Album Reviews

Sevara - Sen (Real World Records)

Where Azeri Sevda sounds soulful and jazzy, Uzbek Sevara experiments with an ethereal ambient/dance sound. Just as...


Toumast - Ishumar (Real World Records)

Toumast arose from the collaboration of Tuareg musician Moussa Ag Keyna, singer Aminatou Goumar and French producer...


Kasba - ZigZag (LC Music)

Notwithstanding Belgium has an important Islamic community, where raï music is concerned we tend to focus on...


Sevda - Gül Açdi/A Flower In Bloom (Network)

Where Azerbaijan music is concerned, yours truly is far from a specialist, but for Sevda’s 'Gül...


Orchestra Baobab - Made In Dakar (World Circuit)

All the members of Orchestra Baobab - the African (Senegalese) equivalent of Cuban Buena Vista Social Club - have...


Aly Keita - Akwaba Iniséné (Contre Jour)

For yours truly, 'Akwaba Iniséné' was the first introduction to Aly Keita, but the album of this master...


Omar Perry - Man Free (No Direction Home/Corner Shop/Nocturne)

It has cost him blood, sweat and tears, but Omar Perry has finally managed to get his debut album in stores. 'Man...


Irie Bash - Little John (Maba Music)

As a foretaste of an album that should appear in the coming months, Maba Music presents the 'Little John' EP by...


Rootman J. & The Zionyouth Crew - Destined Destination (Maba Music)

It doesn't happen every day that yours truly is asked to write a review of an album containing two self-penned...


Lorna Asher - Education (Reality Sound)

Yours truly has a soft spot for female voices in reggae and with 'Education' Lorna Asher really delivers a gem of an...


Bishob - Get Up And Try: Bishob Meets Manjul (Makasound)

With Bishob Makasound and producer Manjul are yet again introducing us to a new African revelation. A native of Benin...


Various Artists - Inna De Yard All Stars (Makasound)

After seven albums and more than 25000 copies sold, just before the holidays, Makasound treats us to a kind of 'Best...


Various Artists - This Is Loversrock (Greensleeves)

With 'This Is Lovers Rock' the Greensleeves label is finally paying some attention to a rather underexposed subgenre...


Cultural Roots - Hell A Go Pop (Greensleeves)

Backed by the legendary Roots Radics and recorded at Channel One studios, 'Hell A Go Pop' was the third studio album...


Various Artists - Greensleeves 12" Rulers: Gussie Clarke Music Works 1987 - '91 (Greensleeves)

This is the second release in Greensleeves' 12" Rulers series, this time focusing on producer Gussie Clarke and the...


Zareb - Authentic Love (Pow Pow Productions/Grooveattack)

Let it be said, yours truly is more than a fan of the recent German reggae releases and Pow Pow from Cologne takes...


Anthony Que - Jamaica No Problem (Muzik House/Corner Shop/Nocturne)

Back in 2005, Anthony Que's 'Recharge & Reload' was amongst yours truly's favorite releases of the year. For this...


Bim Sherman - Tribulation, Down In Jamdown 1974 to 1979 (Pressure Sounds)

Back in the 1970s, unfortunately not every Jamaican artist was lucky enough to land a record contract with Island...


Ras Shiloh - Only King Selassie (Greensleeves)

After years of absolute silence, Ras Shiloh already released his 'Coming Home' album earlier this year on the VP...


Black Roots - In Session (Makasound)

As the title suggests, 'In Session' contains live recordings of the pride of Bristol reggae: Black Roots. Tracks 1 to...


Zap Pow - Zap Pow (VP Records)

Thanks to the success of Collie Buddz' 'Come Around' over Zap Pow's 'Last War', this compilation of the most...


Uman - L'Aventure C'est L'Aventure (Pias)

It has taken a long time, but after years of efforts in both the hip-hop and reggae scene Manuel Istace aka Uman is...


Daddy Rings - The Most High (African Glory Records/Grooveattack)

We looked it up for you and it's been since 1999 that we heard something from Daddy Rings. Not completely true of...


Various Artists - Raw Truth, The One Riddim Showcase (Ababajanhoy Records)

After the sudden demise of Joseph Hill, more than a year ago already, Gary 'Bengee' Groeper lifted our spirits with...


Chezidek - Inna Di Road (Greensleeves)

Yours truly was not a big fan of Chezidek, but 'Inna Di Road' has changed things. 'Inna Di Road' is produced by...


Rod Taylor - Where Is Your Love Mankind (Greensleeves)

Greensleeves continues to re-release old material and that is something yours truly doesn't mind at all. 'Where Is...


Alpha Blondy - Jah Victory (Médiacom)

Just before the end of the year we received the new album of Africa's number one reggae star, Alpha Blondy. It had...


I Wayne - Book Of Life (VP Records)

Back in 2005 I Wayne was still hailed as one of the fastest rising stars in the Jamaican roots scene. With his debut...


Tiken Jah Fakoly - L'Africain (Barclay/Universal)

Tiken Jah Fakoly's new album hits hard and that both musically and content-wise. In comparison to his previous...


Home T, Cocoa Tea & Cutty Ranks - Another One For The Road (Greensleeves)

Of the three artists on this album, Cocoa Tea is still most active. Cutty Ranks still released the comeback album...


SteelA - I Livello (Casasonica)

At the beginning of July of this year, the Italian Rototom Sunsplash festival organized the very first edition of the...


The Skatalites - Rolling Steady, The 1983 Music Mountain Sessions (Motion Records)

After their reunion for the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1983, Jackie Mittoo managed to persuade the original...


Jacob Miller & Ray I - Natty Christmas (VP Records)

It might still be a bit early in the year, but with the reissue of this legendary album by Jacob Miller and Ray I, VP...


Mighty Sparrow & Byron Lee - Only A Fool + Again (VP Records)

In the glorious 1960s, apart from ska and rocksteady Jamaica also had to offer calypso. VP Records refreshes our...


Josie Mel - This Whole World (Minor7flat5)

This is already the second album Josie Mel recorded for the Minor7flat5 label and that means that for once, producer...


Barrinton Levy - Robin Hood (Greensleeves)

'Robin Hood' is a brilliant, somewhat forgotten album by Barrington Levy. Once again this is a Junjo Lawes production...


Gentleman - Another Intensity (Sony-BMG/Four Music)

Tillman Otto aka Gentleman is back! The album we've all been waiting for in entitled 'Another Intensity' and that...


Don Carlos & Culture - Roots & Culture + Little John - Ghetto Youth (17 North Parade/VP Records)

Following the path laid out by Greensleeves, VP Records now also seems to dedicate themselves to re-releases. The...


Ranking Dread - Most Wanted: Fattie Boom Boom (Greensleeves)

'Fattie Boom Boom', the latest release in Greensleeves Most Wanted series, is dedicated to the limited oeuvre of...


Various Artists - Greensleeves 12" Rulers: Henry 'Junjo' Lawes 1979 - 83 + Various Artists - From Dubplate To Download: The Best Of Greensleeves Records Ltd. (Greensleeves)

With 'Greensleeves 12" Rulers' Greensleeves introduces yet another series entirely dedicated to the popular 12-inch...


Soldiers Of Jah Army - Get Wiser (Nocturne/Cornershop/Innerloop)

Thanks to the ever growing popularity of Groundation, their countrymen, Soldiers Of Jah Army, also get a chance to...


Captain Sinbad - The Seven Voyages Of Captain Sinbad (Greensleeves)

Captain who? Truth be told, yours truly had no idea who this toaster was, but it has to be said, 'The Seven...


Beta Simon - Kraity Payan Guez (Nocturne/Fakoly Production)

There seems to be absolutely no shortage of African reggae productions lately. In the previous months we already...


Michael Rose - Warrior Dub + Various Artists - Twilight Sound System presents Cultural Roots Showcase (M Records)

This summer Ryan Moore again rejoices us with some brand new releases on his M Records label. Most important of these...


Jahcoustix & Dubios Neighbourhood - Grounded (Modernsoul/Four Music)

Jahcoustix states he discovered reggae while traveling in Kenya, but his debut album, 'Grounded', can hardly be...


Israel Vibration - Stamina (Médiacom)

Although Israel Vibration are clearly on their return, 'Stamina' is undoubtedly one of their best efforts in years....


Frenchie - Dub To Jamrock (Nocturne/Cornershop/Maximum Sound)

French producer Frenchie is primarily known for the two albums he produced for Anthony B. With 'Dub To Jamrock'...


Nasio Fontaine - Rise Up (Greensleeves)

Nasio Fontaine, the Rastaman from Dominica, a small Caribbean Island south of Guadeloupe and Martinique, has already...


Jah Cure - Reflections... A New Beginning (VP Records)

Fans of Jah Cure can breathe a sigh of relief, because after years of imprisonment, the man was finally released at...


Culture - Two Sevens Clash, The 30th Anniversary Edition (Shanachie)

July 7th 2007 must have been just about the most overbooked wedding date in years, but it was also the 30th...


Black Panther - Give Some Love (Vikings/Corner Shop/Nocturne)

With Huey P. Newton and his associates, this Black Panther has nothing to do. Yours truly always enjoys discovering...


Takana Zion - Zion Prophet (Makasound)

The black continent continues to deliver new reggae talents. Last month we introduced you to Kajeem and now it's...


The Slickers - Break Through (Makasound)

With every new reissue on the Makasound label yours truly wonders if the cunning French have struck gold again and...


Sizzla - I-space (Greensleeves)

With the title of his new album on the Greensleeves label, Sizzla winks at the current Myspace internet hype....


Lyricson - Keep The Faith (Jonquet/Nocturne)

Yours truly was impatiently waiting for a new long player by this Guinean living in France. His debut album...


J.C. Lodge - Selfish Lover (Greensleeves)

June Lodge rose to instant celebrity when she recorded 'Someone Loves You Honey' (a song that even landed her a spot...


Cocoa Tea - Biological Warfare (Minor7flat5)

Yours truly is an unconditional fan of the productions of Andreas 'Brotherman' Christophersen, but that piece of...


88 Mate (Antifa Ska) - Pousse Café (Self-published)

Apparently 88 Mate has already been playing ska in and around Antwerp for some years now, but for yours truly 'Pousse...


Dubmatix - Atomic Subsonic (Silencio Records/Nocturne)

'Atomic Subsonic' is the excellent debut album full of steppers, dub and roots by Canadian one-man-project Dubmatix....


The Heptones - Sweet Talking (Heartbeat)

The combination Heptones-Studio 1 is just about synonymous with the best Jamaica has ever produced on a musical...


Cocoa Tea - Tune In (Greensleeves)

Re-issue of the early 1990s album classic Cocoa Tea recorded for Fatis Burrell's Xterminator label. With hits like...


Ras Shiloh - Coming Home (VP Records)

It's been a while since we heard from Ras Shiloh. His last album, 'From Rasta To You', was released back in 2002. The...


Pretcheldave - Chai's Ready (Same Same Productions)

Reggae and dub meets Asian vibes, that's how one could summarize this debut album by Pretzeldave, a singer of...


Natural Black - Jah Guide (Greensleeves)

'Jah Guide' is already Natural Black's second album for the Greensleeves label in as many years, and where...


Junior Murvin - Inna De Yard (Makasound)

We already announced this umpteenth release in Makasound's Inna De Yard series and this set by Junior Murvin by no...


Kajeem - Positif (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder)

'Positif' is the debut album of Ivorian reggae revelation Kajeem. Sadly Kajeem is another example of an African...


Da'Ville - On My Mind (VP Records)

Just as dancehall keeps flirting with the American hip-hop scene, lovers rock releases are getting more and more...


Capital Letters - Headline News (Greensleeves)

From its release in 1979, Capital Letters' 'Headline News' has been one of the bestselling albums in the Greensleeves...


Horace Andy + Sly & Robbie - Livin' It Up (Taxi/Discograph)

For 'Livin' It Up' Horace Andy decided to join forces with the irreplaceable riddim twins Sly & Robbie. The duo...


Marcia Griffiths - Reggae Anthology: Melody Life (VP Records)

With 'Melody Life' Vp Records is finally releasing a new album in their Reggae Anthology series (the previous one,...


Yellowman - Most Wanted (Greensleeves)

For this second release in their Most Wanted series the celebrating Greensleeves label compiled the biggest hits of...


Lieutenant Foxy - Dub & Vocals In My Central Station (Soulbeats Records/Nocturne)

Bit of an unbalanced album, this 'Dub & Vocals In My Central Station'. This debut album by French sound system...


Clint Eastwood & General Saint - Stop That Train (Greensleeves)

With only three extra tracks, this re-release of the legendary album by Clint Eastwood and General Saint is a more...


Zilverzurf - West Eastern Impressions (Lola's World)

"Reggae, but not as we know it!", that's how one could summarize 'West Eastern Impressions'. Wonderboy Johan...


Wailing Souls - Most Wanted: Classic Cuts 1978 - 1984 (Greensleeves)

We will repeat it until you tire of reading it: "This year the Greensleeves label celebrates its thirtieth birthday!"...


Various Artists - Rub-A-Dub Soldiers (Makasound)

At first glance this seems like an in-between release by the Makasound label, but for those willing to give it a bit...


Jah Mason - Life Is Just A Journey (Nocturne)

To those who've listened to Anthony B's most recent effort 'Higher Meditation', 'Life Is Just A Journey' should sound...


Gras¿as - Doe Dat Dan! (Self-published)

Apart from Campina Reggae there's still another band playing their own version of Dutch reggae: Gras¿as! And...


Chuck Fenda - The Living Fire (Greensleeves)

Yours truly has to admit not having paid much attention to Chuck Fenda's debut album 'Better Days', back in 2004. The...


Culture - Raw Truth EP (Ababajanhoy Records)

With their first release, German Ababajanhoy Records brings homage to Culture front man, Joseph Hill, who passed away...


YT - Straight Outta Britain (Hiptones/Sativa Records)

One could consider YT (pronounced "whitey") to be the English answer to Gentleman and his debut album 'Straight Outta...


Various Artists - UB40 Under The Influence (DMC Records)

The DMC label offered UB40 the opportunity to collect the songs that have influenced their career on one compilation....


Richie Spice - In The Streets To Africa (VP Records)

In reggae circles this new release by Richie Spice was eagerly anticipated, with the big question being whether...


Johnny Osbourne And The Sensations - Come Back Darling (Trojan/Sanctuary)

This is no easy feat: reissuing an original 12 track album with no less than 49 (!) bonus tracks. An "expanded...


Ras Michael Jr. - Medicine Man: Inna De Yard (Makasound)

'Medicine Man' is already the sixth release in Makasound's intriguing Inna De Yard series, this time focusing on...


Luie Hond - Met Liefde (Pias)

In Belgium we know Campina Reggae as the heirs to the legacy of Doe Maar, but a musical reply from our northern...


Luciano - Revelation Time (Jet Star/Charm)

The Messenger rarely disappoints and impresses once more with 'Revelation Time'. Most of the tracks on this album are...


Barrington Levy - Englishman + Various Artists - Hi Grade Ganja Anthems (Greensleeves)

This year, Greensleeves celebrates its 30th anniversary and for the occasion the label is releasing some interesting...


Anthony B - Higher Meditation

Barely a few months after his previous release 'Suffering Man' Anthony B returns with 'Higher Meditation', an...


U Roy - Old School/New Rules (Ariwa)

After several years of absence U Roy returns to Ariwa and 'Old School/New Rules', easily classified among the...


Max Romeo - Pocomania Songs (Ariwa)

The first album of living reggae legend Max Romeo for Mad Professor's Ariwa label has sadly turned out to be somewhat...


Tarrus Riley - Parables (VP Records)

Tarrus Riley (son of legend Winston Riley) is a newcomer to the VP stable. 'Parables' is already his second...


Various Artists - King Jammy's: Selector's Choice Volume 1, 2, 3 & 4 (VP Records)

For fans of eighties producer par excellence, King Jammy, the year couldn't have started any better. With this...


Anthony B - Suffering Man (Tad's Record)

Anthony B's latest, 'Suffering Man', on the Jamaican Tad's Record label, starts splendidly with 'Bless Up', a great...