Various Version City Sessions

King Django is the don. Version City Sessions features 20 tracks recorded by the reggae producer with a mixture of bands, some hardcore reggae, some pretty far from it. The straight-up reggae tracks, such as Cold Spot 8's "My Little Life" and Version City Rockers' "Deeper Roots" are rich in old school feel and dub-ness (doubled bass and guitar riffs, phased out drums, etc.) and are a welcome edition to the dearth of vintage sounding reggae being made today. Some of the coolest material though is of another ilk. Many of these tracks are a rock-reggae hybrid and each approaches the experiment differently. Jack Ruby Jr. w/ Skinnerbox keep the offbeat guitar chank and island parlance for "Cold Nights in the Ghetto" but drop a non-stop Massive Attack-style drum & bass foundation underneath. King Django Band approaches the genre through very thick punk glasses sounding like the Beasties meets Sublime, and Conscious Youth's "Take it Back" is a delicious second wave-era ska tune. "Kali Would" by Guerilla Fingers is a unique track with spooky ’70s organ, wandering sax and ping-pong delay rim shots up against a Michael Franti-style lyrical assault. A handful of tracks here sound like they are off a different compilation, what with ’50s doo-wop, Greek-ska fusion and klezmer standing rather weakly alongside the rest of the album. (Asian Man)