Glasgow’s Sound System Champs team up with Marina P to refreshing effect
Mungo’s Hi Fi have always been all about that bass, but the new record with Marina P shows Scotland’s Sound System champions adding a fistful of additional arrows to the quiver. We’ve been huge fans right from the start, (and not just because our own 3DJ designed the sleeve to their 2nd album in 2009). Mungo’s are always pushing the sound of dub and reggae forwards as well as curating terrific releases on the Scotch Bonnet label. The albums have recently been made in tandem with a single vocalist including YT & Eva Lazarus. A feature of those records was the production taking on the personality of the vocalist. That ability to absorb and adapt has never been more evident than in this collaboration with another huge favourite of ours Marina P. An Italian Based in Paris Marina Peloso is a multi talented vocalist and producer, running the Homeys Records imprint and collaborating with Funkdub faves like; Kill Emil, Dubamix, Stawala and L’Entourloop.
Opening track & lead single “Soma” sets the tone in breathtaking fashion – whilst there’s an age old truism that virtually any song can be converted to reggae – few could have predicted that the Smashing Pumpkins post grunge epic would be converted to a soulful skank, even less that the spirit of the original would be retained, moreover that the addition of Marina P’s sensuous vocal performance might elevate a much loved song to a higher level. That unpredictability is a key touchstone of the album, the hallmarks of ska, reggae and dub are very much present & correct – the steady step of “Troubles & Worries” as well as the modern classic “Divorce a L’Italienne” (originally released in 2007, but never less than 100% fresh) set that out. But the record moves in new directions – “Nice to Meet You” is underpinned by a track that has parallels with 90s Mo’Wax releases or early RJD2, but is understated enough to let the vocal breathe.
“The Beat Goes SKA!” fuses ska music with the original big band beats of Buddy & Cathy Rich. Album closer “Wouldn’t That be Something” features spare digital production, with overtones of dub but also bleeps redolent of classic Warp releases. “Searching” is the centrepiece both in terms of style and intent – a slinky horn driven slice of pure Soul music – it’s a bracing change of emphasis and pretty damn great – like the whole album.