‘shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay’
in the year 2014, I am watching Walter White cooking crystal meth, streaming 5 seasons of Breaking Bad back to back through my games console.
I am living in the future.
And yet the soundtrack is bizarrely retro refitted.
ODB’s 19 year old sleeper hit, could easily be confused for a cover version after hearing the dancehall restyling that instant Googling reveals to be by producer Prince Fatty.
The synchronicity ever present in the world then chose to deliver to my inbox a familiar name, Prince Fatty vs Mungo’s Hi Fi, a summer-time jam and exercise in collaborative mutual appreciation that has chosen to chase the sporadic seasonal appearances of sunshine as we hurtle into springtime.
Red Stripe, jerk seasoning and the sweet smell of sensimilla would sit perfectly alongside these musical sparring partners as they rewire each other’s output, taking it in turns to recreate the other artists’ offerings in their own image. And it is an aural blend that doesn’t deviate too far from the Jamaican roots of the reggae sound for the most part.
Prince Fatty appears to stay truest to what has come before, finely crafting his own remixes that would be difficult to put a date to, they are a simple pleasure that sounds exactly as you’d expect reggae or dub to sound, he plays it safe and straight up with each track he touches, where-as Mungo’s Hi Fi occasionally take a calculated risk to put a more modern spin on a familiar sound, a hint of throbbing electronic bassline or dubstep time signature retool a track enough to draw attention to it without compromising on its integrity.
Being unfamiliar with each collective, it is perhaps a little unfair to weigh in too heavily on who has done what to who on this release, how a sound has been shaped or changed is a little beyond my knowledge, not that it matters for the sake of this review, all that really matters is that I like it and would recommend it whole heartedly to those who have any interest in reggae, whether they have traced it from its roots in the 60s, or been turned onto it by more modern takes that have borrowed heavily such as Major Lazer.
Venue: Prince Fatty vs Mungo’s Hi Fi
Support Band: Mr Bongo