Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Sound The System
Alborosie
Greensleeves
CD
August 31, 2013

Track list
  1. Intro
  2. Play Fool (To Catch Wise)
  3. Rock The Dancehall
  4. Zion Train feat. Kymani Marley
  5. To Whom It May Concern
  6. Who Run The Dance
  7. Goodbye feat. Nina Zilli
  8. U Got To Be Mine
  9. Love Is The Way
  10. There Is A Way feat. Kemar
  11. Positiveness
  12. Don't Pressure It
  13. Warrior feat. Nature
  14. Give Thanks feat. The Abyssinians
  15. Shut U Mouth
  16. Outro
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
In recent times, there's been constant chatter about the direction of Reggae Musik and who can aptly carry this powerful fya. Yes indeed; there is a Roots roster capable of this. Alborosie is definitely in this echelon to the highest degree. This Italian born multi-talent has developed in leaps and bounds and his fourth solo album, "Sound The System", is the highest grade and his most solid effort thus far...

Alborosie (Alberto D'Ascola) originally hails from the Sicilian town of Marsala. He moved to Milan as a youth and settled in with the Reggae National Tickets who released some really killer sets and toured Europe in the mid to late 90's. Note: they released at least four albums and are worth seeking out! The band was invited to play in JA, where Albo took a new direction. He left the band and became an engineer at Portland based GeeJam Studio. Out of nowhere, he released "Soul Pirate" and just took the world by storm; a tour-de-force that became an instant classic. He honed his versatility with "Escape To Babylon" and "Two Times Revolution". All sets included guests ranging from Mykal Rose to David Hinds to Kymani Marley. He has cemented his Roots credentials in a traditional and inventive manner. The amazing reality about "Sound The System" is that he played, produced and arranged 90% of the material by himself (guided by The Most High). It was recorded at his Shengen Studio (that boasts a plethora of equipment owned by his heroes King Tubby and Coxsone Dodd). He has able assistance from Tony Tarantino/Bangie-keys; longtime drummer Fitzroy Green; the horn section of Dean Fraser, Nambo Robinson, Everol Wray and great backing vox from Sandy Smith/Mark Bradford/Kemar. He has the privilege of some production from King Jammy. Greensleeves veterans Tony McDermott (graphics) and Kevin Metcalfe (mastering) complete this ites package.

After a Niyabinghi fueled intro, Alborosie blazes into Play Fool (To Catch Wise). A righteous homage to Black Uhuru with a riddim that has Roots Radics qualities and "Taxi" styled production. A totally catching tune that captures traditional values and becomes an anthem for the ages. A triumph presented the way real Reggae should be. Rock The Dancehall pays due respect to sound system as a culture. He is an incredible musician and provides a granite riddim (with Bingy Bunny riddim guitar licks) and he tears it up about the power of Reggae Musik as a wholesome value. Great mixing skills a la King Tubby's style. GREAT TUNE. Kymani Marley linked with Albo on "Soul Pirate" and this chemistry works once again. Revisiting Zion Train is no easy feat but Albo is able to inject his trademark singjay style without losing any balance and allowing Kymani to shine on his father's classic. To Whom It May Concern is pure boomshot. Once again using a Black Uhuru approach, Albo chants about the power of righteousness over wickedness. Dean Fraser's sax work adds Zion dimension to this yah one. This song is proof that Puppa Albo is about the Love and integrity of King's Musik and not focusing on fame and fortune. Who Run The Dance is an example of the increasing versatility of his vocal proneness. He pays ises to the good ol' Dancehall days in pure Raggamuffin style. "Puppa gets the Gold, gets full clearance". Sounding as ruff as Burro Banton; he rips it up and is able to keep things inclusive whilst keeping traditional values intact. Goodbye featuring Italian songstress Nina Zilli takes us back perfectly to the Ska era. Over a scintillating beat, the duet takes us on a vivacious trip and demonstrates on how keen Albo is on the rich history of Jamaican music.

Alborosie has travelled extensively and brings that experience to certain songs. U Got To Be Mine possesses a Mediterranean flavor that twines well with the solid riddim. This song draws you in from first note and keeps you there with innovation. This is Renaissance style fe real. Love Is The Way is a serious thing. It defines how it takes more than flashing Dreadlocks to be righteous and true. An instant classic, he rides a superb riddim with a hint of Freddie McGregor flavor. Perfect analogue mixing, perfect harmonies, perfect skills. There Is A Place featuring Kemar McGregor holds back nothing! A serious tune about the reality of life and death that is humbled by the heartfelt approach by Kemar. This progressive Dancehall track will make you reason. Positiveness pumps directly into Heart and Soul. A triumphant anthem that will sweeten your stride; Albo tears it up lyrically and musically. THE standout selection has to be Don't Pressure It! Aptly singing like Freddie McGregor (with a likkle Linval), he takes us back to Channel One glory days. He did some Freddie stylings with the "Tickets" and his maturity shines on and on. This is his best Ganja anthem to date. He conjures up a glorious Roots Radic styled riddim and his respect to Mr. McGregor is inspiring and firing. He's so knowledgeable of the facets of Reggae history and this is a prime example. Warrior featuring rising star Nature has a Marleyesque approach that can't be ignored. There's pure competence and confidence and a reason why he has gained the raspect of veterans of the arena. The Abyssinians offer a rare appearance on Give Thanks and it's pure Zion sounds. Over a Golden Age riddim, the Roots trio harmonize in Amharic and is balanced out well by Albo's sincere and urgent delivery. Shut U Mouth is a clarion call to all bad-minded people and a reminder that he is here to stay with no apology. Great riddim with his trademark drum rolls - boomshot! This set closes with a wise Rasta reasoning.

Alborosie's "Sound The System" fires on all cylinders. He's able to keep the tradition alive whilst intertwining his inclusive innovations. This formula can be considered as a spearhead for a great direction for Reggae Musik. There's countless music makers and takers out there and Alborosie rises and shines into the top ranks. He's got the respect of his peers and the world and "Sound The System" furthers his credentials. If you haven't followed his output, this is the time! Reggae Musik is in good hands! Highest recommendation. GO DEH!!!!!