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Around Tu Shung Peng

Around Tu Shung Peng

Around Tu Shung Peng

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A debut album for French band Tu Shung Peng featuring singers and deejays such as Ken Boothe, Justin Hinds, Al Pancho, Ganja Tree, and Lone Ranger.


Around Tu Shung PengTu Shung Peng are the kind of band who could hold their own behind any roots artist on stage. They play authentic, no frills, super tough rhythms with haunting organs, Pablo invoking octave lead-lines, and Ranglinesque rhythmic fretwork, shadowing heart-bothering bass; each instrument intersecting with the rest to build one unstoppable powerhouse of sound.

This, their debut album, was released last year to minimal fanfare. And now Makasound have picked it up for reissue - to gauge interest in the appearance of a second set in September, whose vocal roster includes Clinton Fearon, Rod Taylor and Michael Rose.

Around Tu Shung Peng has its own share of celebrated singers. The disc starts with the increasingly deep voiced Ken Boothe - on the hypnotic 'Show Me That Love' – and closes with Justin Hinds’ militant drum anthem 'My Love Is Like A Burning Fire'. Then there are the band’s friends and associates: like former Kilimanjaro Sound protégé and UK dub stalwart Ras Daniel Ray, who puts his emotionally fraught delivery to the lilting, mystical 'Man Of The Mountain' and 'Can You Be My Princess'.

Toasting duties come courtesy of the legendary Lone Ranger, talking herb on 'Healing Of The Nations', and the thrice-appearing Ganja Tree - who chants over the steady, upbeat 'World Cry', sings for the more solemn 'Open Your Heart', and does both during the blissful, euphoric 'Suffering Line'. All the while Tu Shung Peng lay it down like the safe hands they are, keeping it rigorously roots.

In fact, their only weakness is also their strength. You won’t find a great deal of originality in the arrangements, and the playing, though technically perfect, is a little restrained. But this is still a successful showcase for a highly capable backing group, suggesting anyone in France who catches them live should have a very pleasant night.

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