Berlin-based music collective Illbilly Hitec returns with the intoxicating and eclectic album Reggae Not Dead, a 19 track – including four bonus cuts and four remixes – set following Reggaetronics released in 2013.
On the album Illbilly Hitec has invited several European tongue twisting lyricists, including Tribuman, Longfingah and Cheshire Cat. They – along with a few others – spit lyrics in English, Spanish, French and patois over up-tempo beats and intriguing rhythms borrowing from reggae, hip-hop, ska, dub and dancehall along with a few other bass-heavy genres.
Highlights include Chase, a clever cut borrowing from Max Romeo’s popular Chase the Devil, Essencial, with an Eastern European melody and a chorus slightly similar to Matthew McAnuff’s Be Careful, The Hempolics combination Friday Session, with its cavernous bass line and infectious chorus, and the pulsating Talking Everyday.
This album is a solid example that reggae is not dead. The global reggae scene is vital and reggae music continues to influence musicians from Japan and Australia via the Middle East and Europe to the U.S. and South America. And reggae is also a style that has always been keen to absorb influences from all over the world. Reggae is a global phenomenon. It will always stay alive; no matter what the critics may say.