M.L.K. & The Breadwinners
The World is in Trouble, LP & DDL
Christmas is not just a time for getting presents, which I know is quite difficult to believe! It is also a time to relax, and relaxing for me starts to open the floodgates of blog inspiration. And that means I can find the time to write about music that slipped by earlier in the year. So here it is, a lot later than I planned, (I do feel guilty for not supporting this on release Al) a belated review of the Al Breadwinner produced album ‘The World is in Trouble’. Featuring the vocal talents of Amsterdam resident and Sierra Leone born singer M.L.K. (Mohamed Lamin Kamara).
By the Sweat of Your Brow
As some personal background, this is an album I waited a long time to hear. Cast your mind back to 2016 and Al Breadwinner releases the absolute cracking LP ‘By the Sweat of Your Brow’, you can read my review here. Stand out track was the M.L.K. voiced ‘Binghiman a Run Come’. So when I heard that a full length collaboration between the two was in production, I was pretty excited. So here we have it, eleven tracks of inspirational rootsy dub reggae, beautifully produced by Al in his Bakery studio.
So what do we have here? The music is a mix of original Breadwinner riddims and a few choice re-cuts, drawing on some of the more obscure recordings from Lee Perry’s Upsetters house band, most of which have never been re-versioned. The thing that strikes you first is that M.L.K. obviously has a great concern for our world and it is not just the album title that reflects this. The title track covers corruption and the broken economy, whilst ‘Babylon Sentiments’ slows down the vibes and attacks the eating away of our freedom and liberties.
My favourite track ‘Vibes Skillometre’ talks about how little life is valued by some and bemoans our self-obsessed society. This is something I have banged on about before, roots reggae is the ultimate ‘rebel music’ and it is fitting that artists use their songs to challenge society’s problems and try and provoke some change. Whether these songs will change anything I don’t know, but at least M.L.K. stands up to be counted.
But it is not all heavy issues as M.L.K. does give us some lighter moments. ‘Sherray For Me’ is a lighter traditional reggae run out and is an ode to the beauty of African women. I suppose every revolutionary needs to love!
The previous Breadwinners album was notable for the beautiful analogue production and if the ‘sound and vibe’ is important to you then The World is in Trouble doesn’t disappoint. It sounds traditional yet fresh, authentic but not a pastiche. The roots touching points are here, this could have been a 1970s Jamaican release rather than a 2017 Manchester issue.
If you have checked out the clips I have included on this page then I am sure you won’t need convincing to pick this up. Check out The Breadwinners bandcamp site for details and grab yourself a late Christmas present, I think we all deserve one of those.
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Love and blessings, Paper Lion.