Exile Di Brave – Meets Black Star
Black Star Foundation
There’s been a flurry of Royal activity at Black Star Foundation recently. The Amsterdam based Roots organization is celebrating 15 years of developing and spreading King’s Music with a slew of superb releases. Talking about new Leah Rosier, Asher-E and “World Of Righteousness Riddim”. Last August, they released “Exile Di Brave Meets Black Star”. A powerful EP featuring one of the most important rising Lions in the business. Exile Di Brave continues to forward the integrity of message music on many levels…
Exile Di Brave
Exile Di Brave (Clayton Johnson) hails from Portmore, JA. In 1999, he commenced his musical journey in hip hop tones with efficiency. His clear vision tuned into Roots frequency with incredible results. His 2013 Roots debut, “The Calling” was well received. This forward Rastaman raised the bar in 2015. “The Journey Begins” ignited sparks across Creation and was one of the year’s top albums. He mesmerized crowds from Reggae Geel to Rototom and making Royal impact in Slovenia and neighboring regions. He continued the level vibes in 2016 with the masterful “To The Foundation”. His commitment to the music doesn’t stop there. His EDB Entertainment Company represents such talent as Kazam Davis and Infinite. He directs the world renowned “Vinyl Thursday’s” music sessions. He’s been featured in numerous short films; including 2016’s “Rock Dem”. With the solid backing of longtime manager Jacky French, the future is so bright for this true talent.
This project is another Amsterdam-Kingston connection that’s become a signature of Black Star productions. Their yearly sojourn has cumulated solid bonds throughout the Kingston music fraternity and maternity. The bulk of the muscular riddims are built by Asher-E (one of the best in the business). The legendary Firehouse Crew contribute wisely; continuing their imprint on Black Star releases. Donald Dennis and George “Dusty” Miller provide granite tuff musical backbone. The massive horn section of Simon de Zwaan (sax), Carron McGibbon (trombone) and Guido van de Wijdeven (trumpet) take the levels to the heights. The sweet backing vox from Leah Rosier are essential. This project is produced /mixed by Asher-E; with veteran Tixie Dixon (one of Kingston’s premier engineers) on “Earnings”. Honourable mention to graphics master Valentin Ocheda and photographer Adam Kroll for the visual crispness..
Exile Di Brave Meets Black Star
“Never Get Weak Yet” kicks off in fine style. Over Asher-E’s melodica driven riddim, Exile Di Brave delivers an upfront rally to stand predominant in his original and lyrically rich flow. Roots anthem galore! The energy continues on “Celebrate Our Love”. The riddim is rolling with the aforementioned horn section and Leah’s ethereal vox elevating. EDB displays his broad vocal range with a soul stirring vocalism that is no carbon copy. A beautiful Love track with sense of purpose. Tasty arrangements that requires repeated listening. Clayton’s songwriting is not a rushed approach; thoughtful and engaging. “Buy Lies” has Firehouse Crew imprint alongside the Royal hornsmen. This Ska soaked rocker grabs attention all the way. EDB offers up an observant reality check about Babylon deception. His vibrant vocals evoke fulljoyment in contrast to the serious nature of the song. Clayton has Royal goods to offer; certainly one of the most poignant and potent rising Lions out there. So much things to say, he dweet in his original and dynamic way.
Taxi Red Ash
“Spend My Money” featuring Taxi Red Ash (Harald Davis) is a brilliant disco mix! One of his finest tracks to date! This song was the inspiration for the whole project. Taxi Red Ash (taxi driver and good friend of Black Star) had contributed to the track in Kingston. While EDB was in Amsterdam, he loved the song so much he deejayed on it with lyrics born. Over a flawless Asher-E riddim, the atmosphere is superb. Taxi Red Ash has a throaty and Heartical delivery and EDB clearly feels the vibes just right. A crucial combination that’s niced up with ethereal bubbling, lilting bass and taut drums. “Spend my money means nothing to me”. Killer track of non reliance on material things with a crisp mix! Standout selection!
Sound System Ready
“Earnings” is a fiery Dancehall track with Firehouse Crew evoking riddims they created during Digital times. EDB fires on all cylinders and is at ease with Dancehall tight or strictly Roots vibes. Sound system ready with strictly conscious lyrics. The set closes with “Never Get Dubbed Yet”; Dub partner of the first track. This is serious Dubwise country. Asher-E’s impeccable musician manship is showcased just nice with his incredible bass anchoring down. He mixes with originality; echo and reverb in all the right places. House of Dub a plenty!
Conclusion "Exile Di Brave Meets Black Star" is a superb offering that reflects the natural progression of the absolute messenjah and one of Reggae's most committed collectives. Highest recommendation! If you are or aren't familiar with the majestic catalog of Exile DI Brave and Black Star Foundation; you're in for a Royal experience. Go deh!