JamDown Records has just released their latest in a series of chart topping compilations, “The Ultimate Reggae Mix Vol.1.” Following a format similar to the successful “The Ultimate Dancehall Mix” series, this album features some of the finest names in Reggae performing their hit singles of the last year. This continuous in-the-mix album is mixed by Jamaica’s Jazzy T of the Renaissance Sound System, and is chock full of sound effects giving it that live D.J. club feel.
Jamdown Records Presents: Reggae, Vol. 1 is another in the bizarre Jamdown series of records. These albums take only two rhythm tracks and then allow artists to perform over them however they would like. In theory this seems like it would be a good idea, but in order to make it work there has to be some variety. And that is why these albums fail. On this particular volume, the two rhythms are given one of two predictable treatments. Either the song features a rough-voiced rapper spilling out dancehall rhymes or a clear-voiced singer showing off their emotive powers. Either way, the genre of reggae is not varied enough to rely on two rhythms to fuel an entire album. There are good versions of these tracks -- both Fiona and Chavez give it an admirable try. But mostly this is a pretty dull album that only hardcore genre fans will be able to handle.
Jamdown Records delivers hardcore dancehall bashment on this first installment of their brand new "Original" series. The album features two new dancehall riddims, one being the "Shockwave" riddim from Arif Cooper's "Fresh Ear Productions", the other being the Horace Lawrence produced "Da Vibes" riddim for "Ghetto Voice Productions". With the exception of some five well-known dancehall names like for example Elephant Man, Ward 21 and Sean Paul this set mainly focuses on the lesser known artists who are working hard to make a serious impression in order to reach a broader, international dancehall audience.|
Elephant "You know how we roll"! Man starts off this album with the first cut across the wicked "Shockwave" riddim, actually the best backdrop on this "two riddim" set. Elephant's "Gal Under Tears" is a solid effort performed in the Energy God's well known style. Two more versions across the riddim are delivered by Ward 21 and Sean Paul, with the latter's "Dem A Fraud" being a notable tune. Shadoo is the first to ride the "Da Vibes" riddim, but his Da Bwoy Yah" proves a mediocre piece. Singer Patchie comes with a far better effort. He has a good voice and fully shows that he's able to sing a fine lovers tune even when it has to be done across a dancehall-oriented beat. Jack-A-Diamond's "Everybody Gal" is nice, but that's about it. Then the "Shockwave" drops again with Wayne Marshall's awesome "Marshall Matrix" kicking off the next four versions for the riddim. Also Alozade's "No Allies" and Assassin "Living Free" are above par pieces, while Frisco Kid's firing "Fishtail" suffers from the "censorship" treatment. The album closes with three more cuts over the "Da Vibes" riddim, with Powerman's Work Dem Hard being the best tune.
This "Jamdown Original Series Dancehall Vol. 1" set contains enough dancehall niceness to make it well worth checking!
Teacher & Mr. T.
Montage credits : Jungle Music Rico & The Special AKA – Two-Tone Records 1977 ; Sleeve Art ‘Wareika Vibes’ – Jamdown Records 2006; Trombone Man Anthology, Trojan Records ; Sleeve art ‘You Must Be Crazy’ – Grover Records 1995
With the release of "The Ultimate Reggae Mix Vol. 1" Jamdown Records starts a series of MegaMix albums which will really be appreciated by those who are fans of reggae music with a culture and lovers rock vibe.