Jamaican singer Iba Mahr is part of the new roots movement, which also includes talents such as Protoje, Jah9, Chronixx, Dre Island, Kabaka Pyramid and Jesse Royal. He has two sets under his belt and a third was released earlier this year.
Get Up and Show is overseen by Germany’s Oneness Records and includes previously released material along with a few fresh songs and mixes.
Iba Mahr – with his characteristic fragile singing style – made his recording debut ten years ago and scored his biggest hit in 2014 – the mighty Diamond Sox for Notis Records. The song was also followed by an album with the same title.
Get Up and Show comes with eight tracks – six vocals and two dubs. Best of the bunch is the title track recorded over Oneness own Better Days riddim and originally released in 2017 along with the sweet Patrice combination One World. No Vanity – presented in a showcase style – is a fresh conscious cut with a solid horn section and a powerful groove.
Iba Mahr’s style might be an acquired taste, but this album is solid from start to end.
Jamaican singer Iba Mahr – known for his potent vibrato and the cleverly produced hit single Diamond Sox – is part of the new wave of Jamaican roots reggae along with artists like Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid, Chronixx and Jesse Royal.
His debut recording was already in 2008 and he has since dropped several successful singles as well as voicing one riddim albums. And now – seven years after his initial recording – he has put out his debut album, named after Diamond Sox, a creative single produced by acclaimed drum and bass duo Notis.
This 15 track set follows Great is HIM, an EP released by Tad’s Records last year. That set collected previously released material, while the new one hosts a majority of brand new tracks, mainly produced by his managers Roland McDermot and Jermaine Edwards from Born Rollin’ Music. But included are also scorching cuts from Royal Order Music and Oneness Records.
Together with Iba Mahr – and guest singers Capleton, Jah9, Tarrus Riley and Jahmali – they have created a set jam-packed with conscious and uplifting roots music. The album carries different approaches to roots reggae and original compositions rub shoulders with relicks of classic riddims. Highlights include the vibrant Travelling, the pulsating Jahmali-combination The Time Is Now and the razor-sharp Glory to the King.
Diamond Sox is a cohesive set, but the audio quality leaves a little to be desired since some of the cuts sound distorted. And when comparing the version of Glory to the King on the album with the original on the Social riddim compilation it’s obvious that something has gone wrong in the mastering process. Very unfortunate.
Dubtonic Kru – one of the baddest bands from Jamaica – is back with a new blazing album. Conscious Dub collects eleven tracks and is a mix of different styles and genres and is not – as the title indicates – a dub album.
Conscious Dub is a cocktail of dub versions of previous released material and new smashing vocal cuts. Pitchy Patchy comes with a scorching organ and Guiding Light is driven by a haunting guitar solo and echoing keys, while the smooth The Highest fades out with some stylish deejaying.
Microphone duties is shared with Rasta revivalists Protoje and Iba Mahr along with the lesser known Jamaican vocalist J Militia. Protoje graces the strong Mankind with laid-back verses and Iba Mahr lends his voice to the repatriation cut Somewhere Inna Africa.
Positive and uplifting. As always with the Kru.