In continuing with our [not really] critically acclaimed series - today we take a look at an artist who is now on as hot of a current streak as anyone in Reggae music today and someone who has also, just within the past couple of years or so, really reached his apparent height in terms of skills - Perfect Giddimani. Fresh off the release of his latest and sixth album to date, "Journey Of 1,000 Miles", the most unique chanter has entered a very rare group of artists who, at least for me, should be looked upon as capable of and downright EXPECTED to produce great moments and it's his own fault. He's been remarkable, which is even more astonishing when you take into consideration that his fiery and capricious style is one which, almost inherently, doesn't immediately seem to lend itself to being so consistent. But he has mastered it and is now, arguably, one of the most consistent artists around during a wonderfully progressed state of his career. Discography: Perfect Giddimani.
|The music of Perfect Giddimani|
"Giddimani" [DHF Records - 2006]
Loaded. Chances are quite outstanding that if you've been listening to Perfect for more than a couple of years or so, the first batch of songs which helped originally to steer you in his musical direction are present on his debut album, "Giddimani", which now stands as a pretty comprehensive collection of much of his early hits. 'Handcart Bwoy’, 'Black Marcus', 'All I've Got', the scathing 'Nuh Badda Mi' and others highlight an album which has, unsurprisingly aged excellently. While I hesitate to use the words 'classic' or 'vintage' in this case, either may just be applicable and are certainly not entirely off-base.
"Born Dead With Life" [IrieVibrations Records - 2008]
The concept. There was SO much discussion and talk surrounding Perfect's sophomore project, "Born Dead With Life", which came via the now still mighty IrieVibrations from out of Austria and may still be the chanter's most high profile release to date. Much of the talk centered around the notion of it being a 'concept album', a trait which you heard a great deal of in reference to it and still do at times (you just did). Personally I wasn't very impressed by the record, for the most part, I liked it originally and after a bit of time it kind of faded for me. Having a listen to it now (which may be the first time I picked it up, in full, in a year and a half or so, I'm still not a big fan at all, but I'm focused more on the good moments. Such as??? 'Hanging Day' and '30 Pieces' were both on this album - that's big work, no matter the concept behind it.
"Karma" [Chalice Palace Music]
The gateway. No. "Karma" wasn't very good. It wasn't very good at all. The album, seemingly, caught Perfect in the midst of a VERY strong kind of love and he wanted to tell the world about it (does that make this another 'concept album'?). That's fine. Time has kind of tempered my dislike of this album (RARE is the album which is so bad that I can passionately dislike it straight into perpetuity and this one doesn't even come close to qualifying). The best thing about "Karma", in retrospect, is that it really went a long way in showing that Perfect was an artist who played by his own rules. This album was on his own Chalice Palace Music imprint and he did everything he wanted to do with it, I'm sure. Also, it would basically open the door to a PRIME level of the artist. All three albums which followed (thus far) have been of an undeniable quality on some level.
"French Connection" [Tiger Records - 2009]
The tiger. Three years later - what I'm left immediately thinking of when the "French Connection" album pops into my overactive brain is just how much FUN it was. "Karma", obviously, is the changeup of Perfect's catalog, but if it didn't exist (I'd be almost finished writing this post) that distinction would definitely go to this album. The Tiger Records helmed set did a great deal as far as showing off the extremely varied and unpredictable nature of its star and you hear glaring examples of that on songs such as 'Son of Jamaica', 'Bobo Special' (which I suddenly really, really like), the hypnotic 'Step Away' and a few others also. Sizzla Kalonji, Lutan Fyah and Zamunda all joined in on something which has to rank fairly highly for me in terms of ENTERTAINING recent Roots Reggae albums.
"Back For The First Time" [Lustre Kings Productions - 2011]
'Hold On Buju'
'Hold On Buju'
One thunderball. Words like this are not probably the best in describing the natural wildness of someone like Perfect, but I'm going to use it for here anyway. Lustre Kings Productions pulled from the artist a REFINED record in "Back For The First Time". It literally seemed like, at least on a 'Perfect' scale, that everything - every word, every riddim, every melody - was finely combed over before ultimately being kept in the tune's final version. This was a mature and more laid back Perfect and, while theoretically speaking that may not sound like the best move, it worked to near . . . perfection on this album. The penultimate set of his career, to date, would reveal an artist at or so microscopically far away from his absolute best, that what resulted was one of the best releases he's had (and if you want to call it THE best, you'd have a full and capable lasting argument for that. 'Hold On Buju' was on this album, which was a tune which garnered a great deal of attention and justly so at its time, but when I come back (for the first time) to this album, I'm ALWAYS drawn to 'HIM Smile'. That song has become one of my recent favourites from Perfect and it highlighted an album packed with highlights.
"Journey Of 1,000 Miles" [Dynasty Records - 2012]
Starts with one footstep. An extremely quick two months having had this album to listen to hasn't really changed my view of "Journey Of 1,000 Miles". I'm still under the impression that Perfect, with Dynasty Records, really crafted something together which was not only sizable and one of the best Reggae albums of the first half of the year, but also something which very much has the potential to stick around. Just as in the case with its predecessor (obviously), this album features a chanter who is really in his best time and form as a musician. Also, as the title says, it's still a matter which is in process, so hopefully he can do this a few more times! Lasting highlights include the title track, the . . . Happy 'Happy', 'Mama Africa' and the latest in a long line of smashing herb tunes from Perfect, 'My Chronic'.
Looking back now, it's really very interesting to see (and hear) how Perfect has developed through the years. He's worked with some really talented producers during that same time as well and the artist who has emerged is someone who has been able to calibrate the exact type of a style befitting someone of his most curious and volatile talents: The truly one of a kind Perfect Giddimani.