Moja – One
France has been a solid Roots Reggae outpost for decades now. There are countless artistes presenting top grade works from this fertile ground. Notably, MOJA has been making solid impact since their stunning debut Ep, “Back To Roots” (2015); the tight knit messenjahs will drop their premier full length player, “ONE.” A tour-de-force that displays their production skills and financed with the help of the committed massive.
Moja translates to “unity” and this universal motion is paramount in their meditative and conscious vibrations. Lead singer Marine “Mamatya” Annic and the five original members founded the group in 2013 in Nantes, France. They made immediate impact with mesmerizing performances throughout the region. “Back To Roots” was hailed as an instant classic; the group furthered in natural progression. In 2016, Moja connected with rising producer Gabriel Bouillon (Rod Anton, Joe Pilgrim & The Ligerians) and the seeds of “One” were sown. Under the direction of Gabriel and fueled by a Crowdfunding campaign, the resonating tracks were realized throughout 2017.
Musicians & more
Mamatya is backed by a Royal roll call of musicians. Drums by Simon Destor with Herve Berlot in tune on bass. Clement Mahe bubbling on keys. Great guitar work by David Besselievre and Gisele Arch. Sky high sax, clarinet and flute by Camille Lourdin/Matthieu Rivaud. The group have elevated their sound with the veteran Nicodrum on percussion and trombone mastery by Stephane Montigny. Sessions were recorded and mixed by Gabriel at acclaimed SoulNurse Studio (Tours) and mastered by Paul Kozmik at Paul’s Boutique (Lyon). The crucial Dubs are courtesy of Clement of solid Sound System RDH HiFi. Honorable mention to Nantes based graphics master Mister Plum, who captures Moja’s essence on the cover. Maximum respect to Jerome “Irie Ites” Baccar; whose Musical Impact promo agency is on par with the internationally recognized Irie Ites movement..
Moja – One
“Meditation” opens up the album with deeply Spritual levels. Nicodrum’s Niyabinghi pulse opens the organic riddim flecked with flute and skanking instrumentation. With a delivery akin to Dezarie, Mamatya’s powerful delivery grabs the listeners’ attention from the first note. Crisp atmosphere with Dubby overtones. Boom!! The title track is a continuation of Royal excellence. Gorgeous riddimatic power anchored by Herve’s lilting bass and Simon’s taut drums. This Empress has serious vocal presence; exalting the essence of unity in totality. The vibrant horn section elevates this instant rewinder. Moja crafts message music with sense of purpose and the arrangements are top ranking. Beautiful music!
“Everything But Love” is superb all the way. A skanking special, deep lyrics flow along a musical backbone of highest Roots caliber. These musicians are unified for sure. The Aswadesque horn blasts are crucial. Standout selection! “Higher” is music from the Highest region. A triumphant anthem for all people to strive forward despite many circumstances. Mamatya has a versatile vocal range brimming with vision and confidence. The lyrics to riddim flow is par excellence; completely original. Gabriel’s mixing techniques display his credentials as one of the premier engineers/musicians around. “Illusion” is a firm meditation. Hypnotic and authentic in nature..”superficial material things…the system is falling down.” An unapologetic observation of Babylon deceptions on top of a textured riddim inflected with Clement’s ethereal bubbling, vivid guitar licks and sax/trombone blasts. This track demands repeated listening!
“Another Way” is a scorcher! Moja’s influences include Burning Spear and Twinkle Brothers; the ensemble delivers vibrations of that caliber. A vibrant Roots symphony with Mamatya soulfully chanting; the riddim section in Zion coordination. Brilliant and Dub minded mix by Gabriel that broadens this fantastic track. What a joy to hear such music! “People Get Enough” is a Rockers excursion that’s “instant classic” The players of instruments construct aflawless riddim and the talented singer displaying her limitless songwriting ability. This is a heavy stereo situation for sure. The Heartical atmosphere furthers with “Searching For Peace.” A track that evokes memories of the dynamic Empress Dezarie (whose live and studio works are unforgettable). Nicodrum returns with pulsating Nyah fyah that’s embedded within an intoxicating riddim spiced with Matthieu’s flute and drum and bass that is remarkable! Exaltations of Roots intellect float verily so. The definition of Roots music!
The listener is treated to two dynamic Dubs-“One Dub” and “Higher Dub.” The former steps wisely into Dub country. Clement(RDH HiFi) ignites the MASSIVE on stage and brings his talent in studio all the way. He strips the riddim wisely and utilizes echo and reverb with ancient future manners. Sound System ready! The latter is Zionic and truly engaging. Clement approaches the track a little way different; fattening basswise and presents a crisp and tight treatment that’s original Ites, Gold and Green print.
Conclusion MOJA's "ONE" is a completely engaging Roots presentation that brims with urgency and is a testament to this group's visionary observations. A must for all who embrace real authentic sound! Go deh!