Posts Tagged ‘review’

ZonaReGGae Reviews…V.A. – Rhygin Showcase Vol.1 2011 Rhygin Records

December 10, 2011

Taking their name from famous Jamaican outlaw and folk hero Ivanhoe ‘Rhyging’ Martin, Californian Rhygin Records crew is definitely one of the hottest sounds around the worldwide underground revival scenes.
Going back to 2004, when their first 7inch singles came out (one of which featured legendary Jamaican artist Cedric Brooks!), we can see that the common goal of this musicians, producers, dj’s and engineers collective, is to bring back reggae and soul music golden days.


There’s an exquisite sense of paying tribute to the oldies in Rhygin productions; from the exclusive use of analogue gear, the vintage sound (fuelled with ‘white noise’!), all the way to choosing to release vinyl, and even the covers artwork; Rhygin Records truly and humbly stand up to their self-proclaimed title of ‘The Revival Sounds of Now’!
After a few years of reissuing their older stuff and improving their, foundation style of playing, skills, their back in 2011 with the first LP, revealing their top session players in action, and first vocal cuts.

And one thing is sure, never Rockers music as been revisited in such a fine style as in the new ‘Rhygin Showcase Vol.1’!

Generation Rockers band are one of the highlight on this showcase, with tunes like ‘Rambling’, ‘Sea Change‘ and ‘Coast to Coast’ showing you the original Rockers, Rocksteady and Northern Soul music.

The funky approach of Tino Ranks on ‘Pohiki’ , the heavy organic Dubwise from Sandollar Sounds on ‘The Way’ and The Black Emeralds ‘Vipers and Liars’, will get fans of original roots music wondering where this new ‘Jamaican‘ sound comes from!
To crown this new release in top style, Rhygin Records present their first ever vocal tunes, ‘Im still Here’ and ‘Dangerous’, two Lovers Rock heartfull cuts featuring talent South California singer Roots Daughtah.

A guaranteed scorcher from Santa Cruz ‘Revival Sounds of Now’ crew, back in a supreme manner with this amazing line up of Roots & Rockers vintage display, filled with plenty of groovy & funky tunes, making it one of the Best in 2011!



ZonaReGGae Reviews…JOSHUA ALO – Orchid Unknown (2011)

February 21, 2011

If I would to highlight a roots reggae newcomer into this Millennium’s first decade, it would have to be Hawaiian born, Joshua Alo.

With a raw and uncut, 2007, debut release album, Answer your Calling; Joshua, alongside Italian tribal roots band Zion Love, brought out one of the best independent releases of that year. Produced in only two weeks, Answer Your calling was certainly a powerful moment. Answer Your Calling also revealed one of the most original younger voices in worldwide Reggae Music, as Joshua Alo’s sweet and original vocals genuinely delivering his humble, conscious and devoted messages.

After many praises for the album, both from his home island, and worldwide places like Brazil, Unites States, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal and West Africa, Joshua returned to Hawaii in 2008 for some heavy performances throughout the islands. He then made a move to Europe where he teamed up with hard hitting musicians from Burkina Faso, Congo and Belgium, to record the new album, Orchid Unknown (Coming out next 25th February, 2011 on his independent label World SoulJah Music).

Joshua says Orchid Unknown is an album that was a long time in the making. Many trials were endured in the 2 1/2 year long process it took to write, record and produce this album”.

Unlike his debut release, Orchid Unknown, displays a more vibrant and updated Roots Reggae feel; filled with Jazzy grooves, hard drumming, beautiful harmonies and exquisite horn arrangements, as Joshua says, ‘the music is marinated through time contrary to my first album which took only 2 weeks produce. The effects on the album are minimal and hardly any editing was done by the engineers as they adopted an old school recording method of ,”If the take is not right, do it again”, as editing the music will only minimize it’s true essence and vibe. ‘

The result is a work that truly brings joy and insight! Since the opening tune, Feel it in the Air, Joshua delivers strong messages throughout warnings and signs towards empowerment, faith, feelings, dreams and Love.

Highlights forward for his warnings about a New World Order in the amazing Senses; calls for freedom from the system and its deception in Be Free, Be True; the rockers skanking to a Rhythm So Divine, with appeals for love & strength to give all to the Lord and the single release, Keep, where Joshua moves away from the distress and sadness of life’s path, over a powerful roots rock reggae beat. (go to to get this free single.)

Joshua’s life and experiences are often shared in his lyrics, and one of the most beautiful of the feelings expressed comes from his past military experience: “I still render much due respect to the plight of the service members and their families as told in the track “Hold On”. A message for service members and families to persevere, amidst extremely long durations of separations and trials.”

Other highlight tune is the title track Orchid Unknown. A beautiful Roots Reggae tune where we listen to Joshua calling for the holy guidance to hold on to humanity, ‘The song resembles the holy place of the father deep down that is so buried within us, but calls out and guides us amidst all struggles, trials and tribulations in life.’

A true devotion to the Creator and Christ as stated in Psalms 146. The powers where Joshua gets his motivation are a constant presence in his words, ‘All songs in Orchid Unknown were written out of what I was experiencing. Some songs took minutes and others took 3 years to complete. But all songs were written out of inspiration’.
Finishing this all strong, 12 track intimate album, the acoustic Essence, shows us where he draws the inspiration from…The heart.

Music for open minded people and a chance for enlightenment is what Orchid Unknown offers, bringing an amazing musical effort all over great Roots Reggae influenced tunes, uplifted by Joshua Alo insights, warnings and callings for a change.
Word, Sound and Power! And no matter in what time, part of the world or language spoken, that´s what Reggae music should be all about.

Joshua´s words….
“You got to know what you’re searching for,
you won’t find it, should you refuse to open your door
so step out come out, see what life is all about,
your hopes and your dreams are blocked by fear and doubt.
Don’t let that new world order control your mind.”



ZonaReGGae reviews…GROUNDATION – Here I Am[2009-Groundation Music]

November 1, 2009


Mais do que um grupo de Roots Reggae moderno, os Groundation são hoje uma referência por todo o mundo, do que de mais criativo se faz dentro do estilo.
Depois de 10 anos de constante inovação e evolução, os Groundation lançaram, passado mês de Junho, o 6º registo de originais, Here I Am, uma autêntica ode á presença e importância da Humanidade como um todo, neste início de século conturbado.

Em lugar de repetir a formula (ou uma das muitas!) que o grupo criou em qualquer outro dos álbuns, Here I Am volta a inovar e demonstra uma nova fase da vida dos Groundation, desta feita criando um verdadeiro som colectivo, onde, á semelhança dos extraordinários espectáculos ao vivo, cada elemento têm naturalmente o seu espaço, para dar o seu melhor e único contributo!

O trio central do grupo, Harrisson Stafford, Ryan Newman e Marcus Urani, fazem agora acompanhar-se por novos elementos: David Chachere (trompete), Kelsey Howard (trombone), Dr.Jason Robinson (saxofone), Mingo Lewis Jr. (Congas) e Tekanawa ‘Rufus’ Haereiti na bateria, talvez o grande destaque nesta ‘nova’ formação, trazendo um singular jazzy Groove á secção rítmica do grupo.

As novidades não se ficam por aqui, com as vozes femininas Kim Pommel e Stephanie Wallace a saírem da posição única de backing vocals e darem a voz em temas como a title track Here I Am, So Blind ou Not So Simple.
Lendas do reggae jamaicano, como o percussionista Sticky Thompson, Pablo Moses e o trio original dos The Congos, são os convidados especiais em Here I Am, mais uma vez complementando a intrigante voz de Harrison Stafford, que chega mesmo a surgir apenas como back vocals no tema Time Come, onde os The Congos confirmam o porque de serem, provavelmente, o melhor trio vocal jamaicano de todos os tempos!

Musicalmente, a construção rítmica em Here I Am é soberba, mantendo a base clássica do Roots Reggae que sempre apaixonou o grupo; não deixando de ser óbvio um retorno às origens do jazz, bem marcada pela presença do primeiro tema instrumental de sempre dos Groundation em álbum, Walk Upright, ou a jam em formato improviso de Not So Simple!

Sendo obviamente um disco para o fanático dos Groundation (como qualquer outro do grupo será certamente), Here I Am, não se apresenta no entanto como um disco para puristas, deixando no ar uma tentativa de quebrar barreiras musicais, e tanto abrir os horizontes dos puristas como introduzir a música jamaicana a todos os outros!

(Groundation ao vivo (You Can Profit) no programa – Radio Arbyla – da televisão grega!)

Musicalmente único pela elaboração dos temas, Here I Am e os Groundation, destacam-se mais uma vez pela originalidade lírica. Sem cair em clichés, e ainda assim directo ao assunto, as letras de Harrison Stafford, são aqui simultaneamente apontadas ao sistema, que parece querer espremer todo e qualquer momento final da sua soberania; e a cada um de nós, apelando para a esperança, e urgência da União e Comunidade verdadeira entre todos nós…Run the Plan, By All Means, Blues Away ou You Can Profit, são algumas das mais inteligentes, verdadeiras e emotivas letras de sempre dos Groundation! A fechar, a complexidade do simples bem presente em Golan to Galilee, num cryout único para a união, onde todas as vozes do álbum se juntam para cantar:
‘From Golan to Galilee/Onto Jerusalem
that´s what I want to see/ All Love and unity
stretching through creation/As far as the Eye can see

I Rasta, I Rasta, I Rasta, I Rasta’

Se para muitos, Here I Am, não será o melhor álbum de sempre dos Groundation, certo é que este é até á data, o melhor momento musical do grupo, transpirando originalidade e em muitos instantes, toda a força e criatividade que o grupo apresenta ao vivo!

Seguem-se as Tours de alerta por todo o mundo; e grandes novidades para o ano de 2010; primeiro com o anúncio do lançamento de mais um capítulo dubwise, da série Dub Wars!
E o lançamento de Holding On to Jah, um dos mais aguardados documentários da história da música jamaicana, produzido por Harrison Stafford!
Aqui fica um pequeno avanço do que esperar!