Daweh Congo – Human Rights & Justice

by Apr 10, 2024Mini-Review, Reviews

Daweh Congo - Human Rights & Justice

Release Info

Label
Jamwax
Format
LP
Street date
March 8, 2024
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

Side A
1. Human Rights & Justice
2. Big Bad Sound
3. Mercy Seat
4. Wilderness
5. One World

Side B
1. Earth Runnings
2. Jah Is My Sheperd
3. Drums
4. Another Day
5. Herb Tree

Daweh Congo

In the early 1990s, Daweh Congo recorded several songs for African Star, Andrew Nash, and Kariang, which went largely unnoticed. It wasn’t until his 1995 singles Study Garvey, No Peace, and Coconut Chalice produced by Barry O’Hare that the son of Jamaican singer Leo Graham began to gain recognition and acclaim. It resulted in the astonishing 1997 released CD Militancy for Barry O’Hare and the Dutch reggae label RUNN Records. The singer’s debut album was hailed as a modern roots classic and a much promising music career and stardom lay ahead of him. Around thirty years later, it is clear that unfortunately, for whatsoever reason, he did not fulfil that expectation.

Earth Runnings

In 1999, France-based Black Star/Sankofa released Daweh Congo’s sophomore album Earth Runnings, which in 2000 was released in the US by Roots and Culture Records under a new title, Human Rights & Justice. After twenty-five years, that album has now been reissued on black vinyl by Jamwax from France. For Human Rights & Justice, X-Rated Records’ semi-digital 1990s backdrops of Militancy were replaced by a selection of flawless rock-solid riddims provided by the mighty Roots Radics band. Daweh Congo’s singing and chanting evoke the spirit of a singer like Burning Spear, with whom he’s frequently compared. Although they largely sound less exciting to the ears than the tracks of Militancy, the songs of his second album are of solid quality and fully showcase the skill and creativity of Daweh Congo as a songwriter. In his role as a singer, he sometimes tends to stray off-key.

Rivised Riddims

The album was produced and mixed by Gaylord Bravo at Leggo’s Recording Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. He provided Daweh Congo with revised riddims done by the Roots Radics for Henry “Junjo” Lawes in the early ’80s. Omitted from the original release are two tracks, the lover’s tune Come On Over and Mother Arose, leaving a total of ten tracks that explore themes of spirituality and deal with earthly topics. When it comes to spirituality, Daweh elevates this connection with powerful tracks such as Mercy Seat, Wilderness, Jah Is My Shepherd, and Another Day. Congo also calls for a more harmonious world which resonates in songs like One World (across The Meditations’ Carpenter Rebuild riddim), Earth Runnings, and the album’s title track, Human Rights & Justice. Additionally, worth giving repeated listens are the sound system feature Big Bad Sound on the Hot Milk aka Murderer riddim, and the album closer, the captivating ganja anthem Herb Tree which comes across Alton Ellis’ Mad Mad riddim, also known as Diseases riddim, made popular by Yellowman with Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.

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