UK producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Will Holland has two monikers. Via Quantic he produces and releases electronic dance music and through Flowering Inferno he makes reggae and cumbia music. He’s also behind the funky Quantic Soul Orchestra.
Flowering Inferno dropped the first set in 2008 and two years later its follow-up was put out. Now a third effort has been revealed and 1000 Watts is the most reggae-oriented one to date. On 1000 Watts he has crafted a beautiful and mostly instrumental set with warm vintage grooves, summery vibes, dub wizardry and excellent musicianship.
It carries guest performances from U Roy, Alice Russell, Hollie Cook and Christopher Ellis and they all shine bright. U Roy delivers swinging toast on the first single A Life Worth Living, a track where retro soul-singer Alice Russell brings sweet harmonies, and Hollie Cook’s high pitch suits the nocturnal Shuffle Them Shoes perfectly.
Stylish retro-reggae like this is almost tailor-made for a soulful vocalist like Christopher Ellis and his performance on the jazzy title track and the smooth Stevie Wonder cover All I Do Is Think About You is probably his best piece yet.
Even though 1000 Watts is most certainly a reggae album, it does come with latin influences. Chambacú is an excellent cocktail of thunderous bass and drum with a cumbia melody and the up-tempo Macondo throws in some cumbia-fied ska.
As pointed out before – the reggae market isn’t crowded with instrumental sets. A pity since most of them tend to be sonically divine.