CD Review: Keeping Your Winter Hot

I always get in a better mood to write a soca review. And although the music shelves aren't exactly saturated in what is unarguably the most fun musical style ever created, VP Records has shown a nice nice penchant for pushing the music moreso than any other large label. Between the Soca Gold anually wicked compilation, the D'Soca Zone compilations and releasing albums from artist's like Edwin Yearwood, Bunji Garlin and 3Suns all within the last 3-5 years, they've done well (although signing Destra might be a pretty good idea in 2007!) promoting soca.

One of these promotions is the annual winter/fall release of D'Soca Zone compilation. The DSZ compilation is very similar to the Soca Gold compilation, its almost like SG jr. in that it mainly draws from more recent tunes and generally not looking for the biggest names (although the bigger names always are present).

This year is no different. But I'm mighty glad to see this album and my anticipation for it was well rewarded, in the few years I've been listening to this one, the 7th Flag Up is definitely the best of the bunch! This album has a few songs from a few artists whom I've never heard of that had me wayyyyy more than impressed, and some songs from artists that I may have heard of, but not too familiar with, that just blew me away!

Case and point: Although I am slightly familiar with Red Hot Flames, I had never heard Quad Ride and the song is MASSIVE! Its that never let you stop jumping from the start style soca which I absolutely love. But on the flip side, of course I'm familiar with poster boy Kevin Lyttle and Edwin Yearwood and just like on the 6th Flag Lyttle offers a nice shot with his My Girl just a lovely lovely song and Yearwood and Krosfyah score nicely with the opener Hott Spott as well as on the combination with reigning Monarch, Shurwayne Winchester on the even nicer We Ready to Go, and wherever they going, I'm going too! Big track!

Also check Skarpyon, another unknown to me, on the wonderful Turn the Lights Down Low, not at all derivative of the Marley song of the same name, but a mighty strong track. Add Vertex to that list of unfamiliar talents to me but their Trouble is a might powerful track as well.

All that being said, one of my favorite tracks on the 7th Flag Up is probably Jamesy P. and the aforementioned Skarpyon on the MASSIVE Leave Me Alone, the St. Vincy natives are well represented here (and throughout with Lyttle, and Mystik Vibration as well). Leave Me Alone is the more laid back style of soca, however on a recent trip to Tortola I had the song drummed into my brain, AND I LOVE IT! And it's only topped by my favorite track on the 7th Flag Up which is Expose by El-A-Kru! I loooooooooooooooove that song! Big, vibrant and beautiful soca, song just has you moving for days, and I'm partial because I favor the female voice in my soca, but Expose is AMAZING!

Also worth hearing is Mystik Vibration's nice I Like It, and I have to mention Flames by Jabae which is the song that prevented me from listening to the remaining 75% of the album because it had me stuck there for several hours! The package also comes with a mix cd that was the style of a lot of the SG albums and it's still somewhat useful here as well.

Overall, of course giving this one a seal of recommendation! I always love this album and its pretty much to tide the fans over, to keep strong soca music in the mainstream for those who can't get to all the fetes still keeping this time of year warm throughout the West In. Pick up D'Soca Zone:7th Flag Up and tell em Bramoi sent you!

p.s. I would have just loved if they could've somehow squeezed my new favorite soca tune "My Car Brek Down" by Contone in here! But love it still!

Bramoi for Trini Jungle Juice


D Soca Zone 7th Flag Up - Various Artists (VP Records)
Release Date: Nov 21st 2006

Track Listings
01. Hott Spot - Yearwood, Edwin
02. Jump Wave - Madzzart
03. Leave Me Alone - Jamesy P & Skarpyon
04. We Ready To Go - Yearwood, Edwin & Shurwayne Winchester
05. Flames - Jabe & Barry Chandler/Bruce Chandler
06. Quad Ride - Red Hot Flames
07. Yaga Now - Bailey, Tony & Edwin Yearwood
08. I Like It (C'Est Bon) - Mystic Vibration
09. High On The Dance Floor - H20 Phlo
10. Turn The Lights Down Low - Skarpyon
11. My Girl - Lyttle, Kevin
12. Flaunt - Taxik Band & Claudette Peters
13. Expose (bonus track) - Elakru
14. Trouble (bonus track) - Vert-X
15. Wine Down Low (bonus track) - Rameses & Malcolm X/Stylez P
16. All Over You (bonus track) - Statement