Review: IvoryMan – Culturally Rude

By Liam Monaghan

Multi-talented Ivoryman, born in Australia and residing in The Netherlands, released a self-produced Reggae/Dancehall album: ‘Culturally Rude’ on April 1st. The album will is available at all major online music stores and is released by Ivory Man’s own label Tusk records.

Also known as a Selectah for world acclaimed sound ‘Foundation’, on this album we see some other sides to Ivoryman: Lyricist, instrumentalist, mix-engineer and producer. The only rule for him starting on this project was: Break every rule. In this Ivoryman definitely and defiantly succeeded!
He released an interesting collection of music. I feel that Ivory Man’s voice is so unique its hard to pitch him to one genre however, his monotone flatness and unique delivery of lyrics suits the upbeat modern Reggae vibe but the Dancehall and aggressive clash style Bashment doesn’t do it for me. I’ve listened a few times through and the Reggae riddims suit Ivory Man more in my opinion. Overall we think this experimental album needs to be listened to with a certain amount of humour and probably not to be taken all too serious.

Interesting start this this collection of music from Ivory Man. Fairytales begins with some magical chimes that you would expect a villain or some sort to emerge from behind a gravestone or a dark alley. The riddim is crisp and very modern with high production. There’s an element of the riddim being louder than Ivory Man and it’s quite difficult to concentrate on the lyrics without the riddim overpowering the artist. Ivory Mans voice is unique for sure, it does grip you to keep you listening and in this track I find the voice to be a less raw Alborosie.

Military Gathering
Stand in line and salute, with aeroplanes, jets, shouting, marching, gatling guns, if you close your eyes for a second you can hear your mates next door playing Call of Duty. I understand the premise of this track with mentions of preserving life and there are colonels and lieutenants but the soldiers do all the slaughtering. The hook in this track is catchy but its experimental, an example of this is the record scratching at some point, this isn’t really ‘Reggae’ its very experimental and there is some deep meaning in this.

Light Shining
The bass is deep on this track and is weighty. I really like the quick tongue twister that Ivory Man gives to us at the end of the hook. This track doesn’t really jump out at me, I actually struggle to understand the message but that maybe down to the fact I also don’t really understand Ivory Man as his voice is either overpowered by the riddim or there’s some sort of radio style effect layered on his vocal that just sounds like noise.

Well Run Dry
I like this track! Theres some good thoughtful points and I like the lyrics in Well Run Dry. The riddim has some really nice hand drumming which gives a nyabinghi feel to the track. Combine the hand drumming with the wood chimes in the middle of the track and you get this feel of Africa, not sure why but its great. “Some people never know themselves until their backs against the wall” is a line that stands out for me.

Nuh No Answer
You’ll recognise the riddim sample in this track, its upbeat and I would identify this as the track that would do well in a live performing capacity, however i seem to be hearing this track as an attack on ‘The West’… weapons, food supplies, toxic waste dumping and a fair bit of corruption. Interesting comments from Ivory Man who resides in the Netherland’s but if this is Ivory Man’s of portraying what kind of things the West is up to, then fair enough. Ivory highlights the fear of Isis and Russia in 2016 and is happy to answer any questions but not coming from any Babylon system!

This track I can see being cut for a few war sound clashes! It’s a aggressive bashment beat with a continuing underlining bass and some offbeat drumming which stirs the blood and allows Ivory Man to go ahead and deliver his hard hitting lyrics. It’s a mix up for the album compared to other tracks and Ivory Mans voice does suit this style of riddim because its raw and monotone which is unique which when combined with a short snappy quick delivery it’s a vibe.

Next Phase
This isn’t really a Reggae album or Dancehall, its very experimental. Next phase has a riddim that reminds me of the pop/hip hop I heard in Istanbul. The riddims tone has those Dancehall key flashes but the drumming and the style of the riddim is very urban. Im not sure if it really suits Ivory Mans voice and style, no one can deny that his delivery is unique and he is a versatile artist though.

Dancehall Cinema
The start of this track is what you could expect to hear at the start of Michael Jacksons Thriller. A monotone voice brings us into the track with a disclaimer of the artist and his lyrics. I like the premise of a Dancehall cinema and the riddim is built very cleverly but it’s more of a horror show. This is unlike anything we’ve heard so far on this album and it’s very catchy.

Yuh Wan Fi
The most Reggae you’ll hear on this album is at the start of this track… Sleng Teng faintly in the background and then its dashed away before Ivory Man unleashes some bars over a hard Bashment style beat. Not really my thing personally because I don’t feel he rides the riddim smoothly, lyrics are crammed in. I think the majority of these tracks have to be described as… fusion.

Stamina Gal
To bring us to a finish on the musical Journey, I don’t really know what to expect anymore, don’t expect anything from Ivory Man because you never know what to expect. An interesting track to finish on. It’s very difficult to describe this track but again, its not really my cup of tea.

Released by: Tusk Records / VPAL Music
Release date: 1 April 2017
℗ 2017 ℗ 2017 Tusk Records / VPAL Music
© 2017 © 2017 Tusk Records / VPAL Music