Last week Reggaemani wrote about French label Special Delivery’s tenth anniversary compilation, and now it’s time for another brilliant various artists album from the land of berets and baguettes.
Heartical Story – Vol. 2 is the follow-up to last year’s first edition and is based on material from French sound system and label Heartical, an operation established in 1999.
This second version collects 20 tracks recorded and released over the years 2003 to 2012. It’s a musical journey via eight riddims played by Basque Dub Foundation (BDF), with 18 high profile vocalists hailing from Jamaica and England.
The set opens with Steel Pulse’s Grammy Award-winning lead vocalist David Hinds over the Ministerio del Dub riddim followed by a conscious anthem by veteran Little Roy.
Other highlights include cuts on the haunting Slaving, Promised Land and Fade Away riddims respectively. All three are relicks of classic Jamaican riddims originally recorded in the 70’s.
Four bonus cuts are also thrown in – two heavyweight instrumentals, of which one is lead by a grim organ and the other lead by a sorrowful melodica, as well as a dub of I Know Myself riddim and an authentic special dubplate version by U Brown.
Heartical Story – Vol. 2 is now available on CD and digital download and it’s in the same vein as its predecessor – fine slices of roots reggae from the thriving and prosperous French reggae scene.
Heartical is originally a French sound that started in 1999, and has since played all over the globe. They have clashed against, and juggled with, some of the biggest sounds in Europe and Jamaica, including Killamanjaro from Jamaica, Massive B from the U.S. and Supersonic from Germany.
In 2001 the crew launched their label aimed at releasing old school roots music. To date over 50 titles have been released on vinyl and digital download.
As a ten year celebration Heartical is now set to put out its first official compilation featuring an impressive line of artists. Most of them reggae legends like Johnny Osbourne, Little Roy and the late Sugar Minott and Alton Ellis, who sings Peaceful Valley over the Ministerio del Dub riddim, which must have been one of his last recordings.
Heartical Story compiles 20 tunes – 17 vocals and three instrumentals – built on eight riddims from BDF (Basque Dub Foundation). Most riddims are relicks of classics such as Derrick Harriott’s pulsating Tonight, Glen Brown’s haunting Slaving and Studio One’s Far East or the rolling Real Rock.
The compilation is a minor chord celebration in a foundation style. This is roots music as it was meant to be. Just listen to Lone Ranger in Original Style. It’s the chatting Ranger with his ribbiting and oinking against the riddim led by an apocalyptic organ.
Now available as digital download and on CD on June 6th.
Heartical Story shows that none of these foundational artists have lost their flow. They sound just as fresh in the 2000’s as they did in the 70’s and 80’s.