ALBUM REVIEW: Konzeresa riddim (2008) - Various Artists

Konzeresa Riddim, produced by Jusa, has to be one of the most anticipated albums among Zimbabweans out here in the diaspora at the moment with everybody tryna get their hands on it. It comes as no surprise after the free megamix that was flying all over the place which made people go crazy a few months back. Now that the full CD is out I had a good listen of all 22 tracks.

The song Kukonzeresa by King Labash, from which the riddim derives its name, has been a major hit in Zimbabwe and it leads the way as the opening song. I hate to even say this but the album version is so watered down and lacks the fire that the original has. It was simply a huge let down I don’t have a clue how King Labash managed to kill his own song. Luckily, there are quite a few songs that actually saved the whole album and I quickly forgot about my initial disappointment. Songs like ‘Crazy World’ by Alfire, ‘Tell Me Why’ by Cee Jay, ‘Tichatopedzerana’ by Dubbie Benzie and ‘Jah By My Side’ by MC Mighty (to mention a few) were largely enjoyable and are testimony to the maturing breed of Zimbabwe’s dancehall MCs.

The compilation also boasts of some established Zimbabwean artists like Rassie Ai and Yardsteppa who both featured on The Future way back in 2000. Yardsteppa’s Usatuke Amai NaBaba advises the youth to respect their mother and father or else bad luck will follow in everything. Talk about leading the way! Vangani is an inspirational tune for all the Zimbabwean girls performed by Jusa and will see his female fans increasing in numbers. The video is out soon and I hear it is already doing rounds in the motherland on Channel O. The downside to this compilation is that many of the tunes are truly very forgettable. It could have been a much better idea to limit the number of artists to a decent 12 or so and have some sort of a screening process to raise the bar for quality. In a quest to custom make the riddim for every artist, which was a very noble idea, I feel that the riddim ended up losing the spark that made it so catchy in the first place. Sometimes certain things are better left as they are but then again we all learn from mistakes. I hope these pointers are helpful for coming projects.

For Zimbabwe’s first riddim compilation to be released commercially it is one that will make many people very happy. Boyz remaTune kunyanya marasta will love this album which showcases some of the upcoming artists in the industry. Good work for everyone involved, keep them coming!

Get it @ http://cdbaby.com/cd/konzeresariddim

Cover Art – 8/10 (lovely artwork!)
Music – 5/10 (some songs really could have been better)
Mixing & Mastering – 5/10
‘I Like Factor’ – 6/10