An exciting pairing, Prince Fatty Versus Mungo’s Hi Fi takes all the right aspects of quality reggae - inspiring vocals, thick basslines, catchy grooves - and adds in the touch of talented remixers from opposite ends of the reggae sphere. For the first half of this ten-track, Prince Fatty takes on some iconic Mungo’s Hi Fi productions, before the Scottish soundsystem returns the favor for the final five tunes. Opening in inspired fashion, “Herbalist” is indeed a smoker’s anthem, with Top Cat’s fast-paced smoky serenade receiving some lush effects; however, the echo comes further into play on “Scrub A Dub Style,” featuring the late great Sugar Minott, which comes with an appropriately bright and invigorating animated video:
Soom T is next pon di mic, asking “Did You Really Know” as she inspires the dancehall massive. Prince Fatty lets the heart and soul of the original tune remain, although with a truly funky extended breakdown, some wicked phaser effects, and great vibes throughout. “Under Arrest” takes on Babylon directly, issuing a clear warning to those not ready to peacefully skank all night long: ‘better run now!’ Next up comes the uptempo “Divorce A L’Italienne,” which has an obvious southern-European influence in both title and style, as the horns run the melody along with a nice vocal turn from Marina P. Throughout Prince Fatty employs his trademark rich, vintage-influenced, tone and touch.
Hollie Cook’s “Sugarwater,” a heavy digital breakdown surrounded by an almost ethereal poppy vocal, is up first as Mungo’s Hi Fi takes the controls. “Dry Your Tears,” in contrast, is nearly sorrowful as Winston Francis’ rocksteady style meshes nicely with Mungo’s future-forward production. Next Horseman - who also appears on both Hollie Cook tracks - voices “Horsemove” predominately in a fast ragga style atop a very solid groove. Then it’s “Say What You’re Saying,” which pairs some deep bass with an 80s riddim before George Dekker’s sweet singjay chorus appears, like a reggae party in a Nintendo. As Hollie Cook returns, for the ‘drip-drop’ of album-ending “For Me You Are,” this clash ends as it began: in style.
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