Sgt. Remo

"Dancehall Stylee: Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol 2." A Killer Reggae Album in '91 and Even Bett

I remember opening the CD jewel case for “Dancehall Stylee: Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 2” in the summer of ‘91. It was a simply designed album as was the norm during the early 90’s. I looked at the cover and read the liner notes over and over as I listened to the superstar line up. All the songs were already top hits but would later become true classics of Reggae Dancehall. This is one of those rare CDs that you listen to from beginning to end without skipping a track. The album starts with Barrington Levy’s “Here I Come” then “Burrup” by Nardo Ranks followed by Ninjaman’s “Murder Dem.” The hits just keep coming with Tenor Saw’s “Ring the Alarm”, Reggie Stepper’s “Drum Pan Sound,” Shabba Ranks’ “Roots & Culture,” and “Wicked in Bed.” You also hear Supercat, Nicodemus, Junior Demus’ “Cabin Stabbin,” Little Lenny’s “Gun in a Baggy” and several other tunes that made this a killer album in 1991 and an even better album today.

During the late 1990’s and 2000’s album designs became very intricate and CD booklets even became memorabilia. There’s something special about opening a CD case for the first time fresh out of the cellophane wrapper. You can already tell from looking at the outside how much time and effort was spent in designing the album cover. But it’s not until you open the actual case that you get to see whether it’s a simple double sided insert or an 8 page booklet with detailed info about the author, production credits, featured artists, pictures, artists thankyou’s, and more. If you are really lucky you could get a fold out mini poster of the artist that you could hang up on your wall!

When Jah Yutes Entertainment released my first project “Reggae SoulJahs Worldwide Vol. 1” I was determined to release a quality product that would bring back those memories from “Dancehall Stylee” in ‘91 and be the kind of album people enjoyed looking as they listened to the music. I decided to go with a Digipak. It’s a four panel recycled board case with a clear CD tray and artwork on all four panels. Jerry Castellanos from Munda Inc. graphic design captured the essence of the project and made the Digipak shine into a collectible worth album.

The music of course had to be top of the line and includes some great artists. The album originally had three songs by General Smiley (from Hall of Fame duo Michigan & Smiley), Ken Serious (Flames Crew, JA), Mister Kali (Santa Fe, NM), four Sgt. Remo songs (Juarez, MX), and three Dubstep remixes by YEG DJ (Denver, CO/Japan). The album was later re-released without Ken Serious’ music as he released his music independently. This is truly a unique blend of music from various eras of Reggae and subgenres.

You have General Smiley’s music which is truly in the classic form of 1980’s dancehall. Ken Serious is a great artist out of Manchester, Jamaica whose fiery voice and powerful delivery make him a force in the conscious Reggae community. Mister Kali brings a unique flavor to this album. His songs are musically diverse touching culture and dancehall flawlessly yet maintaining a conscious message throughout. YEG DJ brings the Reggae SoulJahs to a new audience in the Dubstep world without altering the positive message of the music. Finally Sgt. Remo rounds out the album with several solid tunes that highlight his talented lyrical delivery and powerful vocals.

Today digital downloads have overrun physical disc manufacturing and CD sales as a whole. Although I enjoy having thousands of songs in an iPod or a cell phone, I sorely miss holding a great CD in my hand and experiencing the feeling of opening the case for the first time. It seems ironic that today producing a CD is easier and more affordable than ever making it achievable for independent artists to release their own music. But CD sales today are at their lowest and will probably continue to decline. Still the nostalgic sentiment of ripping off the wrapping off a brand new album is hard to beat and for those of us who remember it vividly it will probably never fade away. SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE INDPENDENT MUSIC AND ARTISTS!







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