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Mungos Hi Fi – Forward Ever

Mungos Hi Fi – Forward Ever

Mungos Hi Fi – Forward Ever

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New heights reached with their blend of reinvigorated foundation reggae, dub and dancehall.

Sampler

Scotish soundsystem smashers Mungo’s Hi Fi are finally back with their long and eagerly anticipated follow up to 2008’s 'Soundsystem Champions'.

Mungo Hi-Fi - Forward EverThe new album, the aptly named ‘Forward Ever’, does just that and pushes them on to new heights with their blend of reinvigorated foundation reggae, dub and dancehall music. Each of the 15 cuts on display here has already been tried and tested at various gatherings and they slam into you relentlessly with no drop in quality and style, for make no mistake there is no filler here. Also with the album being compiled as if Mungos were playing it in the dance the ebb and flow to album is just right.

It all kicks off with the late great Godfather of Dancehall Sugar Minott on ‘Scrubadub Style’, ridding on Mungos own Greetings riddim. The cut was recorded in Scotland shortly before his passing and the lyrical content acts like an introduction to Mungos and is the perfect preface to what you about hear.

The 14 cuts that then follow in this rich vein of form feature some top established and up and coming vocalists. There is the Germany based Rasta Pacey who sings of diversity on a cover of Errol Dunkley’s Everyman Different, prodigious Southend dweller the young Charlie P quickening the pace on a pumping version of Billy Jean while letting rip on the ultra-infectious Skidip. UK Reggae Performer Of The Year award winner 2008 Mr Williamz fires out the first of two cuts Computer Age, a rough and rugged chat about the advance of technology before dropping big time on a ground shaking bassline for Musically Mad. Another artist who appears twice is the Glaswegian songstress Soom T who shows her diversity in vocal stylings as she evocatively sings Bad Bad Boy over an updated ska riddim before delivering a rapid fire chat on Soundboy Police, riding a riddim that sounds like its been created on a Casio MT40 that’s been working out in the gym for the last 20years.

Another Mungo’s stalwart turning up is Kenny Knots with an appeal for more love, on the Bogle riddim driven Gimme Gimme. There are some digital grooves for two of Europe’s new vocal talents the softly spoken Pupa Jim, reminding us of the contemporary realities of inequality on the poignant Boat People while French MC Biga Ranx gives us his insight to soundsystem culture on Session On Top. Another enterprising European vocalist YT, backed by the Bad From riddim, tackles complacency on Scream as the steadfast Omar Perry continues the attack on the Babylon system by bringing brimstone and fire on Dem No Like It.

Zeb and Scotty lighten the mood by bring more old school dancehall vibes on Warm Up, a cut that could just as easily be about their native Scottish weather as the dance.

New York Boogie features Ranking Levy’s laidback foundation DJ style, sounding a kin to Big Youth. Levy along with his partner, Elen make up My Lord Sound which apparently is something of an institution in Israel. The album reaches its culmination with the genteel named Gentleman’s Dub Club who come with a brassy herb homage in the shape of High Grade Remix that teeters on that rap/reggae crossover style.

'Forward Ever' is an album steeped in the very best reggae traditions, with Mungos immense live work feeding directly into the studio production and despite the riddims being digitally made there is a warmth and depth to them that betrays their stark roots. The art work on the cover, beautifully created by Elen also harks back to those golden days with a cartoon of a dance in full effect, which if you get the gatefold double vinyl opens out so you can really appreciate the colour and life in the picture.

The end of the year is fast approaching and I fully expect to see this album feature in many of those annual top 10’s.

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Read comments (1)


Posted by Denja on 11.22.2011
Brilliant album- well worth a listen or ten!!!

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