Following last year’s excellent mixtape Back to Rub a Dub, versatile singjay Sr. Wilson and talented producer Genis Trani have once again collaborated with great effect.
On the twelve track Paso Firme Sr. Wilson shows his full range as an artist and he sounds comfortable with anything that Genis Trani provides him him. He can sing and he can deejay. He sounds like I Roy, Shabba Ranks and Yellowman. Not at the same time though.
Genis Trani has provided him with solid riddims, ranging from superbly executed rub a dub over on ¿Quién Viene? via slick lovers rock El Instante to booming hip-hop on El Muro. Sr. Wilson and Genis Trani can also do pop and contemporary dancehall as showcased on the uplifting Feel Good and the melancholic My Teachers.
Judging by the arty album cover this set might be confused by an album from an indie rock band like Weezer. But never judge an apple by looking at the tree and don’t judge no honey by looking at the bee, as Freddie McGregor once sang. Paso Firme is personal and fresh reggae well-above average.
You have to be impressed by Spanish producer, mixing engineer and musician Roberto Sánchez. A few weeks ago he and Alpheus dropped a sweet and soulful rocksteady album. Now, he’s responsible for another set, but in a completely different vein.
Earl 16’s Natty Farming is rub-a-dub old school style. Properly old school since the relentless drum patters are laid by Style Scott of Roots Radics fame and originally recorded at Channel One in Kingston.
Just as several other notable album releases from Roberto Sánchez and his A-Lone Productions, Natty Farming is a showcase set with six vocals and their six dubs. Three songs are originals and three are cover versions.
Natty Farming is organic and analogue. It’s warm and Earl 16’s pleading voice floats over the throbbing and syncopated riddims with elegance.
I have yet to hear a below par album or tune from Roberto Sánchez and his crew.