Various Artists

Dancehall Slam

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Mostly a showcase for Fat Eyes, the production team of Colin "Bulby" York, Linford "Fatta" Marshall, and Carl Toppin, who offer up ten of their recent hits, with another pair coming from Sherman Escoffery's Bully Productions. The set features some of the toughest rhythms pummeling out of the dancehalls of the day, but the Fat trio are as innovative as their sound is sharp, and these cuts capture the diversity of their productions. One of the most intriguing is Beenie Man's "Turn Around," an ominous combination of clobbering beats and snatches of spy themesque melody. Louis Culture and Luciano, meanwhile, pair up for the cultural "Real Rastaman," whose rhythm features a Far Eastern style melodica (รก la Augustus Pablo) while the beats are nyahbinghi-style drums. The cut became an instant classic. The trio delve even further into the past to resurrect a charming rocksteady rhythm for Jason Sweetness and Roundhead's infectious demand of "Ganja Fi Legal," and dig up another for Marcia Griffith to add her loving tones to on a duet with Bounty Killer, "A Mi She Adore." In total contrast is Mad Cobra's cut, which is stripped virtually down to the bare beat, the toughest rhythm on the record. Everton Blender is given the most easy going, for his pertinent but genial "Why Do We Have War?" Add cuts from the verbally dexterous up and coming star Spragga Benz, a solo Bounty Killer, Don Yute, and more, and Dancehall Slam is almost as good as a night in a Kingston dancehall.

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