Earl Sixteen – Rightful Ruler
Here the listener is treated to Zion I Kings’ revitalised sounds of classic reggae, courtesy of core members David “JAH David” Goldfine (bass) and Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred (rhythm guitar, piano, organ), who are joined by Spanish ace producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Roberto Sanchez of A-Lone Productions (drums), trumpeter Patrick “Aba Ariginal” Tenyue, David Prout and Andrew “Moon” Bain on lead guitar, Pau “Nattykeyz” Dangla Valls on keyboards, and Sheldon Bernard on flute. ZIK are known for bringing forth projects with riddims that sound superb and their new Earl Sixteen project is no exception.
Rightful Ruler consists of four vocals followed by their respective dub mixes, which were done by JAH David. Earl Sixteen sounds amazing as he always does and also his songwriting is up to par. The LP gets started with one of its clear highlights, the message tune Jah Earth. It’s an echo-laden piece, driven by a powerful drum & bass and great trumpet play by Aba Ariginal with on top Earl Sixteen’s sterling vocals. Played at the highest volume, Jah Dub will easily vibrate the walls of the neighbours across the street. Killer dub! Next comes the title track Rightful Ruler, a beautiful spiritual song that has been given a nice touch with the addition of Sheldon Bernard’s flute. Even though not sounding as heavy as Jah Dub, its dub version is also worth hearing. The other side of the vinyl platter opens with the collaboration piece Find A Way featuring UK deejay Mr. Williamz. In all, this song and its dub leave a solid impression. The LP comes to an end with another highlight. First there’s the gorgeous Take Some Time that impresses mightily and then comes Take Some Dub to top it off in a big way.
Roots, reality, and culture! Very well done!