Following two excellent albums in 2011 and 2014 – Judgement Day and Destiny – Jamaican roots rockers Raging Fyah signed to reggae powerhouse VP’s subsidiary Dub Rockers and recently put out their third album Everlasting, a bombastic set with infectious melodies, lush harmonies and sing-a-long choruses.
Raging Fyah formed about ten years ago after several of the five members had met at Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston. Their elegant sound is inspired by reggae bands such as Third World, Steel Pulse and Aswad and they often tackle topics of socio-economics and politics together with uplifting messages about hope and inspiration.
Everlasting – produced by Llamar “Riff Raff” brown, whose credits include work for Stephen Marley, Damian Marley and Morgan Heritage – features J Boog, Busy Signal and the stylistically superior Jesse Royal on guest vocals. The latter kills it as usual on Humble and Busy Signal offers some well-needed edge to the pop-flavoured Would You Love Me.
Raging Fyah is at their best when staying on the grittier side of the reggae spectrum. The sparse and dark Raggamuffin is one such highlight, the roaring title track is another.
Everlasting has several irresistible moments – even though a few might be slightly too slick and polished – and passionate and expressive vocalist Kumar shines throughout this sonically sophisticated collection.
With the excellent single Nah Look Back Jamaican five piece band Raging Fyah took the acclaimed selector and radio personality David Rodigan by storm, and he put the single on his compilation Masterpiece, a double disc showcasing his formative years and what he believes could be the future of reggae.
Raging Fyah’s authentic roots-rocking reggae might well represent the future of reggae, even though their sound builds on traditional roots and the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Third World and Zap Pow. Soulful and mellow with a contemporary flare.
Destiny – which drops on June 17 – is a captivating album with mostly conscious and uplifting lyrics about overcoming obstacles and fighting for justice and equality. There is however no raging here.
The melodies and the arrangements are beautiful and it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by a sweet piano ballad like Brave or pulsating non-stop rocking rockers like Barriers and Step Outta Babylon.
Their debut album Judgement Day was released in 2011, but didn’t have the proper distribution. So Destiny comes in a box with the debut included. And what a box it is. Powerful, yet sophisticated, and blazing, but cool. Acquiring this box is a no-brainer if you ask me.
Bobby ”Digital” Dixon became a name in the reggae industry in the 90s when recording a number of massive tunes for some of the greatest artists of the time, including Garnett Silk, Sizzla and Shabba Ranks.
His label Digital-B Records has been alive and kicking for close to three decades, and one of the label’s most recent releases is the Islababad riddim, set to be released in two parts.
Side A introduces a raw and powerful sound that fuses a catchy guitar riff with the current roots reggae revival. Featured on the compilation are such versatile talents as Chronixx, Raging Fyah, Vysionaer and dub poet Thunder, along with a few more.
Stay tuned for side B.
Late last year the talented and dynamic Jamaican reggae band Raging Fyah announced the follow-up to their successful debut album Judgment Day, released in 2011. Destiny is the title and it will drop this year.
But fans of Raging Fyah are now treated to four brand new tracks – one single and one EP. The uplifting and spiritual Jah Glory is taken from the album and Boarding Pass EP is produced by the legendary Bobby “Digital” Dixon and released via his Digital-B Records. All four tracks are excellent rootsy reggae and reminiscent of early Third World and Zap Pow.
This young group of Edna Manley College students have come a long way and over the course of only three years they have dropped a number of very potent tracks, including the brilliant Nah Look Back, a track included on David Rodigan’s Masterpiece compilation.
It’s almost impossible today to write a story about a Jamaican band without referring to the ongoing band and live music resurgence in Jamaica with outfits like Raging Fyah, Uprising Roots Band and Mystikal Revolution, one of the latest additions.
Five piece Dubtonic Kru is however far from newcomers. They’re more like pioneers on the contemporary Jamaican live band circuit. They won Global Battle of the Bands in 2011 and have toured U.S. and Europe many times. Their third and latest album Evolution is due tomorrow and showcases an inspired, talented and skanking band that is not afraid of mixing their favorite genres into a steaming melting pot of roots reggae, soul, funk, dub, pop, dancehall and rock.
Evolution collects 13 tracks and ranges from rock-tinged dancehall in the Kool Johnny Kool combination Rub a Dub Style to psychedelic, twisted dub on the appropriately titled Cloud 9 and hardcore nyabinghi on the magnificent Jah Works, a track that could easily be mistaken for something from the Ras Michael camp.
In between these are a number of jovial one drops, a great version of The Ethiopians’ rocksteady classic Train to Skaville and the honest and heartfelt reggae love story Reggae Vibez, a track featuring Shabba Ranks sing-a-like Jamar “Ratigan” Kelly, who puts it very eloquently “Well, I’ve been around the world, listened to a lot of hits, ain’t no music like this, some say reggae was a accident, but I say it was a gift…”.
Dubtonic Kru is a Third World for the 21th century and Evolution is a great leap forward for the Kru who has presented their best set yet.
In mid July singer Ray Darwin dropped his debut album People’s Choice. Almost at the same time his former band Raging Fyah also put out their debut album titled Judgement Day.
Raging Fyah is a six piece outfit that consists of former students at the acclaimed Edna Manley College in Kingston. Their new lead singer Kumar Bent has a voice similar to a more restrained Tarrus Riley and a tone that make him sound a bit like Konshens. And he’s a great singer that clearly fills the shoes of Ray Darwin.
Judgement Day is produced by the band themselves and lists eleven roots rock reggae tunes, often with high quality. The only tunes that don’t measure up are the marijuana tribute Ganja or the too mellow ballad Cyaan Cool.
Highlights include World Crisis with its well-orchestrated harmonies, the uplifting Karma and the skanking R.A.S (I&I) with a frenetic dub-infused workout in the latter part of the song.
Judgement Day is a promising debut album and I certainly look forward to hear more from these talented musicians in the near future.