CD Review: Various, The Ultimate Reggae Mix, Vol. 1

by

Various Artists
[JamDown Records]

ultimate reggae mix vol1

JamDown Records has just released their latest in a series of chart topping compilations, “The Ultimate Reggae Mix Vol.1.” Following a format similar to the successful “The Ultimate Dancehall Mix” series, this album features some of the finest names in Reggae performing their hit singles of the last year. This continuous in-the-mix album is mixed by Jamaica’s Jazzy T of the Renaissance Sound System, and is chock full of sound effects giving it that live D.J. club feel.

JamDown Records was born in 1997 when brothers Richard “Baya” Carnegie, Howard “HC” Carnegie and cousin, Horace Lawrence, decided to combine their music industry expertise and started their own production company. The key to their success? “Keeping our nose to the street and knowing what’s going to be a hit before it is.” While JamDown often collaborates with other production companies and record labels, they’ve also released an abundance of original material produced by their own production company, JamDown Productions.

“The Ultimate Reggae Mix” starts off in a lover’s rock style with Mikey Spice’s hit single, “How Am I,” accompanied by a sweet chorus and a funky organ complimenting Mikey’s soul vocal. Freddie McGregor gets near on the same lover’s riddim with “Close To You,” while Anthony Cruz finds the courage to say I love you with his “Thinking About You.” The vibes take a cultural turn when “The Ultimate Reggae Mix” introduces Goofy’s hit riddim “The Timeless Riddim” featuring Singing Melody’s conscious hit, “Stop The Looting.” LionHeart gives his brother a helping hand with his inspirational “Leaves of the Same Tree,” followed by Goofy’s “I Sit and Wonder.” Elephant Man and Mr. Steve close out “The Timeless Riddim” with their prophetic “Wey Dem Ago Do Now,” inna combination fashion.

The style of the compilation takes a refreshing turn with one of my favorite dancehall singers, Pinchers, mashing up the “Joe Fraser Riddim” with his lover’s rock single, “Taking You Home.” Few artists can express a spiritual message like Yami Bolo, as exemplified in his visionary “Joe Fraser Riddim” version, “Children.” “Pack your tickets and your bags because we’re getting out of here” with Bushman and I Lue’s call for repatriation in “On a Mission.” Grab your lover and light some candles as “The Ultimate Reggae Mix” winds down towards the end with some mellow lover’s tunes initiated by Cobra’s “Let’s Do It,” while Richie Stephens and Degree follow with their Marvin Gaye-styled “Get It On.”

“The Ultimate Reggae Mix Vol.1” offers a wide range of styles to satisfy all Reggae fans. For more information about this and other JamDown productions, visit www.jamdown.com.

 

 




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