Movement of Many Musics

26 02 2008

ROOTZ UNDERGROUND
Movement

So much music these days is being manufactured in unimaginable ways. That’s not necessarily bad, but it makes a story like that of Rootz Underground just that much more special. Crafting their sound on stage for over five years, they finally stepped into a studio. The result is smooth reggae riddims on Movement. This rootsy rasta sextet delivers a well developed balance of easy skanking and reverent passion that was well worth the wait. The nineteen tracks shine with gems like “Victims of the System”, “In The Jungle”, “Herb Fields” and the gorgeous bluesy ballad “In My Hut.” Their Pete Seeger inspired “Hammer” is simply incredible, giving irie new meaning to the traditional folk song. Singer Stevie G’s vocals mix memories of Nesta himself with Midnite’s Vaughn Benjamin atop solid bass lines and unique guitar work from Charles Lazarus. They’re calling Kingston home for now, but the world is soon to be all theirs. JE

AKOYA AFROBEAT
P.D.P. (President Dey Pass)

Fela Kuti’s imprint on music was as significant as the instruments synonymous with his sound. Chirping saxophones and trumpets sound off as congas, drums and bass bring the beat up to meet the melody of keyboards, guitars and of course, those vocals. Having performed with Kuti for a decade, Akoya Afrobeat’s front man Kaleta brings an elevated West African funk to a world that seems to need more dancing. He’s got quite a solution brewing on the 13-piece New York City-based outfit’s second recording. P.D.P. (President Dey Pass) is simply hypnotizing. With four of the six original tracks clocking in at over twelve minutes apiece, it’s no wonder. Dancing clearly wasn’t meant to end after three minutes, as pop songs insist. At that point it’s just getting started. JE

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