Daddy Freddy

Old School New School

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Connoisseurs of modern reggae will have high expectations for this collaboration between speed-rap legend Daddy Freddy and experimental U.K. dubmeister The Rootsman, and those expectations will, for the most part, be met. While Daddy Freddy is famous for his place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's fastest rapper (clocked, reportedly, at a tongue-numbing 508 syllables per minute), he is less widely recognized as simply one of the best dancehall DJs of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Rootsman has more of a cult following amongst aficionados of rootswise progressive dub. On Old School, New School The Rootsman delivers up a batch of solid rhythms that vary from classic ragga ("Keeping a Session") to ominous modern one-drop ("No Carbon") and steppers ("Where Were You"). Freddy himself is in fine form for the most part -- he occasionally loses track of the music's harmonic center, but he never fails to ride the rhythm with utter confidence and poise. Particular highlights include the dark and funky "Worldwide Revolution" and an apparent Eek-A-Mouse tribute, "Wa Do Dem." The program concludes with three excellent remixes.

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