Various ‘Ragga Ragga Ragga 2013’ (VP) 3/5

This yearly installment of the freshest dancehall sounds of the ragga sub-genre is now upon us and once again it is an interesting mix of cross-boundary hopping grooves. Contemporary soul and reggae sounds are becoming increasingly blurred for a younger generation of musicians who simply see the commonality between them and this is reflected in the production of Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor. His own contribution on ‘Struggle’ features some soulful instrumentation in both the use of keyboards and in the background vocals. Young vocalist Romain Virgo is one of the new talents to emerge on the Jamaican music scene and he illustrates this by offering ‘No scary movie’ which he has co-written. In an altogether rawer vein comes the sole offering on the compliation by Gyptian ‘Non stop’ which features vocoder-like vocals. It has to be stated that some of the ragga songs can be a tad formulaic and furthermore are phrased in a vernacular that only a few can truly appreciate. However, this fact seemingly matters little since the music is primarily aimed at dancefloor action and on this score alone, the music will either sink or swim.

Tim Stenhouse

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