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King Django

by Alex Rud
May 16, 2001

File Under: Reggae, Ska, Experimental
rating: C

1) Reason 

2) Kick It Out 

3) Nex Season 

4) Never Try 

5) I got a Ride 

6) Precipice 

7) LKO 

8) Chase Pum Pum 

9) Hustle The Mac 

10) Lies and Rumors 

11) I Don't Want You

12) Cold Fronting   

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  • King Django
  • As many of you know by now, Jeff "King Django" Baker, is the "Original NY Rudeboy." This hard working man has played a big part in, not just the NY Ska scene, but all over the country. Known for his bands Skinnerbox, the Americas answer to Trad-Ska, Stubborn All-Stars, and offcourse The Boilers. He even has his own Ska/Reggae/Dub/Roots label called Stubborn Records, and just built a Verion City Studio, which is a hotbed for Ska/Reggae/and Dub experimentations. A workaholic indeed!

    Besides being in Ska/Reggae bands, King Django was once part of a NYHC band, Murphys Law, and he also supported Rancid on their Lallapalooza 96 summer tour tour, playing horn section for them.

    Another thing that I like about King Django, is that he always manages to surprise his listeners, not feeding them the same music, but is always looking to pick up on something new. His first release, "Roots & Colture" , which was release on Tripple Crown Records, was done almost entirely in Hebrew, and was a peace of art. Mixing traditional Hebrew songs, with his own.

    The new album "Reason," which is his first release on HellCat Records, doesn't fail to incorporate the element of surprise.

    I have to tell you the truth, when I was buying the album, I expected it to sound like his older work; instead what I got was an origional album. "Reason" has it all, Ska,Reggae(Dancehall and Dub), Rock, Jungle, Drum n bass, even some Hip-Hop thrown in there. When I first picked it up, I couldn't get into some of the stuff, but with a few listens, the album dragged me in,, and I still can't put it down. King Django programmed all the drumming on this album, as well as programming, sequencing and playing trombone on the album.

    The abum begins with the title track, "Reason." Reason begins with heavy guitars, and King Django screaming, then the song evolves into a great Reggae number, with guitar overtones, a great track to start the record with. "Nex Season" begins with some dj scratching provided by Mr. Mandez. The song goes into a drum and bass track, filled with keyboard, and dancehall overtunes. It's a great upbeat track, which gives shoutouts to all his friends. The song "Never Try" is my favorite song on the album. It's a good Roots-Reggae number with heartfelt lyrics about true love, that you can't by fall in love with. "LKO" goes into some jungo beats, with Reggae vox done over them. "Chace Pum Pum" is a great dancehall number with some Jungle thrown in there. "Hastle The Mac" is a great Hip Hop number, with some Keyboards thrown in there, as well as some horns. The combination makes the song very enjoyable to listen to.

    King Django comes up with another gem. While a lot of musicians become stale and drop off the face of the earth, King Django remains on top, and keeps on moving forward, like a locomotive feuled by music. Please don't judge the album after one listen, I know it may seem weird to you at first, but with a few listens, you too, will be hooked. I can't wait to see him on his tour. Much love. Alex!

    Alex Rud is a Staff Writer. Contact him at misftskull@aol.com.

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