Various Artists

Created in 2004 by partners Colin Gayle and Mark Redguard, record label Kingston 5 is here to be the new face of Jamaica. In Jamaica there has been the famous Studio One, Black Ark in Kingston, and Island records; all of which helped bring reggae to uncoordinated white folk like myself. Sticking true to its roots, this first release on the label is attempting to be the face of the newer dancehall scene that has been absolutely punished by Sean Paul. There is always room for more real Jamaican reggae, and Kingston 5 steps up for the most part.

In an attempt to fully fuse dancehall with outside influences, this mix sees the likes of Kid Kurupt, Junior Reid, Buju Banton, and Ms. Dynamite. Most real reggae heads will hear the difference in styles, but for the most part they are dance floor style beats that don't go totally overkill. The beat on 'The Dream' by The Hiites is slow and gangsta deep, and it gets yah grooving a bit slower than some of the other up tempo stuff. Marley's 'Johnny Was" is rocked out by Mile High, and it definitely is not for everyone.

I think with the repackaging madness of vintage roots-reggae, ska, and dub almost complete, the world is ready for a fresher, and equally authentic sound. This first release is a good start, and I hope they continue to keep the real reggae coming. As the only music that gets me dancing for real, reggae is pure bliss in its purest forms. Although not perfect in its cross breeding of influences, Kingston 5 still has done a great job keeping the soul of reggae intact.

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