Tag Archives: Scrolls of the Levite

Powerful roots on Mark Wonder’s Dragon Slayer

unnamedJamaican singer Mark Wonder dropped his debut album Jeremiah almost 20 years ago and he has since put out another five studio sets, including his latest effort Dragon Slayer produced by the mighty Irie Ites from France.

Dragon Slayer – which is Mark Wonder’s moniker – follows Scrolls of the Levite, which was produced by U.S.-based Nowtime Sound. That set was heavily influenced by hip-hop whereas Dragon Slayer leans more towards uncompromising roots, even though hip-hop elements turn up in a track like People Need Security, voiced over a version of the Billie Jean riddim.

Mark Wonder is a voiced to be reckoned within the contemporary roots community and he has over the years recorded together with a broad variety of producers and artists, including AL.TA.FA.AN Records, Oneness, Bobby Digital, Sizzla, Capleton and Luciano.

His voice has improved over the years, but he still sounds a lot like the late and great Garnett Silk. His singing is emotional and powerful and he delivers these cultural and militant numbers with melody and soul.

When I reviewed Scrolls of the Levite in 2015 I stated that that was his best album to date. Well, that was then. Dragon Slayer – powered by riddims laid by Roots Radics and Mafia & Fluxy – is now his best. Let’s see what happens when another album drops.

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Scrolls of the Levite is Mark Wonder’s best album yet

scrolls-of-the-levite-113726291Garnett Silk-influenced Jamaican singer Mark Wonder, aka Dragon Slayer, has a fresh new album out. Scrolls of the Levite collects 13 tracks, including one dub version, produced by U.S. Nowtime Sound. And the result is an uncompromising and cohesive effort with clear hip-hop influences throughout.

The soundscape is often dubby and dread. The often emotional Mark Wonder signs praises of the Almighty, hails Jah and warns the youth against going astray. Onboard the journey is skilled hornsmen Dean Fraser and Nambo Robinson on saxophone and trombone respectively.

Best of the buch is the slightly offbeat Rude Boys in Town, the militant Buzzrock Soldiers with its infectious electronic instrumentation, Long Road, on a hip-hop-tinged version of Ras Michael’s mighty None a Jah Jah Children, and the haunting Rebels.

Scrolls of the Levite offers a tasty mix of beats and riddims with forward-thinking arrangements and song structures and its definitely Mark Wonder’s best work to date.

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