Resonators - Resonators (Self Release)

Glorious reggae from the nine piece conglomorate on their debut record.

Released Oct 6th, 2010 via self-release / By James Labous
Resonators - Resonators (Self Release) Resonators’ nine band members are surely students suprême of the reggae genre. Their debut album merges echoing sonic excellence with the charm and tuneful sensibility of Marcia Aitken, encompassing everything awesome about dub and reggae. This self-release is an essential purchase.

Though Resonator’s vintage pedigree is underpinned by quality song writing, a subtle air of innovation is never far from the fray. 'Mandrake' opens with syncopated drums, quickly joined by driving, rhythmic bass, while vaguely unsettling guitar bounces. This all amounts to an intriguing musical mood, rarely explored within reggae, which merges perfectly into a fast paced bass riff, complimented by colourful soundscapes and a vocal hook to die for. By track one the precedent has been set.

Resonators have managed to capture the true essence of the 70s golden age of reggae and then added a new spice. The influences of legendary sonic innovators like King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry are worn on their sleeve, yet the originality of this record is impressively crafted. It is achieved mainly through an innovative approach to rhythm, splicing more traditional playing with broken beats and polyrhythms usually present in jazz. Buzzline is a fine example of how driving technical drums add a sense of urgency to impressive female vocals (there are two girl singers in the band).

'Sweet Love Affair' is brilliantly conceived and instantly accessible. Here trumpet and sax provide that hint of nostalgic style, dripping with dancehall cool, and the melody grabs you like a cool breeze on a summer day. Elsewhere lyrics swirl and dissipate into thin air with some truly trippy moments emerging.

Admittedly, at nine tracks (including a remixed version of 'Sweet Love Affair'), this debut is short and sweet. But every song offers the listener something fresh. It’s like being at the Notting Hill Carnival - with the passing of every lorry float, there is a new rhythm or mood to be sampled.

They are record perfect and brilliantly energetic live too. Awesome reggae, almost perfect.