Jah Batta: Argument

Thanks to Wackie's, Rhythm & Sound devotees can re-sample vintage 1983 reggae from Jah Batta (Tony O'Meally), an especially welcome development after Batta's “Hit You” cameo on last year's sublime Rhythm & Sound w/the artists. Argument's ten tracks of uptempo dancehall breeze past, which doesn't surprise considering its thirty-two minute total makes it more a mini-album. Batta favours deejay toasting over soulful crooning but, even if you prefer the latter, the album's still worth hearing for contributions from reggae legends Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, as well as echo-drenched production so deep it's aquatic. Memorable moments include Jerry Johnson's sax interjections on “Argument,” the multi-tracked vocals in “Informa (Watch It),” and the minimal bass-drum-organ groove of “Youthman School.”

November 2004