19 August 2017
Another great protagonist of African musical culture was responsible for closing this big night: one concert after another for years, has made Alpha Blondy a kind of classic of the Rototom Sunsplash and almost a symbol of this festival’s ability to provide fun, but also to strive to create an alternative to our lifestyle that is based on peace, solidarity and social commitment. Accompanied by the mastery and firmness of his extraordinary band, Alpha presented a show that demonstrated how this 64 year old artist remains a benchmark of the world reggae scene and an ambassador of the African reggae scene.
Africa was present on Main Stage from the outset, with percussion of African Head Charge of Bongo Nyabinghi Noah: We’re talking about one of the most unusual projects of the On-U-Sound brand with the attempt to unite the sounds of sacred Rastafari drums with African vibrations, as well as the future possibilities of dub. In other words, the music of African Head Charge often recovers the ancestral sounds of the drums. Their great concert mingled hypnotic moments with more joyful ones, which portrays the connection between rural Jamaican popular culture and African beats.
The African Head Charge drums made the hearts of all those present beat in unison and warmed the atmosphere for the young sound Iseo &Dodosound, protagonists of a dramatic entrance on stage to the notes of Roots & Culture by Mikey Dread. The ingredients of the sound Iseo & Dodosound are powerful and minimalist dub and the beautiful voice of the singer: 2017 is an important year for them because they have released their second CD Roots in the air, an album that proves their maturity and their participation in the Sunsplash is certainly another big step. They were really comfortable on stage, entertaining and exciting the audience.
Before Alpha Blondy it was the turn of Chronixx, the new superstar of the Jamaican sound and one of the most anticipated artists in this edition: after starting with a very different version of Alpha & Omega disc, the artist from Spanish Town put on a simple and effective with his many hits to the fore. The Zinc Fence Band accompanied him perfectly, both in the hardest sounds and songs like Who Knows and Here Comes Trouble as well as in the dreamy Skankin’Sweet, and the cheerful Smile Jamaica and Spanish Town Rockin and the romantic Majesty. In a large crescendo, Chronixx played material from his new album, from which we would highlight Ghetto Paradise and Selassie Children. Without ceasing to up the intensity, near the end came a barrage of dancehall flavoured tracks such as Capture Land or Spirulina, until the unexpected end with the sweetness of a little known Champion. The festival has flown by once again this year and for the last day the grand finale awaits us with classic Jamaican sound like Luciano, U Roy and Big Youth, and the splendid voice of Nadine Sutherland.