If might be easy to dismiss Belgian musician and multi-instrumentalist Bregt De Boever, his band Pura Vida and their producer Poddington Krank as Lee Perry copycats. Well, they might be, but that doesn’t matter when it’s sounding as great as it always does.
On Pura Vida’s latest album – Red Hot – the atmosphere is ghastly similar to when Lee Perry was recording some of his best material at his legendary Black Ark studio in the mid to late 70s. The sound is swirling, ethereal and sticky. It’s like the album was recorded in a rain forest. Impressive to say the least.
As usual Pura Vida uses live instrumentation with strong horns, nice melodica and a groovy accordion. The set comes with 13 tracks, of which two are live recordings and three are churning dub versions.
Bregt De Boever’s voice is complemented with beautiful and powerful back-up vocals, vocals that adds quite a lot to the songs, especially the melancholic Life is a Gift, the countryfied Broken Hearted and thumping album-opener Jah Make Yah.
Pura Vida has previously proved their skills and showing their talents working with reggae luminaries such as Prince Alla and The Congos. Now they’re on their own showcasing a set that is just as strong as their previous efforts. They’re still waiting for a big break. Hopefully Red Hot helps them to gain a wider audience. Because they definitely deserve it.