Jah Shaka committed himself to works of spirituality and upliftment from his first vinyl utterance and he continues that theme on into the nineties. His dances remain the only essential events on the London nightlife scene as far as lovers of heavy dubwise and steppers are concerned. His recent forays to Jamaica were rewarded with a brace of dubplates featuring Icho Candy and Willie Williams on Shaka rhythms voiced and mixed at Tubby's studio. Still in the doldrums after Tubby's sad demise, Dromilly Avenue was reportedly rocked to its foundations by Shaka's rhythms with singers queuing up to voice them thankful to sing on something serious after so much silliness. Hopefully, some of Shaka's seriousness has rubbed off and created a little desire to do some heavy music over there. Who knows? This is his first full vocal set since his debut "Revelation Songs", the "Kings Music" and "The Music Message" sets being showcase LPs. Musicians on the album centre around the Black Steel/Shaka axis. The title track is an impassioned plea to Jah intoned over a pounding steppers paced rhythm. "Praise H.I.M." slows things down to a thoughtful walking pace as Shaka offers a determined vocal in the higher register. "Jah Jah Love" continues in the same low key vein before "Rasta Deh Yah" charges in, a killer tune very much in the style of the brothers Twinkle. Side 2 opens with the rocking rallying cry "Don't Give Up". In "Africa" Shaka sings of his enlightenment where the mysteries of that continent are concerned. "Rise And Shine" (not the Bunny Wailer song) is currently my favourite tune on the album. Its pulsating rhythm made familiar by recent Shaka dances at Vauxhall and elsewhere. A unity call "Live As One" ends the set. Another good one from the mighty dub warrior.

Lol Bell-Brown ~ BSL #4 ~ winter 1989/1990


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