Tag Archives: The 8 Year Affair

Protoje balances reggae and hip-hop on Ancient Future

unnamedOn successful Jamaican reggae revivalist Protoje’s third album Ancient Future he sounds more inspired than ever before when he tackles Winta James’ uncompromising hip-hop-flavoured reggae riddims. It’s clear that duo has worked tight together on this excellent release.

I have followed Protoje since his debut single J.A. released in 2010. That track was producer by his cousin Don Corleone, who Protoje worked with on his first two albums Seven Year Itch and The 8 Year Affair. And with each album Protoje has matured and his sound has evolved from easy-going reggae to spiritual roots.

Ancient Future is a cohesive set that balances rootsy reggae with hip-hop beats. But it also offers a few tasty slices of lovers rock and joyous ska. It’s definitely rooted in the 70s and 80s, but embodies the energy of the present.

Protoje is a frontrunner of the reggae, or Rastafari as Jah9 describes it, revival scene, and Ancient Future enlists several contemporaries, including Chronixx, Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid. Onboard is also rising stars Sevana and Mortimer.

Chronixx showcases his talents on Who Knowns, one of the best cuts from last year according to several reggae heavyweights, and Kabaka Pyramid blazes a verse on The Flame, a track the metamorphoses unexpectedly.

Ancient Future is jam-packed with both talent and highlights and it will be hard for Protoje to outshine a masterpiece like this in the future.

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A darker side of Protoje

disc-3108-protoje-the-8-year-affairJamaican singjay Protoje’s second album The 8 Year Affair is – just like its predecessor – a mix of previously released masterpieces and fresh gems. And just like last time most of the set is produced by his cousin Don Corleon.

It also contains a number of combinations. This time Romain Virgo, Tessanne Chin, Chris Watts and Toi are invited to the party.

The 8 Year Affair collects sweet and tender ballads where Protoje longs for his special queen, but it also, and more importantly, contains several dark minor key masterpieces, showcasing a new, deeper and more melancholic side of Protoje and beat maker Don Corleon. And I like it. A lot actually. Some of the bass lines presented on this album will make your living room start humming.

Don Corleon has glanced at some of the key dancehall producers from the early 80’s and it’s not only Kingston Be Wise that echoes vintage Sly & Robbie. What he has added is a touch of hip-hop and a ton of energy. A few surprises also turns up and most unexpected is the affectionate violin in Come My Way.

Protoje has obviously matured over the two years since his debut set and I hope he’ll stay on this path and not start to stray.

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