I Wayne ADD


Album Review: Yaadcore - Reggaeland


by Gardy Stein

Album Review: Yaadcore - Reggaeland

Some debuts don't feel like debuts at all, especially if the debutant is such a well-known staple in the Reggae biz that picking up the mic seems like a natural progression. One such case is Rory Cha aka Yaadcore, well-established DJ, originator of the Reggae Aroma mixtapes, and founder of the Dubwise Jamaica series. With the celebrated No Fenke Fenke, he introduced the world to his production skills in 2018, and now he is ready to step into the spotlight as fully grown artist (singer, MC, deejay...). His first ever album Reggaeland has just seen the light of day, released in a joined effort by both his own label 12 Yaad Records and the new Caribbean offspring Delicious Vinyl Island of the established L.A. icon.

Ready to take a ride to Reggaeland? Upon pressing play, already the first notes will make you fall for the vibe and skank in time. Bee With Me starts with an amazing saxophone intro, overrun by a phat, well-balanced beat that combines a laid-back Reggae skank with soulful, bluesy innuendos and fine live percussions. On all this, Yaadcore's voice flows with ease and precision, lyrically contemplating himself through the eyes of his significant other. Aah Ooh! The fact that the artist himself produced the track certainly contributes to the seamless harmony between singer and song, as Reggaeland convincingly shows as well. The title track is a passionate homage to the island of Jamaica and the music thereof: "Reggae is a third world ting, straight from yard we make the first world sing..."

Two more tracks bear Yaadcore's signature, although only partially. The debut single Ready Now, produced by Rian Williams and Ian McKee and first released in 2019, here comes in an exciting remix that invites fellow artists Pressure Busspipe and I Wayne to the mic. The original video, directed by Fernando F. Hevia, is hosting fellow vocalists Tuff Like Iron, Vanessa Bongo, Samory I, Warrior King, Micah Shemaiah and others - definitely worth a look! Likewise The Calling, a fabulously bass-heavy co-production of Yaadcore, Young Zoe Beatz and Ian McKee: the video shot by Tizzy Tokyo shows cameos of Samory I, Lutan Fyah and the Rastafarian elder Mama G.  

The remaining tracks are a bouquet of riddims from around the world, adding flavors and styles from Germany, Switzerland, the US and Jamaica. Thus, the beautiful Say That You Love Me was dropped by Oneness Records, while Riga & Meds contributed the Trap-infused Money On Trees. Equally slow-paced, Ghetto Youths is a serious, almost grim piece produced by Horace "Yellow Drums" Ellis that is turned into a true story of Kingston's realities by the street-wise Yaadcore. Ball Game, a track by US duo Green Lion Crew, fathoms the toughness resulting from such a socialization, cleverly framed in the commentary of a frenetically cheered match.

Turning to the features once more, we find Play God, another Jamaican input by Blak Yaad and Treydrums, that's bowing to the genius of the late Lee Scratch Perry by featuring his unique voice musing about God and the devil. Furthermore, you'll hear a strong Jah9 alongside Yaadcore on the Subatomic remake of John Holt's Police In Helicopter, and with her slightly slurred and, at times, intentionally off-key rendition of the well-known classic, she accentuates its timeless urgency. A little maverick genre-wise is the Chillmuchmore production La Laa Laa, introducing the sexy vocals of Sarah Couch, singer of Jamaican neo-soul-indie-pop outfit DejaVilla. When it comes to lyrics, the most unexpected piece probably is Shrooms, describing the singer's first ever experience in the psychedelic world of these wondrous fungi.

For those who prefer more traditional waters, make sure you listen to the Nyquill remix aka Spliff A Light Spliff. Rolling into your ears on the mighty Lion Of Judah riddim by Micah Shemaiah, Yaadcore teams up with fellow smoker Richie Spice on this Ganja anthem. Make sure you watch the video as well, shot in one of Jamaica's new legal (!) indoor Marihuana growing fields. "Spliff a light spliff, so do not fight it!"

Closing the album is the bonus track Tina produced by Swiss Evidence Music, an upful, party-vibe tingy setting the perfect stage for Yaadcore's playful nonchalance... definitely one of my favorites. And if you want to find out who that Tina is, you'll have to come back here to check the in-depth interview Reggaeville did with Yaadcore recently!

Wrapped up in phenomenal artwork by solasink, Reggaeland is a full package showcasing the musical skills and trendsetting coolness of Rory "Yaadcore" Cha. His oeuvre is among the most exciting releases this year has brought us so far, and since it's not really capturable in words, I advise you to "let the music do the talking"!

Release details

  • Yaadcore - Reggaeland
  • Yaadcore - Reggaeland

Yaadcore - Reggaeland

DIGITAL RELEASE [Delicious Vinyl Island]

Release date: 03/18/2022


01. Bee With Me
02. Ready Now feat. Pressure Busspipe & I Wayne
03. Reggaeland
04. Police in Helicopter (Vocal Mix) feat. Jah9 & Subatomic Sound System
05. Money on Trees
06. Ghetto Youths
07. Nyquill (Spliff a light Spliff) [Remix] feat. Richie Spice
08. Shrooms
09. La La Laa feat. Sarah Couch
10. Say That You love Me
11. Play God feat. Lee Scratch Perry 
12. The Calling
13. Ball Game (Knock It)
14. Tina