Soothsayers - Speak To My Soul
Wah Wah 45s are proud to present the first release from Afro-dub stalwarts and brand new signings, Soothsayers. Having been fans of this influential South London based outfit for the best part of two decades now, it's come as a great thrill to finally, officially welcome them to the fold.
These four brand new recordings, issued rather beautifully on ten-inches of wax with bespoke sleeve artwork and featuring the imagery of Polish photographer Kazimierz ZagÃ³rski, draw from the kaleidoscope of influences that have forged the Soothsayers sound. For the new listener, they provide a window into the world of a band that have explored myriad forms, developing the groove and philosophy that originally shepherded these musicians onto a common path. For the seasoned fan, these tracks provide a fresh take on some live favourites, including re-workings of Afro-jazz favourites, and expansive vocal versions of classic Soothsayer dubs.
'Blinded Souls' is a fresh recording of a bubbling Afrobeat tune, first released on Soothsayers sophomore album, Tangled Roots. Simple, direct, chanted harmonies deliver a lyrical message lamenting the "long works hours culture" and modern materialistic priorities. Gritty rhythmic horns, jazzy Rhodes and analogue synths combine perfectly with an Afro breakbeat for the three-part vocal blend to ride on - this version was mixed by legendary dub wizard Nick Manasseh.
'Eagle Song' provides some soaring spiritual jazz and is a new version of a piece that was recorded for Soothsayers' debut LP, Lost City. It's a deeply grooving instrumental that has been an energetic high point of the band's live shows. Sax and trumpet improvisation and interplay, tight ensemble playing and a gritty mix by Rhys Adams at Yesking Studios make this a highlight.
'Roll River Roll' is a tough yet soulful dub cut that lays the perfect sonic bed for Soothsayers' three-part harmonies, paying respect to the great Jamaican vocals groups like Culture, The Gladiators and The Mighty Diamonds. The rhythm is a reworking of a version from an earlier recording, Red Earth Dub, with a vocal written in the midst of a chaotic world with a calling to get back to our roots and learn from the natural world.
Finally, 'Refugee', written in tribute to all resilient humans uprooted from their homeland and coping with the struggles of relocation, is a new version of the instrumental Salaam Shalom that featured Soothsayers horns, and was produced by Nick Manasseh for the Roots Garden label.
There but for the grace of God go we!
1. Blinded Souls
2. Eagle Song
3. Roll River Roll
Label: Wah Wah 45s
Format: 10" vinyl
Cat Number: WAH10002
Released: 12 May 2017
Genre: Latin, African & World