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.
They say never judge a book by its cover or never judge an apple by looking at a tree. I say – don’t judge Smiley’s debut album Traffic Light by its painful and horrible gangsta rap and heavy metal looking cover sleeve. It’s way better than it looks and sounds great if you like contemporary European one drop reggae.
Smiley dropped his heavyweight Junior Kelly combination Dem A Wonder five years ago and it was followed by the bright EP Lively Road in 2010.
Traffic Light is his debut album and collects 16 live played tracks, including a short spoken outro. Production is mostly helmed by his fellow Dutch musician Stiko, but Anthony Senior of Al.Ta.Fa.An Records turns up as producer on the Anthony B combination Keep the Joy.
Smiley singing is vivid and he has great confidence. At times he almost has a kind of authoritative tone in his voice and sometimes he gets into a light singjay mode.
A former boss once told me that good things looks good. Unfortunately that’s not the case with Traffic Light. Don’t let the sleeve fool you.
In 2009 Dutch Slimmah Sound – the alias for producer Tim Baumgarten – dropped the mighty fine roots showcase compilation Roots Tribe Showcase: Love Jah More which featured some strong vocal cuts from the likes of Jah Melodie and Lyrical Benjie.
Now the next chapter has arrived. It’s aptly titled Roots Tribe Showcase Volume II and contains the profound cultural preachings of long time Slimmah Sound collaborators Jah Melodie, Kyle Sicarius, Lyrical Benjie and Zed I as well as new additions Teddy Dan and Fitta Warri. Just as last time each of the six vocals are followed by its heavy as lead dub counterpart.
There are no relicks. And none of the tracks have been previously released. Only fresh originals. Although Dub Resident bears a slight resemblance to Ranking Dread’s Bom Dub.
Slimmah Sound has over the years held a remarkably high quality on the output, and this album is no exception.
Roots Tribe Showcase Volume II is now available on LP, CD and on digital platforms. If you order a vinyl copy directly from the label you’ll receive a free copy of Lyrical Benjie’s album Firm in Jah put out last year.