Vernon Buckley, aka Vernon Maytone, returns with another solid set for France’s Uniteam Music. In the Mood is the follow up to the excellent On the Right Track, which was released about three years ago.
Both sets have been mixed and mastered by Manu Genius – previously one half of acclaimed Dutch production duo Not Easy At All – and have largely the same smooth sound.
Vernon Maytone was lead singer in 70s roots duo The Maytones and his rural voice remains intact some 40 years after his debut recordings with fellow Maytone-singer Gladstone Grant.
In the Mood is slick with an edge and it comes with relicks of a number of classic riddims, including a scorching cut of the mighty Cuss Cuss riddim. Vernon Maytone sings passionately and emotionally about life and losses.
Another warm and charming album from one of Jamaica’s many unsung musical heroes.
For years have passed since Dutch singer Joggo dropped his excellent debut album Modern Rockers Vol. 1 and now it’s time for its follow-up. And one would guess it would be called Modern Rockers Vol. 2. But no. It’s called Conscious Love and sounds similar to its predecessor.
Conscious Love is produced by Joggo himself along with Reggaeland, Tanntrum Band & Michael Fletcher and Asher E from Black Star Foundation. Manu Genius – formerly one part of acclaimed and successful production duo Not Easy At All – has mixed and mastered the album. His standard is always well above par, and this album is no exception.
This 17 track set offers uplifting and positive contemporary roots with live instrumentation, including some breezy horns. Highlights include the festive Private Performer, the slow Can’t Breathe and the pulsating Come Down.
Definitely another strong reggae album to come out of Europe.
Can’t say I had heard much about veteran Jamaican deejay Ricky Chaplin until listened to Vernon Maytone’s latest album On the Right Track, released last year. On his album they teamed up for the uplifting and encouraging Straight to the Top.
That set was produced by Mr. Chin for Uniteam Music and he has now produced and recorded an album together with Ricky Chaplin along with a number of other notable reggae artists.
Chap Them Chaplin collects twelve tracks, of which two are dub versions and eight are combinations with Kiddus I, Big Youth, Echo Minott, Patrick Andy, Prince Alla and Vernon Maytone. A gang from way back when sound systems ruled the dances and deejays were the order of the day.
Manu Genius from Dubshelter has mixed the album. He was formerly one half of Not Easy At All Productions, and their sound is certainly recognizable. The syncopated riddims are rolling and tough, yet smooth and melodic. It’s vintage dancehall with a flair.
Ricky Chaplin is a deejay in the U Roy tradition. He has a rhythmic and melodic flow and rides the riddims with grace. The highlights are many, but most memorable are Time to Unite with Big Youth and My Sound with the youthful Patrick Andy. These two tracks relicks two of my favourite riddims – Cuss Cuss and Drifter respectively.
Chap Them Chaplin is available on CD/LP via Uniteam and soon also through Ernie B’s Reggae.