Tag Archives: First Light

A bright light on the Swedish reggae scene

Renowned Swedish producer and sound wizard Internal Dread died in a traffic accident August. One of his last projects was Swedish ten piece roots reggae rockers First Light and their debut album Judgement Time.

This twelve track live played reggae album is directly derived from vintage Jamaican roots and early dancehall. Lead singer and percussionist Michél León’s youthful, energetic and high tone resemble vocalists such as Triston Palma, Barrington Levy and the late Hugh Mundell.

Internal Dread used his dub skills when mixing the album and effects are present throughout the set, especially echo-laid vocals and guitar.

Most of the album is based on original riddims, and the only relicks are a bouncy version of the Studio One classic Real Rock, and a lethal cut of the Cuss Cuss riddim, one of the most versioned riddims ever and originally produced by Harry J and sung by Lloyd Robinson back in the late 60’s.

The tragic and untimely death of Internal Dread has hit the Swedish reggae scene hard, but Judgement Time is highly respectable legacy.

Judgement Time is presently only available on CD, but will soon also hit the stores as limited vinyl and legal download.

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Easy Star All-Stars lacks edge

About two years ago I noticed that American band Easy Star All-Stars topped the Billboard reggae list with their reworked version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band titled Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. I remember I was a bit surprised since I hadn’t heard them before.

Now Easy Star All-Stars have managed to put out an album based on their own material.

First Light consists of 14 tunes (16 on the digital version). The vocal duties are nicely shared by Kirsty Rock and Ras I Ray, and give the album a good blend of male and female singing.

Easy Star All-Stars are probably best known for their reinventions of other albums, and this time they have to stand on their own feet. And the result is an album that lacks edge, but certainly has its moments.

Especially the pulsating ganja tune One Likkle Draw with guest artists Junior Jazz and Daddy Lion Chandell and the 60’s flavored Unbelievable featuring singer/guitarist and America’s Got Talent contestant Cas Haley.

But First Light lacks in diversity and it’s too courteous and kind. It is just too easy.

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