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Soothsayers meets Red Earth Collective - One More Reason

Soothsayers meets Red Earth Collective - One More Reason

Soothsayers meets Red Earth Collective - One More Reason

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A band that can seemingly do no wrong.

Soothsayers gave us an indication of their form last year when they dropped their two singles Love Fire (featuring Michael Prophet) and Bad Boys (with Johnny Clarke). They also proved to be an exceptional live act: at their free concert at Brixton Hootananny with Prophet (who only played for 15 minutes) the jostling crowds stretched out of the pub door. Now they’ve teamed up with Red Earth Collective for their third album One More Reason, whose cool jazz, scorching roots and furious afro-funk concoctions are the sound of a band that can seemingly do no wrong.

You can hear the impeccable nature of their influences – conscious or otherwise - across all 14 tracks. There’s some Aswad (the ethereal harmonies of the Intro) Steel Pulse and Capital Letters (Music, which revisits Mr Clarke’s Peace and Love In The Ghetto rhythm) Fela Kuti (Slow Down) and Ernest Ranglin (Irie). A similar rationale runs behind the sessions’ manifold celebrity guests. We have a revitalised Clarke on Bad Boys and the Intro’s reprise Your Love; a resurgent Linval Thompson sounding right at home amid the swirling sprawling shanty funk of History; a ladies vocal double team of the groovy Mellow Baku and the feisty Michie One; plus remixes from both Manasseh and Mad Professor. These cameos keep spicing the pot, gradually enriching its flavours. They also suggest a deep level of respect for saxophonist Idris Rahman, trumpeter Robin Hopcraft and co across the UK music scene and beyond.

Some more ideologically driven listeners may feel this rootsjazzical style is a little “worthy” and “muso” for their tastes, without any banging beats or rude boy posturing to be found. Others may find the almost constant horn play a bit too full on. That aside, this album is nothing short of a triumph, linking the UK dub reggae landscape of the late 1970s with the world via the global sound exchange of today. You don’t need another reason – buy this now.

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