Various Artists – Jamdown, The Ultimate Dancehall Mix Volume 4

Jess Harvell

By Jess Harvell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

While the turn of the millennium was all about stripped down, sinewy electro-bounce, a 4th world interzone between German techno and the Dirty South, by the summer of 2002, Lenky had dropped the epochal "Diwali" riddim, introducing the warm, tribal sound that would conquer the US in the form of Sean Paul's "Get Busy." The Ultimate Dancehall Mix 4 cleaves more to the electro side, the DJ dropping four or five cuts on the same riddim before pulling up for the next one. First up is producer Goofy's "8-Ball," a half-stepping version of Steelie & Cleevie's impossibly heavy "Street Sweeper" riddim. If you like Plutonian boy band harmonizing, you'll love TOK's "Same Team," but the best is Elephant Man's "Driva Wi Out," where the Energy God crossbreeds Pavarotti and a cartoon bullfrog. Ward 21's "Shockwave Riddim" is the burial tune of the whole comp, however, with a bass line found in a storm drain, all ugly acidic belches and mottled grime. Seal Paul rocks his robotic monologue on "Dem A Fraud" (how did this space alien ever become a pop star?), but Elephant Man saves the day yet again with the downright apocalyptic "Gal Under Tears."