Everything changes with time and Reggae is no exception. The big question is what it has changed to and if this is positive change? Im not going to beat around the bushes, I think a lot of the current Jamaican music is garbage. Same goes for a lot of American/European Reggae so it’s always nice to discover new artists that proves me wrong.
One of these is New York based “Autarchii” hailing from some heavy weight Reggae royalties such as cousin Dennis Brown. At 22 this youth shines brighter than many older artists. He is humble but militant, compromiseless but friendly and this very much shows in his music. This is Rasta music, with a message of righteousness and resistance but also of peace and love.
Lately the women of Reggae has shined brighter than the men but Autarchii shows the guys still got what it takes. The album starts strong with “Ghetto life”, a classic sufferers tune telling us about the harsh realities of ghetto life with it’s rough environments, struggle to get food etc. The music is melancholic and Autarchii sings with an undeniable conviction. Another stand out track is the African flavored “Maumivu”, it may not sound that African although it has borrowed it’s title from an Swahili word.
Another amazing tune is the single cut “Land of the free”, you may have seen the video on youtube. He sings about the state of our country, how democracy is just an illusion etc… With the current political climate it’s a very timely and slightly controversial song. If you will only remember one song of this album it’s probably this one.
As far as sound goes it’s a very modern album but yet one firmly planted in the roots and in the glorious past of our beloved Reggae genre. It may seem lazy to compare unknown artists to established ones but it’s a good way of giving folks an idea of how they sound.
Id say “Autarchii” sounds a lil bit like “Chronixx”, given that they both do a very modern and current form of Roots music. He’s no copycat, he just kinda sorta does the same type of music. To sum it up, a very good, modern Roots album, there is still hope for Reggae.