Monday, November 19, 2012

"Liberation 2.0" by Ziggi Recado

"Liberation 2.0" by Ziggi Recado [Dredda Records]

Really big news this week as Achis Reggae/Earth favourite and Statian Roots wizard, Ziggi Recado, is back at work and is delivering what may be the best EP in 2012 (which is saying a lot following releases from the likes of Gyptian, Morgan Heritage, Etana and others), "Liberation 2.0". The six-tracked set follows the original "Liberation" which reached earlier this year and just as its elder 'sibling', the sequel is not to be missed. They also share origins as "Liberation 2.0" also comes via Dredda Records which we best know as being the maestros behind "Modern Rockers Vol. 1" from Joggo, which was, rather easily, one of the strongest albums from anyone in 2011. 
"Liberation" [2012]
Ziggi himself, of course, is definitely one of the most talented individuals in Reggae today and having done brilliant work last year himself with his self-titled album, it seemed as if he wouldn't be heard from, in this way, until maybe 2013 at the earliest. But, following a break last year from his longtime homebase label, Rock 'N Vibes, Recado seems to have been re-enthused and, essentially, has now given us a twelve track album, spread between two EP's, for 2012 called "Liberation", which is fantastic. Also, if you recall, these pieces aren't the very first of their kind, as the artist also gave us an excellent EP back in 2010 by the name of  "Same Difference".  
"Same Difference" [2010]
Today, however, we take a track-by-track look at the blazing and brand new EP, “Liberation 2.0", by one of the genre's most skilled artists, Ziggi Recado.

#1. 'Liberation'

This set gets started with its own title track which subsequently proves to be not only its own greatest moment, but probably one of the strongest tunes I've heard from anyone in 2012. 'Liberation', the song, is one powerful piece of social commentary and a tune which really strikes on more than just a level of intensifying and focusing the mind (which it certainly does) - because it also sounds good, which is a trait that is likely to be ignored in some respects because the 'star' here should be and hopefully is for most listeners, what is actually being said. This tune is a chunk of gold occupying the first sixth of this record and setting a very high standard which is, wonderfully, upheld throughout. MASSIVE!

"Life is a struggle, nothing good no come easy
Got to stand up for your rights now
There's no kink in life cycle - what is meant to be will be
Every eye will see Jah light now
Living at a time full of social injustice and inequity
Everyday we fuss and fight now
No powers of man can stop di fulfillment of prophecy
War dem ah wait so dem so dem seh peace is not a possibility
War machine is what dem like yow
Starvation killing millions - tell me where's the generosity?
Tell mi where's the equal rights yow?
Mass political corruption dem call democracy
The working man ah feel di bite yow
Jah alone I & I praise, to babylon mi nah go kneel

This is liberation of your mind
Liberation of your soul
Liberation of your heart
Liberation of your thoughts
Yes this is liberation of your mind
Liberation of your soul
Liberation of your heart
Liberation of your thoughts

I & I nah belittle I integrity
I man a no clone inna dem system
Who bring di weapon dem inna dis society?
Cause inna dis city nobody no make dem
Si dem selling their illusion of a people that's free
But that is modern enslavement
To divide and conquer is their philosophy
Every natural resource dem waan tek yeah
Every ancestral bond dem waan break yeah
Inna no babylon ritual I nah partake yeah
And The Most High I will never forsake yeah 
Liberate yourself, mentally lock off di shackles and chains -
Inspire some change hey
Deh yah inna crucial time, but still wi gotta maintain, wi got to sustain
Hey babylon ah circle dem prey, dem ah move like vulture
Vampire dem bloodsucking inna dem culture

#2. 'Pure N Divine'

When I first saw the title for the second track on "Liberation 2.0", I immediately thought the same thing that you're surely thinking right now - that it was a love song and it is in a sense, I suppose, but not really. The way I took this song, wholly, is as a celebration of life. On 'Pure N Divine' we find Ziggi giving thanks for inspiration in all forms, for meditation of all forms and really just for life, in general. It is a little complex (despite its sound, which is straight forward a full-on genius) but that's a good thing in this case because this is one special tune in my opinion.

#3. 'Anchor' featuring Mojo Morgan

Speaking of being special - Mojo Morgan joins in on the fascinating, vibrant and colourful 'Anchor', the only combination from this project. This song just makes you SMILE a brilliant smile (if you brush your teeth it's brilliant, if not then think of a lesser adjective) as Morgan and Ziggi go about giving praises to The King, the "Anchor" of life. And it's more than just a praising tune, it's also very welcoming and when it sounds like THIS, I don't know who'd refuse it. An excellent song.
Ziggi Recado
 #4. 'Till The End'

"Give thanks and praise for the blessings inna life that you're receiving
Today might just be better than tomorrow 
Searching for upliftment outta the darkness inna di system, babylon squeezing
A common thing in life is pain and sorrow
Hey, unite, live right and make Jah powers manifest -
Cause a united people could never be oppressed, no
Jah power stronger than the rest yeah - no study what they preaching

I man give thanks to Jah blessings
Nuff thanks to Jah blessings
I call on Jah blessings from now til the end of time
Til the end of time

Upliftment of I & I people is a must
Inside I, in di subconscious
Don't get blind by di glamourous
Lyrical gun, Rastaman ah buss
Politricks corrupt, so dem caah trust
Poverty ah spread like its contagious
Nuff injustice and peer unjust
Hail The Most High, Man ah move righteous
Cool and calm, wi nah fight and fuss
Inna dis time it's serious 
Hey this age is dangerous 
So know exactly what you're doing and tell the youths dem strength is in knowing
Strength is in knowing"

MAD! Do not really feel like I should have to say too much about 'Till The End' past that. Big tune. 

#5. 'Nothing But Love'

'Nothing But Love' is the actual love song on "Liberation 2.0" and it is not necessarily the most specific love song that you'll hear - it's fairly broad, which gives it that type of a broad appeal and sound, which is a good thing and makes it a piece which you can appreciate outside of the realm of just Ziggi showing love to his woman (which is exactly what's going on). Besides that, the riddim here is fantastic, arguably the best on the whole of this record - there's this downright hypnotic flute sound playing behind it which my Daughter is now walking around humming over and over and while I'm not walking right now, she isn't the only one humming it. Everything about the sound here is magic and biggup Alison Hinds' twin sister, Miriam Simone, who sings a fine, FINE backing vocals for the second tune consecutively. 

#6. 'Balance'

And finally here is 'Balance', which is a most interesting selection from Ziggi where he speaks on these kind of universal states and occurrences of balance - how everything evens everything eventually. The result of this, according to Ziggi (and I agree with him), is a foundation of everyday life and it is when these stabilities are made to be unequal, when people attempt to take advantage of them, where problems come about. This song - I could spend hours analyzing - it's just incredibly healthy with discussable points (again, despite its sound, which is extremely casual and laidback) and a piece which is sure to challenge the listener to remain focused and well attentive to what is being said.
So, pick up what just may be the best Reggae EP in all of 2012. "Liberation 2.0" by Ziggi Recado is available now from Dredda Records.

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