Resonators – Imaginary People
Wah Wah 45s – LP / CD
‘Smitten with the Resonators’ should be the title for this review. After focusing recently on some of the excellent reggae singles from mainland Europe, I am back on home turf with the glorious Imaginary People LP. This is the third and latest album from Brighton based reggae / dub collective Resonators.
I must confess that they are new to me, but oh the joys of music, don’t you just love it when every so often something fresh and shiny arrives to give you a kick up the backside! This LP is one such example, nine tracks of beautifully crafted exquisite roots reggae.
On first listen you can tell that these guys are an experienced live band as they sound so tight and together. First track ‘All The Paths’ announces itself with some big horns and then slips into a gentle skanking groove. Once you get to third track, the gentle swinging ‘Healer’, you know you have been invited into the presence of musicians who know how to reach your soul.
I like the way they have touched upon so many styles in just nine tracks. Take final track ‘Swing Easy’, this is a very soulful song, the beautiful heart melting vocals give it a classic lovers rock twist. Whilst keyboard driven ‘Trees’ has a more rootsy rhythm to it, it’s hypnotic, it’s captivating and is a great example of what makes this band so good.
The two lead singers Kassia Zermon and Faye Houston share vocal duties, both have differing styles and distinctive voices. We all love a deep reggae rhythm, but it is the vocals that give this album the final marks to make it ten out of ten. Take the track ‘Papa Dio’, the singing is spectacular. Think reggae with a classy jazzy feel, it could be cocktail lounges dripping with decadence.
As I mentioned earlier this album is a ‘band’ album, what I mean by this is that it isn’t just a collection of rhythms with added vocals. Vocals, lyrics, rhythms and production all contribute to make this a rare reggae album, a collection of songs that knit together beautifully to make a complete piece of work.
This is a fine album; I am looking forward to receiving my vinyl copy to hear that full vocal range and that deep bass driven dub beat. I do overuse the ‘this is a nomination for reggae album of the year’ phrase, but this one really is up there with the best! It takes a seat at the 2016 top album table with Danny Red’s ‘Red and Conscious’ and Alpha & Omega’s ‘No Beginning No End’.
The album is out now and is available from the Resonators Bandcamp site, buy, buy, buy…..
If you would like to investigate their sound further, then check out the critically acclaimed Robert Dallas Tradition Man album, produced by Darren JamTone who is responsible for the Imaginary People live dub mixes.
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