PauzeRadio now offer PR services. Click here

Sanity Riddim Review

Sanity Riddim – Review

Various Artists: Sanity Riddim Review by Mr Topple for

A well-established production outfit has just released a new riddim, featuring a selection of both legendary and up-and-coming artists – and you’d be mad not to listen to it, as it’s superb.

Sanity Riddim, released via Forever Music Productions, sees the label take on some classic Roots sounds – but the background to the release is equally interesting.

Forever Music Productions from Portmore Jamaica was the brainchild of Shayne Green – an alumnus of the Sly and Robbie camp where he was an engineer. Green has previously worked with industry stalwarts such as Dalton, Glen, and Danny Brownie, Robbie Lyn, Franklin “Bubbla” Whall, and Dean Frazer.

He established Forever Music Productions in 2007. Green said that him and his team were:

“inspired to do our own production because we had a vision of how we wanted the message to be spread worldwide and music is the best and the quickest way. Our motto is ‘spreading positive vibe and educating our people through music’”.

Forever Music Productions properly launched in 2010 with Streets of Pain Album. This was followed-up by 2012’s White Squall, 2014’s Big City Riddim, 2015’s Rockers Railway Riddim, 2016’s Dub In Town Riddim, and 2021’s Reggae Roadblock Riddim Now, Forever Music Productions has released the Sanity Riddim.

The basic composition employs all the classic Reggae music devices. Keys run a choppy bubble rhythm, meandering around the mid-area of their range, with occasional flourishes in the form of riffs. They’re tinny and staccato, creating boundless momentum – which is then enhanced by an electric guitar’s skank, albeit operating slightly in the background.

A rich and rounded bass from WormBass runs a dotted note-led riff, not skipping a beat as it winds up and down arpeggio (broken) chords at a brisk pace. Then, Yelluh Drums’ namesake run a lively one drop, where the kick focuses on the two and four, while a snare does the same but with additional syncopation at points, and hi-hats fill the spaces in between. His additional percussion is also very pleasing – from the pattering bongos to a shaker via blocks.

There’s a gorgeous, Rock-led additional electric guitar courtesy of Monty from Reggae band C-Sharp, which runs in and out at points delivering rasping riffs that complement the vocalists perfectly – contrasted with some picky phrases across the rest of the riddim.

Overall, aside from the excellent instrumentation and performances what also cements Sanity Riddim as being excellent are the very pleasing chord progressions – working from major to minor and back again. All this creates an excellent base for the artists to bounce off – and bounce they do. But what’s is so impressive about Sanity Riddim is that the basic composition has been reworked for most of the tracks; no mean feat, and rarely done in Reggae anymore – but a crucial point in the context of each artist.

Aaron Silk, brother of the late Garnet, opens the project with Rejoice – and has understood the assignment perfectly. Here, Monty’s guitar line is expanded upon and enhanced with some stunning solo phrases, creating real depth across another impressive performance. However, this is Silk’s show – and he gives an endearing performance. He has a rich, soulful voice that could sit equally at home in Soul/Gospel as it does in this Reggae-led track. He utilises his impressive tenor range well, delivering notes up and down it with a crystalline quality, also employing pleasing riffs and runs and a rapid vibrato. Backing vocals mixing call and response and straight harmonisation enhance the Soul/Gospel feel – and overall, Silk musically delivers in droves while lyrically singing praises to Jah. An impressive performance and one that could sit well on radio.

Jah WYZ has been an exciting artist to watch over recent years – and he shows just why with his interpretation The Coming of Jah. He delivers a forthright and relentless performance, working around the upper end of his tenor range. Vocally, he makes excellent use of both horizontal and vertical embouchure, creating interest and expressiveness. Rhythmically, he shows his singjay skills by mixing up the phrasing across the verses. WYZ also does some MTR, enhancing his vocal further. Again, the base composition has been mixed up – here removing Monty’s main guitar line, replaced by some stark breaks. Backing vocals are once again excellent – and Jah WYZ delivers a compelling track with equally compelling lyrics about how those of us with faith will soon bask in glory – while Babylon and its proponents should consider their actions.

Well-established artist Vysionaer brings us Deep Dark Sea. Once again, it’s a completely different version of the riddim. Sheldon Bernard’s flute makes its first appearance, delivering an emotive and superbly performed secondary melodic line to the main vocal. Then, an additional keys line in the form of an electric piano comes in – intentionally utilised across a smooth, meandering line to elongate the choppy Reggae vibes out, giving something more Soul-led. There’s also the inclusion of a sparingly used synth string line, bringing additional interest. Vysionaer plays into this – giving a rich, intuitive, perfectly paced (slightly wound down) and well-executed performance. His vocal is that of a Soul singer: urgent, impassioned, and filled with dynamic light and shade, coupled with uplifting lyrics about navigating life’s trials and troubles. Glorious – with a pleasing, strung-out ending too.

Earth Tremma featuring Renegad deliver the riddim’s title track, Sanity. Here, we move away from the Soul-influenced Reggae, instead settling on singjay-led Roots. The riddim is stripped back accordingly, creating a sparse platform with the focus being on the Dub elements like the reverbed snare to create a suitable palette. The two artists are well-matched – Renegad’s gruff, gravelly singjay is impressive – performing rapid-fire phrases on the main verses while not dropping a note or syllable. His baritone range, and rounded timbre, are complemented excellently by Tremma’s higher, more nasal tenor – but he matches Renegad’s rhythmic trickery perfectly – and they interplay off each other brilliantly too, with keen lyrics about Babylon’s noxious agendas and how faith can counter them. A solid track, showing the flexibility of the riddim.

Lymie Murray is the former lead singer of the Skool Band, having also worked with the likes of Etana and Jah Cure. Here, he takes on the Sanity Riddim with Gully Gully. The base riddim has been kept straight – albeit with some additional engineering to bring in Dub elements (as can also be seen across Murray’s vocal). This allows him to take centre stage. Murray delivers a strong, heartfelt performance, again much like a Soul singer – utilising his wide range well as he moves up into his high tenor, then dives back down again, before flipping up into a falsetto. His timbre is rich and rounded; vocal growls are a plenty, and his vibrato is well-placed. Lyrically, Murray has delivered a compelling narrative about poverty in the gullies of Jamaica, how politicians do nothing, and how we must ‘break free’ of this. It’s a brilliant track – mostly thanks to an on-point Murray.

The ever-reliable, always excellent Perfect Giddimani gives us A Little Different – mixing up the lyrical narrative while he’s at it, too. The composition has been stripped back, to remove the electric guitar while adding some additional drum engineering. Here, Giddimani does what he does best – veering from rhythmically complex singjay to melodically pleasing vocal. He pays particular attention here to the dynamic light and shade of his performance, which makes it engaging. Giddimani has also provided a memorable chorus, too – giving the track instant appeal. Lyrically, this ode to cannabis is well-constructed and entertaining – and marks something a bit lighter for Sanity Riddim, which is Giddimani at the peak of his powers.

Another artist who has put in the work over the years is Darrio. His interpretation of the riddim is called Love You Girl – the first Lovers track of the release. There are some nice touches with the reworking of the composition – including a fleeting electric piano, added reverb, and some stripping back of the bubble rhythm. So, this allows Darrio to show off his beautiful, rounded voice which sits in between a mid and high tenor. His tone is very clear, and his enunciation exceptionally good – the chorus, where he puts multiple notes that rise the clef across the one word “love” is highly impressive, and he does it in one breath, too. Then, Darrio also provides a great singjay bridge, showing that he’s not going to be boxed in as a just a vocalist. However, what he’s also done so well is play into the major-to-minor chord progressions across the chorus and verses, delivering a perfectly constructed line that is evocative and compelling. Glorious, and radio ready.

Phalcon delivers Reschedule, another Lovers cut – with yet again more mixing up of the composition, which sees the track really stripped back at points, and then fully orchestrated at others. This allows Phalcon to really shine. He’s a fascinating and competent artist, who has a rasping tenor voice which is also equally suited to singjay – both of which he does well. His main vocal is impressive – a high tenor, which is crystal clear and highly controlled, weaves around complex melodies at times while at others he provides something far more memorable. Darrio also briefly flips up into a smooth falsetto. Then, his singjay across the verses is equally good – rhythmically diverse and complex, with some fast-paced lyrics to boot. Overall, it’s another strong track and Phalcon is also another one to watch.

CH4SE is another up-and-coming artist showing real potential. Here, Falling is wonderfully executed – with the additional inclusion of an electric organ tinkering in the background. CH4SE is a smooth, sultry singer who has a strong tenor that has a slight gravelly quality, which makes it even more compelling. He’s constructed a highly pleasing melodic line, which is memorable on the chorus and interesting on the verses. Like Darrio, he’s also understood the assignment on the chord progressions, making the most of them with his arrangement. There are some pleasing singjay sections where he is also solid, coupled with some well-performed vocal riffs and runs – and it should be noted CH4SE has also done most of the backing vocals here, too. Overall, a great track – and one that could get plenty of airplay.

Tremma has been a fixture with Forever Music Productions for several years – so he also gives us Tears Flow across the Sanity Riddim, closing proceedings. Here, he takes centre stage across the original composition which has barely been tinkered with; rightly so, as Tremma’s performance is compelling and engaging. His vocal is strong and well-executed, as he moves between straight, pleasing singing on the choruses (once more with an attractive melody), and something more singjay on the verses, but still with keen attention to detail on the melodic line – showing pleasing rising and falling in terms of pitch and dynamics. He also provides some improvisation, moving up into a nice falsetto for some of this before swooping back into his tenor range. The backing vocals are strong and well-arranged, and Tremma’s lyrics about an impoverished woman’s life in Jamaica are moving. Overall, it’s a strong closing to the riddim.

Overall, Sanity Riddim is a superb project from Forever Music Productions, and all involved. The base riddim itself is very pleasing and instantly likeable – but it’s the alterations and attention to detail across the interpretations that really impress. All the artists deliver – with Silk, Vysionaer, Murray, Darrio, and CH4SE being standouts – and overall, Sanity Riddim really should deliver some big hits, as well as plenty of props for Green and his label. Sterling works.

Do you need a review or press release? Book our services for your latest release here.

Sanity Riddim Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (30th August 2023).

Sanity Riddim Review

Stream / Download

Latest Products:

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

Search The Store

Search The Archives

Search Shows For An Artist

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.