Five Star Review

Message: Showcase 1

The A-Lone Ark Muzik Studio in Santander has developed into one of the most interesting production facilities for modern roots reggae. Superb productions, perfectly crafted riddims, brilliant sound quality and simply great compositions are the hallmark of the studio. Behind this studio in Santander, Spain is Roberto Sánchez, a multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and producer who has gathered a group of highly gifted Spanish reggae musicians around him. He and his crew are responsible for some of the most exciting albums of recent times. Z. B. Inés Pardo's "My Time", Ras Teo's "Ion Man" and I Man Cruz's "In A Mission" to name just a few of the most recent. But now Sánchez and his colleagues have outdone themselves and produced an absolutely outstanding instrumental and Dub-Album submitted: “Showcase 1” by Message (A-Lone Reggae). It was recorded in just one weekend in the Ark studio, live, pure and direct - and of course on magnetic tape, just like the musicians in Jamaica used to do. It is precisely to them, and to the reggae sound of the 1970s, that Sánchez & Co. pay tribute with their showcase album. “The soundtrack of our lives,” as Sánchez says. Their tribute contains 7 instrumentals and 7 Dub-versions. Lead instruments include melodica, trombone and sometimes a keyboard. All pieces are the band's own compositions. What excites me most is the tight production of the pieces. What a brilliant, energetic game, what precision and what perfect timing! I am convinced that handmade reggae cannot be recorded better today. The “song quality” of the pieces is equally convincing, as are the arrangements. So the only question that remains is: Dub-versions. Since not much can actually go wrong with the source material, it almost answers itself. Roberto Sánchez has the beats firmly under control: The Dubs are exciting and varied – and of course strictly old school. As expected, the lead instruments were robbed of their dominance here, but this only made the quality of the rest of the music stand out even more clearly. Anyone who buys the album in physical form will also be gifted with detailed liner notes on the production process and will see a few black and white photos of the musicians - also in the style of seventies vinyl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

3 replies to “Message: Showcase 1”

There’s “actually” nothing to complain about.
My best friend is often accused of always looking for a fly in the ointment and always finding it. I'm different and often see it the same way he does, even if it still annoys me sometimes. Recently he said that even if it is just a saying and is certainly meant in a figurative sense, it is still of inestimable value if you can find the fly in the ointment before it settles in the mouth in the worst possible way over your tongue and causes you triggers disgust that I cannot adequately describe in words.
Yes, and all I can say is that I can't and don't want to contradict him in the slightest. I'm happy about every hair I find in the soup before I slurp it down with the soup. I have the great weakness of not being able to sugarcoat the world and, to be honest, I don't want to either. That's why I complain whenever and wherever I feel like it.
Yes, that’s why “actually” has goose feet. It's just small things that don't really need to be criticized, especially since the bass lines here groove really well for me and even make me think of original Jamaican reggae. The drumming also puts you in a good mood and the guitars occasionally exude a lively playing mood and thus ensure a good mood and listening pleasure for the listener, perhaps also for female listeners but especially for lemmi.
Yes, and where are the little fine hairs that I have to complain about again. Well, if I want to hear Melodica again, then all I have to do is put on a fine album by Augustus Pablo and then realize that it's after 5 tunes at the latest
Melodica is enough. I don't want to have any “new” reggae music with melodica in reggae from 2024 until the distant future. I've had enough of that. I can hardly imagine that there will be another band that grooves so well that I just “slurp down” the melodies. And I simply can't shield the radio signals from Sputnik. I find it almost worse than having hair in my mouth. If anyone else is reading along, I would also like to mention that I would have liked the ratio of step rhythm to one drop or "not steppa style" (I don't know what you call the more relaxed and - from my point of view - groovy reggae rhythm) to be the other way around . There's a little too much SteppaStyle here for me. But that's really just a tiny fly in the ointment.
Of course I will buy the disc if it is in “my” store.
Something else briefly on my own behalf, about what is in the brackets.
I now believe – after over 40 years of reggaemylitis – that ONE DROP equals rocksteady! Steppers is just SteppersReggae and everything else is pure, flawless reggae ;-) …………. But it may be that I have to check it for another 40 years until I have really checked it.
So in short, I like the disc!

Cheers ………………. lemmi

To be honest, I never really cared about this album... and it's a bit extreme now, but I found the fly in the ointment that Lemmi couldn't find in his bowl... oh no, another gripe on my part, me just can't help it. What repelled me after the first song when it was released in April were once again the fade-outs... and that was the premature death knell for the whole record after the first song (radical as I sometimes am)...
Thanks to René's good rating, I gave the album another chance and lo and behold, even the fade-outs are pushed into the background (after all, every Bob Marley song fades out and I think most of them are absolutely great)… apart from this fact I actually like the riddims from Santander and have the same opinion about the quality of the band and production. That's how reggae and music has to be for me Dub sounds and the homage to the originals from the 70s and 80s shows the highest respect and very good knowledge of the material. Roberto Sanchez and his fellow musicians did a really great job and I bow my head once again to this beautiful and harmonious work and its creators...
and yes, the “hair has become very small” and goes down without me noticing it when swallowing…
This is how it can work...

“Fade outs” as a rejection criterion is pretty radical ;-)
But you have to find something now if you don't care about every good reggae / Dubwant to take care of the disc.
I wouldn't have had a problem simply waving this window through. But here you can once again see the advantage when music also appears haptic. I would probably have forgotten about it as a stream long ago, but now it's in “my” store and at least the price for the CD is extremely wallet-friendly. Even the vinyl LP is affordable but the cover is too bland for me. The CD is now ordered!
Unfortunately, I'll probably have to buy at least 4 CD players soon, which I'll then put in my basement.
I want to still be able to listen to my CDs when I'm 95 + The economy really often forces you to accept things that are actually unacceptable. Well, let's see if I interpreted that correctly.
But I can also understand the thing with the “fade outs” very well. That would be the crowning achievement if all of Bob Marley's tunes and everyone else's tunes were finished right away. This is a huge advantage, especially when DJing. I'm not a fan of mixing every reggae tune "halfway" together. For me, everyone has to play reggae/DubStart the tune with his individual drum intro, otherwise I feel like a rhinoceros with hay fever in a china shop. With fade outs I always have to decide at some point when and where the next tune should start.
There is this so-called “juggling”, where the selector lets 5 to 10 tunes of the same riddim merge into one another. Which has the disadvantage that you have to listen to the version by many untalented singers and the favorite version with a playing time of around 30 seconds is far too short. “If you know what I mean.”
Nevertheless, this inaudible transition is certainly fun.
Then there are the completely crazy music philistines who pitch a reggae tune so that it matches the tempo of its predecessor. When it comes to something like that they always say “lemmi has left the building”.

As long as ……………. lemmi

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