Hear The Track HereYet another Canadian artist (is there no end to them?) this time from Toronto and - despite the rock leanings of his countrymen and women - he is a World music artist - much more my field... When I reviewed his anti-drug song Fans Against Doping (its about sports doping, not that stuff you are doing right now so that's alright innit?) I was most impressed by its surprisingly professional approach and even - God forbid - compared it in style to an old 10cc track, and believe me that is a compliment. This time round, K-Gi informs me that the track will be even more up my street because Dutty Water is that tried and trusted, most special of genres (and my own particular favourite) reggae.
Having spent years listening to this stuff (I first started listening to Bluebeat back in 1962) and almost as many years playing and producing it. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the genre and that may not do any favours for people who wish me to review it. I'm likely to be harsher in my judgement in fact, simply because the genre is so important to me. See, that there is a classic pessimist's view. I can conjure up a black cloud out of anything. Reggae is also incredibly, unbeleivably difficult to get right because essentially it's all about feel. The very best reggae IMHO floats, carrying you along effortlessly. Ask around, almost everyone you know likes reggae when it's done correctly. So the burning question of the moment is Dutty Water a bit floaty or wot? Truthfully, the first few times I ran this baby past me earholes, they refused point blank to operate. Nope, they insisted, not possible. He took some vocal off a reggae track and some slices of it's riddims, slammed them together and called it reggae.
Aaah, if life could be so simple...
By the hundredth or so play I had to admit that not only was this a blinding track, but it did indeed seem to be all K-Gi's own work, and that raises the game considerably. Remember what I was bellyaching about earlier on? The bit about reggae being all about feel; authenticity? Welp, I used to love bands like Third World, Steel Pulse because of their willingness to bring that music to our ears in a UK fashion and that - unbelieveably - is exactly the sound K-Gi has so brilliantly captured on Dutty Water. The attention to arrangement detail and the tightness of the musicians involved make this one of THE tracks to listen to right now. It's a scandal that this track hasn't even broken the reggae charts because IMO it should be Number One with several million bullets. The more I listen to the wonderful track, the more I realise how much work and effort went into producing a track that is almost perfect in every single detail. While it's true that a liking for reggae would help when listening to this track, but moreso would be an appreciation for a musician who knows exactly what he is about. A massive keeper for me, and I can't urge you strongly enough to bend an ear to this slice of sunshine.
MUST HAVE. No Question. Perfect.