Joggo’s debut album is surely one of the most convincing roots reggae releases in the recent years. It employs a more retro approach by being solid at the same time. Joggo’s lyrics follow more the conscious path with lots of lovers rock, but totally avoiding slackness which is not surprising since Joggo was drawn into reggae from the conscious messages.
Jurgen Orville Seedorf, a.k.a. Joggo, was born in Amsterdam but returned to his ancestral lands of Surinam (which was a Dutch colony) where he now resides. For the recording of Modern Rockers Vol. 1 he had to come back to Amsterdam in order to join forces with Amsterdam based producer and Dredda Records founder ‘Decko’ Douglas in what is a successful collaboration.
Joggo has composed half the songs on ‘Modern Rockers Vol.1’, while the rest are co-written by Joggo and Decko. Most songs are backed by Dredda crew musicians apart from two which were played by Feueralarm and produced by Not Easy At All productions.
What stands out immediately is the voice of Joggo, loud and crystal clear further magnified by his soulful, but also playful and cheerful, delivery and the Rastafari consciousness. ‘DJ play me some roots‘ is an instant classic with captivating vocal harmonies which overall together with the throwback keys radiates a 1980s flavour (Beres Hammond, Black Uhuru come to mind).
The collaboration with Turbulence on ‘Strong like lion’ is an upbeat smasher, one of the best songs in the album. With positive lyrics about self-empowerment it is an ultimate example of heavy roots reggae year 2011. After that, 4 lovers rock tunes in a row is too much for my taste, even though they are substantially above average (especially ‘Strong black woman’ and ‘You don’t know’).
‘Peace and love’ is an astonishing tune maybe the brightest moment of this record. Joggo’s vocal lines are commanding emotions; his crystal voice is dominating the song powerful and soul-conquering, drawing on this universal-and-eternal message of ‘Peace and love’. ‘Gundown’ is similarly strong calling for street violence to cease, ‘I & I know’ is more introvert and spiritual (Augustus spirit animated) while ‘Jah Jah Nevah’ is about Jah Consciousness against slavery and colonialism. Actually, this string of amazing songs is the reason why this review needed to be posted at Freegan Kolektiva.
Jagga has an impressive start on his way to establish his reggae artistry. We wish him to bring more chants to the higher grounds. Jagga & Decko proved to be a powerful roots duo, as heard on ‘Modern Rockers Vol. 1’. There seems to be some quality reggae going on in Dredda yard both in A’dam and Suriname, so we can expect some talents to spring out in the future under their auspices.