Marcus I & the Tucxone Army – Inner Calling
Tucxone Records – LP, CD & Digital release
Inner Calling is the new album release from Marcus I and the Tucxone Army. It is a proper celebration of everything we love about reggae roots and culture, and on first listen perfectly conjures up images of 70s Jamaica, laid back studio grooves and strong social consciousness. This project also has a side to it that will excite any dub aficionado, but I shall talk about that later!
In true modern reggae style the album has been put together by a group of musicians who have spent an enormous amount of time and energy trying to ‘do things right’. The songs were all recorded in one take in order to capture the spontaneous magic that a live recording brings. The artists forming the Tucxone Army are a music collective that ‘fight to preserve Jamaican culture and music’. I think once you have listened to the album you will agree that they have done a great job. To give the guys a well deserved name check, the Army is made up of Alberto ‘Likkle Tuco’ Peces, Pablo ‘Bassman’ Cano, Edu ‘YoudeMan’ Martinez, Carlos ‘Ripah’ Ripoll, special guest Rayko ‘Sticky’ Gil and of course Marc Ibarz on vocals.
This is quite an introspective album and first track ‘Inner Calling‘ with it’s cool wah wah guitar sound perfectly sets the tone for what is to come. Lyrics around listening to your inner voice seem particularly pertinent now with the world in such a state of flux. It doesn’t feel like we are getting much help from the establishment (have we ever) so self-help and self-determination seem the way to go. This is further emphasised by the track ‘Solve the Problems‘ which has a more forceful tone, is more driven and features some excellent guitar work. The planet’s destruction, hate and war is the theme, solve the problems before it is too late is the answer, but is anyone really listening? The mesmerising instrumental ‘Joyful Sunset’ is up next providing some light in the dark, it sounds like an anthem for hope with its expressive guitar riffs.
Being a sucker for a good depressing love song, standout track for me is ‘Lena’ which has a Bob Marley ‘Waiting in Vain’ feel to it. It has that lovelorn, pleading quality to the vocals that captures loss beautifully. It’s melancholic enough to give you a tinge of sadness, but not quite enough to push you over the edge. I particularly love the keyboards on this track, it gives some nice subtle accents to the song and helps establish the soulful mood.
So as a whole this is an excellent set of rootsy tunes, played by a top notch band and featuring a vocalist with an expressive voice perfectly suited to roots reggae. What more could you want? Well maybe the answer to that is in the bonus LP of dubs featuring some of the main producers working on the European sound system scene. I haven’t heard the tracks yet, but when you have figures like, Dougie Conscious, Al Breadwinner, Russ D and Don Fe involved, you know they are going to be crackers.
The album is available in several formats and packages, but if you want the bonus dub LP you will have to act fast. It is limited to 500 copies and is flying. Check out the Tucxone Bandcamp site for details of how to order and for some sound samples. Maybe treat yourself to an early Christmas present.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you pick up a copy of the album and what you think of it. Click on the social media buttons below to help spread the word. Bless, Paper Lion…….