Reggae acts opting for the Dutch language are still a rare occurrence, if only because a comparison with the godfathers of Dutch reggae and -ska, Doe Maar, is almost inevitable. Om Je Oren, a three-piece Amsterdam crew, now rises to the challenge, and with 'Voel Het Maar' ("Just feel it!") presents a first 6 track EP.
The band is composed of ex-Rude Walkin' members Bryan 'Irie Alien' Tiggeman (lead vocals), and Jerry van Gonter (keyboard/arrangements), Zero Twenty guitarist Robert Christopher Fleminks and Max Covale - also ex-Rude Walkin' - providing some extra horn arrangements on trumpet and trombone. Om Je Oren describes its sound as: "G-funk Neder-reggae with a message".
In title track 'Voel Het Maar' (the Dutch equivalent of the Jamaican expression "Who feels it, knows it!") they express this in an ode to the power of the reggae genre, and in 'Een Beetje Liefde' ("a little love"), 'Om Je Oren' does the same with "One love!". 'Het Leven Is Mooi' ("life is beautiful") is not a reggae cover of Will Tura's hit 'Mooi 't Leven Is Mooi', but is definitely in the same vein. Sounding most Doe Maar-esque is 'Morgen Mag Het Weer' (loosely translated "tomorrow is another day"), unfortunately not an indictment of the current COVID-19 measures, but a story of innocent teenage love, and probably the first reggae song mentioning the Calippo, Ola's popular popsicle, immediately taking you back in time to the carefree vibe of the nineteen eighties (also Doe Maar's glory period). 'Geen Verschil' ("geen verschil") is a statement against xenophobia: "Het maakt niet uit waar jij van komt. Het maakt niet uit wie jij aanbidt. We hebben echt alleen maar liefde nodig!" ("It doesn't matter where you come from. It doesn't matter who you worship. We really only need love!"), and the band concludes with 'Stop Het Lekker Weg' (loosely translated: "just leave it behind"), an indictment against the mental slavery we're almost all subject to in one form or another, whether through social, other media or politics. More than convincing debut by these Dutch reggae veterans!