Tradition Soothsayers

Album info



Label: Wah Wah 45s

Genre: World Music

Subgenre: Worldbeat

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 44.1 $ 12.80
  • 1Tradition02:56
  • 2Good Vibration04:48
  • 3Heart Rules Head04:05
  • 4Nothing Can Stop Us03:50
  • 5Goodnight Rico03:49
  • 6Sleepwalking (Black Man's Cry)04:18
  • 7Dis & Dat06:30
  • 8Overcome03:50
  • 9Watching the Stars04:53
  • 10Take Me High04:11
  • 11Natural Mystic06:33
  • Total Runtime49:43

Info for Tradition

For the best part of two decades now, South London Afro-Dub legends Soothsayers have been preaching their politically charged good vibrations to a growing and loyal fan base. Their live shows are legendary and vary from off-the-cuff community friendly gigs in Brixton, to festival headline slots and tours across Europe and beyond.

Having released six albums and a number of EPs and singles to much critical acclaim, the band signed to Wah Wah 45s early last year. The Blinded Souls EP and its follow up remix project, featuring re-works from Titeknots, Simbad and Deoke, as well as a dub from Darren Jamtone, set the tone for their fourth album, due this June.

Tradition comes at a time when Soothsayers music and political message couldn’t be any more needed. As the force that binds us together and simultaneously builds the walls that keep us apart, how we relate to and negotiate tradition is a challenge. Is it a defining factor, a warm blanket or a threat?

Whilst songs like Head Rules Heart, the Fela Kuti inspired Sleepwalking (Black Man’s Cry) - featuring label mate Dele Sosimi - and of course the debut single from the album, Dis & Dat, question the motives of mainstream media, politics and government, there’s plenty of positivity on show. Good Vibration delivers just that; Nothing Can Stop Us (originally written by Soothsayers for Jamaican veteran Cornell Campbell) is simply a moment of pure, unadulterated joy; Overcome is a dub infused celebration of the human spirit; and Take Me High searches for loftier plains of being (and features aforementioned legendary falsetto Cornell Campbell).

Elsewhere, Goodnight Rico pays homage to a missed colleague - the late, great Rico Rodriguez - best known for his work with The Specials but with a significant legacy that stretches far beyond this - a true Jamaican great; while Watching The Stars showcases the ridiculously soulful vocals of band member Julia Biel; and finally, Soothsayers take on something of a challenge – a Bob Marley cover. Their version of Natural Mystic cradles the spirit of the originator and turns it upside down re-imagining the familiar into a journey back to Africa via a classic Afrobeat groove, spiritual flutes and percussion. Once again, Cornel Campbell's vocal floats and drifts in an warm and inviting sonic lagoon while the song's main melody is emphatically reproduced by Soothsayers horn section who have spearheaded the long and eternal journey.

“Thrilling harmonies…seriously infectious dance-floor grooves…goose bump inducing vocals” The Guardian

Idris Rahman, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, flute, vocals, keyboards, guitar
Robin Hopcraft, trumpet, vocals, keyboards, percussion
Harry Brown, trombone
Tamar Osborn, baritone saxophone (7)
Patrick Hatchett, guitar (1-5, 7, 9-11)
Alan Weekes, guitar (6, 8)
Kishon Khan, keyboards
Kodjoyi Kush, bass (1, 4-6, 8-11)
Emmanuel Afram, bass (2, 3, 7)
Samy Bishai, violin (3)
Westley Joseph, drums
Satin Singh, congas and percussion (7, 11)
Julia Briel, vocals
Dele Sosimi, vocals (6)
Cornel Campbell, vocals (10, 11)

Soothsayers also offer guest appearances from Michael Prophet (UK resident), Johnny Clarke (Jamaica), Linval Thompson (Jamaica)

have been in their SW2 studio producing their own wide reaching sonic reflection of the locality which draws together the local raw materials of 24 carat dub, afro-beat, and deep-funk in compelling style. Influences are evidently wide ranging and numerous but The Wailers, Fela, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Skatalites, The Specials, Masakela ,Roots Manuva, Massive Attack, King Tubby should not be ignored.

The result is One More Reason, the band’s forthcoming third album (release date: March 2009) where producers and horn maestros Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft have brought a dub into the foreground by inviting features from legendary reggae vocalists Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet and Linval Thompson as guests, as well as a contribution from Mad Professor and mixes by Manasseh.

The skeletons of the tunes were tried and tested in their legendary bi-monthly “Red Earth Collective” Effra session, Brixton’s hang out for musicians and music lovers and this has built Soothsayers music a dedicated local following. They have also proved that their immediate, uplifting energy travels well and a broad musical appeal has taken them gigging with their regular 7 piece band throughout the UK and Europe including massive festivals like Glastonbury, Rototom Reggae (Italy) and North Sea Jazz (Netherlands). As a live experience, fiery, soulful vocal chants, conquering horns, fat, heavy grooves and a line –up of astonishingly talented musicians produce a memorable, afro-inspired, dub-fuelled, dance-inducing experience.

Soothsayers made an initial mark with their acclaimed debut album, Lost City, which was grounded largely in a jazz framework, shaded by hues of reggae and African rhythms. That set was followed by Tangled Roots, an exceptional second album that defies standard classifications: the West African root that drove Fela Kuti’s rebellion is filtered through the deeply seductive dub experimentation of Lee Perry, King Tubby and Augustus Pablo, to create a sound firmly lodged in London’s broader musical experience.

“Thrilling harmonies…seriously infectious dance-floor grooves…goose bump inducing vocals” The Guardian

This album contains no booklet.

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