Victor Rice‘s third studio album is summed up best in the vibrant liner notes penned by ethnomusicologist Daniel T. Neely stating, “Smoke embraces the cosmopolitanism of the music that inspired it. It’s an album that lives in New York, Brazil, Jamaica, and Brussels, but it is of the world. Yes, it’s been fifteen years since Rice released his last record, and over that time he’s made plenty of music that could have been presented together as an “album.” But Brazil, its music, and its people intervened. Out of the experience came samba-rocksteady, a clear creative path that Rice has since followed with pure heart. It’s an exciting new direction that’s been simmering for years. Finally, the story begins.”
Victor Rice is a Latin Grammy award winning engineer, musician, producer, and long-time Easy Star Records collaborator. Even though Rice is a prolific artist with remixes, production work, and credits including The Slackers, Easy Star All-Stars, Bixiga 70, The Toasters and more, he has only put out two solo albums in the past twenty years; At Version City (1999) and In America (2003), which are both sited as influential releases in the reggae and world music scenes. The prior expressed the energy of NYC’s burgeoning Lower East Side reggae scene, while the latter reflected Rice’s move to Sáo Paulo Brazil in 2002. His third studio release, Smoke, goes deeper into the influence of Brazilian music where the musical stylings of MPB, pagode, and samba rock start to intertwine with Rice’s deep reggae, ska, and dub sensibilities.
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