King Porter Stomp’s releases have been reviewed on these pages before, and now Brighton’s own are back with a new ten-track LP and third studio album entitled ‘Way Back’. The album embodies the band’s multiple influences, in particular roots reggae, hip-hop and soul/funk. Once again produced by Prince Fatty (Mike Pelanconi) the album displays the diversity of styles that define this band.
Vocals are courtesy of Arif Najak and Moses Yuchetel on several tracks while MC Jonezy makes his presence felt in an understated way. The album has been four years in the making and features some tracks that will already be familiar to followers of the band, including ‘Warning’, a heavyweight reggae sound (see reggaemusic.org.uk November 2014). ‘Way Back’ and ‘Pedestals’ are strong and lively reggae-hip-hop while ‘All Night’ has the kind of wah-wah rhythm intro that makes you expect Isaac Hayes to appear in the doorway. ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Put Down Your Weapons’ are fine reggae tracks, the latter having already been released as a single (see reggaemusic.org.uk December 2015)
King Porter Stomp has a few gigs lined up in the South of England during April, and they are also due to play Glastonbury this year. So there is the chance to hear them live in the near future – which is surely how this band should be heard.
King Porter Stomp ‘Way Back’ released 10th April 2017
The eight-piece Brighton band King Porter Stomp have developed their own trademark reggae, ska and hip-hop style, made to be played and heard live, and their releases always have the immediacy associated with live performance. A year after their single ‘Warning’ (see reggaemusic.org.uk 25th November 2014), the band release their new political reggae-rock single ‘Put Down Your Weapons’. Recorded and mixed by Brighton’s own renowned reggae producer Prince Fatty at his Ironworks Studio, this is a strong record with the high production values you’d expect. It’s melodically simple and all the more effective for that: a gentle intro giving way to relaxed chilled-out roots reggae with its powerful message of peace. With minimalist production, the sound is dominated by brass, vocals, and an almost grungy guitar somewhere in the background. Added to this is a live dub version of the track courtesy of Prince Fatty himself. ‘Put Down Your Dub’ is a great old-style dub held together by bass and prominent drums, sparse rather than cluttered with effects and over-production, and definitely worthy of attention.
King Porter Stomp: Put Down Your Weapons, release November 2015, Feet Up Records.
All the way from sunny Brighton here comes King Porter Stomp with a new single, ‘Warning’. With production in the safe hands of the formidable Prince Fatty this promises to be a track well worth hearing and, happily, it is: a slow-paced brass and bass-heavy political reggae song, resolving into a fine dubbed-up section with guitar and brass fading in and out over the firm bass and drum rhythm. With a version produced by the well-respected Nick Manasseh on the flip side of this 10” vinyl release, it is a great reggae single firmly in the mainstream roots/UK dub tradition. Eight-piece King Porter Stomp, named after a classic Jelly Roll Morton song from almost a century ago (now, that would be an interesting tune to hear ska-style!), have been around for a while now – see earlier review on reggaemusic.org.uk 15th September 2012. They rightly continue to attract attention for their style which manages to sound technically accomplished and effortless at the same time: a fine achievement indeed.
King Porter Stomp ‘Warning’, release 24th November 2014 on Feet Up Records, limited edition 10” vinyl and digital download.
Brighton-based collective King Porter Stomp generate an unusual and original brand of music, fusing elements of funk, reggae, world music, and brass/horns into something that’s difficult to summarise. The nine tracks on ‘Shuffle’, their new release, may be hard to categorise but they all carry a lively and immediate sound with, in the broadest sense, a roots inspiration. ‘Breathless’, for instance, resides somewhere between reggae and hip-hop with a hint of James Brown thrown in there somewhere, ‘Hot Coals’ is a slow two-tone influenced workout, while the closing track, ‘Mama Needs a Hand’, sails closer to the shores of South America than Jamaica in its rhythms. It’s difficult to recall such a disparate mix of styles from a currently active band (although we might recall the similarly vital sound of Dubwiser, see reggaemusic.org.uk 1st November 2011). This is music that was made to be heard live – have a listen and look here:
King Porter Stomp ‘Shuffle’ released September 2012, Comm:UNITY label, CD/digital