This tight collaboration was concocted in a mere five days! No album title here, just Massive Attack’s legendary reggae minister Horace Andy and UK producer extraordinaire Ashley Beedle on this latest in the Inspiration Information series speaks for itself. Ashley brought along his longtime homeboy Mark Ralph as well as Julian Bendall of Bah Samba fame to add their chops to the session. He comments that, “We created some demo backing tracks to run past Horace before the sessions but found ourselves stripping them back when we went into the studio proper – we’ve tried to let the tracks breathe and allow Horace’s voice to shine as much as possible.” Good move.
As always with reggae music, the words are often very insightful, politically conscious and just plain deep; this offering is no exception. “Hypocrite Dog” reminds the modern world of one of its main weaknesses. Originally done by the late Robert Nesta Marley and the Wailers, this classic message still applies, and the song surely got ‘nuff respect from Beedle and Andy; trademark horns included. Other positive message tunes here are the lead-off “When The Rain Falls” and “Seek it” which is my choice for most memorable bass riff and best rasta track.
Speaking of the ‘Farians, cut four, “Rasta Don’t”, may serve as their ten cuisine commandments with text like, “Rasta don’t eat no lamb/Rasta no want big belly...” The religious references continue on “The Light” where Andy croons, “He’s the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords/Rastafari is the light so we don’t have to fuss and fight...” Next, if you are looking for an album highlight, I implore you to listen out for a real nice cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Angie”; this redo could receive significant airplay on a variety of radio formats if their programming departments are still open-minded these days.
“Hot, Hot Hot” provides a kind of sexy punctuation position as the album winds-down, and on the finale, “Festival Song” I found myself channeling The Mighty Sparrow. Strut’s Inspiration Information series has scored a mild Four Stars with a little bitty presentation from this duo, and it would be very cool to hear more rhythms and melodies from them together going forward.
Released March 2009 on Strut Records.