Mò Kalamity meets Sly & Robbie ‘One Love Vibration’ LP/CD/DIG (Sofia Thea / Musicast) 5/5

Mò Kalamity has something special about her voice. You can’t really translate it into words, it’s just a feeling that’s inspired by her voice. May be it’s this whispery vibe she has which is ethereal and at the same time has a universal appeal simply because it contains a magical kind of quality. Born in Cape Verde and raised in Paris, France, Mò Kalamity turned to Reggae from a young age and has been on that journey since 2004.

It’s no surprise then that her new LP “One Love Vibration” has been produced by the Original Riddim Twins Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare and it is truly an outstanding collection of artistic work. ‘Kingdom’s of Africa’ sets the pace from the start and like all the songs it’s the kind of track you will play over and over again, with the dub version as well. It’s the voice that carries things along in a mystical way. Extending words and utilizing modal scales that have this special pentatonic sound. May be some might call it Middle Eastern, Arabic, but it’s also common in a lot of Greek music, from Ipirus for example, and classic Reggae artists like Dennis Brown and Augustus Pablo often looked to ‘the middle east’ for inspiration. So it’s nothing new. But every once in a while a singer comes along in Reggae who sounds born for that vibe. Although he is completely different, Ini Kamoze has that same quality, and many newer Reggae artists from Jamaica have been walking this more rootsy experimental path a lot of late, such as ‘Likes’ by Chronixx, Micah Shemiah’s ‘Jah Works’ and Samory I’s ‘Rasta No Gangsta’. It’s within that kind of framework that Mò Kalamity’s new release should be put, rootsy to the bone and with a vocal inflection that symbolizes a different modal approach. The best example of this is ‘Throw Down Your Guns’ a powerful song, manifesting with perfect timing topically in a world where brainless knee jerk reactions by politicians rhetorically fuel never-ending cylces of destruction prevalent around the world. So just ‘throw down your arms, rat da ta ta ta’ sings Mò Kalamity with such conviction, power and vibe that you just sing along, and know this is righteous music. And of course, you cannot ignore the music…Sly ‘n’ Robbie need no introduction, they just simply keep doing it rootical time and time again. Respect as always to this fine production team who have been taking Reggae all over the world for decades. “One Love Vibration” was recorded by Sly & Robbie at the legendary Anchor Studios in Jamaica together with acclaimed musicians such as Robbie Lyn(Keyboard) Mikey Chung (Guitar), Winston “Sparrow” Martin (Percussion) and my bredren blowing with passion Dean Fraser (Saxophone). This release is a fine testament by a very talented and special singer with a voice that mesmerizes, and it will be spinning for some decades in selections far and wide….

Haji Mike