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VOX Album Review

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  • VOX Album Review

    One of the most fascinating aspects of reggae music has always been its unerring ability to reinvent itself, thereby ensuring it remains fresh and vital. Whether it does this by plundering its rich musical heritage for something simply in need of a contemporary twist or by clambering aboard the latest fad-driven bandwagon, it's clear that reggae's inherent faculty for experimentation and diversification continues unabated, albeit with varying degrees of success, failure and downright arseness-all of which are exemplified by this month's round-up.

    Keith Richards may no longer be someone whose name is synonymous with innovation, but outside his day-job with The World's Best Rock'n'Roll Band, he's not averse to trying out something new and adventurous. Wingless Angels' (Island Jamaica, 4 stars) eponymous debut is basically a field recording of a Nyabinghi Rastafarian drum'n'chant session, but with a difference. As resident 'licks'-provider, producer and honorary 'albino' of the group, Ol' Craggy Face goes for a warts'n'all sound, replete with chirping cicadas, stoned chuckling and hacking coughs, which lends intimacy and warmth to proceedings. Although the addition of fiddle and accordion embellishments can seem a little incongruous at times, the devotional, gospel-tinged singing is immaculate throughout and the hypnotic 'one-drop' rhythms of the funde and bass drums are always tight.

    It's and affecting and emotive album that sympathetically highlights a rarely recorded Jamaican folk music in its rawest, uncut form.

    Posted by: WebCrew
WebCrew's picture
on April 18, 1997

One of the most fascinating aspects of reggae music has always been its unerring ability to reinvent itself, thereby ensuring it remains fresh and vital. Whether it does this by plundering its rich musical heritage for something simply in need of a contemporary twist or by clambering aboard the latest fad-driven bandwagon, it's clear that reggae's inherent faculty for experimentation and diversification continues unabated, albeit with varying degrees of success, failure and downright arseness-all of which are exemplified by this month's round-up.

Keith Richards may no longer be someone whose name is synonymous with innovation, but outside his day-job with The World's Best Rock'n'Roll Band, he's not averse to trying out something new and adventurous. Wingless Angels' (Island Jamaica, 4 stars) eponymous debut is basically a field recording of a Nyabinghi Rastafarian drum'n'chant session, but with a difference. As resident 'licks'-provider, producer and honorary 'albino' of the group, Ol' Craggy Face goes for a warts'n'all sound, replete with chirping cicadas, stoned chuckling and hacking coughs, which lends intimacy and warmth to proceedings. Although the addition of fiddle and accordion embellishments can seem a little incongruous at times, the devotional, gospel-tinged singing is immaculate throughout and the hypnotic 'one-drop' rhythms of the funde and bass drums are always tight.

It's and affecting and emotive album that sympathetically highlights a rarely recorded Jamaican folk music in its rawest, uncut form.

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