Feeling a bit stressed and exhausted? Well, what you might need is some meditative and uplifting sounds. And those are provided by French musician Nicodrum and some of his friends on the album Back to Fundechan, a twelve track album offering a fusion of reggae, nyabinghi, jazz and bossa nova.
Nicodrum is a noted percussionist as well as a session and live musician who has worked with Capleton, Richie Spice, Queen Omega, Jah Mason, Pressure and Willie Williams. His mentor is legendary Jamaican percussionist Noel “Skully” Simms, who has played with almost everyone in the reggae business since the 60s up until today.
Back to Fundechan is the result of a clever blend of rhythms from Africa, Jamaica and Africa, and it sounds rural and organic, yet urban, slick and contemporary. And loads of instruments were used when this album was recorded. You’ll hear flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, melodica, guitar, bass and of course several different drums. This album is mostly about percussion and drumming, hence the title, which is a reference to the fundeh, one of three different drums essential when recording nyabinghi.
The set is instrumental all the way and recorded together with renowned French producer and mixing engineer Fabwize. Each track has its unique identity and is led by two main instruments accompanied by a large brass section and chest-pounding drumming.
This is music with a big heart, a solid pulse and lots of soul. Love it.