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Feel Your Presence by NiyoRah

Feel Your Presence by NiyoRah

Feel Your Presence by NiyoRah

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NiyoRah bridges the gap with his most refined set to date.


Although the physical gap between Jamaica and the Virgin Islands isn't particularly large, the musical gap in terms of Reggae has been thought to be so with the major development on the VI scene over the last decade or so. Reggae music from the Virgin Islands is thought to be on a slower pace and much more 'old school' in nature as if Jamaica circa 1975 had seemingly plopped itself down on St. Croix and St. Thomas and birthed artists such as the powerful Midnite and Bambu Station bands. And it would be quite a few years until the major bit of 'cross current' occurred when St. Thomas sensation Pressure Busspipe found a home working alongside Jamaican superproducer, Don Corleon. Well, coincidentally just a few short years later yet another very familiar artist, and one from the same Star Lion Family that helped take Pressure's career to the next level, has bridged that gap as St. Thomas grown/Dominica born singing chanter, NiyoRah, brings forth his third studio album, the outstanding 'Feel Your Presence'.

While the famed I Grade Records is on board, just as they were on NiyoRah's two previous efforts, 'A Different Age' and 'Purification Session', the new album marks the debut of NiyoRah's very own imprint, Denkenesh Records. The production, on the other hand, finds NiyoRah bridging that musical gap as veteran Andrew 'Bassie' Campbell helms the music for the album, which was recorded completely in Jamaica. 'Feel Your Presence' begins with the heavy No Guts, No Glory, a real highlight here which challenges the listener to pay an especially close attention to receive the vibe. Then rolls in Bruk Down Barrier, the second official single from the album, which just so happens to feature big Jamaican chanter, Jah Mason. The Mason and NiyoRah make a very powerful pair on the forceful tune aimed at chanting down oppression immediately. Later on, Niyo combines with the legendary Sugar Minott on the oldschool vibed World Jungle. Again, this combination is excellently carried out and when you even look more through Niyo's past work, making very strong combinations is but one of his many strong points.

The high water mark for the album comes on the tune for which it is named after as the song Feel Your Presence is absolutely beautiful! The tune is somewhat of a tribute to The Almighty, but on top of that there is just so many good vibes and colours enfused as well and NiyoRah really breaks through with a tune which was definitely one which had to succeed here. Incidenatlly, the tune which follows the title track, Capure The Moment, may also be of special interest to fans as it also appeared on the Bassie Campbell produced 'Gather The Remnant' compilation.

Throughout the album what is evident is that NiyoRah has become a better lyricist in the four years since his last release and Campbell's riddims play a perfect backdrop to put his word advancement on full display. Besides Bruk Down Barrier, this is evident on tunes such as Close Call, the complicated No One Go Round The Track and others. Really, as you get deeper into the album, Niyo gets stronger and stronger with the spoken word, peaking on big tunes such as Stolen Legacy and the closing drum driven Indigenous World.

By its end, it's still debatable whether or not 'Feel Your Presence' has become NiyoRah's best piece of work to date, unseating 'Purification Session', but what is clear is that all of the promise that he's shown throughout his career has been fulfilled. Coming up, there was a great amount of interest in his career and although he hasn't become the household name, as has Pressure, what he has become is a very impressive still young artist and that is made crystal clear throughout 'Feel Your Presence' - One of the best Reggae albums of the year thus far.

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