Can’t say I knew much about 90s UK label Riz Records until I received a press release from Reggae Archive Records telling the world that they would issue a compilation covering that particular label. I was intrigued since most of the label’s output was produced by studio wizards Nick Manasseh and Gil Cang. Both are still active in the industry but via new labels – Roots Garden and Tuff Scout.
Riz Records was active in the 90s and the productions follow in the footsteps of tough UK digi dubbers like Jah Shaka, Alpha & Omega and Iration Steppas. The sounds coming from Riz were however a bit different. Not as in your face and more ethereal and meditative. More roots, less digital dub.
Rise Up! – The Riz Records Story collects 15 tunes – of which two are previously unreleased – and the selection is flawless with foundation Jamaican artists like Johnny Osbourne, Willie Williams and Earl 16 along with local UK acts such as Danny Red and Bob Skeng.
Among the many highlights are Johnny Osbourne’s haunting Rise Up, Orville Smith’s dark Builder’s Temple and Willie Williams dreamy Saints, a seven minute long tune perfect after a day’s hard work.
All cuts are taken from the original master tapes and the audio quality is impeccable. Not that common when it comes to reissues. Well done.