Versionist Records is a new non-profit label. It aims to release a variety of original reggae and dub sounds, with the income from CD/digital sales being allocated to a specific good cause chosen by the artist involved. This first album release from Versionist – Soul Morality – is by WoW Pufflov (Belgium) along with Speakah Productions (Holland). The proceeds will be going to the Cambodia-Belgium aid project.
The Versionist mastermind is none other than Gibsy Rhodes of Springline Jamaica (see reggaemusic.org.uk 26th July 2013, 20th October 2013) and he is also credited with sequencing on this release. The music and rhythms here have been composed by Speakah Productions, and each track, unusually enough, is both melodic and understated. The lyrics and their delivery, courtesy of WoW Pufflov, are committed and strong but also fragile. This combination of music and vocals makes for a surprisingly gentle and subtle album which is uncommon, and welcome, amongst contemporary reggae releases.
The album kicks off strongly with ‘Love Train’, melodic and powerful. A distinct soul influence is present on ‘Follow Your Own Path’, while tracks like ‘Zion’ and ‘Living Culture’ give more scope to the dub sound that is aching to assert itself throughout. ‘Love Jah Jah’ is plain and simple (and very effective) roots reggae in the old school style. The album closes strongly with ‘Magic Ball’, a slow and deliberate roots song with a reflective feel to round things off. So something different is being offered here, with an inspiration coming from both vintage-era reggae and contemporary production values. All twelve tracks are worth hearing. You can listen here to one of them.
WoW Pufflov ‘Soul Morality’, released April 14th 2014 on Versionist Records, CD and MP3 formats