Music Review: Various Artists – Amiga Riddim EP (2011, United Forces Of Dub)

Pervasive reggae/dub one riddim EP with a hard beat and outstanding vocal deliveries from a host of talented singers. Recover you dancing moves to chant down babylon!

Genre: Reggae/Dub

Country: Czech Republic / UK / Kenya

Artists Website: Solo Banton / KalciaDada Afrik / Fireson / Rueben Mystic / Juakali

Label: United Forces of Dub

It has been a while since we last reviewed some straightforward Reggae/Dub music in Freegan Kolektiva. The ‘Amiga Riddim’ is a good come back to this task since it a collective, outernational effort that comes under the banner of the Czech, Prague-based collective ‘United Forces of Dub. I knew that ska/ska-punk music was quite popular there, but I did not know that roots reggae and dub music is spreading as well.

Solo Banton

The Amiga Riddim is fully-packed, loud and clear – pervasive on all fronts. Obviously, it is a one riddim session, meaning different vocalists ride on different versions of the same riddim, and the beat is really hard and heavy, going straight to the dance floor, to sound system rotations and to the streets in support of people’s uprising worldwide. The collaborative production between Mustakillah Sound and Syncro succeeded in capturing all the raw energy as well as the voices of all those talented singers. At first listen it sounds a bit overproduced and polished, but at the end I concluded that it certainly delivers.

Amiga Riddim features some outstanding performances of established as well as emerging vocalists. First side is superior for my taste with Solo Banton’s voice as dictating and fierce as always. The surprise here is Dada Afrik & Kalcia’s version which is really fiery inna singjay and early dancehall style, reminding a bit Sista Nancy but more versatile – really uplifting and militant. Fireson’s delivery is of equal passion: he really blazes up the mic with pure energy unleashed from inside – he is really ready to unfold his talent globally. There is quite some talent in Nairobi, Kenya and if I take into account recent releases of Takana Zion or Jahcoustix’s ‘Crossroads to West Afreeca’ one riddim album featuring emerging singers like Kajeem, Selamty (Ivory Coast), Ras Banjo (Nigeria), Commander Messiah, Raja Flame (Ghana) there is a lot to come up from motherland Africa.

Fireson

Side B is featuring Rueben Mystic (Jamaica) in a softer, melodic tone and Juakali (from Trinidad and Tobago residing in LA, US) as well as a dub version. Overall,  it is a solid effort, a smashing riddim with exceptional vocal performances especially on the A side. It will keep people jumping on the dancefloor as well as it serve as a stepping stone for emerging reggae vocalists from Kenya and elsewhere.

Juakali

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