Production heavyweight Rhys Adams returns with his second LP under the ‘YesKing’ moniker and his debut for the BBE label. Produced entirely by Adams, ‘Re-Record Not Fade Away’, marks a coming of age for the seasoned studio head and a sonic departure from the outfit’s 2008 debut ‘Rock This World’ (co-produced by Mark Rae of Rae & Christian fame).
Borrowing it’s name from the strap line appearing in Scotch Video Tape’s 1980s TV adverts, ‘Re-Record Not Fade Away’ is both a metaphorical reference to the longevity of music produced with passion and a literal reference to Adams’ studio techniques – in particular his preference for recording live to a 1960s 1/4 inch ferrograph tape machine, a process which Adams describes as ‘integral’ to the album’s sound providing a ‘unique and authentic’ feel with a firm nod to the Dub and Reggae traditions which permeate the album.
Featured artists provide a wealth of variety to the album’s underlying themes: Guitarist for The Soothsayers and Jerry Dammers’ Spatial aka Orchestra, Patrick Hatchett plays on much of the album also co-writing several tracks becoming, in Adams’ words, ‘central to the Yesking sound’. Togo born singer Kodjovi Kush adds afrobeat flavour to ‘One More Time’ with a vocal performance which displays his musical journey to East London via Ghana, Israel and ‘90s Central London cultural hotspot, the Africa Centre. ‘Rock This World’ collaborators make a welcome return in the form of Kenny Knotts, a UK dancehall vocalist with a string of top ten hits to his name and rapper Mystro, a seasoned veteran with a list of collaborations under his belt that reads like a who’s who of the UK scene. Representing the new generation of UK dancehall artists is Toddla T and Sticky collaborator Lady Chann providing unique sound system swag on ‘Secret King’. Decca signing Annie Bea adds a sweet summer feel to ‘Just Like Me’ and new voices Mel Uye Parker, Rioghnach Connolly offer accomplished vocals to lead single ‘Hardground’, a track which Adams is happy to describe as one of his proudest productions. All in all a rich mix thrown in to the sonic melting pot via that all important tape machine mixdown!
[The very tape machine to which the album owes so much is central to the album’s cover art produced by Adams together with artist Paul Curtis.]