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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Bunji Garlin

By Robert Kaye
Published January 14, 2008

VP Records

Bunji Garlin became something of a phenomenon in his native Trinidad back in 1998. He shape-shifts Caribbean styles including ragasoca, reggae, dance-hall, kaiso, hip-hop and indigenous folkloric elements into his own thumping rhythms. His fifth album, Global, is an aero-bically inspiring array of pan-Caribbean styles pumped up with rap’s ranting and bluster. Starting with the album’s opener, “No Super Hero,” you can immediately tell the CD is of the undulating kind. “Fire Fi Dem” freely quotes from the ’60s surfer’s anthem, “Wipeout,” yet is still imbued with Garlin’s Trinidadian roots. “Swing It” features Chris Black in a call-and-response joust. There’s no respite among the tracks each one churns and scorches. These aren’t your lounge-tempo, waft-inthe-breeze melodies for idling away a hazy afternoon. They are in your face, on your feet, shake whatcha got tunes, and Garlin is the master.