Ras Teo Meets Lone Ark: Ten Thousand Lions

Rarely, but an album manages to impress with the very first track - for example, when one of the reviewer's favorite riddims thunders out of the speakers. This is what happened with Ras Teo's new release, which uses the Roots Radics opener “Country Living” - to be found in the original as “Material Man”On Gregory Isaac's legendary“ Night Nurse ”album. 

Ras Teo delivers with "Ten Thousand Lions“(A-Lone / Rebel Sounds Records) released a massive double album, which in addition to twelve vocal tracks also the corresponding Dub Versions presented and therefore traded under the name “Ras Teo meets Lone Ark”. The singer with the velvety soft voice is Angeleno of Armenian descent - which makes his sometimes deeply spiritual lyrics, which are presented in broad patois, appear in a somewhat strange light, especially since there was no corresponding ethnic connection to Jamaica. The singing itself creates mixed feelings: the man has a pleasant voice and hits the notes, but lacks energy. Anyone who expects a natural, dynamic range from quiet to loud here will be disappointed - the vocals ripple along too loud and uniform. The vocals are also highly compressed in terms of production; What can do well with polyphonic chorus leaves a stale impression with lead vocals and tires the listener in the long run. It's a shame, especially since the lack of dynamism is a general shortcoming of the otherwise successful album.

Of course, what is of particular interest here are them Dub Versions. The instrumentals, produced by Roberto Sanchez in his Spanish Lone Ark studio, have a strong relationship to the 70s, and you might think that they were recordings by the Revolutionaries from 1978. “Bad Friday Dub"," Hitey Tighty Dub"And" Babylon Crooked Dub“Are exemplary examples of this; especially Sly Dunbar's influence is unmistakable here. The backing tracks and especially the Dubs present themselves as a journey through time that couldn't be more impressive - everything is just right here: From the drums (including syndrums!) and percussions to keyboards to the excellent arranged horns, the “Lone Ark Riddim Force” apparently effortlessly has an album delivered to the master class. This is all the more remarkable since the producer recorded and mixed the lion's share of the instruments himself; only keys, percussions and horns are not from him. Roberto Sanchez shows once again that he is a profound expert on the subject, has precise ideas about the sound of his productions and obviously that Dub- Attended School of Scientist, Mad Professor, King Tubby & Co. If you like the sound of Sanchez '"Lone Ark Riddim Force", you will also find other Lone Ark productions such as Earl Sixteen's "Natty farming"Or Earl Zero's"And God Said To Man" estimate.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

23 responses to "Ras Teo Meets Lone Ark: Ten Thousand Lions"

And go on!

Yo René. A nice album, no question about it, but how did you put it so nicely the other day? “The better is the enemy of the good” or something like that. I compare the disc too much with “Noel Ellis meets Lone Ark” and it doesn't come close enough for my taste.
But now I'm curious to see how the two Earls fared with Lone Ark.
So now I'll go online .......... lemmi

The better singer is definitely Noel Ellis, but the production & arrangements & riddims & Dubs are much more sophisticated and mature on “Ten Thousand Lions”. Or as I would put it subjectively: The part comes out extremely well :-)

Something like that again. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with all the good reggae. “And God said to man” has been at my home since 2010. I like it very much and yet I forgot it for the moment.
"Natty Farming" by Earl Sixteen should also be from and with Lone Ark? I really can't believe it, because the recordings sound to me exactly as if they were also recorded in the Channel One Studio with Roots Radics and / or Sly and Robbie. Or did I just not find the Lone Ark version? ……… ..
I could have figured it out better (or something) but I'd rather risk a big lip again and then let me teach me better.

“One small step in front of Mankind but a giant jump in front of lemmi” ……………… .. ignition sequence start… .. lift off and feel good!

This is the Lone Ark Riddim Force on "Natty Farming". Roberto Sanchez knows what he's doing: sometimes he sounds like the Revolutionaries, sometimes like the reincarnation of the Roots Radics. I find this authenticity amazing.


"Sometimes he sounds like the Revolutionaries, sometimes like the reincarnation of the Roots Radics."

And that's exactly where I have (m) a problem, then I can also hear the originals right away, of which I have plenty of anyway.
With “Babylon Crooked Dub“You can even hear the legendary“ flying cymbals ”of old Bunny Lee / King Tubby / Aggrovators productions.
Undoubtedly is with the Dubs good, classic, old Dub- Recognize craftsmanship in its purest form. Nevertheless, my feelings are ambivalent, on the one hand I am happy and grateful that there is more and more a return to the classic old ones Dub on the other hand, I don't see any major development except in the fatter, richer sound.
But basically I hear good rootsDub still a thousand times better than steppers and that won't change for the rest of my life either.
“Ten Thousand Lions Dub"Is definitely a recommendation, but then I'll give up the vocals ...

I think it's great that you noticed the Flying Cymbals - that shows a very good knowledge of the subject, attention to detail and great attention, because that's only available on this one track on the album.
I myself am happy that someone is reflecting on the “old values” (I can't think of a better expression at the moment) and tailoring them as a suitable musical backbone for the performer. There are new tunes from Earl 16 that sound as if he had recorded them during the heyday of the Roots Radics ... and that with today's technical possibilities. Chapeau!


Ok, then I'm probably completely out of the number now. Firstly, I admit that I didn't know what flying cimbals actually meant and secondly, it is exactly the stylistic device of King Tubby Sound, which I didn't like at all and still don't like. Assuming I have now understood it correctly and the Flying Cymbals are those high-pitched, high-pitched tones that I think are covered by the hi hat. It's nothing to my ears.

Do I get a shit storm now? …………………. lemmi

You get two thumbs up for expressing your opinion bluntly, lemmi ;-)

I'm not a big fan of the flying cymbals either ... remind me too much of the 70s disco masher. But as an effect like in “Babylon Crooked Dub“It's a short, enjoyable flash of memory.

No, you don't get a shit storm. Bunny Lee exhausted this stylistic device to the point of vomiting and it became his trademark. Incidentally, it is not an invention of Sly Dunbar but of Santa Davis. The whole thing looks a little different for me, I'm with this one Dub Sound got big. What would be Dub without his roots?!?

I find it not only amazing, but almost unbelievable. Only with the Dubs from “Natty Farming” I have the feeling that one or the other sound effect didn't exist before. Well, thank you Thomas (I hope I can call you that) for the prompt clarification. My lip is bleeding a little again.

Greetings, stay tuned and have a good time ………… .. lemmi

Roberto Sanchez and his A-Lone Ark - really big names for me, when Earl 16 is there I throw my coins on the table "shut up and take my money".
The Mankind / Holy Land EP alone really clouded my view of everything else 10-12 years ago and is still one of my favorite tunes to this day.
So thanks for the hint, I'm just about to buy the thing blindly, without listening, like in the past ...

"Mankind / Holy Land EP" !!!

Is really awesome. A BIG TUNE DAT !!! I didn't know it yet either. Somehow the search for reggae is also a kind of space exploration. The more you think you know, the more you realize that you don't know anything. At least that's how I feel.
Yes, space - infinite expanses - is somehow completely my thing ……………. lemmi

Sorry (I'm still on standby).

On Youtube they “streamed” this one after “Mankind”: 12 “Lion Youth - Rat a Cut Bottle & dub"
I like it very much too, but that's not the point now.
The part has 2,5 million views. I wouldn't have thought that possible with a reggae record. For comparison,
“Mankind” has something like that at 45.000 …………. (But it's still better).

“Advice a cut please” and “leave Babylon” by yehoud-i keep coming up on youtube. No plan why. That way it hails Plays of course ...

Again no answer button where it is needed. So here again the word for Sunday. At the “Babylon Crooked Dub“It sounds a thousand and one times better than King Tubby. But that's not his fault, because the technology just brought it across so badly that it was also completely distorted on the LPs and thus completely panned out.
There's a slice from the Breadwinners. Actually super awesome Dub but it's so bad with these cymbals that it knocks the whole record around my ears. I couldn't hear more than twice.

Greetings ………… .. lemmi


I'm flattened again! It didn't leave me in peace that I shouldn't have run into Roberto Sanchez somewhere. And that's exactly how it is. Roberto Sanchez was part of Loud & Lone and the album “Basque Dub I already know Foundation Meets Loud & Lone ”and“ Better Collie and Loud & Lone 1998-2001 ”. Even then, I noticed his “classic sound” very positively. The albums sounded almost like early recordings from the "Black Ark". The recording was made at just 4! Tracks in a very small studio, but that didn't affect the recordings.
Both albums are still worth recommending, I think.

Stay tuned ...

I only know the “BDF meets L&L” album, and I mean I once had a CD from a BDF album that was made before that. I think that, like elsewhere, there is a reggae mixed poke in Santander, where one works together with the other.

I can't understand the Black Ark comparison, I find the album a bit simple and boring ... a matter of taste.


I don't find the “BDF meets L&L” album simple or boring, actually it's a nice showcase… .but as you say, a matter of taste.

A few more interesting notes:
The hissing hi-hats, incorrectly called cymbals, can already be heard in Jamaican music with the Skatalites. Lloyd Knibbs used them for Joya Landi's "Moonlight Lover". Sly Dunbar used them on a 1973 cover of Al Green's "Here I Am" by Al Brown and Skin Flesh and Bones. But it was Santa who made the “Flying Cymbals” popular again and, like Sly, Santa Davis was / is also heavily influenced by US soul - The Sound Of Philadelphia. That is why Santa is with the "Flying Cymbals", Sly Dunbar with the double drumming of the "Rockers" from the mid to late 70s and Style Scott with the hard rub-a-Dub in the early 80s.
The story goes like this: Carlton “Santa” Davis would have wanted to play a little “warm” in a studio session for Bunny Lee (approx. 1974) and played the later typical “cymbal sound”. Bunny Lee was so enthusiastic about it that he prompted Santa to definitely include this sound in the next tune - "None Shall Escape The Judgment". The "Flying Cymbals Sound" was (again) born and is therefore mainly associated with the aggrovators. Other producers like z. B. Lee Perry, Duke Reid and Alvin GG Ranglin were so impressed by the success of the "new sound" that they also imitated the sound in their recordings.
King Tubby then has in his two albums "Dub From The Roots ”and“ The Roots Of Dub“Brought the new sound to perfection. So much for the "Flying Cymbals".

One more thing I want to point out is that it's all too easy to forget that reggae actually started out as fast-paced dance music based on an organ shuffle and a staccato guitar, before moving on to the slower and more powerful sounds of roots that continued until the end of the The 70s dominated. The "Flyers" were an important step in this process, in a series of serious changes up to today's reggae /Dub.

Stay tuned ...

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