Various Artists - Ghetto Whiskey - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 86
Really good to Delly Ranks, or Delly Ranx on the go once again. This is a epic 27 track set, yes 27 tracks. And if that wasn't enough there is also free Mix CD from DJ Liquid - making this set a real event in terms on one rhythm album. Delly's pulled together a wide range of people for this one as well. T.O.K., Wayne Wonder,Nitty Kutchie and Roundhead, Wayne Wonder, Norrisman and Singing Sweet provide some of the best tracks here. Buts fans of Elephant Man, Sizzla, will enjoy there contributions. While newcomers like Kari Jess, Bramma, Shema, Tyrical and Aidonia all provide good works. The rhythm is also provided right at the end, and a high energy one it is as well. A solid set.
Various Artists - Inspector - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 85 - CD Another one rhythm album with its roots (if that is the correct term) in the late eighties style of ragga rhythm. Its a good one as well. Producer DJ Karim, pulls together a team that includes lots of big names, Sizzla, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, but its the new names who shine on this set. Supahype, Busy Signal, Movado, Dr Evil, all provide some great moment of this set. Dr Evil in particular is getting weirder by the tune. Movado also sounds like he's going to big, a good style about him. Also of interest in Macka Diamond 'Nah Taste', while Ward 21 always provide good works and 'We Nah Play 2' is no exception.
Various Artists - Twice Again - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 84 - CD
Steely & Clevie have released nearly as many one rhythm albums as Greensleeves!!! From about 1988 to about 1992, they never stopped. Each and every one of them had a bona-fide hit on them. Fast forward to now, and all those rhythms are popular again. So who better than to release a one rhythm album by!!!! Greensleeves and Steely and Clevie were made for each other. The 'Twice My Age' rhythm was a big hit for Gussie Clarke the first time around. This time its Buju, Assassin, Babycham and Macka Diamond making the noise. But the really good tracks come from Ghost, Meeks & Meeks and Leroy Smart! Three incredible tunes. From three artists who come from very different eras of a great music. On the unknown front Famous Face comes in with 'Legs Up'. Something that FIFA are clamping down on, or so I hear.
Various Artists - Galore - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 82
Producers Leftside and Esco, do like weirdness. If it not Dr.Evil, who pops up twice on this set. First with 'More Punanny' and then 'Social Commentary' two very strange tunes. Its Idonia, his 'Chicken Head' features chicken noises that have not been heard on reggae tunes for many years. Wayne Marshall keeps things on track with a good reality song about people from his past. 'I Forgot Them' is a very rueful tale indeed. You can't work out if he forgot them, or they have forgotten him. His statement is that he 'I Forgot Them' so we shall stick with that. But itís a great tune. Vybz Kartel is good with his 'Bad Man Party' and so is TOK with 'Breeder'. Some good new names to watch out for include Shano, Flava Unit, and Frank Capone - any relation to Dennis I wonder!
Various Artists - Petty Thief - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 83
Old time something come back again.! Nothing really goes away in reggae music. Rhythms are just made to be recut, again and again. But its what is done with them that is the key. And this is a great selection. Busy Signal '2 Much Gun' is just excellent, fast style and with real style and no mumbling. Buju steps up next with another great tune 'Talk To Me'. Macka Diamond, Wayne Marshall, and Elephant Man all follow with more great tunes. Vybz Kartel, carries on with the reality theme with 'Politics' . Of the new names. Check out Mr Lex 'Plenty Gun' is a great tune. Likewise with Shano, Teflon. Itís a truly great selection, well produced by Michael Brissett for H20 Productions.
Various Artists - Redbull & Guinness - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 81 - CD
A great title, drinking those two together would probably test the constitution of the toughest of people. And itís a great set. Really good to see Delly Ranks or Ranx going into production as well. Not for him anything eastern, this man looks west. In facts its got a such a good rocking rhythm - it could have come out of the Sun studios of Sam Phillips! Rockaragga!!! Its not as mad as it first seems, but that is a very long complex story. Really good to see Ward 21 here, and Chukki Starr, some favourties, Sizzla, Vybz Kartel, Turbulance, while the new names like American Yard, RDX, Flexx, Karl Jess and Tyrical show real promise. While the best tracks on the album belong to Delly Ranx and Chino 'Redbull & Guiness' and the magnificent Norrisman 'Move Hard' a great reality song!!!!! Finally if you can take the pressure the last track is a mega mix that is about 15 minutes long amazing.
Various Artists - Triumphant - Greensleeves - CD
This is going to cause some fun in years to come, "I'm looking for a Greensleeves one rhythm album called 'Triumphant' " - "Well we are now up to 535, do you know the number?" It came out in 2006? "There is nothing on my list by that name in 2006?" And so it goes. As a concept 'Triumphant' should be in the rhythm series, and if it was it would be in top ten. Yes itís a roots rhythm, but most of the early one rhythm albums were roots rhythms. Dub got hijacked by people who were into really into sound effects, the one rhythm album should not be the domain of people who spend most of their time tapping there feet in a Indian Restaurant! Anyways this is built around the big hit from Gyptian 'Mama' produced by Kemar McGregor for No Doubt. All the new wave are here. Natty K, Chezidek, Fantan Mojah, plus people like Luciano, Ras Shiloh, and Anthony B. Even Ghost and Roundhead pop up. Itís a truly great set although puzzled by the inclusion of Perfect's 'Shoulda Neva' a nice tune butÖ..
Various Artists - The Return Of Mudd Up - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 79 - CD
You just knew that these rhythm were going to come back, once 'Sleng Teng' returned, these rhythms could not be far behind. Looking at the line up on this one, its possible that Lady G could have done something on the original rhythm. One of the best woman Deejays then she's still got it now her cut 'Run Him' is one of the best on this set. Followed by cuts from Ward 21 of course, who are always inventive. Also in the frame is Mr Vegas who pops up twice here. As does Buju Banton. Beenie Man is also present, and so are Sizzla, Vybz Kartel and Turbulance. All produced in fine style by Byron Murray for 'In The Streetz'.
Various Artists - Sweat - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 80 - CD
A very pleasant step forward from the Raj of Jamaica. And about time too. Closer in rhythmic feel to Mudd Up, and the all the better for it. Beenie Man, Voicemail and TOK all come forward with great cuts to this rhythm. Busy Signal is here as well and Bounty Killer and Anthony B. While Vybz Kartel hits the rhythm twice. Itís a very good selection of artists which includes a couple of new names. Munga and Alaine. Macka Diamond is also in good form, her debut album should be out soon hopefully. She's always got something to say - even if in the case of 'Ugly Man' its new ground, its always done with style.
V/A - Justice - Rhythm Album 77 - Greensleeves - CD
Produced by DJ Sunshine - Katrina Irons, but with a massive amount of assistance from Donovan Bennett. To the extent that a sample about him, is what this is set is all about. Its on every track and you hear it all the time. That aside, the twenty tracks come from the likes of Beenie Man, Capleton, Elephant Man, and Vybz Kartel. With perhaps the best track on the set coming from Turbulance 'Put Love On Your Mind'. New artists include Brillant, Sandy Star, and Spice.
V/A - Jump Off - Rhythm Album 78 - Greensleeves - CD
Any cd with Voicemail, as got to be checked out, because if they can do something with a rhythm - it kinda sets the standard for the rest of them. Unless of course you have Ward 21 on the CD, than you have two highpoints to measure from. Artists on this set also include, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Anthony B, Hawkeye and Future Troubles. New artists include Idonia, Shano and Terro 3000. Production comes from Preston Onfroy and its not a bad rhythm. All in all though its Voicemail who walk away with this one.
The opening five tracks of this are slack enough to make Yellowman blush - OK if you like this kind of thing. After that in comes Sizzla. Its not often that Sizzla comes to the rescue on a rhythm album, but he really does turn things around. His 'I Don't Like' is something that can be liked a lot. Its followed by the likes of Danny English and High Rollaz with 'Bad Mind Inna Dem' which is a great track full of call and response type chants. Its gets even better with Lexxus seriously back on form with 'Who Dem'. Spragga Benz another gravel voiced deejay jumps in with'Gansta Man Nuh Business'. Mad Cobra pops up with 'Last Year Clothes' Bounty Killer goes into one on 'Gunshot' while High Rollaz come back with 'Bakkas' these people sound like they are going to be serious competition for Ward 21 and Voicemail. All produced in fine style by Mr Fox and Damien Morsby.
Its funny this, last year, on one of Greensleeves rhythm albums can't tell you which one at the moment, but the rhythm had a bounce to it - it was something new, and had nothing to do with rhythms that come from the Indian Sub Continent. So I had great hopes for this, but despite its name there is now bouncing here. But its still a very good rhythm set, with a nice balance of new names and old names. Watch out for Lady G, and of course Ward 21, Voicemail, Macka Diamond and Hawkeye. On the new names, Leftside and Esco make a dent
Various Artists - Grimey - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 70 - Greensleeves
Various Artists - Kasablanca - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 59 - CD
The title of this set tells you all you need to know - this 21 track set is inspired from the sounds of the middle east - and when you check out the credits and see Sly Dunbar on the credits it all begins to make sense. He's got a very good understanding of the music from that region on the world - when he dabbles in indian pop music, latin and ska - he seems to lose it. Just like so many others who have followed him have totally lost it. Ward 21 as always seem to have a good take on the rhythm, while Future Troubles with 'Black Cosa Nostra' features some interesting comments. While Anthony B's 'Smoke The Best' seems to work the best out of them all. It seems the man is on something of a roll.
Various Artists - Mad Guitar - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 56 - CD
Can't hear no guitar on this one, plenty of bass , but no bass. Like Sly Dunbar, Donovan Bennett also likes to dabble in Indian Pop Music - thankfully he's kept away from that sound on this set - but this isn't that much better. The usual line of talent is to be found here, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Buju, Bounty Killer. Vyvz being the new kid on the block sounds the most inspired, and the even newer Ms Thing is also interesting. Ward 21 with there multi layered vocals - providng DJ harmonies also and always sound well on the ball - but somewhere along the line reggae music as got to go back to bass and drum built rhythms. All its success as came from that, and its what makes the music what it is.
Various Artists - Summer Bounce - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 58 - CD
Apart from rhythms, the next problem is lyrics. The homophobic /sexist ranting and raving of some so called deejays is only matched by the mind numbing one word chant of other wannabee deejays. If you can get past that, here you will find good works from Determine, Anthony B, Hawkeye and Ward 21. These kind of people and a few others provide a real alternative to what is on offer from some of the people who are supposed to be at the forefront of the music. Yet like so many other reggae artists from every other era - promotion is hard to find.
Various Artists - Scoobay - Greensleeves Rhythm Album - 57
Nothing against Tony Matterhorn and Sky Juice doing a bit of chanting, just as long as people don't start calling them deejays. Dennis Alcapone and U.Roy are DJ's -Brigidier Jerry is a DJ, Josey Wales and Charlie Chaplin are DJ's. Lexxus and Sean Paul are DJ's -They ride a rhythm. On the same topic people like Sizzla and Capleton are preachers or ranters. Nothing to do with riding anything. The nearest historical link to TM and SJ would be Andy Capp and 'Pop A Top' and 'The Law' and that man was into Version. Now if only TM or SJ could up with something along the lines of 'Pop A Top'!!! Aside from Tony Matterhorn which is going to be talking point. The big big big tune here is Wayne Wonder & Textra 'Blazin' a seriously miliatant reality tune!!! Other great tunes come from Ward 21 and Lexxus.
Various Artists - Cool Fusion - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 54 - CD
Another Vendetta selection - which means its time for Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett to serve a cold dish, or in this case a cool one. On this fine example of musical energy we find 20 tracks with the better tracks coming from upcoming names like Tornado and Action K a man and woman DJ duo. Daville is another good one, and so is Kolly C. Those who like to check out what out what the supers are up to will find Vybz Kartel, Sizzla, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer - with Ward 21 making another excellent contribution. It seems that Donavan's next move is into more traditional reggae - he's good producer so it should be interesting.
Various Artists - Blue Steel - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 55 - CD
I wondered when ze mad Frenchie would pop up again. He's a good producer with some good ideas. The rock in which the 'Blue Steel' rhythm is built upon is a very simple. A 'Walking Horn' line. It sounds like a tuba - He's also worked in some steel pans as well, its a great rhtyhm. A move away from the samples of India and the Middle East. The line up on the CD is a little different as well - the UK's Chukki Starr joins the likes of Ward 21, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel , Red Rat, Anthony B, Madd Anja, Lexxus. Its a great mixtue of talent old and new. Jah Love to you as well Frenchie!!!
Various Artists - Red Alert - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 51 - CD
The South Rakkas production crew are not following anyone in the one riddim album thing. Using a computer to introduce all the tracks is wild idea - and one they have stuck with, and they are prepared to work with new artists as well, which is always good news. All the Usual Suspects are here, the big names Sizzlam Capleton, Beenie Man, Ward 21, TOK, Vybz Kartel,. New names like Gabriel, Kalanga, Firestorm, Ninja Kid and Bajie Man. The best track without a doubt as got to be Beenie Man 'Shout Out' that is a pop hit - its got that kind of feel. And now he's been in the charts that could put him and South Rakkas Crew in there again - no problem!!!
Various Artists - Blackout - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 52 - CD
In the long history of one rhythm albums I don't think anyone as ever used 'Bouncing Strings' before - its a very unusual sound - and a very effective one as world. Perhaps Andrew Bradford aka 'Buccaneer' as had his Oprea records out again! As co-producer of this set along with Daniel Lewis 'Blaxx; they have come up with something strange enough to rival the mighty 'Diwali'! Even Sean Paul gets into it, with his tune 'Bounce It Right There'. All the big names are here. Vybz Kartel, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Ward 21. All are really good as well. With probably the Vybz Kartel cut having the edge.
Various Artits - Worried - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 53 - CD
Worried from producer Byron Murray represents an hat trick of great one rhythms album from Greensleeves. This one is different again, perhaps the most traditional if that is the right word out of the three. Beenie Man & Kananga, TOK, Ward 21, Vybx Kartel. Bounty Killer, Predator, Natural Black. Its an incredible line up a good mixture of old and newer artists. This time its Bounty Killer's 'Alliance' that seems to be the toughest cut. Although Ward 21's 'Search Them Out' is also very very good. Really good to see the rhythm cut being made available as well, a nice touch.
Various Artists - Doctors Darlings - VP - CD
Of all the rhythms from the eighties out deh waiting to licked over again the 'Night Nurse' rhythm is not one that would be on most people's list, although even at the time of its release 'Night Nurse' was versioned, I think it was Sammy Dread. To make things even more off the wall, this rhythm comes from a German based producer and label - Seed. While the Germaican label is proving to be very popular. This One Riddim set is the best work so far, bringing together an whole heap of artists like Tanya Stephens, Sizzla, Micheal Rose, George Nooks, Luciano, Glen Washington and Capleton. Tanya's cut 'Its A Pity' works the best for me. But the whole album works very well - and with it being a traditional sound it could mean that other popular rhythms that have not been versioned from that era are now in the frame for a recut.
Various Artists - Marmalade - Greensleeves Rhythm Album #50 - CD
Truly amazing to think we are at #50 in this remarkable series, presenting today's reggae music in this way - in a market dominated by Various Artists sets was a risk - but concentrating on the one rhythm concept something unique to reggae music - it all starts to make sense, and when artists do appear to breaking - to the labels credit they have given them a solo release. Its always interesting to scan the track list for new names, and on this excellent DJ Morris and Donovan Burnett production - there are a few, but its the Usual Suspects that shine here. Tanya Stephens, Ward 21, Vybz Kartel, and Elephant Man. Also good to see Frisco Kid back in the frame again.
Various Artists - French Vanilla - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 49 - CD
Donovan Bennett comes forward again - a radical move away from the rhythmic sounds of the far and middle east - towards a much more jazzy kind of sound - featurting flutes for the main melody. In fact exectutive production comes from Michael Brissett for H20 Productions - which may explain the change of sound. T.O.K., Tanya Stephens, Ward 21 Vybz Kartel provide some of the best cuts. Good to Spragga Benz on the tracklist and Roundhead. Another really good One Rhythm set from the rhythm masters at Greensleeves.
Various Artists - Tunda Klap - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 48 - CD
An action packed 20 track selection from producer Delano Thomas - Renaissance Records. First up is man of the moment Vybz Kartel - another good tune from the man, but not the best on this set. Ward 21 go close to being the best track with 'All Around The World' which is full of the craziness that as taken them to where they are now, and will take them a lot further. It can only be a matter of time before you are seeing and hearing about these in the same way as Wayne Wonder and Sean Paul. And when they break, it will make way for Bugle & Tornado - two brand new names to me - who have got great potential, therre 'Soldering' is an old theme in reggae but this is great. While the best track comes from a brand new DJ Team - Leftside, Esco and Calico - there 'Nah Pass' is a fantastic tune - full of all the mad twists and turns in lyrics and vocals that only a vocal team can provide. Lots of other great tunes as well on this excellent one rhyhtm set.
Satta Massa Gana, was one of the first big rhythms out of Jamaica. Recorded at Studio One by The Abyssinians, but released on there own label - Clinch. Over the years its been recut many many times, by loads of producers and artitst, but power of the original as never been bettered. A year or so back Bernard Collins decided to put together the best of the of the first selection of recuts that appeared on the Clinch label, together with a brand new selection from today artists, the result is this magnificent album. Twenty cuts of 'Satta' featuring, The Abyssinians or course. Bongo Herman, Big Youth, Prince Far I, Dillinger, U.Roy, Lloyd Charmers. With new cuts coming from Lucaino, Yami Bolo, Jah Mali, Anthony B, Tony Tuff and my favourite - Dean Fraser 'Dahina Dimps' a superb horn cut that conjurs up all kinds of places and times in the mind.
Last year must have been a very successful year for Donovan Bennett - the Vybz Kartel alone must put him into the top five producers - but not content with that - he unleashed this one rhythm set to finish the year off. Trifecta it seems is a bet. And with the kind of line up her, its not much of a bet, because this is a winner from start to finish. All the usual favourites - Ward 21, Sean Paul, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, and of course Vybz Kartel. And yet the most mind bending track on this set as got to be T.O.K.'s 'She's A Ho' not very nice subject matter - but done with such style and wit. I've been told where the chorus lines come from, it sound like something of Hong Kong 'Kung Fu' film - but its not. This is an excellent CD. And sends off the old year in fine style with plenty to look forward to in the coming year.
Various Artists - Amharic - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 46 - CD
The training centre for singers, dj, engineers and producers known as King Jammys continues to release great music - with Jammy 'Jam2' James at the controls. The title alone is an interesting prospect - with the possiblity of some thing being sung or deejayed in the Amharic but instead its just a sample that introduces a great rhythm - one of the best so far this year, to which a good cross section of the Kingston Reggae Massive do their stuff. Vybz Kartel with Ward 21 kick the set off in fine style. With Sizzla, Bounty Killer and Ward 21 again all offering very impressive cuts of the the rhythm. Madd Anju, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man also offer up some really good versions. Bling Dawg and Cecile still look on target to move forward into the big time. Well once Vybz Kartel and Kid Kurrupt are out of the way. Once again interesting times for reggae music on the ragga side of things.
Various Artists - Good To Go - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 44
Another really good one rhythm set from Donovan Bennett - produced at the Vendetta Studios. Gathering together some incredible talent over one very strong rhythm. Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Sizzla control the DJ cuts. DJ/Producers Ward 21 never fail to please, and with 'Coochie Zone' a big hit for them, they really go for it. Likewise with T.O.K with 'Tragedy'. While Wayne Wonder also in good form steps forward with 'In My Room'. Outside of these watch out for Frusco Kid & Cecile with 'Ghetto Youths', Predator 'Nah No Head' This year as not really seen another rhythm dominate like last year - but this is a good contender. Keep up the good work.
Various Artists - Coolie Dance - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 45
One look at the CD will give you a very good idea where this excellent set is coming from 20 Bombay Mixes!!! And then some. Produced by Cordell 'Scatta' Burrell & Everton Burrell - Scatta Productions & King Of Kings. The line up for this Indian Tantric inspired rub a dub includes - Elephant Man with 'Genie Dance', T.O.L ' Unkown Language', Sizzla 'Mama Africa', and Ward 21 'Nuh Like Wi'. Best track on the set goes to Cecile with her 'Give It To Me' Other highlights are a inform Red Rat, and Frisco Kid. While new names like Vybz Kartel, Kid Kurrupt show they are going to be very big given half a chance. Hopefully a lot of these artists will be given solo sets soon, they deserve it and need it.
Various Artists - Jumbie - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 43 - CD
Well the French are certainly running things in Europe as far as reggae is concened what with three magazine loads of shows - and some great CD released. Although reggae's original Frenchman - Frenchie is still out there - and with a strong interest in the ragga side of things he was bound to produce a rhythm album sooner or later. Although the title is confusing - Ghosts in Jamaica were always called Duppies - perhaps Jumbie is French for Ghost. Anyway this a great rhythm album - 20 tracks including the rhyhtm on track 20. Lexxus 'Shake It' is really really good - perhaps the best tracks - With Ward 21 'M !6', Hawkeye's 'Ding Dong', Determine 'Prepare For Me' and Madd Anju 'So Hard' all running it close. Looking forward to hearing more the Frenchman!
Various Artists - Sign - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 42 - CD
King Jammys as been responsible for some of the biggest rhythms of all time 'Sleng Teng' being the biggest - and is still one of the best - although derided at that time of course - it wouldn't be reggae if it wasn't. 'Sign' is not another 'Sleng Teng' - what this rhythm is all about is Mr James digging out some Arabic sounding samples and going for it. I'm still waiting for some West Coast or Central African guitar work to pop up- but in the meantime - North Africa rules. Ward 21 'Rhyme'. Elephant Man ' Fuck U Sign', Busty Malone, 'Video Light Chick', Madd Anju 'Come Now' and Wayne Marshall's 'We The People Elect' all work very very well. Although the best cut on the album must be Sizzla ' Let The Children Live' he's slowing down - verbally and with lyrics like this - he must be listened too!!! A great set - Jammys on the go yet again.
Various Artists - 20 Cent - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 41 - CD
Another enjoyable set featuring a massive line up of talent. Produced by Baby G - Trevor James Junior - which makes him of course Jammy's brother son. Uncle T, released some really good cuts of 'Boxing' in the early nineties. Still, this is nothing to do with that. A strong rhythm - not your typical rinse and dry washing machine rhythm. Featuring on top, Elephant Man, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, TOK. Yet its the Ward 21 tracks that seem to buzz. 'Gal Technician' and 'Thind Leg'. On the veteran side of things, its good to see Galaxy P and Anthony Malvo get in there with 'Brown Skin Gal'. Never mind Mad Cobra. And it seems that this Wayne Marshall is not the UK Wayne Marshall. Will have to call the Ja Wayne Marshall - Junior!
Various Artists - Egyptian - Rhythm Album 40 - Greensleeves - CD
Reggae's interest in the sound of North Africa and the Middle East always provides for some interesting sounds. This is no exception. All the big names are out in strength on this - Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, T.O.K. Ward 21 - but it Vybz Kartel who with a name like that could come from another planet - who steals the show. His 'Sweet To The Belly' recalls the humour of Yellowman at his very best. Produced by Daniel 'Blaxx' Lewis with Executive Production coming from Donovan Bennett - this should get them jumping in the land of the Pharoahs and everywhere else!
Various Artists - Bad Company - Rhythm Album No 39 - Greensleeves - CD
King of Kings are behind this, and that is good news because its good to see one of the biggest reggae labels getting together with Greensleeves. Kings of Kings interest in promoting artists - might rub off back onto Greensleeves who did such a great job in the eighties promoting artist based reggae music. Having said that they are doing good work with Elephant Man - who's got one of the best tracks here 'Chiney Ting' but its not as good as Beenie Man's 'Row Like A Boat' which only comes close to Madd Anju 'Wa Do Dem' but the stand out track is Sizzla's 'Bad Company' who sounds very intense of this tune.
Various Artists - C 4 - Greensleeves - Rhythm Album
The King of Kings label based now in Canada with Colin Issachar Levy aka Iley Dread is currently one of the biggest labels in reggae. Christinity being one of my favourite artists, he's not on this one rhythm set. But a lot of good and talented people are. Anthony B, Frisco Kid, Lexxus and Bascom X all come up with some good lyrics over this tough rhythm. Its not a groundbreaker - but the days when everyone seemed to jump on something new seem to have gone. Its to early to say if that is a good or bad thing yet.
Various Artists - Krazy - Greensleeves - Rhythm Album
Donovan Bennett - Don Corleon label get featured again in this ever growing series of one rhythm sets. 'Krazy' features an all star crew including Sizzla, Wayne Wonder, Ward 21, Anthony B, Determine, Junior Kelly, Buju Banton. New names include Kolly C, Chaos, Calico and Regan and Kid Kurrupt. No new styles or trends on this one, but its still a very good set. Recorded and Mixed at the Vendetta Studios in Kingston Jamaica. Should have lots of hits!!!
Various Artists - Clappers - Greensleeves Rhythm CD
Its always good to see an old friend - and the 'Sleng Teng' is like that. Derided when it was released - then going on to become one of the biggest rhythms in reggae music. In all its many versions, I don't think anyone ever came up with one in a funky hand clapping style - but this is what the South Rakkas Crew have done. And in fine style. Ward 21, Tanya Stephens, Chuck Fender and Capleton all sound good to me. But special mentiion must go to the computer who does all the intros on most tracks. Robo DJ needs a namecheck. He may be only a computer chip but he's got feelings.
Various Artists - Knockout - Greensleeves Rhythm CD
On this set you can hear the change over from the Yard Core to more percussive 'Diwali' style rhythm that is now slowly changing the sound of reggae music. Its strange that the 'Diwali' style as taken so long to really get going - considering how big the rhythm is. Stone Cold Productions pull together a good selection of old and new talent for this. Bounty Killer, Buju, and Beenie Man, are here along with T.O.K and Ward 21 along with Lexxus. Brand new names like Garrison and Predator also do very well.
Various Artists - Masterpiece - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 34 - CD
What an interesting problem for Lenky to have, how do you follow up the 'Diwali' rhythm? Do you even bother to try? 'Masterpiece' is like Diwali part two, popwise. More like a variation on it. Hopefully its not 'Diwali' run backwards - but its got all the hooks and some great lyrics from a wide variety of artists. Elephant Man, Sean Paul, Bounty Killer, Hawkeye, Tanya Stephens - but it seems to be lacking a stand out cut. But then again, 'Masterpiece' could be a slow burner of a rhythm, taking time before it really gets to you. To expect another 'Diwali' is to expect to much. There are a lot of great rhythms out there, that didn't do a thing when they was first released.
Various Artists - Mad Ants - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 33 - CD
This one like 'Threat' is way up there with the 'Diwali' for pure excitement and entertainment. Its got a latin feel in the melody line, but the rhythm is as tough as concrete. Donovan Bennett as gone for a good mixture and singers and deejays to work the rhythm. Wayne Wonder comes out on top with his 'Got To Be' - I'm not sure the last time he had an album out, but he could do with one now. Ward 21 also show they are a major force in the business always on the ball and capable of doing something new. Elephant Man, Frisco Kid and Capleton all make great contributions.
Various Artists - Threat - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 32 - CD
You need a strong hook to keep a rhythm going over 20 tracks or more. The Diwali had it - hand-clapping its way to the biggest selling one rhythm in the world to date. So what have Troy Mclean and Garfield Hamilton come up with to challenge the almighty Diwali. A rock stready picking guitar lick. And it works!!! Steely and Cleavie build a solid rhythm around that lick that never ever get boring. Elephant Man kicks the thing off in fine style. TOK and Lexxus also supply nice cuts. So does Hawkeye. It will be interesting to see how this one goes.
Various Artists - Bellyskin - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 31 - Greensleeves - CD
The one rhythm revolution rumbles on, with the 'Diwali' still way out in front in terms of inventiveness. This G String Production is more traditional if you can use that word in terms of the yardcore beat. Sobers Wrights pulls in a good mixture of well known artists and some new people. Tony Rebel, Beenie Man, Anthony B, Capleton to name a few. With new people like Shakka Pow, Queen Ifrica do good works. With the best track coming Nydean Levy featuring Lexxus - 'Chocolate Loving' nice and sweet.
Various Artists - Bollywood - Greeensleeves Rhythm Album 30 - Greensleeves
The Indian sub-continent as in the last ten years as provided much inspiration to reggae music. 'Diwali' an handclapping East Indian rhythm is now the biggest selling 'Rhythm' album to date. To top that was going to take doing. But I'm sure Kingston's Jamaica Indian Restrurants have been a favourite haunt of reggae producers in recent months. Byron Murray & Clifford Smith - In The Streetz production team seem to have lost track of what they was doing in there in the first. For not only do you get an 'Indian' sample of some kind - you also get a disco beat of sorts. Nevertheless. Tanya Stephens, Lexxus, Wards 21, Mr Vegas. All give it a go. I wonder what Dave Kelly is doing. Building the Pyramid rhythm perhaps.
Various Artists - Hard Drive 2 - Greensleeves Rhythm Album - CD
It was a massive rhythm the first time around, now here's another 22 cuts! Tanya Stephens 'Too Strange' sounds like the best cut out of this selection, but you can't leave out Bounty Killer or Beenie Man - who jumps in twice. Lexxus comes up with a message tune 'No Borrow Gun'. New names include Crazy Hype, Singer J and Action who all get off to a good start. In the past you would hear names like these on sound tapes - which was good, and will hopefully come back - but for now the one rhythm album is a good place to find them.
Various Artists - Sledge - Greensleeves Rhythm Series - CD
Another great rhythm! A good rival to the Diwali. No handclapping - but some great string samples that make for a very dramatic rhythm. Lots and lots of message tunes on this set with the big team effort 'Artists For Peace' being very impressive. Elephant Man's comes in with 'War'. and great tunes form Ward 21 and Lexus also stand out. Track 20 made me wonder 'Briggy' and 'Tell Dem' but its not Briggy unless he's changed his style and voice. So the one riddim thing marches on. Sooner or later one of them is going to go mega. This Hands and Heart productiion could be the one.
Various Artists - Diwali - Greensleeves Rhythm Album - Greensleeves - CD
Wow what a rhythm!!! Some serious hand clapping here. East Indian in origin it seems. Another massive 20 track set, with the very best tracks coming from T.O.K. 'Galong Girl' which is nearly as good as 'Pengenleng' a set from this vocal deejay group must come again soon. Another great cut is Tanya Stephens 'Can't Touch Me No More' . Tanya's got such a great voice rootsy but smooth as well. Then we come to Wayne Wonder - 'No Letting Go' is a pop hit - no doubt about that - its so good - it sound like jazz in places. While the best cut on the set is the first cut. Bounty Killer's 'Sufferer' having heard the term for a while - but Bounty makes it sound fresh - its about time someone stood up for the sufferers!!! Yes I. Produced by Lenky Marsden.
Various Artists - Hard Drive - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 26 - Greensleeves - CD
Back in the late seventies, Lee Perry had a phaser sound that made reggae sound like it had never sounded before. Then it disappeared. Various producers - most of them in the UK have been looking to find it, and although they have come close - it never really sounded right. Enter Christopher 'Goldfinger' Clarke and Gregory Harriott. For it sounds to me that these two have found the lost phaser, and have zapped this excellent one rhythm album with it. For on this one set you two truly great tunes - instant classics. T.O.K. 'Pengeleng' which is just so wild, reggae music at its very best. And then you have another team Xsytment Gang with 'Excitement' - both of these should be big big hits. Another favourite track is Captain Barkey's ' Gimme Dis Gal'. This is a fantastic one rhythm set.
Various Artists - Famine - Greenseleeves Rhythm Album 25 - CD
Coming hot on the heels of Hard Drive - 'Famine' a Scatta Production was going to have to be really really good to match that set. But amazingly it nearly does it. Having TOK - who seem to be on some kind of a roll, must help. And Ward 21 who also shine bright here. Its interesting that the vocal interplay between groups works a lot better on these hard core rhythms than singers or deejays. Perhaps it the minimal nature of the rhythm - whatever it is, we need more of it. Madd Anju and Jagwa also sound great - debut sets from these two can't be far away.
Various Artists - 10 To One - One Rhythm Album - Runn - CD
The Madlads 'Ten To One' rhyhtm as always been a popular rhythm in the dance. Not sure if its the first time it's been used for a one rhythm set - but its a good move. What makes this is even more interesting is the choice of artists. LMS, Prezident Brown, Richie Spice, Tanya Stephens. These are artists who have set a good standard and are sticking to it. Very important when it comes to one rhythm sets. New artists like Chezidek, Trappa John always shine really well here. Barry O Hare and Mighty Mike do a good job on the production side of things. As does Guido Delvoux on the European side of things. With Panache Culture, Uman, and Redemption all singing and deejaying in French in fine style.
Variour Artists - Zero Tolerance - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 24 - CD
Another really good One Rhythm Set from Greensleeves, its the names that you don't often hear called that offer the most interesting works. Kulcha Knox for instance is a great cultural DJ with so much to offer. His 'Police' on this set is outstanding. Nitty Kutchie and Lukie D have also been around for a while - but need something to push them forward a little. Its the same with Frisco Kid. Lexxus. Meanwhile Anthony B, Tony Rebel are all in good form. As is prodcer Harvel Hart who always comes up with something interesting.
Various Artists - Bad Kalic - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 21 - CD
Stone Love Sound System is one of the most popular sounds in Jamaica, they went into production sometime in the mid-nineties I think. This production could be there first album set for Greensleeves. A 20 track set that features plenty of big names - Elephant Man, Buju, Sizzla, Capleton. The tracks from Sean Paul, Mr Vegas, Lexxus seem more inspired to me. That's always been a problem with one rhythm sets - sometimes the bigger names - think "Oh just another version." Perhaps it might be better to let the rhythm hit big before the big names are put on the rhythm. You need them on the sets, but you need them in good form.
Various Artists - Martial Arts Parts 1 and 2 - Greensleeves Rhythm Series - CD
Colin Levy's King Of Kings label is poised for a major breakthrough - and this could be it. A massive 40 track one rhythm spread over two CD's (Not a double CD!)by Greensleeves. Most of the yard core producers have only a very limited interest in roots music. Not so Colin Levy he moves from one camp to the other without any problems. This rhyhtm shows both sides of him. Big names from the world of Yard Core like Elephant Man, Beenie Man, and Lexxus are joined by cultural icons like Anthony B, Capleton and I suppose Sizzla. Yet its the newer names that always provide the most interest. So its Hawkeye again, plus long time King Of Kings favourite singer Christini.While Shabba' provides a veteran presence.
On the rhythm side of things its one of the best Yard Core rhythms for ages - you can hear a bass line! But the the drum pattern is so good as well, put this together with some nice keyboard work and its something really special. And you can understand why Greensleeves as gone for two CD's. The one rhythm album as come a long way from being just a novelty thing - to being a main part of the reggae music business. In terms of years its now been a part of the Jamaica reggae business longer than dub!
Various Artists - Time Bomb - Greensleeves - Rhythm Album - CD
John John always had a tough job on his hands one of his biggest rivals is his father. With this release Daddy Jammy as probably got a lot of mixed feelings -for this is one of the greatest one rhythm sets of the new Yard Core era, so now he's got to try a little harder. Well perhaps not, he's got nothing to prove - and he's taught his son well. 22 track one rhythms can be like some kind of torture - some of them could be used at Camp X Ray! But this one just gets better and better everytime. Mr Vegas is the first to shine on this set. 'Dem Fraid' is an upful message to all downpressers. Truly hope the check it out. Then we come to Hawkeye inventor of this new talking style - 'Bad Man' is truly another great tune from the man. Someone should relases an album by him now. In the same style and vibes we get to Mad Cobra and 'Question' which is just one of the best DJ tunes ever. Recalling conversations that I.Roy and Big Youth had with the youth of the day. "Tell me something, when will the wicked reign on humanity come to and end."
Various Artitst - Bigga Judgement - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 19 - Greensleeves.
Always good to see longtime reggae people getting into the business. Chris'Goldfinger' Clarke is the selector for Downbeat in the U.S. This move into production is a natural one, and the rhythm is great, and for the very first time in this series its included in its version form right at the very end. So what do you get before you reach track 20. Well you get big big names like Capleton, Bounty Killer,Elephant Man and Sizzla. And yet for me the most pleasure comes from listening to Baby Wayne, Lexxus (twice). Captain Barkey, Frisco Kid, and Red Fox. But that's the great thing about one rhythm albums, you don't like one tune another one comes along fast, real fast, and they keep on coming until you end up loving at least half of the set! Its brainwashing at its very best.
Various Artists - Herbalist/Energy - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 17
Its taken a while to get there - but No.17 in the Greensleeves Rhythm series, is the most traditional sounding one rhythm set. Produced by Troy McClean and Garfield Hamilton for First Name Music - its coming from and sounding like some of the sets that really kicked off the interest in one rhythm albums in the early to mid eigthies. Tony Rebel and Anthony B reinforce that feeling with some great deejay work. Tracks 11 - 22 are the Energy rhythm. This is the sound of Jamaica today - minamal bass - yard core drum. Featuring the likes of Spragga Benz, Beenie Man and Delly Ranks.
Various Artists - Saddam Birthday Party/Jailbreak - Greensleeves Rhythm Album 16
Can't be too easy holding a Birthday party for Rudeboy Saddam, you play anything he don't like and can end up a deadman. Anyway, Capleton, Elephant Man, Lexxus, Frisco Kid and Mr Vegas try to entertain him. Lexxus seems to have the most success - but you will have ask Saddam himself to find out what he thinks. And he's probably a bit busy these days making sure some smart bomb doesn't put his candles out. Another great Annex Production. The remaining 10 tracks on the 20 tracker is Jailbreak. This set is produced by Paula Wright and Derrol Frazer and once again features Lexxus and Frisco Kid. Who do a very good job on the run. Singing sensation Ghost also needs some time out. One day I'll figure out who he trying to sound like!
Various Artists - Mud Up - Rhythm Album 11 - Greensleeves
This rhythm was always set up for a come back its so good. Byron Smith & Clifford Smith have kept close to the original as well. Junior Demus, Sean Paul, Hawkeye, Lexxus, Mr Vegas all shine on this. They all know the rhyhtm inside out Which is one of the good things about recutting an old favourite. It kind of inspires the artists, sometimes it don't because they can't get the original out of there head. But Elephant Man could never copy Supercat so that is not a problem!