Recorded in Kingston and in Tel Aviv, ‘Prisoner in Love’ is the first single release from Kalbata and Mixmonster’s forthcoming debut album on Freestyle Records. Their stated intention was to record an analogue dub album influenced by the early sound of dancehall and the classic style of producers such as King Tubby. With this in mind, they use a 16-track tape machine and an analogue mixing desk alongside – unusually enough – a group of musicians playing live throughout. After recording the instrumental tracks in Tel Aviv, they travelled to Jamaica and added the sound of selected vocalists and deejays to generate the intended retro sound. So in a sense this stands as homage to the reggae tradition upon which so much has since been built.
The measure of success is of course in the sound of the finished product. 80s’ dancehall pioneer Little John provides the powerful vocals for ‘Prisoner of Love’. The backing track provides a sparse and uncluttered rhythm upon which to base vocals that are as reminiscent of the soul songs of the time as they are of reggae. The single also includes a contrasting and more elaborate version of the same song featuring Kutiman, who adds manic keyboard and an upfront reggae rhythm to the basic bass and drum foundations of the song.
The ‘Prisoner of Love’ single is released on 17th March, with the debut album – ‘Congo Beat the Drum’ – due on 28th April (vinyl, CD and digital download).