Review: The Montpellier-based crew behind new roots reggae label Samuel have a slightly different take on the sound than some of their contemporaries, with some of the tracks on this fine, compilation style debut EP drawing inspiration from other musical styles. So while Benjamin's vocal opener "Give Thanks" is a deliciously chunky slab of soulful reggae rich in hazy organs and dub style bass, Armel Courree, Pascal Bouvier and Corentin Lehembre's "Ethio Roots Theme" brilliant combines dub-wise reggae rhythms with duelling horn solos more akin to Ethio-jazz. The crew's global influences come the fore on the flip, where Lone Ark dubs out "Give Thanks" - with some subtle nods towards Turkish psych-funk, and Hoarang turns "Ethio Roots Theme" into a Binghi percussion workout with added hazy horns.
Review: Kiss, Cuddle & Torture: Volume 2 is the second album offering from The Hempoloics on their own Zee Zee. It's another of their unique collisions of reggae, hip hop, pop, dancehall and funk and comes with plenty of upbeat riddims that will no doubt get as much radio play as previous singles. Showing real development as well as lush chords, masterfully overdubbed keys and complex arrangements that were apparently written by the whole band together, it's another successful record. Check the contemporary flow and funky riffs of "Bongadashi" or more horizontal dub flexes of "In The Night" for highlights.