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Artist
Horace Andy
ReleaseProduct
Midnight Rocker
Label
On-U Sound
Catalogue Number
ONUDL152
Release Date
April 8, 2022
  • CD + Tote Bag:

    $23.99
    • Midnight Rocker Tote Bag, Tote Bag

    • Midnight Rocker CD

    • + WAV / FLAC

    CD

    • CD housed in 6 panel digipak with high gloss finish Tote Bag
    • 3 colour, screen printed on both sides by Vino Sangre

    Available: April 8, 2022

Instant WAV / FLAC download with all Vinyl / CD / Bundle / Tote Bag purchases.

Genres

Across a legendary career spanning five decades, Horace Andy has undeniably earned a place as one of reggae’s heroes. There's a lot of gold in his overwhelmingly massive discography, thanks in part to his chameleonic abilities as an artist. His latest album Midnight Rocker is a shining addition to his treasured legacy.

Rising up throughout the 70s and 80s with a string of roots reggae hits, Andy was a beloved singer-songwriter in Jamaica before he linked with trip-hop collective Massive Attack in the early 90s. After getting his start in the 60s, he released his debut album Skylarking in 1972 to widespread acclaim; since then it has been regarded as one of the best reggae albums of all time, along with 1982’s Dance Hall Style for Wackie’s cementing Andy as a key figure in the rise of the dancehall genre. With features on Massive Attack’s groundbreaking debut Blue Lines, Andy became a sudden crossover sensation, joining the group as a touring member and singing on all of their subsequent studio albums. Throughout these collaborations, he repurposes lyrics from his prolific back catalogue, further bringing the sound of Jamaica to worldwide audiences.

Midnight Rocker makes a subtle nod to the singer’s second act with a cover of Massive Attack’s 'Safe From Harm', but Horace Andy’s latest is far more a tribute to the sound that first propelled him to fame. Created with revered dub producer and Horace-devotee Adrian Sherwood, Midnight Rocker assembles an all-star band pulled from On-U Sound’s roster to support a compelling performance from the singer, not dissimilar to the high quality curation of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s later albums (Rainford was one of Bleep’s best albums of 2019). Sherwood’s slick, modern production guides this kaleidoscopic range of what reggae has to offer, also penned by LSK, George Oban, and Jeb Loy Nichols. At the forefront is Andy, and the signature wavering tremolo of his vocals that has made him such a respected and admired singer throughout his many years.

Effortlessly translating the previously Shara Nelson-led Massive Attack classic, Horace Andy’s voice takes on a smoky quality in ‘Safe From Harm’, propelled into an even murkier dub and reggae oriented rendition with synth sirens adding colour to the bass heavy rhythms. Alongside the Massive Attack cover are reworkings of his early career highlights like ‘This Must Be Hell’, opening with Andy’s pleading calls as weeping harmonica and sombre strings contrast against the upbeat rhythms and piano stabs. ‘Rock To Sleep’ is a dub lullaby with its lilting cello and hushed, twinkling guitar harmonics, while the smooth harmonies of ‘Materialist’ sigh with Horace Andy’s mention of housing instability.

Where ‘Materialist’ details these struggles and ‘Watch Over Them’ hopes for a world in which younger generations are removed from gun violence, Andy and co. thankfully never let heavier topics boil over into heavy-handedness or insincerity. While new originals are thematically tied to the older tracks through exploration of modern issues, their sound stays firmly nostalgic. The kaleidoscopic ‘Easy Money’ is impassioned with its slick bass riffs and acoustic guitar giving a down to earth quality, and ‘Today Is Right Here’ sees Andy’s wisdom wrapped in sweet and inventive, yet wholly classic sounding reggae production.

Midnight Rocker is unmistakably a work for Horace Andy’s devoted fans as much as it is a loving, late-career highlight for the great singer-songwriter.

Digital Tracklist

Track List

  1. A1. This Must Be Hell
  2. A2. Easy Money
  3. A3. Safe From Harm
  4. A4. Watch Over Them
  5. A5. Materialist
  6. B1. Today Is Right Here
  7. B2. Try Love
  8. B3. Rock To Sleep
  9. B4. Careful
  10. B5. Mr Bassie

Horace Andy

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On-U Sound

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Dub, Reggae and Dancehall

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