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Various Artists Coolie Dance Amharic

Amharic, a riddim produced by King Jammy's son Jammy "Jam II" James, follows in the recent tradition of Eastern-influenced riddims like Diwali and Egyptian, but its intro sounds more Indian than Ethiopian, as do its bhangra-esque drums. As a compilation, Amharic is a ragga microcosm: slackness rules on cuts from Spragga Benz, T.O.K. and Ward 21 (who bigs up SpongeBob Squarepants); drink and 'dro are tackled by Silver Cat and Taz & Chico. Despite its name, Everton and "Scatta" Burrell's innovative Coolie Dance riddim doesn't sound overtly Asian. At 120 bpm and laced with handclaps, it blurs the lines between dancehall and soca. Vybz Cartel, Hawkeye, Ce'cile and Madd Anju hit, but it's Kiprich's posthaste patois that works best.

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