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Artist: Marcus Visionary
Title:  Humble
Label: Liondub International
Catalog #:  LNDB-LP002D
Format: Digital
Release Date: January 17th, 2010
File Under: Drum & Bass / Ragga Jungle

    Marcus Visionary has nothing to be humble about. In him, one sees the rare combination of a world class dj with impeccable musical selection and a master producer, consistently plying his craft with a versatility and skill over a career spanning nearly two generations. Marcus came into his musical path at a particularly important moment early on in the coalescence of hip-hop, reggae and hardcore into the galvanized unity of ragga jungle. After the massive success of his head-turning Carib album, which broadened the producer's ouvre to include funky, dancehall and soca-driven dubstep, Visionary returns to the ruff-and-tumble jungle arena in which he first earned his stripes. To see the man and the music come full circle is an uplifting triumph to behold. To hear it come together with a tour-de-force of superstar singers and artists is practically mind-bending. It's almost humbling.
Welcome to Humble LP. Perhaps you've already had a taste of what's in store with the two shorter EP's released earlier this year with special selections from the album. In reality, there is nothing to prepare you for the journey - you will have to listen for yourself. The album opens with two unique recuts - 'Ruff & Tuff' and the title track, 'Humble' featuring the eternal Lincoln Sugar Minott and the unparalleled pairing of Messenger Selah and JahDan Blakkamoore. Together these tracks introduce the great breadth of Marcus' musical style, which combines heady dubbed-out rollers, bouncing lovers rock, and hurtling expansive rave-order jungle anthems. There follows Johnny Osbourne's 'Jah Promise' which rings out over a tidy drum track interspersed with joyful claps and a solid bass reminiscent of Alton Ellis' 'Ain't That Loving You.' Sugar Minott also makes a return on 'Borderline,' vividly illustrating an outdoor jam-turned-fire-fight over a booming sleng-teng bassline and sweltering amen/hot pants breaks. The 14 tracks present on this glittering album constitute an unbeatable tribute to classic era dancehall, ragga jungle as well as the greater history of reggae and some of it's finest vocalists. Jah Dan's 'Bounce' and Bunny General's 'Soundwar' both make reference to Tenor Saw's tongue-and-cheek 'Run Come Call Me,' while Kandiman's 'My Sound' release has a very convincing take on The Wailers' 'It's Alright' refitted for sound clash burial. Marcus' productions also quote from roots and dancehall classics, primarily through the riffs of the sub-bass which has been left pure and un-muddied by excessive mid-range synth on most of the tracks.
For those lucky enough to experience the first wave of revolutionary sounds coming out of the UK in the late 80's and 90's, this is sure to be a heartwarming reconnection with the forward-thinking sound of an era. For the younger generation it will be a first awakening and an inspirational call to action. Marcus Visionary has set the bar very high and the album is truly humbling in it's level of production quality and shear amount of vocal talent present on all but one of it's 14 tracks. With no amount of exaggeration, it is safe to say this is one of the best albums that the jungle genre has ever seen and it is certainly in the running for the best sounding, most listenable drum and bass album of 2010.

Radio and Club Support from DJ Hype, Bryan G, Shy FX, Fabio, Ray Keith, Ashatack, A-Sides, Benny Page, Serum, Bladerunner, Aries & more.

Words : Max Echo
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