Piper Street Sound returns with a shrill march forward in Hulusi. Conceived at the start of a pandemic, with Atlanta-based Matthew Mansfield’s signature blend of production styles, acoustic, analog and digital performance layers, it finally locks in and unfolds in time to an insistent Steppers riddim with a beat and a message that gets the blood pumping.
In collaboration with California-based Dub Gorgon Subatomic Sound System, and with contributions from luminaries that span a vast network of timeless titans and studio assassins, the end result plays like a campaign of planting flags from the past INTO the future. .
The title refers to the instrument used to capture the main theme of the piece, an ancient Chinese 3-chambered flute that reads somewhere between melodica and bagpipes, a brash yet plaintive melody. Brought to life and backed by fearsome performances from Mansfield’s urgent bass, Christo Case on synths and keyboards, Brian Daggett on pounding drums and Jonathan Lloyd’s horns, the production finally manifested itself in the virtuous machine shown here.
The digital release includes the Piper Street Sound A-side cut, a trio of edits of the Subatomic Sound System’s extended mix of melody, and an instrumental version with extensive guitar work by a frequent collaborator of some of the greatest musicians. of the Jamaican Hall of Fame, Andy Bassford. Those whose ears perk up at the words “expanded mixing,” be joyful. There’s also a 10″ vinyl offering in the works, featuring full dubs from Piper Street and Subatomic (pre-order starts October 14).
J-Lloyd’s horn section stabs in royal staccato before unfurling banners reminiscent of Golden Days, over an increasingly digital riddim that surges and vibrates with militant energy. Bassford’s guitars sting and cut through the room’s swirl of dub delay and reverb, accentuating the polyrhythmic march of the beat.
They fully shine on a track of their own. A stark vocal testimony from none other than Dancehall legend General Pecos recruits soldier-listeners for Gideon’s War, a literal “mental, spiritual and physical war” necessitated by the times. If The End is indeed upon us, Piper Street Sound and her cohort intend to face it head-on and eyes forward.
Piper Street Sound – Hulusi was released on digital platforms on October 14, 2022. 10″ vinyl release to follow.
Photo credit: Ryan Rudolph