French quartet Stand High Patrol – led and fronted by vocalist Pupajim – has released their third album The Shift. And on this album they have refined their jazz-oriented sound.
Unique is a well-worn word, but is probably most accurate when describing Stand High Patrol’s sonic identity. It’s a new type of urban groove where they break musical boundaries and create a highly individual sound where reggae singjaying meets 60s jazz and 90s hip-hop. Boom bap reggae rap so to say.
It’s an intelligent and infectious fusion. Highly organic and very dynamic with big beats. And key to Stand Patrol’s sound is trumpet maestro Merry. He graces the cuts with lonesome and distant horn lines.
Stand High Patrol’s sound and Pupajim’s broken English might not be for everyone and The Shift is far from the reggae mainstream. But if you’re in the mood for jazz with a hip-hop and reggae twist, well, then this is the album for you.
French trio Stand High Patrol’s second album A Matter of Scale offers something new and exciting to the otherwise often traditional digital reggae scene.
This is a brave album and it offers mostly extremely sparse arrangements and several of the cuts lie close to digital jazz with a reggae and dub twist. Even though Stand High Patrol also manage to showcase they’re still at ease with producing hard and triumphant steppers, as shown on Warehouse, The Bridge and The Tunnel; three spine-chilling tunes I would run away from if I met them on the street.
It’s a 13 track set and a mix of vocal cuts and dubstumentals. Pupajim does most of the singing and his nasal pitch might be something of an acquired taste.
Stripped-down tunes like album opener Tempest, with its desolate trumpet, Geography, with an infectious piano line, the slow Sleep On It and the cinematic Blue Wax could all work well at a smoky jazz club in Paris, while Gambling Johnny and Routine are more conventional 80s sounding digital reggae aimed at the sound system circuit.
A Matter of Scale offers something fresh, while it’s still rooted in the 80s digital reggae scene.
Midnight Walkers is the debut album from French sound system Stand High Patrol, an album full of genuine early digital 80’s vibes combined with dubstep, hip-hop and electronic dance music.
The album collects two instrumentals, two semi-instrumentals and nine cuts with vocals provided by the versatile high-voiced Pupa Jim, probably best known for his work with German Jahtari, Danish Maffi and Scottish Mungo’s Hifi. His delivery is in the same vein as flat voiced 80’s champions King Kong, Anthony “Red” Rose, Nitty Gritty and Tenor Saw.
Pupa Jim might at times sound a bit like a comic book character or novelty figure, but he’s an expert in giving a song its own style and he sings, raps and shouts over the sparse, dark, deep, mystic and repetitive beats he’s provided with.
Among the many highlights are the up-tempo Boat People, the electro-styled instrumental title track and the amusing Home Made, probably the first ever attempt to combine reggae and g-funk.
If you enjoy simplistic and head-nodding digital reggae with a contemporary twist, then you should definitely check out this album.