7", 10" & 12" Single Reviews
Ratigan Featuring Mr Diamond - Gunbag (Baba Roots 2K9 Riddim)
Hall Of Fame Productions is an independent label out of Birmingham run by two brothers, Romie Fame and Midas. They’ve released two rhythms, the soca Good Gold in 2008 and now the beverage inspired Baba Roots 2K9. Its moody, heavily produced intro suggests a hip hop/dancehall rhythm. But as the drums kick in it reveals itself to be a minor key contemporary one-drop affair underpinned by menacing chugging simulated guitar, atmospheric synths and bicycle bell sounds.
London born Ratigan who gets top billing on the cut, has a gruff deejay delivery with a passing resemblance to Busy Signal. Like Busy, his voice is cloaked in artful doses of autotune to supply an otherworldly melodic power - but without resorting to the blanket saturation that gives the device a bad name. His combination partner, Jamaican ex-pat Mr Diamond, is a smooth mellow singer not dissimilar in range to the Swedish vocalist Million Stylez. Each complements the other as they tackle a time-honoured theme: the boastful perpetrators of gun crime.
All in all, Gunbag is a poppy, reality track that will appeal to followers of the tuneful end of the modern Jamaican reggae-dancehall scene. It indicates Hall Of Fame productions and their artists are ones to watch. The Baba Roots 2K9 Riddim album is available from iTunes now.
Reviewed by Angus Taylor. Copyright 2009.