To round off the first decade of the new millennium, Kingston JA based French producer/musician Sherkhan of Tiger Records comes up with the second installment in the label's "Riddim Zone" series, which got kickstarted with the gorgeous "Box Guitar" set earlier this year.
While the "Box Guitar" riddim with its real nice guitar picking was a one drop roots riddim, the "Electricity" riddim -- coming in two parts -- first AC, then DC -- is a very different affair. Sherkhan has created an awesome dancehall riddim which is strongly influenced by '90s Hip-hop beats. A scratch vibe plus layers on top of layers of drums is the essence of this brand new riddim. This year there has been some discussion on dancehall producers incorporating too much Hip-hop in their riddims, with even Mr. Vegas stating that "Hip-hop riddim a mash up Jamaican music". However when it's done the way Sherkhan has done it, no one can have a problem with it. The "Electricity" riddim is strongly rooted in dancehall culture, carries its vibe throughout and is very danceable, but it's cleverly flavoured with Hip-hop elements.
Bounty Killer's protégé Assaillant is a huge talent as already proven on earlier collaborations with Tiger Records like e.g. "It A Get To Me", "Don't Do Me That", and "Under The Covers". Here he delivers the most outstanding effort on the riddim, the sure-fire hit "Free Me". In the song he tells the listener about the bad treatment Jamaican artists receive because of stereotypes. "Just step off a di plane... left Miami where they treated me lame, now me drop a Yard and everything a di same... now police pull me right a Roquefort roundabout. Dem hafi free me, buss up the chucles and free me...". Next up is Juvenile, a street kid from Kingston, whose matching tune "Link And The Linkans" tells with style and humor about the way he parties and also how the fact of having a large network of friends makes you stronger. Teflon, known from a few minor hits, delivers a solid energetic effort called "Another Day", while French artist Bazil, who sounds like one of the Marleys, almost perfectly utilizes Jamaican patois to express himself in "Celebrate", a song inspired by the high crime rate of Jamaica, which teaches people to appreciate life. Zeno might not be a familiar name, but he's certainly no newcomer as he has worked with Computer Paul on the Bootcamp label in the '90s. His See What U Wanna See, in which he says that it's sometimes better to keep quiet about things that don't concern you, is another decent piece for the riddim.
All in all another worthwhile (digital) release in Tiger Records' "Riddim Zone" series, so do check it out!
Teacher and Mr T
released December 1, 2010
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