The Best In Irish HipHop

Atha Cliath Records Presents – Dawn Till Dusk

Wed, 2011-11-02 21:38 -- lop3z

Jonnyboy and Jambo of ACR(Atha Cliath Records), have just dropped their long awaited, first full length album Dawn Till Dusk.

Jonnyboy and Jambo, both from Donaghmede on the Northside of Dublin, have been involved with music for quite some time now, but have really only been taking it seriously since around 2005.

Jambo is a well known emcee from around Dublin when he used to run Atha Cliath Records nights in Radio City and Eamonn Dorans etc. and where a lot of Irish emcees got their first gigs. He is possibly Irelands best battle rapper, well known for his harsh battle skills in DFI, winning all three battles he took part in, he also appeared on Redzer's Dublife album and has been featured on some of Terawrizt's albums.

Jonnyboy is a producer/engineer/emcee and prides himself more on the production side of his craft. He has produced tracks for numerous Irish artists including a track from Lethal Dialect's top rated LD50. He released a mixtape a good few years back called The Gospel According To John, which was his entry to the scene. Three years ago he released The Propaganda EP with Intox, an emcee from Tallaght and it featured some of his production on it along with guests Maverick Sabre and Terawrizt.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"252","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignleft size-medium wp-image-292","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"300","title":"ACR","alt":""}}]]Dawn Till Dusk is almost entirely produced, mixed and mastered by Jonnyboy, except for Take Off and Changes which were produced by Scimon Tist of the band Zombie Computer, who is based in Cork and who is also known for his work with dance DJ John Gibbons. There are features on the album by Hazy Jane, Jonnyboys' sister, who does the female vocals and Joey Mac, both of whom are signed to ACR and also from Donaghmede, Damien Dempsey is sampled on the City's Lur, another Donaghmede native and you also have Gary O'Brien, who tours with Damien Dempsey on the male vocals.

The albums production takes on three musical genres which mix and separate as needed through the stories and emotion of the tracks portrayed. The production on the album utilises traditional HipHop style beats with pulsating basslines and with the use of soft melodramatic strings. Also the use of vocal samples as cuts on the beginning of some tracks is utilised excellently; well known samples, cut in rhythm to heighten the story you're about to receive. The use of acoustic guitar and the traditional live drum styles give certain tracks a more deepened and realistic take, which give them a more singer/songwriter feel to them. Then you have the fusion of spacey, pad/synth sounds on tracks, giving them a dance/house type feel and with the use of some nice light keys sprinkled on top to create that twinkle and shine to the the beats. The tracks are all produced to enhance the ambience of the stories that are laced on top, so as you always feel connected to the rhymes.

Jonnyboy and Jambo give an album that portrays their surroundings both physically and emotionally, from their youth to now and often leaping backward and forward as though reminiscing on times past. On The Sun, the first track, they explain the journey in getting the album completed, the struggle and the work put in to get it right and deliver a quality product. Jonnyboy breaks it down with a nice head nodding flow

We took a little time, probably more than most did,

Other rappers drop their albums with their braggin n bboastin

But we stayed reserved, kept calm no need to rush this

Perfect the album make it bang now we'll push this

Hazy Jane works a perfect hook, summing up the concept for the track

The sun is coming up, you have to

know when its down that you've done enough,

We'll keep on going up, until they knowing us


The tracks seem to take you back and forth to different times, as though taken from the perspective of someone

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"253","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignright size-medium wp-image-294","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"300","height":"300","title":"326004_162740193817344_100388656719165_312163_159517905_o","alt":""}}]] who has finally sat down after a long but young life and gets to reminisce. The rhymes dropped are intelligently sewn into the tracks, matching emotion and feeling, pulling the listener into their world, whether its the pits of their struggle or the release of their rebelled youth. A journey of mixed emotions, a rolercoaster of modern street life and the constant struggle to reach solidarity and stability in life. I think most people can relate to the topics and stories dropped on these songs. Jonnyboy and Jambo utilise their flow and styles, changing in unison with the production to enhance the message their trying to push, thus creating tracks that just feel somehow complete. You can feel this as they create totally different feelings on separate tracks, like on Leave The World, you can feel the good times that were still had while engulfed in the madness of youth, on Take Off, your engulfed in a club track which has a positive and confident feel to it and the style of rhyme that the guys drop on this creates that fusion of dance and rap which is not easy to pull off, it takes you back to the proper old school house, when the emcee hyped and “moved the crowd”. You get the impression they really went all out on this album to infuse that emotion on tracks and you can feel it, but that doesn't take from their lyricism, skill, delivery or flow. On The Prophecy, they take us to street level and walk us on their path, pointing out the life within the life, between the lines, away from the mainstream smokescreen. Jambo delivers a steady, solid, image filled verse, with lines like

Let me take you to the place where we live these lines

to the estates where the youngfellas commit these crimes

see the hate that resides in the publics eyes

where we die for a price that the government decides

The tracks take us through a social, a street and a political level but its never done in an “in your face” type of way, instead there is an underlying subliminal feed of these aspects that as a listener you decide what level you want to ingest, if you listen deep then you can feel the social angst and pain created by societies injustice but also the positive that exists in such surroundings and if you just breeze through, you can have a great musical experience with great tracks, twinned with great lyricism that will both lift you and pace you at different stages.

Jonnyboy & Jambo have scrapped two albums previous to this one, a sign of the persistence for perfection in their sound and their search for self contentment in their art. They could have had their first album released twelve months ago but then it wouldnt be the installment that is Dawn Till Dusk. This is an album that you can listen to with anyone and they will appreciate it, even that friend that will only listen to one style of music will appreciate the diversity and boundary pushing brashness of this album.

Next up for Jambo is the release of his solo album Die Or Develop, produced by G.I and Jonnyboy which will be out in the next few months. Jonnyboy is also executive producing Jambo's next album which is as yet untitled, both to be released on ACR. Next up after that will be Joey Mac's debut album on the label. Jonnyboy is also currently working on dance material, under the name Jacknife. Overall there will be some big releases and major happenings on ACR in the coming year.

You can find them on Facebook @

and the album can be purchased @