Gappy Ranks – Shining Hope

September 17, 2013

gappyranks-shininghope-review.jpgGappy Ranks rose from a troubled past to become the beacon of a beleaguered British reggae industry, cutting Peckings produced modern classic debut album Put The Stereo On in 2010. 2011’s Thanks And Praise turned the vintage rhythms off for contemporary one-drop and dancehall but had its share of big tunes (like the Jazzwad built title track and Delly Ranx combo Could A Runaway).

Fast forward to 2013 and dancehall is bothering the British charts and the MOBOs with next young prospect Stylo G. Gappy has been busy recording third effort, Shining Hope, bearing an endearing cover picture of his son Japan (named for the 2011 earthquake Gappy witnessed on tour). It’s a modern one drop reggae set with a pop edge that takes a middle path between the two records that came before.

There’s only one vaguely uptempo rhythm: Everything’s Gonna Be Alright with Exco Levi, being sufficiently Bob-inspired to not frighten the horses. Lyrically, Gappy continues to present himself as the hardworking, against the odds success and the childlike, vulnerable lover. But he also gives more space to an African consciousness hinted at in places by Put The Stereo On.

As usual all Gappy vocals are recorded in his Harlesden home studio while many of the rhythms come from producers who worked on Thanks And Praise. Italy’s Macro Marco, London’s Jazzwad and France’s Bost and Bim are joined by Jamaicans Kemar Flava McGregor and Notice Productions and the USA’s Larger Than Life Records. Gappy’s wish to balance future and past is again evident in the choice of artist collaborations – Jamaican rising star Levi and his old friend from Suncycle Crew Reddman UK.

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