Now, I’m going to be honest here, I had no idea what to expect when I first put on Israel Starr’s latest project ‘The Producers Chair – Dancehall Vol. One’. After listening, I think it’s very safe to say this is most definitely not another New Zealand ‘BBQ reggae’ release.
The son of celebrated New Zealand reggae vocalist The Mighty Asterix, Israel was raised surrounded by all things reggae and bass culture and grew up among the Aotearoa Twelve Tribes of Israel community. The last few years have seen him put in the hard yards, work with a multitude of producers, start his own label, Bless Up Music, and tour and release consistently.
When it comes to Israel, the first word that comes to mind is ‘versatile’. This album has all elements of reggae and dancehall, there is lovers rock, rocksteady, bashment, roots, pop and raggamuffin that all fit together very nicely. Israel knows exactly what he is doing on every track. It’s not often that I have heard this on a local or even an international release in any genre, but in this instance, he nails each and every tune. He knows these genres so well and it shows.
Let’s hope that this is the New Zealand release that opens up the dancehall genre to the Aotearoa public. Props to Isreal as well as the producer, slick, tight and enjoyable. Stand out tune for me is ‘Don’t Make Me’ featuring Adeeno.
Also from the album and the latest video: Israel Starr featuring Raggadat Cris – Summer Anthem