Keeping up with reggae album releases is hard and I recently came across yet another set released last year. It was German blog House of Reggae – again – that highlighted Tonto Addi’s debut album Dancehall Showcase, an effort with six vocal cuts followed by its dub version.
For this twelve track set aggressive French sound system deejay Tonto Addi – who today resides in Germany – joined forces with Spanish producer Raggattack. This is an album that takes you back to the mid to late 80s, a time when producer Augustus “Gussie” Clarke had started to experiment with digital and semi-digital sounds. Dancehall Showcase is in that vein, but compared to Augustus Clarke’s sometimes vivid soundscapes, this set has rather sparse arrangements.
The pair’s first track together was We Do the Killing, a tune included on the album but according to an interview Tonto Addi it has a different mix. We Do the Killing is a dancehall banger, and so is several other tracks, especially album opener Slow and the Trevor Junior combination Music a Play. Tonto Addi has a raw, unpolished flow, which clashes nicely against Trevor Junior’s smooth vocals.
Mid to late 80s digital reggae has been popular for some time now and original releases usually means big bucks on eBay. So if you are into the digital sounds but don’t have the cash or want to get ruined check this mean and dark album.