“World music” as a term stinks of imperialism, implying an otherness about the “world” outside of our U.S. borders that makes all nations’ music different from us and similar to each other’s. But it’s hard to know how else to categorize treats such as the Souljazz Orchestra’s Solidarity: this album tackles Afrobeat, reggae, salsa, samba, “semba,” conga, soul, and jazz, and is sung in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and even “Wolof.”
September 18th, 2012 · No Comments
January 18th, 2012 · 2 Comments
Somehow the Aggrolites are of that Warped world, and yet they have successfully fought its worst urges and drained all the suck out, leaving behind a “dirty reggae” sound that is highly pure, largely instrumental, organ-driven, and at times even beautiful. Listening to this album is like watching the female skinheads of This Is England walking down the street in their braces and boots.
December 30th, 2011 · 2 Comments
L.A. reggae band the Aggrolites have been slogging it out Studio One style since the early 2000s, most recently releasing their Rugged Road on Boston label Young Cub. Hot in pursuit of the question of just how a man comes to play reggae in Southern California anyway, we called Jesse Wagner for a few minutes diagnosis. This interview by Ron Garmon.
December 9th, 2011 · 23 Comments
I pride myself on being able to capture the sound of music in words, but there really is no way to convey what came out of that man’s throat and into our hearts Friday night. The closest I can get is to say that he sounded effortless and full of love, like butter melting slowly over Mom’s pancakes. He sounded awake and alert, classy, not cluttered in Rastafarian claptrap but “transcendent” in as close to a literal meaning as an atheist like me can believe in.