Prince Fatty Vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi - Prince Fatty Vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi (3 stars)

Prince Fatty Vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi - Prince Fatty Vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi

Homage to soundsystem soundclash from Brighton producer and Glasgow collective

(Mr Bongo)

Receiving little mainstream exposure, soundsystem culture is integral to the survival of the UK reggae scene. Prince Fatty vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi pays homage to the classic tradition of the soundsystem soundclash, each crew remixing tracks from the other’s catalogue in a north-versus-south battle of the dubs.

Brighton producer/engineer Mike ‘Prince Fatty’ Pelanconi’s analogue-heavy productions for the likes of Little Roy, Winston Francis, Horseman and Hollie Cook take their cue from early 70s roots reggae and lovers rock, while Glasgow’s Mungo’s Hi-Fi have used their studio skills to push the sounds of dub and dancehall in more electronic-focused directions.

For the first half of the album, Prince Fatty takes to the controls of his custom-made, hi-grade mixing console; on ‘Herbalist’ he shapes a choppy guitar and rubbery bassline to form the backdrop for Topcat’s toasting lyrical style as he boats his passion for marijuana, before dripping echo and reverb over the Sugar Minnot-sung, winding groove of ‘Scrub A Dub Style’.

‘Did You Really Know’ sees Soom T provide a cheery vocal atop a sunny arrangement of brass, bongo, guitar and hammond organ; Ishu and Junior Dread show off their quick fire MC skills on police-protest song ‘Under Arrest’; and Fatty signs off with his skanking accompaniment to Marina P’s powerfully sung ‘Divorce L’Italienne’.

Mungo's Hi-Fi take over, partnering Hollie Cook’s alluring vocal, describing the desire for her lover as 'Sugar Water' running through her veins, with their chugging, metronomic rhythm. ‘Dry Your Tears’ sees the five-man outfit add wobbling bass and hypnotic synths to the soulful, sympathetic lyrics of Winston Francis, while their combination of bright keys and stuttering drums back Horseman’s rapid, horse-racing loving rhyme on ‘Horsemove’.

Prince Dekker is given the heavy dub treatment over the electronic, nursery rhyme-style refrain of ‘Say What You’re Saying’, before Mungo’s merge their digital dub riddims with Cook’s vocal once more, rounding thing off in sweet style on ‘For Me You Are’.

Mungo's Hifi play the Art School, Glasgow, Sat 22 Mar.

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