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Macka B - Rasta Soldier

Macka B - Rasta Soldier

Macka B - Rasta Soldier

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This self confessed Old Fashioned Man likes to keep his themes current.

Sampler

The Midlands-based veteran deejay Macka B has been having something of a renaissance in recent years, swapping the digital sounds of his 80s heyday for a full horn section when travelling with his Roots Ragga band. This year has been a typically hardworking one already: putting out an album, 'Change The World' (featuring Macka's own productions alongside those of IronFist and the vintage revivals of Peckings) and going on a tour of his European stamping ground Germany. Now he has yet another long format release, a six track "showcase" EP with Curtis Lynch of Necessary Mayhem. And whilst it boasts fewer tracks than 'Change The World' it is pound-for-pound a more consistent work.

Macka B - Rasta SoldierLynch's digital-tools-meets-older-production-values approach is a good fit for Macka B - whose string of albums with the Mad Professor fused a similar ethos during the 80s and 90s. Necessary Mayhem fans will be familiar with last year's single Our Music on the Gorilla rhythm - which, with typical lyrical dexterity manages to link the joys of blasting bass with reggae's wider cultural importance.

The remainder of the record is fresh. Opener Old Fashioned (with a lyric structure reminiscent of Eartha Kitt's 1956 song Old Fashioned Girl) regards the modern world with scepticism, seeing no shame in staying true to the less fluid values of yesteryear. Innocent Life, with heavy overtones of the Trayvon Martin and Jean De Menezes shootings, is driven by Macka B's oft stated belief that no-one should be above the law. The football related Outta Order likewise feels very topical in the wake of the John Terry racism inquiry, demonstrating that this self confessed Old Fashioned Man likes to keep his themes current. The title piece sums up a career of unquestioning commitment to Rastafarian principles and their application to worldly things.

Under all this, a particularly roots-focused Lynch's cavernous yet busy digital rhythms create a landscape as thought provoking, unrelenting and distinctly British as the deejay himself. Almost every tune melts in to dub just past the halfway mark. 'Change The World', although loaded with equally strong material, felt like a compilation of three producers' work, whereas this set maintains a single vision throughout.

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