Sly & Robbie have recently been very productive. Last year they, for example, dropped no less than three dub albums and a combination set with Japanese Spicy Chocolate. And when 2015 has just started they have been heavily involved in two glorious efforts – first No-Maddz’ excellent debut album and now a new set from Omar Perry.
Omar Perry is son of the legendary production wizard and mixing virtuoso Lee Perry. Be Cool is his fourth album – or EP is maybe more accurately since it collects only seven tracks – and is his first four years.
Sly & Robbie are responsible for production and the solid Dub-Stuy crew from New York City have made magic behind the mixing desk.
Omar Perry has a style similar to more familiar artists like Jah Mason, Junior Kelly and Turbulence. It’s a rough mix of raw singing and gruff deejaying. In the effective album opener Can’t Stop Me Flow he explodes and is at his best battling the pulsating bass line and pounding drums accompanied by synths and horns. Blaze Ya Fire is in the same vein, and so is Nah Go A Jail Fi Ganja, even though it’s a bit slower.
But Be Cool is not all about dread lyrics and haunting melodies, a softer side is also showcased on My Shining Star and Love to See You Smile.
As usual with Sly & Robbie – it’s well-crafted, expertly executed and with intriguing arrangements and song structures. And with Omar Perry showing no mercy on the microphone there is need to put up a fight against a set like this. Just surrender.
I’m a big fan of singjay Omar Perry. His first two albums Man Free and Can’t Stop Us Now got a lot of spins in my home and on my way to work. His efforts on riddims such as Soprano and Gorilla have also been pleasant acquaintances.
On his third album The Journey Omar Perry has teamed up with a variety of producers from around the world, including Lockdown, Bost & Bim, Tune In Crew, Itation Records, Danny Champagne, Watch Out Production, Wake Up, Mad Professor, Mafia & Fluxy and Ruff Cut. Plus a host of others.
As you can guess this many producers makes for a non-cohesive whole. The Journey collects 18 tracks put together in one set without a clear story behind it. However, this makes something of a classic Jamaican album with singles from different producers thrown together.
Even though it lacks cohesiveness there are several highlights, and unfortunately a few train wrecks.
Be sure to check Bost & Bims’ relick of The Gatherer’s eerie Words of My Mouth, I&I Raising over a bass heavy relick of the Declaration of Rights riddim, the hip-hop infused Ready for the World with its tough harmonies or Thinking of You with Earl 16, a tune with a beat reminiscent of the Diwali riddim.
The shaky part of this journey is when Omar Perry wants to make contemporary RnB and experiments with the criminally overused auto-tune effect. A tune such as World Let Us Down would have been enjoyable without Omar Perry sounding like a cartoon character. Same goes for the electronic She is So Nice featuring vocalist and producer Fabrice Boyer.
The Journey is no straight road and includes several detours and it would have gained from being more cohesive and with fewer songs.
Necessary Mayhem producer Curtis Lynch is apparently taking things up a notch in 2011. In January he dropped an EP from Chantelle Ernandez as well as a reworking of the classic riddim Pass the Kouchie and two 12” from Dennis Brown and Brinsley Forde respectively. February saw the lovers rock album The Love Directories that compiled both released and previously unreleased material.
Now he has come up with a new riddim called The Gorilla that is – according to the press release – “the best riddim so far on the Necessary Mayhem label”. And it certainly is a great one with efforts from a broad variety of artists.
Tarrus Riley, Omar Perry, Franz Job and veterans Macka B and Chukki Starr have all voiced this dub infused bass heavy riddim that will make you shake your hip and move your feet.
It’s available on Monday March 14th on vinyl and legal download.
2009 är reggaebarnens år. Först ut var Queen Ifrica. Sen var det Tarrus Rileys tur. Och nu har stafettpinnen nått Lee Perrys son Omar Perry.
Can’t Stop Us Now är Omar Perrys uppföljare till 2007-års debut Man Free. Debuten var en solid insats som blandade roots med lovers med ska med dancehall. Lite spretig med andra ord, men en klart godkänd debut.
Den nya plattan är betydligt mer sammanhållen jämfört med sin föregångare. Här finns exempelvis ingen ska, men väl två dancehallutflykter och lite nyabinghi-takter.
Dancehallåtarna Right Right Left och Bring Me Joy är inte plattans starkaste och Omar Perry borde hålla sig till det han kan bäst – roots.
Omar Perrys sånginsatser påminner stundtals om Junior Kelly och Alborosie. Hans lätt arga singjay-stil passar mycket bra tillsammans med de poppigare tongångarna i avslutande Spiritually och den nyabinghi-influerade och lejonkungendoftande 911 (Memorial).
Omar Perry spelar säkert hela skivan igenom. Arvet från hans far märks på en cover av Junior Byles klassiska Beat Down Babylon och en version av Max Romeos Chase the Devil.
Av pappa Perrys experimentlusta märks inte mycket annat än en fet och annorlunda version av Ini Kamozes World a Music som gjorts världskänd genom Damian ”Jr. Gong” Marleys Welcome to Jamrock. Omar Perrys version heter Boom Town och är en riktigt stökig historia.