By Liam Monaghan
Straight out of Germany and a real newcomer to the scene! After the Reggae Germany has had a fair few artists representing Reggae, Dub & Dancehall with many Sound Systems in play. Names you may recognise include Seeed and Gentleman along with Sara Lugo, Sebastian Sturm, Uwe Banton and Ganjaman. Wake Up Inna Kingston is the new album by the name of Tóke. After 3 years of being a solo artist we’ve now got this album to listen to.
The album consists of 10 tracks that range in influences and he teamed up with Bassplate Records. The riddims are fresh and interesting and they keep the distinctive Jamaican sounding Reggae sound and don’t infuse the European take on Reggae music.
Wicked start to the album, authentic sounding riddim with a wicked wandering weighty bass line accompanied by some harmonious horn lines and top it all off, the angelic voice of Toke! You’ll find yourself repeatedly shouting Frizzle throughout the rest of the day. Awesome record, certainly an artist to watch out for! Tóke takes us on a special sightseeing-trip through Kingston in this track and mentions some Reggae stars including Torch, Chinna, Kazam Davis and Jesse Royal.
Conscious Vibe Ft Exile Di Brave, Infinite
Weighty bass, big horns plus two mad artists, this track is one for the dance hall. Positivity is key here in the lyrics, Brave’s husky delivery works in contrast to Toke’s and Infinite, which is nice as the contrast keeps the track fresh. Another big hook on this track, prepare to be singing along for the rest of the day.
Down tempo for this one with some Spanish classic guitar sounding picking before the beat drops and the focus is on the messages of Toke in this track ‘No one can pollute my soul’. A nice tone down at the right time in the album after 2 abrupt tracks, a catch your breathe style track.
Respect Ft Conkarah
The message in this track is pretty much what it says on the tin, ie respect. From the vendors in the streets to the farmers and grafters, basically pay respect “ Respect to al’ the hard working people” plays throughout the track. Conkarah wasn’t an artist I was familiar with however his voice fits nice in this track and his delivery is up-tempo ad reminds me slightly of Jesse Royal, definitely an artist to keep an eye on.
Open The World Ft Ras Muhamad
Plot twist in the album, a Steppas riddim! Lots of bouncing up and down to this track. The versatility in Tóke’s delivery is extensive and it would be interesting to see him on some UK bass riddims. We see Ras Muhamad jump on this track, which is probably down to Tokes Indonesian roots. Open The World is an outcry to assist people who have had to flee war and violence. A touch on the refugee crisis in Europe, a topic that only a few artists have addressed. A nice track overall, Muhamad brings something new to the track making it an easy listen a good track overall.
Talkin Bout You
This track I’m a fan of, it’s a slow one but if someone sends this to Gregory Morris to get on the dub of this track then send it me. This track combines a dub like tempo with a weighty on beat drum and gentle hand drumming and soft horns in the background. An enjoyable relaxing track, if you’ve got a weighty sound system this one is for you.
As we reach the end of the album Toke has brought us down and chilled us out a little bit. Running Away is a track based on reflection in a sense, Tóke is discussing how he’s running away and hiding for various reasons which I feel many listeners will relate too.
Final Track and a fine finish to one of the strongest albums I’ve heard all year and I’ve heard a lot of them. Acoustic and vocal nothing else really this home the beauty in Tókes voice. I’d find it difficult to understand how anybody couldn’t like this track. What an album, a collection of good well thought out collaborations and wicked productions. Big up Bassplate Records for putting this great piece of music out.
Mi Name (Bonus Track)
Oh go on then, a bonus track on the Album and welcome to the Dancehall! Literally nothing like anything else on the album, think Ninjaman, Super Cat & Shabba in terms of those 90’s riddims and Toké rides it with ease. I’d like to say what a way to finish the album but I’ve already done that.
02. Conscious Vibe feat. Exile Di Brave & Infinite
03. No One
04. Respect feat. Conkarah
05. Open the World feat. Ras Muhamad
06. Talkin’ Bout You
07. Running Away
09. Mi Name (Bonus Track)