Mark Wonder & Oneness Band – Remz Of The Dragon Slayer (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 47:49 minutes | 542 MB | Genre: Regggae
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Oneness Records
Out of a stable of contemporaries, Mark has risen to establish himself as a pillar in the roots and culture arena. Commonly known as the “Dragon Slayer” his influences include American R&B icons of the 60’s and 70’s. His vocal styling and spot on intonation is reminiscent of artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye. Drawing from the greats of Jamaican roots Artists such as Burning Spear, Bob Andy and Dennis Brown, he is committed to the tradition of marrying his militant message with melody in a captivating style. His second release for Oneness Records it’s a heady, spiritually and socially conscious mix of Roots, Dub and Funky Soul – with flashes of Jazz thrown in for good measure.
With “Remz Of The Dragon Slayer”, both the artist and record label deliver a special project, one that is outstanding from beginning to end! Without any doubt Mark Wonder has one of the greatest singing voices and here the listener gets a healthy sampling of it. His vocal delivery is truly spectacular, as can be fully experienced while listening to this collection of tunes, especially because “Remz Of The Dragon Slayer” features a mix of styles he seemingly effortless knows to handle to the max. The album gets going with a tune which is just as impressive as the voice singing on it, the superb “Level With Me Idrens”, coming across a large riddim that sounds familiar to the ears. Compared with the opening track, musically the next two tunes are more subdued efforts. The previously released single “Another Day” tells the listener to take advantage of this day by forgetting yesterday’s bad moves and thanking life. It’s a wonderful inspirational message tune which is just as appreciable for how it sounds as for what it says. This also goes for the impressive “Brand New Me”. Next comes “Voyages Across The Sea”, the collaboration with South African multi-talented artist Crosby aka Digi-Analog. It’s a moving reality tune about the survival struggle of refugees who by the thousands cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a safer and better place to stay. It’s truly a fantastic start to an album which manages to maintain the heights throughout.
By now it’s clear that “Remz Of The Dragon Slayer” is an album that provides a steady stream of great songs. To those that deserve a special mention belong the sublime cultural piece “Kemetic”, a compelling tune that demands careful listening to its lyrics. “Nubian Glory”, which was a tune from the golden “African Children” riddim, leaps out at the listener. A sparkling riddim underpins the gorgeous “Blessed Ithiopia”, before the gorgeous semi-acoustic “Better Days” drops in. Simply feel good reggae music is offered with “In Tune 2 Di Rockaz”, a solid party tune with a very nice dubby outro which jumps right out at the listener and doesn’t falter at all. The social commentary “Crisis” with its detailed styles of observations is another highlight on this album. And so is “Same King” across the glorious “Retro Locks” riddim (a relicked version of Bim Sherman’s “Golden Locks”). The album’s final offering, “Voices Of The People” with its flawlessly addictive riddim, is on par with the opening track and a joy to listen to over and over again. What a great album this is. Not only is Mark Wonder’s sterling voice so clear and so powerful on his well written songs, the riddims provided by the musicians involved in this project complement him very well.
01 – Level with Me Idrens
02 – Another Day
03 – Brand New Me
04 – Voyages Across the Sea
05 – Kemetic
06 – Nubian Glory
07 – Blessed Itiopia
08 – Better Days
09 – In Tune 2 Di Rockaz
10 – Crisis
11 – Same King
12 – Voices of the People