Album Review: Jamaram - Freedom of Screech
Music life makes her nervous, and who can blame her? More than 100 shows a year, just the Freedom of Screech tour alone means over 40 shows… and she’s left with the “kids and a messy” home… no wonder she decides to live with the postman.
That, in a nutshell, is the storyline to Back in a Day, the first song on Jamaram’s newest of ten albums - including one live - and one best-of-album. Opening Freedom of Screech for us and radiating a joyful anticipation for music, the cheerful ska tune humorously outlines singer Tom Lugo’s day to day life. However, we can be sure that each of the eight Jamaram members has experienced similar situations at some point or other in their lives, being on tour basically throughout the year, finding enough time to self-produce a 16 track album, and during the week still manage a private life and other jobs; drummer Max “Murxen” Alberti, for example, is a successful actor who has appeared in numerous German TV series. One might well ask one’s self how is it even possible to bring all these things together. It must be the energy released during the live shows that keeps the Jamaram wheel turning. Against this background, it is certainly not wrong to say that Jamaram songs are to a high degree inspired by the life both on the road and on stage.
With the Freedom of Screech album and tour, Jamaram once more rightfully secures the title of Germany’s most industrious band within the reggae sector.
They have never been a reggae band alone, even if the offbeat characterizes their basic repertoire. On Freedom of Screetch the listener gets Latin (Pa Mi Gente), Punjab-inspired beats (We Got the Groove), acoustic pop (Honey Bee), and crossover metal (Test it) next to reggae (Why Trouble, Spread Some Love, Like A Rock, Easy Life, Never Ever, Fine Fine Fine) and ska (Back In A Day, Girlfriend).
Somehow or other, the stylistic confidence of Jamaram is always ensured and hardly questioned. This must be due to the fact that the satisfaction of thousands and thousands of happy concert-goers can’t be wrong. This album is actually not a studio album, even if it was certainly recorded in several studios around Germany and France (Benni Beblo’s BBB’s in Hochstadt, Umberto Echo’s Elevator Studio in Munich, Lion el Wharton’s LaZeR Studios in Mannheim and Sara Lugo’s Loogie Loog’s Place in Lyon). Not only did most of the songs come into existence and were rehearsed during tours, on the album they are tied together by organically interwoven transitions, simulating a real life situation.
Mixing credits goes to Dub master Umberto Echo, who also sponsored a ‘State-of-the-art-step’ summer tune with his Remix of Nice on which Tom and Sara Lugo perform in a legendary brother and sister duet. Those who remember Munich’s Reggae sensation Headcornerstone will certainly recognize frontman Conscious Fiyah on Why Trouble and Spread Some Love. On the melancholic Honey Bee, feature guest Ami melts your heart with her beautifully soft voice, while Caramelo ignites passion and temperament in Para Mi Gente. Further feature guests are Mellow Mark, Tariro neGitare and the US reggae rock band Passafire.
Freedom of Screech is never boring, never monotonous, and never dull. On the contrary, this album paints a contrasting picture with thousands of appealing and fascinating facets, soundwise and contentwise. Jamaram takes you from one side to the other without tailing off in irritating extremes. The Diversity and range of this band is remarkable and certainly worth a live experience. This year’s SummerJam or Overjam Festival might be the perfect occasion - Don’t miss it!
Jamaram - Freedom of Screech
DIGITAL RELEASE [Turban Records]
Release date: 03/24/2017
01. Back in a Day
02. Worlds Apart
03. Why Trouble feat. Conscious Fiyah
04. Off My Lawn
05. Test It
06. Spread Some Love feat. Conscious Fiyah
07. Nice (Umberto Echo Remix)
08. Easy Life
09. Honey Bee feat. Ami
10. Like a Rock
11. We Got the Groove
12. Never Ever feat. Tariro neGitare
13. Pa Mi Gente feat. Caramelo
14. Fine Fine Fine feat. Passafire
16. Cross the Line feat. Mellow Mark (Analogbasscamp Mix)