Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alionsonny - Reggae (The Album)

Hear The Track Here

My main computer is in the shop right now for a full rebore and lube job (and check the tyres while you are at it) so I can' get access to my copious records but if memory serves me right I met Juergen Wolther (aka Alionsonny) sometime in 2004. I distinctly remember it because Alionsonny (for it is he) is a musician whose focus then - and now - was in my favourite genre: reggae and all its varied offshoots. Juergen is a native of Hamburg, a German city justly famed for its musical roots, and its varied and eclectic musicians and it's been a while since I heard anything from him so when I saw a posting on Soundclick's forums, I signed myself right up. I mean, how can I resist that title? Reggae is a spectacularly difficult genre to get right, and it's offshoots even more so. Oh sure, most musicians have a reggae-style track in them, but it will always be a style and not the real thing. I've spent years trying it myself with varied results which is why I welcomed some new Alionsonny music.

Never get enough of the stuff.

Alionsonny takes his influences from the more mainstream reggae styles, adding his own local touch and his experience and technical ability make all thirteen tracks that make up the Reggae a delight to listen to, more so obviously if you love the genre. Alionsonny makes some hefty tunes too with an average of six minutes but with one eight minute fat one. Me, I'm a sucker for good rhythms and this album is packed to the brim with them. It's true that since I've come to know the album I've realised it's a lot more electronic than I prefer, it's still stomping stuff in every respect. Life Goes ON!, track one, is one of my favourites from the album a lively, delightfully twee instrumental, but it's early days yet and Springtime 2009 is well up there but that's because they are always first in line. It's an largely instrumental feat mind. What vocals might have added, Alsionsonny has covered up with some great sounds, take for example, the barnstormer of a track Hamburg, where accordion is the lead and rhythm instrument. Brilliant and a MUST HAVE in it's own right.

The same could be said of The Knights Of Dubwood Castle Part II which should be commended on the strength of the intro alone, but once the track gets going it more than justifies the buildup. Just when you need something to hammer you to the floor, Annuaki - The Arrival er...arrives (Ed: desperate are we?) with an absolutely irresistible bassline (and believe me I know a bit about them) and turns into a dance storm tour-de-force more influenced by Gorgio Moroder than anything else. Obviously I am only picking my own personal favourites here because with over an hour of music, you're spoilt for choice about what works best; an embarrassment of riches even. There are some vocals on the album, notably on the last two tracks, added almost as an afterthought it seems because they do feel different to the preceding tracks. Nonetheless, if you like reggae, this will definitely warm some cold winter nights and for a 13 track, 72 minute album, it's a snap at a mere free download - my kind of price point. Grab it.

MUST HAVE reggae blends


alionsonny said...

Thanks Steve!
What can I say? You are too kind. Great you like the album. I will do my best so you like the next one even more ;)


IrishMoss said...

Great to see such an extensive review of Alionsonny's Reggae?. His catalog is gigantic. I've been a fan and friend of his for many years and I'm happy to see this innovative artist's work reaching so many people.
Rob Connelly
Irish Moss Dub

Steve Gilmore said...

http://reggaedubwise.com - what a great site!! Thanks for the heads up