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Only Solution Riddim by Irie Ites

Only Solution Riddim by Irie Ites

Only Solution Riddim by Irie Ites

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Almost every piece here stands up well in its own right.

Sampler

With its sci-fi synth line and spiritual questing feel, the Le Mans label Irie Ites' Only Solution rhythm is a solid modern roots base for a variety of artists - both established and on the rise. Created with the UK's Mafia and Fluxy, the rhythm was first unveiled with four 7 inches in 2008, prior to the team's series of classic recuts such as Roots and Culture and Su Su Pon Rasta.

Now it has been made available on cd including 6 previously unheard cuts. And while it falls - like so many backings popular on the continent - between being a vintage revival and a contemporary Jamaican-inspired one drop, almost every piece here stands up well in its own right. First up is reflective St Ann star Chezidek, who acquits himself typically of his recent form with the earnest rebuke Warmonger. Irie Ites by his old friend Perfect sounds like extended jingle for the label (though none the worse for it) whereas yet another St Ann singer Lorenzo supplies both the rhythm title and a top tune from his album 'Movin' Ahead'. His distinctive voice, with all the notes of a fine wine, grabs the ear.

Another artist known for his delivery above all else is Jah Mason who does a good job with the confessional In My Heart. The first fresh cut is by Guyana's Ras Mcbean, who uses interesting device of Boots Tracks to invoke the well-documented topic of a soldier herb raid. Herb should be legal for everyone "especially the musicians!" he hopefully suggests over a different mix from his 2004 album 'Pack Up and Leave'. Next is the great footballer turned singer-deejay Lutan Fyah's effort, The Blessings (a fairly melodic prayer piece) before the combination of hard-working collaborators, Conrad Crystal and Suga Roy, with Nuff Time.

After the established male singers come the ladies, the rising Jamaicans and the Francphones. The Hungarian Ghanaian Sena who featured on the flipside to Jah Mason on the first 45 has similar blend of strength and soulfulness in voice to Queen Ifrica. Kingston's Malijah, who sang One More Spliff, is on familiar territory for Mi No Ina Way Dem Ina. Despite its title Jennifer Barrett's True Love is a roots message to Jah; France's Brahim asks us to watch our speech and actions with Parles Bien; while Keefaz reminds us of the value of nature during Montagnes & Vallées (another different mix from his album 'A Contre Temps'). Finally, the dub, by Calvin 'So So' Francis, engineer for the project, is a nice slow burning alternate mix to the 7 inch flip - giving each instrument its due. Overall, this is a gratifyingly consistent modern roots rhythm set where cultural lyrics are a must.

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