As the title makes clear, this is a set dedicated to culture, both musically and thematically, with the always innovative Firehouse Crew recapturing the spirit of roots for a contemporary audience with a series of sensational riddims. The opening trio of tracks boasts an upbeat rootsy one that simply simmers, then ignites when the sax soars in. Each of the artists riding this riddim excel: Morgan Heritage, Terror Fabulous and Red Rose, and Fred Locks. Then the Crew move into dreader territory, with a riddim that bubbles up under a thick bassline and dubby elements, and with that up step a trio of preachers, Mikey General, Triston Palmer, and finally Simpleton, each strongly delivering lessons of righteousness, with Simpleton in particular sizzling within this group. The Crew then shift gears with a sparer but perky riddim that hints at nyahbinghi, but is tinged with calypso. Sizzla gives it some weight, Determine a singalong chorus, Tyrical a lecture, while Lukie D transforms it into a swinging, nostalgic call for unity. The riddim isn't the Firehouse's best, so the lyrics are definitively of more interest here. If that riddim was the Crew's party piece, their next puts the revolution back in roots, with a tough, militant sound that seems custom-made for Mykal Roze and an encoring Mikey General, whose insightful lyrics continue to impress. Even stronger is the riddim that supports Gregory Isaacs' "Spend the Night," rockers to the core, a riddim that recalls the early days of the Roots Radics with its swaying, pendulum beats and bright melody. And while musically it fits perfectly in the set, thematically it's entirely out of place, which explains why the set closes with the rough-edged threat of Determine's "Free Up the Youth," a riddim dripping with malice and boasting a DJ best not to cross. Not every riddim hits, nor every artist, but Consciousness is a well-rounded set, with the multitude of strong tracks outweighing the handful of weak numbers.