Tag Archives: Horseman

Scary good from Horseman

Horseman - Dawn of the Dread - ArtworkThis year has so far been graced by remarkably strong dancehall albums, and Popcaan and Jah Vinci’s debut albums are two prime examples. Horseman’s recently released debut is another. These three albums are something completely different compared to all the generic and poorly mastered dancehall sets that are regularly put out.

Horseman is a veteran on the UK reggae scene and has spent about three decades working largely behind the scenes, often as a very capable and well-respected drummer. He has over the past few years made solid guest appearances on several productions coming from Prince Fatty.

And Prince Fatty is also responsible for production and mixing on Horseman’s debut album Dawn of the Dread. This album sees Prince Fatty taking a new direction. It’s still vintage sounding though, but not vintage as in 60s and 70s. No, Dawn of the Dread is primarily rooted in the mid to late 80s dancehall scene. Bouncing bass lines, playful drums and lively synths make this twelve track set a joyous and fun excursion, an excursion on which Horseman and Prince Fatty have invited Tippa Irie, Winston Reedy and Earl Sixteen.

I’ve actually been longing for a full album from Horseman ever since I heard Prince Fatty’s excellent album Supersize four years ago. And this album was well worth the wait.

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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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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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