Tag Archives: Hollie Cook

Hollie Cook’s superb third album

1UK singer Hollie Cook has returned with her third studio album Vessel of Love, the follow-up to her two critical acclaimed albums Twice and Hollie Cook. On this new set she has changed both producer and label and moved from Prince Fatty and Mr. Bongo to Martin “Youth” Glover and Merge Records.

Merge Records is a renowned U.S. indie label known for rock acts like Superchunk, Bob Mould and Shout Out Louds. Martin Glover from rock band Killing Joke has previously worked with acts like Guns N’ Roses, The Verve and U2. But fear not. Hollie Cook’s sound is certainly intact and just as dreamy and featherlight as before.

Hollie Cook has managed to create her very own brand of lovers rock. She calls it tropical pop. An appropriate description. The arrangements on Vessel of Love – with strings, horns and various sound effects – are just amazing and the hypnotic ethereal sonic landscape bends both space and time.

The four singles off the album – Stay Alive, Angel Fire, Freefalling and Survive – are together with the breezy and summery title track among the best cuts on the album and probably some of Hollie Cook’s best recordings yet. Especially the pulsating and vibrant Stay Alive with its squeaking organ, mean bass line and melancholic melody.

Hollie Cook has a vision for her sound and together with Martin Glover she has managed to take it to another level.

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A fine set of funky covers from Taggy Matcher and friends

stix040lp-front-300x300Following several strong singles and cuts on compilations French producer Bruno “Patchworks” Hovart, today probably best known as Taggy Matcher, has finally dropped his debut album Singasong.

Taggy Matcher is a bass player and a guitarist and is an ace when it comes to contemporary groove-oriented music and has successfully merged raw disco and soul with jazz, hip-hop and reggae. He has for example produced a number of fine slices of innovative hip-hop/reggae mash-ups.

The organic Singasong collects eleven tracks and Taggy Matcher continues his long-standing love of recording covers and this set contains versions of tracks by the likes of The Black Keys, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Black Sabbath and Rihanna.

The songs are funky with a discofied twist and the sound is somewhat familiar what Prince Fatty created on Hollie Cook’s excellent second album Twice.

Singer Birdy Nixon takes on Black Sabbath’s crowd-pleaser Paranoid, and does it very well, and LMK does wonders to Rihanna’s No Love Allowed, probably the best cut on the album, complete with emotive horns and pulsating organ.

Definitely a scorcher to be filed next to your worn out copy of Twice.

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Finally time for Horseman’s debut album

Horseman - Dawn of the Dread - ArtworkRenowned drummer and deejay Horseman is finally about to release his debut album – Dawn of the Dread, set for release on November 3. He has been working on the music scene for about three decades and also has music in his blood – his father had a sound system and his mother – Miss Girlie – recorded with legendary singer Laurel Aitken in the 50s and 60s.

He has previously worked with musicians and producers like Tippa Irie, Max Romeo, Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Jah Shaka, Mad Professor, Barrington Levy and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with John Holt.

But his most recent work is with Hollie Cook and producer and mixing engineer Prince Fatty, who he met while he was working with The Ruff Cut Band.

“I was hired for a live drum session for a group called The Amharics about 2003 and there’s this skinny white guy on the desk. I’m asking around ‘who’s that?’ and everyone’s just ‘that’s Mike’. It was the tightest session I’d worked on, the drums were set up so well they sounded great before they were even mic’ed,” says Horseman in a press release, and continues:

“I didn’t see him again until a few years later at a session at the Fish Market Studio for Little Roy in Willesden Green in 2006-2007 when the door creaked open and it was Mike. He said to me he was setting up a sound system called Prince Fatty and I’ve been on board ever since. He just gets it right every time. He doesn’t have a sound, it’s THE sound.”

Now he steps into the spotlight with Dawn of the Dread, an album recorded at Studio Dub in Thailand before being mixed at Prince Fatty’s Ironworks studio in Brighton.

“Mike just asked, ‘you ever been to Thailand?’ and we went. There were great vibes, we walked in and it all fell into place. We were looking to get that 80s digital sound and all that original equipment was just there waiting for us. It was fate.”

The album title is inspired by a long night of watching zombie films in the studio, but the set is described as being saturated with Horseman’s positive vibes.

“If my music brings joy into someone’s life then that’s my aim, it’s there to make people happy. I’m not in competition with anyone, music shouldn’t be competitive. I’m just me doing my thing.”

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Strings and disco on Hollie Cook’s Twice

artworks-000072766295-6dqjh5-originalHollie Cook and Prince Fatty, Prince Fatty and Hollie Cook. The daughter of a punk rocker and an analogue manic, a vintage fanatic and the voice of an angel.

These two have a new album together – Twice. It was supposed to be released in June, but for some reason Mr. Bongo decided to drop it earlier than expected. And what a great surprise. What an exquisite gift to me or any music aficionado for that matter.

On Twice Prince Fatty and Hollie Cook take a partly different path where they explore a hybrid of vintage reggae and gritty disco with grand strings arrangements, pulsating percussion and Giorgio Moroder-styled pop.

It’s damn infectious and at times almost angelic in its moods. Hollie Cook’s singing is as usual ethereal and works very well with the lush strings.

Nine tracks and over 40 minutes of lasting discofied reggae in its greatest form. Free your mind, take of your shoes and hang on, this is a rollercoaster into dreamy territory.

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Hollie Cook returns with Twice in May

Acclaimed UK singer Hollie Cook drops her second album Twice on June 10, it’s the follow-up to her widely celebrated debut album released in 2011. Her debut album was in 2012 followed by its dub counterpart where ingenious producer and mixing engineer Prince Fatty twisted and turned the knobs.

On Twice Prince Fatty and Hollie Cook team up once again. And together they create reggae with  grand strings arrangements, Brazilian percussion, dark disco and pop a ’la German/Italian super producer Giorgio Moroder. The pair has also invited Dennis Bovell, Omar, George Dekker and Winston Francis.

The album will be available in various formats including LP, a collection of 7” singles, cassette, USB stick and a number of special additions.

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Prince Fatty blends fantasy and reality

Mike Pelanconi, better known as Prince Fatty, is a world-renowned producer and sound engineer from Brighton, UK. He has been praised for his vintage recording techniques and his work with artists such as Hollie Cook and Jamaican roots veteran Little Roy, with who he has recorded reggae renditions of Nirvana songs. He has also tried his hands on other genres as well working with rock and pop musicians such as Lily Allen and Graham Coxon from Blur.

His latest effort is Prince Fatty Versus the Drunken Gambler, an album described as a mix of hip hop fantasy and reggae reality. I had a chat with him about his inspirations, the new album and the artists featured on it. Check the full story over at United Reggae.

Prince Fatty artwork being painted in Brighton.

Prince Fatty artwork being painted in Brighton.

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Boisterous, organic and energetic from Prince Fatty and friends

On acclaimed sound engineer and producer Prince Fatty’s third album – the weirdly titled Prince Fatty Versus the Drunken Gambler – there’s a hell of a party going on from start to finish. To the party he has invited guests Hollie Cooke, Horseman, George Dekker, Dennis Alcapone and Winston Francis to handle microphone duties.

The ten tracks are heavily influenced by reggae from the late 60’s and early 70’s and offer a mix of originals and fun and dazzling cover choices, including the excellent For Me You Are, a version of The Andrew Sisters’ Bei Mir Bist du Schon, Got Your Money, originally by the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Kelis, and Max Romeo’s rude and lewd Wet Dream.

To spice things up further Prince Fatty utilizes a dub mixing style with lots of effects as well as  wild and crazy samples from different movies.

This 30 minutes long disc is fun and clever, and you’ll continue to be amazed and surprised by the arrangements and the live played backing even after several spins.

Prince Fatty has with his previous albums and productions set a high standard, and happily enough he manage to both live up to and excel expectations.

Prince Fatty Versus the Drunken Gambler is now available on LP and CD from Mr. Bongo Records.

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The Skints follow a long and proud tradition

Reggae and ska have influenced punk rock since the 70’s. And one of the earliest and most well-known examples is The Clash and their collaboration with Mikey Dread as well as their cover of Junior Murvin’s mighty Police & Thieves. Since then the genres have been in a love relationship that has rendered lots of great music.

The UK’s The Skints follow in this fine tradition, and it was manifested on their debut album Live.Breathe. Build. Believe., which was more or less a punk rock album influenced by ska and reggae.

On their recently released follow-up Part & Parcel they’ve used the same ingredients, but shifted the measures in favor of more ska and reggae and less punk rock.

Part & Parcel was produced by Prince Fatty – responsible for Hollie Cook’s highly acclaimed self-titled debut album released last year – and together with the band they’ve created a vital album jam-packed with furious energy and playfulness.

But it also boasts deep bass lines, smooth skanking vibes and sweet pop melodies courtesy of three lead singers – each with his and hers very distinctive style – taking turn on the microphone.

Probably not an album that will appeal to the purist or traditionalist, but well-worth checking out for those tired of rasta preachings or one drop beats.

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A scarily tasty dub album from Hollie Cook

One of last year’s many musical highlights was Hollie Cook’s truly enjoyable self-titled debut album recorded under the tutelage and supervision of the mighty Mike Pelanconi aka Prince Fatty, a British producer and engineer specialized in old school recording techniques.

Prince Fatty has now dubbed her debut album to the bone with extra bass and echo-laid instrumentation and Hollie Cook’s enchanting and dreamy vocals floating in and out of the mix.

Prince Fatty Presents Hollie Cook in Dub has a slightly different track listing compared to the original album and adds fascinating versions of swing harmony singing group The Andrew Sisters’ Bei Mir Bist du Schon [For Me You Are Dub] and The Whispers’ funky disco hit And the Beat Goes On along with her own already made classics Milk & Honey and That Very Night.

The dub versions of the tracks highlight some of the instrumentation that was in the background on the original vocal versions. You are hit by pounding percussion, smooth organ work, fine-tuned melodica and beautiful horn arrangements.

Prince Fatty has yet again managed to put out another scorcher, and even though this album is made with vintage recording and mixing equipment and techniques its ideas and influences are very much forward-thinking.

Prince Fatty Presents Hollie Cook in Dub is available on CD, LP and digital download. Go get yourself a copy now.

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Beautiful debut album from Hollie Cook

British singer Hollie Cook has music in her blood. She is the daughter of Paul Cook, former drummer in legendary punk band Sex Pistols.

But luckily enough her musical path has headed in a different direction, and has lead her into the arms of Mike Pelanconi, aka Prince Fatty, a talented producer and engineer as well as an expert in vintage recording techniques.

Hollie Cook has contributed on both Prince Fatty albums. And her contribution has been welcome, very welcome indeed. Her tracks Milk & Honey, from Survival of the Fattest put out in 2007, and That Very Night in Dub, from Supersize Me released last year, were among the standout tracks.

Her self-titled debut album bears all of Prince Fatty’s best ingredients – old school sounding reggae and dub without sounding traditional or boring. Check Sugar Water, a smart cut of Scientist’s Dangerous Match 1, a dub version of Johnny Osbourne’s Love is Universal.

The first single of the album That Very Night captures the feeling nicely – pulsating, dark and a bit psychedelic. Her British voice is delicate, breezy and creates an intimate atmosphere.

The album is also hosted by some well-known musicians, most notably George Dekker of The Pioneers and Dennis Bovell. The most prominent guest is however Horseman, a deejay with a style reminiscent of the great Lone Ranger.

This is certainly a truly enjoyable experience from start to finish.

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