16 October 2006

Monday's mp3: Just One Big Irie Family

Browsing through past SoundRoots ramblings, you'll notice that we're not raving fans of reggae. Sure, we like us some Bob Marley, and now and then other reggae folks sneak into our ears, the likes of Alpha Blondy, Matisyahu, Macka B, and The Refugee All Stars.


Here's another group we've been groovin' to of late. I-Fam is a Belgium-based world/reggae act, and they've recently released an album called Du Nouveau Sang (New Blood) on Home Records. The label has released some truly intriguing (and difficult to categorize) music of late, from the likes of Turlu Tursu and Jugalbandi Trio. But I digress.

The music of I-Fam (aka One Big Irie Family) is tough to describe. It certainly has reggae roots, but hip-hop vocals dominate songs like "Fils Du Levant" (mp3 sample) though it's hip-hop with tasty live music, not canned beats. The title track (mp3 sample) starts with beat-boxing, then swings into insistent vocal harmonies. The lyrics speak of resistance: "We are the lions in this kingdon / and if you come against us / we become more and more strong / 'cause we are young / and we got thunder, brimstone and fire." The rest is French to me.

[mp3] I-Fam: "Le Roseau"
from the album Du Nouveau Sang
You can download two other songs from the album at I-Fam's myspace.

and a bonus from their self-titled CD
[mp3] I-Fam "Enfer"

Curiously, neither the band's site nor the Home Records site seems to sell this album, so finding it may be tough. Though I'm sure if you contact either the band or the label, they'll be happy to help.


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