Record Review: Various Artists – Reggaeville Riddim (2012, Oneness Records)

The Paragons riddim revival celebrates a host of the most eminent contemporary reggae chanters

reggaeville riddim

Genre: Reggae

Region: Global: Germany, Jamaica, USA, India, Indonesia etc.

Artists Website: Reggaeville Riddim

Label: Oneness Records

sara lugo

Sara Lugo

It is always a good time for Reggae music, but when the days are warm and bright Reggae sounds best. When we received a promo copy of the Reggaeville Riddim album packed with some of the most eminent reggae voices of today we could only put it on loud and write a few words about it.

This is an exhaustive one riddim release with 19 different vocal versions, one instrumental plus another 6 vocal versions in the bonus EP altogether spanning 1h and 50’ (!) running time. The ‘Reggaeville Riddim’ is a relick riddim taken from the legendary Paragons’ ‘Riding On A High And Windy Day’, a unique exquisite riddim itself refurbished by Oneness Records (Germany) for the needs of this ambitious one riddim record, which marks the first riddim release of the popular Reggaeville magazine.

You can actually listen to the cover of the original track by emerging chanters Sara Lugo and Kabaka Pyramid:

skarra mucciThe riddim itself comes with a neat & clean production, after some moments of playing the original ‘scratchy’ vinyl, with more pronounced guitar riffing and keys compared to the more ‘dusty’ sound of the original. The selection of the riddim is shrewd as its mysterious yet catchy vibe leaves room for diverse vocal interpretations. Indeed one can hear different vocal deliveries ranging from soul’R & B-tinged to roots reggae and more singjay style always riding the same rootsy riddim.

Highlights in the Reggaeville Riddim production are Etana’s ‘One Fist’ with her soulful, powerful voice in a conscious tune, Skarra Mucci & Kip Rich’s ‘Love Mi Fi Me’ and Tarrus Riley’s cover of the War’s 1972 milestone song ‘The World Is A Ghetto’.

Exceptional vocal ‘melodic/rough’ duos are Sara Lugo and Kabaka Pyramid in their cover of the Paragons classic with the enchanting vocal melodies of Sara and Kabaka Pyramid’s sing-chatting, Suga Roy and & Conrad Crystal’s ‘Don’t Give Up On Life’ with the stirring refrain and the sprightful sing-jaying and Hawkeye & Ephraim Juda’s ‘Give Thanks For Life’ completing the life-affirming positive message. From the accompanying EP, Skillinjah’s & Josh Heinrichs’ ‘Call Of Duty’ is by far the best vocal performance on the celebrated riddim.

This release will be appreciated from most reggae lovers and apart from a hommage to this intriguing riddim it also serves as a showcase of today’s reggae scene. ‘Reggaeville Riddim’ is going to be officially released tomorrow, 25th May and here you can check for updates and get a copy.

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Check some more reggae greats via Freegan Kolektiva:

Ziggi Recado – Liberation EP (2012, self-released)

Dreadsquad – The Riddim Machine (2012, Superfly Studio)

Sly & Robbie – Blackwood Dub (2012, Groove Attack Productions)

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

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