
  6. Let Yourself Go - Smujji
  7. Too Hot (Reggaeton Mix) - FYA
  8. All The Ladies Looking Naughty - Kanesha Karrats
  9. Somebody - Suncycle
  10. Sorry If I Hurt Your Feelings - Tenor Fly
  11. Wareika Vibes - Rico Rodriguez
  12. Don't Lie - Shortie Kwamz & Dolamite
  13. Closer - Smujji
  14. Gasolina - La Fabrica
  15. Dream Dream - MBC feat. Sean Paul
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2
The dbl cd "Yo! Jamdown ~ The Best Of Reggae And Dancehall Classics Vol. 1" brings the listener contemporary hardcore dancehall, classic sounds and crossover pop-reggae. Included are the usual suspects from Jamaica (mostly featured on disc one) next to lesser known names like for example Smujji, Suncycle, FYA and Shortie Kwamz & Dolamite from the UK.

Disc one opens with Bounty Killer's "Mad Love", a cut for South Rakkas Crew's "Bionic Ras" riddim, which can be described as a wild rabid fusion of dancehall, soca and techno. Also Capleton's "Long Time", allegedly inspired by a feud with Elephant Man, is underpinned by this extraordinary and great riddim. Next are cuts from Wayne Marshall and Beenie Man, both riding the same riddim for Ward 21 members and producers Mark "Mean Dog" Henry and Andre "Suku" Grey. Nice tunes, but nothing special. Mainly known from mix tapes in the dancehall underground, 23-year-old Idonia (real name Sheldon Itano Ricardo Lawrence) has slowly built himself a name with recordings for producers like Leftside and Esco, Kirky K, Cordell "Scatta" Burrell, Jazzy T, Arif Cooper, among others. In mid spring 2005 Idionia's "Lolly" -- across the "Irish Dance" riddim -- did very well in the local and international dance halls and charts. The song, in a comical way, hits out on the controversial issue of oral sex. More niceness on the Scatta Burrell produced "Irish Dance" riddim comes from Spragga Benz and the Energy God, Elephant Man. The latter's "Wine" is performed in his tried and trusted style, while Spragga Benz's "Ready Now" is a decent effort. Buju Banton's "Many Ways", also featured on Jamdown's revolutionary "JA2UK" concept album, is a cut on Peter "Galaxy P" Jackson's "X-300" riddim. Perhaps not the strongest track recorded for this riddim, but nevertheless worth of hearing. "Excuse Me" by the late Nitty Gritty takes the listener back to the computerized dancehall sound of 1989. Interesting is the inclusion of "Fire", the only recording that features the two former frontmen of Black Uhuru, Junior Reid and Michael Rose. Mighty Diamonds' wonderful "All Shot Down" from 2003 rounds off this first disc in fine style.

New female dancehall group MBC (Make Boyz Cry) from Kingston, Jamaica, kicks off disc two with the Computer Paul produced sizzling hot single "Short A Nut'n". Except for veteran trombonist Rico Rodriguez, Sean Paul, Tenor Fly, the combination duos Tippa Irie & Peter Hunnigale and General Saint & Don Campbell, this disc mainly features up-and-coming urban talent from the UK. Next drops the catchy "Must Be Love", a big crossover smash for the UK female dancehall act FYA and sweet-voiced UK vocalist Smujji. The latter's solo pieces "Let Yourself Go" and "Closer" are further proof of the singer's vocal abilities and the crossover appeal of his tunes. Deejay Tippa Irie and "Mr. Honeyvibes" Peter Hunnigale have scored quite a few solo hits throughout their career. In 1994 they combined their skills and talent, which led to the release of the enjoyable "Baby". General Saint & Don Campbell deliver a great tune on an infectious modern dancehall beat. Cordell 'Scatta' and Everton 'Eva' Burrell's successful and popular "Coolie Dance" riddim once again shows its strength on Suncycle's very danceable "Somebody". Original UK raggamuffin DJ Tenor Fly came through Coxsone Sound out of Brixton and scored a number one hit with "Roughneck Fashion", one of the many (crossover) hits that followed. Here he's present with the 2002 released wicked single "Sorry If I Hurt Your Feelings". Reggaeton is hot in the UK and that's probably why this compilation includes La Fabrica's "Gasolina" and a Reggaeton version of FYA's "Too Hot".

All in all this is a decent compilation with enough above par cuts to enjoy and some noteworthy new talent that deserves checking out.