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Pato Ranking meets Don Fe Vol 1

Pato Ranking meets Don Fe Vol 1

Pato Ranking meets Don Fe Vol 1

By on - 2 comments

Debut album from Chilean Born Vocalist Pato Ranking and the ‘Prince Jammy of Spain’ Don Fe.


Don Fe is a UK born reggae producer and musician who has lived in Spain for the last 20 years he ran his own record label for 6 years before deciding to concentrate more on his own productions and recording various artists at his studio in Spain as well as operating his sound system ‘Jah Catalyst Sound’ alongside uprising stars Zacheous Jackson and Prince Jamo.

Don Fe’s works have been released on a variety of uprising indie reggae labels and now he presents Pato Ranking’s debut album released on the Dub Vibrations label which was set up in 2009 by the UK’s John Forewell aka the dub producer ‘ El Bib’. This album a collaboration between Don Fe’s tight organic digital roots riddims and top vocalist Pato Ranking called ‘Pato Ranking Meets Don Fe Vol1’ features 10 tracks; 5 vocal cuts (3 tracks sung in Spanish 2 in English) and 5 dub cuts of the vocal tracks engineered and mixed by Don Fe.

The album features guest musicians Prince Jamo (backing harmonies), Patxi Valverde (Saxophone), Alfredo Ballester, El Sopas and Jorge Mora (Guitars).

What’s evident at first flick through the tracks is the subtle variation of riddim styles squeezed into 38 minutes on second listen one becomes aware of the intense melodies intertwined with these riddim structures and on third listen one finds them self being aurally drawn into the mix and taken back in time ,especially with the dubs “Wise Dub” and “Easy Dubs It”.

First three vocal tracks on the album are sung in Spanish; I don’t understand Spanish so I cannot really comment on the subject matter, I’d like to point out however track 2 “Verguenza Nacional” which starts off with a very early eighties sounding style ‘sparse’ dancehall intro with organ and ridddim track solo that introduces the haunting slide guitar which peppers the track during it’s running time, here on this tune we discover ‘deep in the mix’ melodica’s, occasional old time Channel 1 style verbed snare drum and a constant rolling bass line this tune immediately hooked me into the album. Pato Ranking is a true singer from the soul, a soulful vocal style with a conscious message delivered in a way to make you think yet leaving you space to enjoy his actual singing , although this particular tune is sung in Spanish I find myself listening intently to his words and phrases, an addictive language Spanish.

The two English sung tracks; track 4 “Easy Come Easy Go” and “Wise Feeling” are superb, taking one back into reggae nostalgia and hammered home by today’s ultra clean and sharp Don Fe studio mix techniques. The backing harmonies on “Wise Feeling” in particular are wonderful giving the whole tune a slightly Gospel flavour, the riddim track harking back to those ‘flying cymbal’ Bunny Lee productions from the mid seventies yet a touch slower in tempo ,both piano and organ working in tandem shuffling and popping around joyfully as reggae should make you feel. A joyous tune with a most conscious message Love is a wise feeling indeed.

One of the most naturally gifted singers I’ve heard this year. The five dub tracks on this album gives one a chance to really study and enjoy the riddim building and melodic work that has gone into making these songs.

And with Don Fe style dub engineering it doesn’t disappoint. All the elements are there, thoughtfully executed dub effects on the riddim tracks ,space echo’s just where you want to hear them ,old time ‘in and out of the mix’ with the instruments and vocal, and as with dub engineers of old he’s managed to change the whole vibe of the version track without losing what the original was about, not overdone, not underdone but production excellence. A great collaboration between Pato Ranking and Don Fe, a quality debut album.

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Read comments (2)

Posted by Sandra on 09.28.2010
Excellent article! Found some Don Fe on the 'net, top notch dubs. Big up!

Posted by rootsman on 09.28.2010
Funny to see, how people have different taste of reggae music.. I find this a very dissapointing tune, and the vocals are really bad.. Sorry..

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