Mystic Red Corporation
Mystic Red Corporation - Fast Tracking/Track and Field - MRC 10"
Mystic Red Corporation - As I Was Walking/Still Walking - MRC 10"
Its been a long long time since the MRC have graced the reggae scene with some of their fantastic music. But its been well worth the wait two truly great 10" presented in a outer sleeve and a inner sleeve. These are the standards of packaing that the MRC are noted for. Its the kind of thing that reggae sadly lacks.
So what of the music itself. Well no other label as managed to blend roots reggae with Jazz, African and most of the Third World musics ever heard. Its music that goes back to the very gene pool that reggae emerged from. The DNA if you prefer. Rae Cheddie's musical ideas do not involve copying other people ideas. He doens't need them, he's big problem as always been to get the ideas he's got out there for people to hear. Such is the nature of the state of the reggae business, but if anyone can turn that around its someone like Rae. This is music that can be played at midnight or at daybreak - its got a vibe that is intune with nature. Truly truly essential music.
Mystic Red Corporation - Between Zero And One - MRC - CD
Over the last ten years or so the Mystic Red Corporation as released a number of high quality roots instrumentals singles on 10", 12" and CD. 'Between Zero And One' is a brand new set recorded and mixed at the 'De Studio' in the Ladbroke Grove - London. Musicians on the album include the Rhythm Queen / Caroline Williams on keyboards who has worked with Horace Andy, also on keyboards is Guy Cavell, Charles Bullen & Max De Wardener on Bass, Kelly Granite on Drums, Nicolette Van Gendt on Guitars, Pilar on Percussion, and Katerina Lobeck on flute
This album is an instant classic. Instrumental albums like dub albums released in the nineties can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Albums such as Ernest Ranglin's 'Below The Bassline' and Jazz Jamaica's 'Skaravan'. Both of these albums though reworked old tunes in one way or another. 'Between Zero And One' takes reggae music back into areas like Jazz, Classical and Folk (African, European & Asian), but on its own terms. It occurred to me that this is the instrumental equal of The Wailers 'Catch A Fire' set.
Essentially one rhythm is reworked, but not versioned, the variants are then carefully integrated into one whole. Listen out for the pounding acoustic bass - that is reggae, but is also jazz and with a slap that would not be out of place on a rockerbilly tune. The synth work brings in a touch of Herbie Hancock and or the Crusaders, and the drumming brings to mind the work of Mikey Boo of the Now Generation. When it comes to the classical side of things the prize here goes to the very talented Caroline Williams who provides classical influences to a number of tracks, but especi-ally on 'Walkie Talkie'. Production of course is by MRC who can be contacted at Pager Number 01523466449.
The CD is also avail-able from Ambient (0171-437-0521) Honest Jon's (0181 969 9822) Dub Vendors (0171 223 3757) .
Mystic Red Corporation - Too Much - MRC 10"
After some incredible dubwise instrumental workouts released over the last few years, comes this a vocal tune. Well its not really a vocal tune, it's not even a chant. It's more like a serious of matter a fact statements woven into a typical MRC instrudub workout. Not wanting to give away the full impact of this epic is difficult, but lets just say that "Too Much Dub, Not Enough Dubwise." Is just one of many statements. All of them ring true, and represents a strand of reggae music that as been as around for many years - it's just so nice to see it back.
Mystic Red Corporation – Pre Carnival/ Cochise/ Metropolitan/ Mass Parade. Mystic Red Corporation 10"
To give credit where it’s due the 7" revival was started in the UK by the roots producers like MRC. The 10" format however lends itself nicely to long instrumentals which is what this is. Four cuts of one dense bass and drum dominated steppers rhythm featuring a solo steel pan as the lead instrument. With every cut of the rhythm the mood changes culminating in the excellent ‘Mass Parade’.
Mystic Red Corporation – Afterthoughts (A Yardie In Mexico) – Mystic Red Corporation 10".
The search for exotic melodic inspiration continues once again with this latest release from the Mystic Red Corporation. Their last release ‘Pre Carnival’ featured a solo steel pan as lead instrument; a move west across the Caribbean takes us to Mexico. With the result being a really gentle melodic guitar played over a well-built roots rhythm. Co-production on this tune goes to Keety Roots. This is the kind of world music that reggae is all about. It works because it’s made with feeling.