"The Sufferah" is the latest riddim from Tiger Records producer Sherkhan, who is also a musician, producer, sound engineer and a music video director. Originally from France, Sherkhan moved to Jamaica in 2003 where he set up his Tiger Studio in Kingston. Since then he has created quite a few riddims including the dancehall beats "Dead U Dead", and "Arena" and the modern roots backdrops "Wharfedale", "Skylarkis", and "Ol' Sitt'n", which were voiced by such artists as Tanya Stephens, Sizzla, Jah Mason, Busy Signal and Lutan Fyah to name just five. Furthermore he has produced a couple of singles from Jah Trouble & Juvenile, Perfect, Erup & Diana Rutherford, and Natasja.
With the music business going through hard times -- and that's not only because of the piracy -- it's almost impossible for a small independent label to put out its music "the old way", i.e. on vinyl and/or cd. The costs are hardly covered by the income of internet sales and of sales from the decreasing amount of record stores as the latter are more and more forced to close down. Thus it's a logical move for people like Sherkhan to release their products as DD (= digital downloads) as in the case of this 'one riddim' album, which can be purchased on Itunes, Soundquake, Amazon, Junodownload, Beatsource, etc.
Sherkhan -- all the instruments are played by himself -- has created a bass driven slow-paced roots riddim that hits real hard when it leaps off your speakers. The nine vocal cuts featured on this album range from solid to great, with the inclusion of the "Sufferah Version" being a more than welcome and appreciated addition.
Jah Mason's "Babylon A Rise" is a good tune, but unfortunately it lacks lyrics to call it an outstanding effort. Diana Rutherford, who works with Sherkhan on a regular basis, has a better lyrical delivery and thus her song "Caged" leaves a better impression than the previous one. At first hear Teflon's "Bun Dung" was a great cut and after a few spins it's still a joy to listen to this tune. "Poverty" by Lutan Fyah belongs to the most outstanding efforts on the riddim. It's followed by a matching piece entitled "The City", the latter showing that Michael Rutherford, the former lead vocalist for the Ryddim Kings Band, is a very fine singer with an appealing voice.
Little Devon, who gained some international recognition when he started to record for Richard "Bello" Bell's Stair Trail imprint in 1988, delivers another great tune for the riddim entitled "Burning Hot". Then Norris Man takes over with "Take The Message Of Jah", a wicked cultural piece truly worth of hearing. It is followed by Perfect's solid "Trinity" and the excellent "Pon Di River Nile" by the much promising Blessed, before the awesome "Sufferah Version" rounds off a thoroughly entertaining 'one riddim' set.
Mr T and Teacher
released January 1, 2008
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