Various artists album review
ERC Records - Walboomers Music
24 - 06 - 2000
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
The "one riddim' album "Millennium Taxi", subtitled "Come Catch The Reggae Ride", gathers Dancehall/Reggae mainstays as well as up-and-coming artists voicing over a nice reworking of Sly & Robbie's renown "Unmetered Taxi" riddim. Actually revitalized by the riddim twins themselves, with additional musicians Computer Paul, Michael Lewis and Dean Fraser, the 'Millennium Taxi' riddim is the latest interpretation of a timeless riddim, and probably not the last as it has already been reworked several times before. Altough initially a Skatalite reading of the jazz classic "Peanut Vendor" with a blistering trumpet from Frankie Anderson (released as "Celebration Time" on Coxsone Dodd's 'Studio One' label), the riddim first drew notable attention in the mid-seventies, when Blacka Morwell hustled the riddim for Little Roy's "Prophesy", a happy musical accident that created a reggae classic.|
In the early eighties Sly & Robbie released a benchmark series of instrumentals, including "Unmetered Taxi", for which they utilized Blacka Morwell's "Prophesy" riddim. Another renown riddim section, Steely & Clevie, refreshed the riddim in 1989, and subsequently called it the 'Limousine' riddim. Again it became very popular, which led to the release of a 'one riddim' album featuring pieces from artists like Freddie McGregor, Sanchez, Major Mackerel, Pliers and Cocoa Tea. Almost two decades after Sly & Robbie created "Unmetered Taxi", they have reworked it and renamed it 'Millennium Taxi', thus refering to the release year 2000...the start of a new millennium.
This entertaining set mainly focuses on the "roots & culture" side of reggae music, although a few lovers tunes are featured as well. Some pieces were previously released as a 7" single, including Saba's solid "This Millennium" and Paul Elliott's winner "Real Thing". Also "Africa Bound", Capleton's wicked collaboration with Burning Spear sound-alike Uplifter - remember the pairs firing "Behold" for Cylton some two years ago? - came out as a single, which proved very popular in the UK where it reached a high position in the reggae charts. Besides the aforementioned this compilation contains noteworthy efforts from the underrated Utan Green, who delivers a powerful message with "No Stopping Us Now", Jah Thunder's excellent piece "Hype", Richie Spice's impressive "Cleansing Of The Earth" and Al Campbell's fine "Tracks On". More niceness comes from King David, Pliers and the vocal group ARP. Also well worth listening to are the two instrumental versions, which round off this enjoyable 'one riddim' set.
So, make sure to catch a reggae ride with the "Millennium Taxi"!