Ini Kamoze

Shocking Out

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Before Ini Kamoze made his name in America with his more hip-hop influenced work (including the number one hit "Hot Stepper" in 1995) he produced a small number of highly influential digital dancehall albums in Jamaica with some of the island's top producers of the late 1980s. Shocking Out finds him teamed up with the Steelie and Clevie production team for a fine set of fairly typical late-'80s dancehall reggae, distinguished by the excellent backing band and Kamoze's unique delivery. Highlights include "Come Now" (which is dedicated, perhaps unfortunately in light of later events, to boxer Mike Tyson) and the political anthem "Cool It Off." "Revolution" includes a cameo appearance from radical dub poet Mutabaruka; "Clown Talking" provides perhaps the only example of a digital rock-steady rhythm. Nothing here will change the way you listen to reggae, but neither is any track less than very good. Recommended.

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