Reggae DJs are as much a part of the reggae scene as any artist, and many produce mind-blowing remixes to spin in between your favorite live musical acts. Once such masterful mixer is Jstar, a globally-renowned reggae producer and international DJ. In 2003, Jstar hit it big with a playful dub version of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”, and has since been an industry go-to for reggae-tinged remixes and more. After gaining critical acclaim from the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Norman Jay, Diplo, among others, Jstar is about to drop another much-anticipated full-length LP on November 11th entitled Stand to Order.
This reggae-electro anthem is agonizingly addicting – like a bad relationship.
To tease the album, Jstar debuted its premier single “Liar Liar” in October – a tale of devotion, duplicity, and despair. Featuring Kinck, the ominous storyline paves the way for a darker tone and timbre, with gypsy-like strings and synths that creep up and down your spine in tandem with the chanteuse’s impressive vocal range. And, when it comes to the lyrics, everyone’s been there: you trusted someone, you invested your time, your energy, you gave it your all… and come to find out, they burned you. That purge of confusion and anger, the one only obtained at the end of the road, THAT is what Jstar capitalizes on. Not only does he build up the mental catharsis, but he pairs a wicked drum and bass to it. This reggae-electro anthem is agonizingly addicting – like a bad relationship. The vocals are accusatory, forcing the listener to feel the wrath firsthand: “you were gunna fight it, you were gunna hide it, you were gunna be in bed with the enemy.” Mixed with the electric violins, the lyrics ebb and flow, weaving through the beat like a passionate tango unfolding between three dancers. What a true tale of betrayal and redemption…
Shortly after release, the track started leaking onto British airwaves, spinning on David Rodigan’s BBC 1Xtra and Don Lett’s Culture Clash Radio on 6 Music. The single also received the royal remix treatment from Belgium’s prime party duo, Turntable Dubbers, who inserted the ‘club’ over the dub track by wobbling the bass, maxing out the reverb, adding live horns, and allowing the driving backbeats to jumpstart any dance floor. With the massive success of “Liar Liar”, Jstar’s forthcoming Stand to Order is surely going to skyrocket his name to new heights.
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Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.