Youth Riddim
Urban Tree Music
Digital Release
February 16, 2011

Youth Riddim (World Edition) - Various Artists Track list
    World Edition :
  1. Uwe Banton - Thought I'd Let You Know
  2. Smiley - State Of Emergency
  3. Black Dillinger - No Reason
  4. Bandulu feat. Chrizondamic - Rise
  5. Junior King - Get Ready
  6. Cornadoor - Skylarkin'
  7. Ephraim Juda - Time Has Come
  8. Vido Jelashe - I Thank You
  9. Speaker Davis - Live As One
  10. Jennifer Washington - Let's Make A Sign
  11. Longfingah - Strike Back
  12. Fabio Battista - Why
  13. Foresta, Ganjaman & SilenTone - Youth Riddim Version
    Germany Edition (+ German tunes) :
  14. Ganjaman - W.h.a.d.L.f.
  15. Brimstone & Fire - Zeitlos
  16. Kimoe - Ein' Blick
  17. Simply Cat - Musik
  18. Goldi - Schreibt (Das Buch)
  19. Benjie - Update
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Essential -Votes: 3-
Very Good -Votes: 2-
Good -Votes: 2-
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Total votes : 7
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
For a very long time Jamaican musicians and producers were regarded as the only ones who were able to create noteworthy riddims, but since the beginning of the new millennium reggae fans have learned that also production camps based outside the Island know how to build hit riddims. Take e.g. Germany, where producers of labels such as Pow Pow Productions, Rootdown Records, and Germaican Records have released quite a number of riddims which not only encountered success in their own country but also did very well on an international level. Now Berlin based Urban Tree Music, the label that brought us the debut album from much promising German artist Ephraim Juda, comes up with yet another remarkable backdrop called the "Youth" riddim.

The very first recording of the "Youth" riddim was done in 2006 by newcomer Foresta. However, it then took three years until it was dug up again, and Foresta himself together with SilenTone started to record the first voicings which were done by Longfingah, Black Dillinger and Speaker Davis. In 2010 producer and artist Ganjaman joined Foresta in working on the selection, and it was at this point that the production work really began to take off. Ganjaman organised further voicings, cleaned and polished the riddim mix and took care of both the mastering and the vocal mixes. And so it took another year of work on the riddim, before it could finally hit the streets.

The "Youth" riddim is an intoxicating 'one drop' backdrop that combines a sublime wicked bass line with a Spanish-sounding guitar lick to create a soothing, gently swaying concoction. It's so well done, that it is literally a "can't miss" riddim, which means that almost any artist who voices a cut for the riddim will have a solid song. No top-a-top Jamaican artists featured here, solely well-known artists and newcomers of the European reggae scene who are given the opportunity to show their skills and talent to the fullest. And we have to admit that most of them do so. Uwe Banton delivers a very solid lovers piece called "Thought I'd Let You Know", which is followed by one of the standout tunes on the riddim, Smiley's "State of Emergency". And also South African singjay Black Dillinger makes a strong impression with the uplifting "No Reason". All in all these three efforts can be seen as a great start of this 'one riddim' set.

It's the first time Austrian artist Bandulu, who delivers the convincing "Rise" in combination with Chrizondamic, comes to our attention. We've never heard of him before, but here he proves that he's very talented singer with great potential. Definitely one of the biggest surprises on this collection. Raspy voiced Gambian artist Junior King puts out a solid effort called "Get Ready", while Cornadoor comes up with "Skylarkin'", a first-class cut sung in the singer's typical style. The Lovers tune "Time Has Come" affirms that Ephraim Juda is truly a name to watch. Vido Jelashe, a South African singer with a soulful voice, surprises and impresses with the powerful "I Thank You". Slowly but steadily Jennifer Washington is establishing her name in the German reggae scene because of the solid tunes she has delivered so far and with "Let's Make A Sign" she adds another worthwhile song to her catalog. Fabio Battista, a newcomer with a striking voice, rounds off the "World Edition" in fine style before the clean version of the riddim drops in.

For those who are able to understand the lyrics of the German tunes it's nice to check additional tunes from a bunch of German artists. Ganjaman, the producer of the "Youth" riddim and somewhat of a pioneer in creating reggae music using the German language, vocally and lyrically shines on "W.h.a.d.L.f." (meaning: "Wir halten an der Liebe fest"). Although "Zeitlos" from the duo from the north of Germany, Brimstone & Fire, doesn't match Ganjaman's tune it's a nice effort anyway. Kimoe's "Ein' Blick" is a decent lovers song, while "Musik", the very personal homage to offbeat music by female singer Simply Cat, is a rather mediocre piece. Goldi's "Schreibt (Das Buch)" makes a far better impression, simply because it has lyrics that matter. Also the lyrics of Benjie's track are worth paying attention to. Quite brilliantly the Hannover based singer criticises society by referring to the world as a faulty system that is in desperate need of an "Update".

Once you've heard the "Youth" riddim, you can't get it out of your head!