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Inna City Pressure

Dr. Israel

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Album Review

In a rational world, this irresistible fusion of reggae, dub, hip-hop and jungle on Inna City Pressure would be on every radio station's play list and booming out of every car stereo. Dr. Israel has one of the best voices around, a rich, warm baritone that can chant and declaim with religious fervor ("Inna City") or ring out tunefully with anthemic vigor ("The Doctor Vs. The Wizard"). On top of that, he's a fine songwriter, one capable of taking tired subject matter (the dangers of ghetto life, the blandishments of Babylon, racial unity) and investing them with fresh life and energy. He spends much of his time here in jungle territory, riding hyperkinetic rhythms and bottomless basslines with the gentle assurance of the best reggae singers, but there are wonderful stylistic digressions, including a Black Sabbath cover and a collaboration with ska/punk superstars Rancid. The Willie Williams classic "Armagideon Time" gets a long-overdue drum'n'bass treatment, and there are several fine dub versions. "Life in the Ghetto" is lyrically obvious and musically tedious, but it's the only misstep on this remarkable album. This is one of the best CDs of 1998. [This version of the album contains bonus material.]

Biography

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A Brooklyn-based artist influenced by dub reggae as well as jungle and drum'n'bass, Dr. Israel has toured Europe several times and appeared on a number of compilations, including both volumes of Crooklyn Dub Consortium. He has also released the solo records 7 Tales of Israel (1996) and Next Step (1997), the latter a collaboration with Brooklyn...
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Inna City Pressure, Dr. Israel
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