Words by Jesse Serwer
Pressure Busspipe is currently enjoying a Renaissance. Less than six months after he unleashed his enthusiastically received I-Grade Records LP, The Sound, he’s back with a second 2014 LP. For this project, entitled Africa Redemption, the St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands-based singer headed back to Jamaica, where he recorded the classic single “Love & Affection,” among other tracks, for producer Don Corleon in the mid 2000s.
Africa Redemption was recorded within the hallowed walls of the legendary King Jammy’s studio in Waterhouse, Kingston, with producer Baby G (son of King Jammy’s) at the helm, and it is a suitably heavyweight affair. Pressure’s collaborators on the album include three of current-day Jamaica’s most important voices— Chronixx (who appears on the title track), Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Tarrus Riley, who appear side by side on “Mental Disturbance.” It’s the solo tracks here that stand out the most, with Pressure carrying the rest of the album’s weight himself (The only other guest appearance, among 17 tracks total, coming from Jah Mason, on “My Herbs.”)
Where The Sound showcased a highly-focused, strictly roots side of Pressure, Africa Redemption highlights his diversity, placing his vocals on sounds ranging from vintage dancehall (“Where I’m From”) to R&B (“I’m Grateful.”) Lyrically, Pressure’s words cover all of the bases from roots and culture to ganja tunes to lovers tunes fi di gyals. The closing track “Feeling Fine” plays like something of a sequel to his latest hit, “Virgin Islands Nice.”
Stream Africa Redemption below, and buy it on iTunes here. For more on Pressure, read our recent Q+A with the singer here, catch his appearance on The LargeUp Sessions here, and look out for our upcoming webisode with Pressure and Midnite’s Vaughn Benjamin in St. Croix soon.