Tag Archives: Naptali

A solid collection of singles on new EP from Naptali

naptali-rastafreedom_epFive years have passed since the latest album release from Jamaican-born singer Naptali. Now he’s back with a new set, this time it’s an EP with nine tracks, and again it’s done in collaboration with Oneness Records.

Rasta Freedom is essentially a collection of previously released tracks taken from compilations and one riddim albums, including Boasy Slave on African Children riddim, Nuh Partial on Retro Locks riddim, Deceitful on Backstabber riddim and Rasta Freedom from One Love, One Heart, Oneness. Included are also two unreleased dub cuts mixed by forward-thinking producer and sound engineer Umberto Echo.

Several of the cuts are collaborations with Jamaican deejay Arofat, but Naptali also shares the microphone with Indonesian singer Ras Muhamad.

Rasta Freedom is a solid collection of tracks and Naptali has a sadness in his voice that sticks like glue and gives most of the tracks a melancholic vibe.

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Oneness Records showcase talent on new compilation

CS2381278-02A-BIGGermany’s Oneness Records showcase their work on the fresh compilation One Love One Heart Oneness, a set featuring 20 artists murdering 15 bouncy riddims.

Loads of talent is one of the main ingredients, beautiful melodies is another. The well-crafted riddims are built with live instrumentation, including bright horns on a number of cuts.

Highlights include an angry Buju Banton on a clever relick of Inner Circle’s Bad Boys, Naptali & Arofat’s elegant Jail Song and Sara Lugo & Kabaka Pyramid’s version of The Paragons’ Riding on a High and Windy Day.

One Love One Heart Oneness is evidence of a strong and thriving European reggae scene.

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Harmonious debut album from Sara Lugo

German songstress Sara Lugo made a strong impression on Naptali’s debut album Long Journey put out last year.

And the tune And They Cry is also featured on Sara Lugo’s own debut album What About Love, an eclectic album filled with airy jazz arrangements, one drop riddims and R&B and hip-hop beats.

Sara Lugo has a pure and effortless voice with a delicate phrasing. It is a jazzier Alaine or a reggaefied Erykah Badu.

She is an excellent and versatile singer. Just listen when she reaches the high notes in Maybe or when she takes on a singjay approach in One of These Days, a tune with a piano hook reminiscent of hip-hop classic Still D.R.E.

The album has been overseen, and is mostly produced, by German mastermind Umberto Echo and the musicianship is excellent. It is handled with love and affection.

This is an infectious and harmonious album to keep you company on warm summer nights.

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Naptali behöver ta mer plats

Jag stötte på Naptali förra året genom rytmsamlingen Bad Boys. Hans Fire Burn, var tillsammans med låtar från Buju och Burro Banton, plattans starkaste och långt bättre än Inner Circles signaturmelodi. Låtens styrka låg dock huvudsakligen inte hos Naptali, utan i den kompromisslösa produktionen och den upphottade basgången. Men när jag sätter Naptalis debutplatta Long Journey i skivspelaren är jag ändå hoppfull.

Naptali är en duglig sångare. Hans hesa, lite nasala stämma, påminner stundtals om Michael ”Mykal” Rose eller en mindre intensiv Natty King. Men Naptalis sång saknar karaktär. Han gör sitt jobb och sjunger melodin perfekt, dock utan att imponera. Visst, det kan vara skönt att slippa wailande och olika röstkonster, men det blir lite som landsvägskörning – det händer inte mycket och är ganska tråkigt.

Long Journeys styrka ligger i rytmerna och melodierna signerade teamet bakom Oneness Records. Bästa blir det i ovan nämnda Fire Burn, duetten And They Cry och i tokpoppiga The Law Of Attraction, en låt vars refräng etsar sig fast och vägrar försvinna.

Det här är en fullt godkänd debut. Men framöver skulle jag vilja att Naptali tar mer plats och visar vad hans röst kan göra. Det behöver bli mer än rytm och melodi.

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