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Raging Fyah - Judgement Day

Raging Fyah - Judgement Day

Raging Fyah - Judgement Day

By on - Comment

"It's a long time/I nuh groove like this"

Sampler

Raging Fyah - Judgment DayAutotune and cheap digital riddims seem to have ruled Jamaican dancehalls for way too long now. There are exceptions, of course, but they rather prove the rule. Roots reggae is still alive in Europe, with more or less the same artists touring regularly, performing the very same songs they got famous for two or three decades ago. In recent years though, a roots reggae band scene evolved back ah yard, largely unnoticed to reggae lovers and even journalists outside of Jamaica. Dubtonic Kru and No Maddz are examples of bands that emerged from this scene, both had some impact in Europe recently.

The most brightly shining stars from that context, if you ask me, are Raging Fyah. The group, consisting of six musicians and singers (all attended the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts), came together in 2006. Very soon, they amazed local music professionals. When Ellen Köhlings and Pete Lilly, the editors in chief of RIDDIM, travelled to Jamaica earlier this year, Raging Fyah got a thorough cover story - before the release of their debut album. Surprised? Press play on 'Judgement Day' and you will not be anymore.

Earthy, groovy basslines catch you instantly. Slow beats catch your attention, with hi-hats and snares getting good workouts. Sweeping keyboards soak you in, there is no escape. Guitars weep, mourn and skank. Relaxed, distinct voices sing lyrics that soothe you, lyrics that strangely seem to reconcile the infinite antagonisms of modern life. Third World, evokes your brain. Bob Marley, says your heart. Something brand new and deeply touching, says your soul.

While 'Judgement Day' contains only eleven tunes - one of them had been recorded live during a concert-, the tremendous quality of each one makes more than up for it. This is pure, classical roots reggae at its very best - yet it has a contemporary feel, without actually incorporating seasonable urban music. Conscious roots reggae is on the rise again, and 'Judgement Day' is the best prove to that claim one could imagine. Köhlings and Lilly, perhaps lacking the right words as I do right now, coined the term postmodern roots to better grasp it.

With this sweet-sweet album, Raging Fyah already entered the eternal hall of fame of reggae music. Not having this album in your collection of records would be an unforgivable mistake. I am really looking forward now to Judgement Day - if only to hear Raging Fyah playing music for the rebels, playing sweet in heaven.

Raging Fyah

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