Jah Cutta Worldwide Pressure

Jah Cutta keeps one eye on roots reggae and one on dancehall/ragga. This EP balances both, giving us a bit of the digital roots feel Black Uhuru pioneered in the early '80s. With a live band backing him, it stands to reason that Jah Cutta's take on dancehall has an animated quality that most of today's studio creations can't reproduce. Starting off with a scripture quote, "Bless Us” delivers Jah Cutta's formula—conscious lyrics, sung melodies with deejayed verses, and hard-hitting arrangements that get more diverse as the album progresses. As with any proper reggae album, the drum and bass drive the arrangements, leaving empty pockets for Jah Cutta's chanted lyrics. Since most reggae keyboardists are stuck in a 1986 time warp, you can almost forgive the sterile digital piano sound and the occasional outbreak of near-Culture Club synth. (Stomp)