Included here is the new video for Lutan Fyah’s “Too Much Ramshackle,” a track from his stellar new collaboration album with Zion I Kings titled Music Never Dies (released today!). This tune finds Lutan rhyming over Zion I Kings’ Lion of Judah riddim.
The video was directed and edited by Birhan Tonge.
Lutan’s new album Music Never Dies is a rock-solid modern roots album from start to finish. In fact, it is the best album of Lutan Fyah’s career. Zion I Kings always seem to get the very best performance out of Lutan as the riddims they construct seem almost custom-made for the singer’s vocal cadence. When Lutan voices a ZIK riddim the flow is effortless and unconstrained. Tracks like “Kick It Inna Africa,” “Nah Go Down,” “Beat Dem,” and “Perfect Storm” showcase the ease with which Lutan artfully flows in and out of each riddim.
Perhaps more than any other Lutan Fyah album, Music Never Dies is a living testimony to the Rastafari faith. The singer addresses many different themes throughout each track, however, he always brings it back home to his spirituality and the elemental balance in his life – Rastafari. He just happens to be in top lyrical form as he brings it all together.
The fire and brimstone rain hard on both “Kick It Inna Africa” and “Nah Go Down,” Lutan’s strongest performances on the album. I was most looking forward to hearing the studio version of “Nah Go Down” having witnessed Tippy-I stun the crowd at Dub in DC III with his live dub mix of the tune .
On the production end, it is signature ZIK – heavy, driving roots riddims with elements of hip-hop and R&B. One aspect of ZIK’s sound that I have always admired is their commitment to classic percussive elements such as hand drumming. While many producers tend to bury the percussion in the mix for fear of the sound becoming too foreign, they take pride in the spiritual significance behind this sound, and bring it to the surface to counter-balance the heaviness of the drum and bass.
Another characteristic element of the I-Grade sound are the Celebrity Hornz. Nearly every track on Music Never Dies features the deadly trombone of Balboa Becker and the killer sax of Daniel Casares. One of the best-produced tracks on the album, Jah D’s “Test A Money,” is a truly remarkable dub reggae track where he truly showcases his production talents, constructing layer upon layer of atmospheric soundscapes through which Lutan weaves his message. Also check Lutan’s collaboration with Vaughn Benjamin AKA “Akae Beka” on “So Di World Ah Run.” My favorite track in the mix is the subtle yet compelling “Perfect Storm,” an infectious tune which is reminiscent of Midnite’s “Weather the Storm,” another brilliant I-Grade/Zion I Kings production.
Music Never Dies is an album that was years in the making and having finally laid ears upon it I can say that it was well worth the wait. As they say Iron Sharpen Iron. Lutan Fyah is an artist in his prime, both lyrically and vocally, and with Zion I Kings he is working with the best reggae production collective in the game. Together they have not only created what will surely be one of the year’s best reggae albums but also crafted a landmark album for the modern roots movement.
Music Never Dies
Available worldwide: March 17, 2017
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