Ride The Rhythm ~ Key Riddim
Cou$ins Records - Black Arrow
August 7, 2007

Track list
  1. Around The World - Gyptian
  2. Gang War - Luciano
  3. Love You So Much - Turbulence
  4. Good Vibes - Natty King
  5. Nah Go Mek It - Natural Black
  6. Understand - Chezidek
  7. Your Love - Anthony B
  8. Need My Love - Teflon
  9. Wherever You Go - Norris Man
  10. Left Me & Gone - Perfect
  11. Without Your Love - Prestige
  12. Humanity - Ras Shiloh
  13. Some Call It Love - Ray Darwin
  14. Music - Lukie D
  15. Key Riddim - (Kemar McGregor &) Flava Unit
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Following the dropping of two albums on the heels of each other in the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series in august last year, with its 4th volume 'Watch This Sound & What A Feeling' and its 5th "Volume 5 ~ Warrior Charge & Drum Song", Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style with 'Rocksteady & Beatitude' and the strong various artists albums "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1", "JA2UK Singers Vol. 3" and last year also "A Tribute 2 Studio One & Treasure Isle Records" - also showed a nose for picking the right riddims to license on the three various artists compilations, as "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1"'s inclusion of CJ James 'Without Love'-riddim and of course Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett's 'Heavenly' and then on 'Mo-Bay' & 'Desperate Lover' two riddims from Byron Murray's In The Streetz label were featured, strange as it may seem with In The Streetz not only being an outlet for Byron Murray's own productions like the very successful first attempt at a one drop 'Street Swing' but through their Rhythm Streetz Series Byron Murray (and Mr. Vegas) also released on CD and LP some extremely successful riddims by other extremely hot producers. Then Cou$ins Records released its 8th volume of the Rhythm 2 Rhythm Series "From Creation / Real Iron" compiling two older selections from UK producer Steve Martin a.k.a. Blacker Dread with the 'Real Iron' from 2003 and 'From Creation' from 1998 (though earlier in 1984 recorded).

Only 2 weeks after that release Cou$ins Records kicked off a new series of one riddim instead of two riddim albums called Ride The Rhythm with "Hail The I" featuring the first riddim on the Riddim Kings label produced by Stefan & Sean Shelton a.k.a the Riddim Kings and now just one month later they return with a string of one drop releases licensed from Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's Flava Music and No Doubt Records, who of course cemented his name as one riddim producer with the 'Triumphant'-riddim backing Gyptian's "Mama" and then chipped in with the nice 'Road Block'-riddim and the very nice various combination album aptly titled "Combination". And now just one week after the release of Kemar McGregor's two one-riddim albums "Trumpet" and "Flute" this "Key Riddim", probably the most laid-back of the three riddims and just a joy to listen to, released just one week later is the third volume within 8 days in Cou$ins Records' 'Ride The Rhythm' series.

Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor protégé Gyptian opens this album with his wonderful smooth lovers pledge to follow his girl "Around The World" followed by the harsh view on the reality of life in (the ghettoes of) Kingston in "Gang War" by Luciano and the beautiful "Love You So Much" showing the softer side of Turbulence. Natty King delivers a wicked piece of big people music praising the "Good Vibes" of a night's out and having a good time, before probably the most consistent roots artist of the moment, Guyanese singjay Natural Black after an almost Barry White like intro tells spreading rumours about him will "Nah Go Mek It" and Chezidek, whose strong recently released album "Firm Up Yourself" was also completely produced by Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor for his No Doubt Records and then licensed to Cou$ins Records, including the great "Understand" compiled here.

Though his sung efforts normally don't belong to his strongest tunes, Anthony B's "Your Love", almost making you believe his girl's love could make a playa leave the streets, is definitely the most impressive tune of his three takes on these 3 No Doubt Records/Cou$ins Records "Ride The Rhythm" releases. When Teflon limits his vocal vibrato gimmickry he definitely can deliver very nice tunes and his "Need My Love" featured here is a fine example, that is followed by more magnificent lovers tunes like Norris Man's "Wherever You Go" for a girl out of reach, Perfect's sad love gone wrong tune "Left Me & Gone" and Prestige exploring the same feelings of being left in the strong "Without Your Love". And no, I'm not going to apologize for it, but once more Brooklyn, NYC born and based Ras Shiloh on the heels of his VP Records album "Coming Home" shows once more that none of the singers striving to sound like Garnett Silk could match that something very unique about Garnett's voice and delivery, except for one, Ras Shiloh himself, as his soft spoken cry for (revolutionary) change "Humanity" proves in a superb way.

The Jamaican singer now based in Hamburg in Germany, who scored a big surprise hit with "People's Choice" over TAD's 'Mean Girl / I Need A Roof' Ray Darwin proves with every new tune he records it's a miracle that he didn't score hits before, as "Some Call It Love" is an absolute splendid song over this lovely 'Key'-riddim. L.U.S.T.-member Lukie D delivers the last vocal tune on this one riddim album, paying tribute to his (and our) "Music" before the clean "Key Riddim" version shows how smooth, sweet and relaxing the vibes of it are, closing a trilogy of excellent Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor / No Doubt Records one riddim albums released in Cou$ins Records 'Ride The Rhythm' series and hopefully a good example of what's going to be released in the future in this series.