Popular Bristol reggae crew Talisman are to deliver their stunning new album ‘Don’t Play With Fyah’ on Friday 17th March 2017 through Sugar Shack Records.
Most bands with a history that stretches back four decades are content to go through the motions, their creative peak somewhere in the past, but not Talisman.
Their forthcoming album includes some of the strongest material they’ve ever recorded, with seven brand new songs and the corresponding dub counter parts; this is their finest album to date.
With such strong material, they knew they had to pull out all the stops when it came to the final mixes and who better than legendary musician, producer, engineer and all round British reggae genius Dennis Bovell, who has worked with such acts as Madness, Arcade Fire and Joss Stone.
The album kicks off with ‘Relijan’, a roots anthem with lyrics that resonate with contemporary relevance whilst the music has the timeless feel of the best seventies roots.
This track raises the game for Talisman and puts them on par with such British greats as Aswad, Steel Pulse and Misty in Roots at their best; it is without doubt destined to be seen as a classic of the genre.
The pace and the lyrical intent doesn’t let up as we start ‘Talkin’ Revolution’, which for long time fans of the band is a real treat; a brand new song yet imbued with the feel and vibes of their early eighties work.
It would not have felt out of place in their sets during those years and yet, this bridge between the past and present manages to surpass what went before, a real achievement and another certain future favourite for fans.
‘She Look Like Reggae’ is a charming piece of observational songwriting that rewards repeated listening with hidden depths and also provides a good opportunity to mention the very welcome use of a full horn section on some of these tracks.
There’s something right about Talisman with horns that once again ties their long distinguished musical heritage in with the present.
The title track is another strong tune with a different style of vintage feel and also lends its title to the album.
It is followed in a similar vein by ‘Hear No Evil’ and ‘Racism Never Sleep’, rounding off a trio of songs carrying a warning message, those messages perhaps being more
relevant now than at any time this century.
Rounding off the vocals with something of a change of pace is ‘Wheel and Come Again’, a joyful and upbeat song that has a pop sensibility but in the best sense; a song that will appeal to a wide audience.
It’s hard to overstate Dennis Bovell’s contribution to British music, reggae in particular and we can’t think of anyone more qualified to mix these tracks.
Dub mixes really are his forte, with more than four decades of experience mixing the best in British dubs. The seven dub versions here, deliver in every way, true dub re-imaginings and not mere afterthoughts.
Dennis has refashioned them into alternative mixes, shifting focus, taking whole new pathways as he navigates the multi-tracks, sometimes familiar, sometimes with an entirely new emphasis.
These dubs happily stand on their own merits and let’s hope that this is just the first of much collaboration with the great man.
TALISMAN’S NEW ALBUM ‘DON’T PLAY WITH FYAH’ WILL BE RELEASED ON CD AND DIGITALLY ON MARCH 17TH 2017.
ALSO AVAILABLE WILL BE A LIMITED EDITION VINYL EIGHT-TRACK LP, FEATURING FOUR OF THE VOCALS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING DUB VERSIONS.