Mungo's Hi Fi X Eva Lazarus – More Fyah
- Kate Walker
- 5 July 2019
This article is from 2019
Sophisticated and open-minded release from the Glasgow reggae/dub crew
Nearly two decades since they started producing tunes on an old Atari with speakers they found in a skip, Mungo's Hi Fi have come a long way in terms of production. Although they've built a worldwide reputation, the crew remain the beating heart of Glasgow's dancehall and reggae scene. More Fyah might be the Hi Fi's most sophisticated and open-minded release to date, but is one that continues the lineage of soundsystem culture in signature Mungo's fashion.
With dozens of albums now in their oeuvre, they continue to keep their sound fresh by seeking out emerging artists to work with. On More Fyah, the crew collaborate with singer and MC Eva Lazarus who appears on every track, bringing a distinct flavour with her impressive vocal versatility and genre-hopping ease.
The album begins with safer, more conventional sounds. An updated classic in 'Dub Be Good To Me' which shows off the collective's tight horn section; the next track 'We Weren't Made For This' introduces Lazarus's distinctive flow as an MC, and her smart lyricism shines on 'Amsterdam', an inebriated ode to lighting up. It's in the latter half of the record that the soundsystem get really creative and explore reggae's sub-genres more experimentally. 'Babylon Raid' is a highlight, a track of two halves which pairs some classic reggae featuring roots legend Max Romeo, with a big wobbly, grimy drop. The group breezily branch out even further stylistically into waist-winding dancehall on 'Live my Life,' and hip hop shuffle on 'Gasoline'.
On the opening track, Lazarus sings 'Mungo's good to me,' and truth be told, Mungo's are being good to all of us with this new release, serving up pure easy-going good time vibes, which are refreshingly far from being a rehash of what we know and love them for.
Out Fri 19 Jul on Scotch Bonnet Records.