From Royal Warriors Music comes a new album from Jah Van I, recorded in Jamaica and Martinique. The twelve tracks on In My World, composed by Etifier ‘Byr’ Johann, are mostly in a melodic, sometimes mellow, reggae style but are saved from predictability by the quality of the rhythm tracks, the instrumentation and the production. ‘Hello Suzy’ for instance is a straightforward song with a spoken introduction, but the mix and the driving echo of the percussion keep it interesting when set against Jah Van I’s strong vocals. ‘Down a Yard’ is led by a powerful rhythm, with strong instrumental backup, while the closing track ‘Reggae Music’ (why bother with a complicated title after all) is a roots song with hints of both dancehall and disco somewhere in the mix. Some of the instrumental rhythm tracks have been available separately on download since late 2011, and strong they are too (hear if you can the Ika Overdub Instrumental Riddim – the rhythm track of ‘Down a Yard’). The vocal style and sound of this new album will interest an audience that listens to the likes of Luciano or Gyptian and it should get an appreciative hearing in Europe, given its homage to influences from the classic era of reggae alongside its cutting edge instrumentation and production.
Jah Van I: In My World: Royal Warriors Music, release July 2012