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Sound System Champions by Mungo's Hi Fi

Sound System Champions by Mungo's Hi Fi

Sound System Champions by Mungo's Hi Fi

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The genre defying Scots officially release their guest spot packed album on Rockers Revolt.


Pama International and their label Rockers Revolt are conventionally associated with music that looks back fondly on “the good old days”, from their own sixties and seventies stylings to the Ska Americana of The Slackers. But their latest release, by Scottish sound-rig Mungo’s Hi Fi, demonstrates once and for all that label owner Sean Flowerdew is a very forward-minded man.

Almost single-handedly putting Glasgow (and Scotland for that matter) on the reggae map with their inspired Dub & Grub nights and a string of highly rated releases via their own Scotch Bonnet brand, Mungo’s now come to conquer with Sound System Champions, an ensemble album boasting star turns on the mic from Kenny Knots, Tippa Irie, Ranking Joe, and Top Cat to name just four.

Describing an artist’s music in relation to their place of origin is generally both lazy and lame. But there really is an industrial, mechanical feel to these Glaswegians’ sound. Synth stabs clang like sheets of metal. Kicks and snares work like pistons and shoot like rivets from a gun. The bass levels are truly awesome – this is music that demands you get up and move.

Like Pama and their other signings, Mungo’s love to mix it up. All the key forms intermingle as one seamless Mungo’s melange. Divorce L’italienne (featuring Marina P) uses the rock hard bop of their Belly Ska rhythm, Ruff Mi Tuff (with a hypnotic chant from Tippa Irie) fuses the production values of UK dub to the beat of the hardest dancehall, Rasta Meditation permutes the Heavenless rhythm into a monolithic swing time skank. In Mungo’s world, genres and sub genres are for the weak.

It may seem a little cold and soulless to the sedentary listener. Then again, if you’re sitting in your bedroom listening to this original and refreshing take on Jamaica’s finest exports you’re missing the point. Mungo’s make music to leap around to. Even if your neighbours think you are going mad.

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