Luvinnitt Productions 2016
Twisting his roots, one pale-faced skank grinder streamlines riddims for a new bout of urban guerilla and a whiff of holy smoke.
Back in 2014, Toby Petter Herskind Sorensen released a cut titled “From Brooklyn To Oakland” in order to admit that his trajectory across the U.S. didn’t include much of Jamaica dwelling, but if Rocketr-T’s self-styling as a reggae pioneer is debatable, he inhabits the persona of The Tru Ganjaman rather comfortably. Where yer olde ska was influenced by rhythm-and-blues, these grooves come indebted to contemporary R&B, although T’s tracks demonstrate a natural edge. That’s how, after “Yankee & Yardee” has opened proceedings with a booming, electronica-stricken rocksteady chant, the acoustic jug band jive of “Man Ah Warrior” tackles the ways of the world with a quiet belligerence and creates a nicely flowing contrast between tracks.
Yet while the moves of “Chillum” mix dancehall with dub in modern fashion, the drift can’t get more authentic, albeit not at the grassroots level, than it is on the catchy “Need Some” whose voices include Gappy Ranks’ toasts, or on “Blazing Everyday” as optimism is pushed further thanks to Prezident Brown joining in the chorus. Positive vibrations in abundance and “Life Over Death” delivering the punchline to it all, most of the songs hail the herb, and the smattering of remixes such as “Real Singer Smoker” or “One Million Matches” – each in two versions here to highlight the pieces’ many aspects – ram the hazy message home at various speeds. The results are intoxicating and fresh at the same time; it’s good to have the Ganjaman back.