Phantom IMC ADD


Review: Phantom IMC - The Beginning EP


by Dan Dabber

Review: Phantom IMC - The Beginning EP

Phantom IMC, previously known as simply Phantom, has only been pursuing a career as a reggae/dancehall artist for about a year. Fans of Swiss production outfit, Weedy G Soundforce, may recognize his name from 2015 Weedy G jugglings such as Gate 7, Squeeze, and Struggle. Before he was an artist, Phantom, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Switzerland at eighteen years of age, was known for being a selector for the Zurich-based sound system that he founded, Black Phantom Sound, as well as a being the producer behind riddims like 2013’s Bed Bruk Riddim from Inspired Music Concepts. Despite his myriad talents, the title of Phantom’s new EP release, The Beginning, seems to suggest that he has settled into being a songwriter and performer.

There was a time when calling a project an EP was an indication of how many songs it included - usually between four and six - but that time is no more. Phantom’s The Beginning EP includes eleven tracks, enough to constitute a full length album by traditional standards. All but one of these tunes were produced by Pascal Barro for Weedy G Soundforce, and the other track, Dancehall A Fun Again, was produced by Phantom, again for Inspired Music Concepts label out of Jamaica. Some of the tracks have been included in past riddim releases like the aforementioned Gate 7, Squeeze, and Struggle, but there is still plenty of fresh material to entice even the most attentive fan of reggae/dancehall.

One drop fans will definitely find a few tunes to add to their regular rotation, but The Beginning is rather heavy on dancehall energy. The vibe peaks with the seventh track, Ring Di Alarm, a grimy, bass-heavy beat that serves as the backdrop for some of Phantom’s best work to date. He achieved similar levels of success with Run Di Place and Dancehall A Fun Again, the latter of which has a more organic, piano-skank approach on the riddim. However, there are some unfortunate low points on the release where Phantom’s inexperience causes him to attempt things that do not appear to be in his repertoire. This seems to be the case with Live Me Life, a reggae tune where the deejay employs an underdeveloped singing style; the result is clumsy and off putting. Even more inelegant is So Right, an awkward love ballad that ironically is so wrong, and not recommended for any romantic mixtapes, unless you are trying to bail on your relationship.

Phantom is undoubtedly a talented individual and it is obvious that he has the potential to be a solid deejay. He is also very lucky to have such close ties to Weedy G Soundforce, which has quickly become one of the most respected reggae labels outside of Jamaica. Phantom’s first long-form release showcases his talents as well as his weaknesses, including a generally monotonous vocal approach that lacks in dynamics and original stylistic flourishes, aspects that dancehall fans have come to expect from the artists they love. Instead of developing a distinct and original deejaying technique, Phantom has reached beyond his grasp, at times attempting to be things he clearly is not, namely a singer. The sad part is that if he cut the tracklist of this record down to the traditional EP length, he would easily be able to fill it with songs that demonstrate his strengths as an artist. However, as the title suggests, this is just The Beginning for Phantom, and, if he is able to learn from his mistakes, we could possibly see him develop into a top ranking deejay in the years to come.


Release details

Phantom IMC - The Beginning EP

Phantom IMC - The Beginning EP

DIGITAL RELEASE [Inspired Music]

Release date: 12/18/2015


01. Nuh Give Up

02. Live Me Life

03. Party Hard

04. Dancehall A Fun Again

05. Bubble Fi Me

06. Run DI Place

07. Ring Di Alarm

08. Unstoppable

09. Ghetto Dreams

10. So Right

11. Tru Gyalist