$4 from every physical copy sold will be donated to Chicago Coalition For The Homeless.
Happy As A Lark is excited to announce a collaboration with three of our favorite contemporary vocalists.
The music (riddims) heard in this project were first laid down in early 2013 and were to be used as fodder for the ‘King Tony Cassette Dub Sound System’. The KTCDSS is/was Drastics Drummer and HAAL CEO Anthony dubbing recordings off of a 4-track cassette multi-track recorder using era-appropriate vintage effects (including a Roland Space Echo and spring-tank reverb). Because of this intent there was no formal plan to ever release these tunes to the public - Instead they were going to be dubplates (in a sense) only for use at these live-dub performances. The three riddims were recorded swiftly with Anthony and bassie Chris handling the recording and engineering. When The Drastics were approached by now-defunct Chicago music blog/podcast Notes & Bolts with interest of releasing some dub-heavy material on a limited-edition cut-to-order plastic 7”, production was sped up on the tracks and they were quickly filled out with horns, synths, keyboards and percussion. The track ‘Maté Maté’ was eventually cut and released as ‘Notes + Bolts Dub Acetate No. 1’ (a name which makes no sense as the discs were not on acetate). Shortly thereafter the track ‘Dumb Hole’ was released (also through Notes + Bolts) but unfortunately due to circumstances still unknown to us, the track was never cut to plastic and purchasers never received copies. The operator of the blog has since disappeared and despite many attempts to sort out what happened, we stopped receiving replies. The third track (being used on our physical release here) sat unused, collecting dust on a hard drive.
Fast forward to late 2017 and The Slackers playing a 3-day engagement in Chicago with a week off after the hit. For fans of NYC’s legendary Slackers, the name Vic needs no introduction (or even last name attached). Vic has been fronting this musical juggernaut for over 25 years and in that span, penned some of the most poignant and poetic lyrics to come out of the American resurgent interest in Jamaican music of the 1990s. Between tacos and beers and shooting The Ignobles music video (youtu.be/QvaAZjMk9qM) we somehow found time to get Vic in the studio and voice some tracks. “Babylon Ain’t Yer Friend” was the lead off and the recording came together remarkably quick. Vic’s harmonica adds a distinctly unique element on a reggae track of this nature - a combination not often heard.
Given the nature of the lyrics, I immediately thought of D.O.V.E. Muzik’s` Wadadah II (who lent his voice for a wicked version on The Ignobles ‘Wandering Heart’) for doing a deejay version type of thing on the riddim. Well of course Wadadah exceeded all of our expectations and brought Kazayah on the track for an amazing collaboration that lends itself perfectly for selectors wanting to blend between the two tracks.
released March 20, 2018
Anthony Abbinanti - Drums, Piano, Hammond Organ, Fender Rhodes, Roland RS-09, Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet, Glockenspiel, Percussion
Chris Merrill - Bass
Brian Citro - Guitar
Luke MacRoberts - Guitar
Tom Riley - Tenor Sax
Andrew Zelm - Trombone
Shane Jonas - Trumpet
Bijan Warner - Percussion
Vic Ruggiero - Hammond Organ on Tracks 1-4
Tracks 1-5 Written & Arranged by A. Abbinanti
Track 6 Written by C. Merrill & A. Abbinanti
All lyrics written by their respective vocalist.
Engineered, Recorded, Produced, Dubbed & Mastered by A. Abbinanti at Dirty North Studios, Chicago.