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Ital Horns Meets Bush Chemists - History, Mystery, Destiny...

Ital Horns Meets Bush Chemists - History, Mystery, Destiny...

Ital Horns Meets Bush Chemists - History, Mystery, Destiny...

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Ital Horns and esteemed colleagues hit top notch.


Ital Horns meets Buch ChemistsOn receipt of this album for review I inquired from the musicians if there were any sleeve notes I might consult for reference purposes. This prompted a bemused and rather naive response that they ‘thought the music would speak for itself’. Proceeding perplexed, I spun the disc and was pleasantly surprised to find that in this gem of a collection, ‘the music’ does indeed ‘speak for itself’! Recorded and mixed by the Bush ChemistsChazbo at Conscious Sounds, the compilation avoids the monotonous drone effect sometimes associated with brass-dominated reggae albums. Of course one would expect no less from the Ital Horns (comprised of Zion Train’s brass section David Fullwood on trumpet and Richard Doswell on sax and flute, with the experienced ex-Army man Hughie Izachaar doing the strumming). The Horns are accompanied by the high profile trombonist Rico Rodriguez (M.B.E.!), on a selection of the album’s tracks.

Comprised of 19 high quality tracks, each enlivening tune is hastily followed by its haunting dub version. The opening Mas Que Nada track sets the scene and would defy even the crankiest cripple to stay seated. Rico kicks in on the first of his three track contribution with Rico’s Blessing - a track that gallops along with soaring, slipping and even sometimes seemingly somersaulting brass riffs, taking some mesmerising twists and turns on the back of a steady ska beat. Ital Return then involuntarily transports one to other continents, as it brings a range of musical influences to bear in an eventful funfair type ride. Quiet Trust (featuring Sai) hots up the pace in a manner that only a brass section can bring to reggae, before Sound from Shinjuku does a ‘smash and grab’ job, as it reminds us of the prevalence of Jah Rastafari. Prince Iquela guests on the album’s title track History, Mystery, Destiny... where techno meets the reggae rhythm, before the distinctly Burning Spear (Jah Is My Driver) brass influence launches us into the spongy quagmire that is the Temple of Fire. This prefaces what might be considered the album’s most experimental track, as a host of sounds converge in Code of Conduct (with Culture Freeman) almost creating the sense that one is treading through unknown jungle terrain, with all its dangers and delights. This trek is fittingly followed by the orientally influenced Sun Rising, before the collection closes with the Spirit Of Mountain bonus track - introduced with waterfall and nyabinghi drumming effects and succeeded by some seriously understated and pleasant melodica playing - courtesy of the irrepressible Chazbo.

All round, this is a job very well done by the Ital Horns and their ‘partners-in-crime’ the Bush Chemists and Rico. But when will this trance inducing combo take to the stage and give us some serious horns ‘live and direct’? As the connoisseurs tell us, live reggae with horns is in a different league to live reggae without. Bring it on please.

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