At last, the long-promised Savages Y Suefo LP, Brotherhood has dropped. Surely, this was first rumoured, oohh, two years ago when the Ashley Slater-featuring single Revolution! appeared. And since that track appears on this, it now seems, in retrospect, to have been the lead single. Two years? Man, that is a long lead time. Mind you, better late than never, and the implicit call to unity of the album’s title and the fiery anti-greed message of that first single are even more pertinent now as the world seems to be succumbing to the right-wing counterpart of the fifties and sixties ‘Domino Effect.’ But can the multi-faceted blues, dub, funk and hip-hop influenced breaks arsenal of the Budapest pair (along with a host of guest vocalist allies) turn the insidious tide of mean-spirited populism with a counter-wave of positivity? Let’s find out!
1. BROTHERHOOD feat. KRSA
Dubby blues-hop opener with Hungarian ska-man KRSA on the title track exhorting a message of togetherness. Well, that’s heading in the right direction.
2. REVOLUTION feat. Ashley Slater
Freak Power’s Slater picks up the lyrical baton of progressiveness and bashes the elite with it on this insistent groove. Go Ashley!
3. KEEP GOING ON
Yep – in these days of austerity and hypernormalisation you’ve just got to keep going on, with your head down, wading through all that populist shit, remembering the darkest hour is the one before dawn. A bouncy organ groove like this makes the journey easier though.
4. ALL MY LIFE IS IN THIS BAG feat. DENISE M’BAYE
Ah – Ms M’Baye has become a victim of Universal Credit, it seems. And in the best protest tradition she employs dubby reggae to flag her concerns.
5. COME AWAY WITH ME feat. FEDORA
Don’t mind if I do Fedora – I hope it’s somewhere without a dictator or borderline despot. Can we get a minor key blues groove going while we travel? We can? Nice one.
6. IT WORKS feat. M3NSA
Thank god something does in these benighted times. M3NSA gets on this afro-futurist tip.
7. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE feat ASHLEY SLATER
They do, don’t they. Sadly not often the ones you wish they would. Mr Slater re-joins the boys on a future blues re-imagining of Eric Serra’s 80s Euro-pop cut Guns & People.
8. PASS IT ON feat. KRSA & BOGAR
Yep – let’s share stuff around – especially if it’s a chilled dub-soul groove! Obviously not the populism though – no-one needs more of that.
9. BAD MAN’S BALLAD feat. BRYANT
Well, less ballad than midwestern blues meets midtempo breaks but bad man nonetheless. He’s been a pimp you know.
10. WINGS feat. DENISE M’BAYE
…whereas this is more of a ballad – inna moody 90s trip-hop kinda way…
11. LIFE IS LOVE feat. ASHLEY SLATER
…as is this, funnily enough.
12. ALL IS BLUES
Hmm – well that has been said. This on the other hand carries a distinctly jazzy vibe amid the scratches and the easy listening drum breaks.
COMMENTS: Solid work as always from the Savages Y Suefo crew who wander cheerily through a spectrum of musical genres treating all as if they have something to offer without marginalising any of them.
BEST TRACKS: Brotherhood feat. KRSA, Revolution, Keep Going On
(Out now on Agogo Records)