Kingston-London-Brooklyn. Old school reggae with NYC cool and spot on retro look 45 label and sleeve. Apparently the band covers my fave Little Ann track in their live set. Now that would make a really nifty 7”!
I’m truly pleased to be able to announce the release of The Far East’s latest 7” single, a tough little disc that serves up two equally formidable selections for your musical enjoyment. ‘Rain On My Party’ is a sweetly melancholic Lovers Rock number that opens with a dark, blossoming organ line before settling into a gentle groove enlivened by swooning backing harmonies and some well-placed Syndrum accents. The song is a reverent homage to the UK Lovers Rock and wouldn’t sound out of place played alongside ‘80s era classics by singers like Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks, and Janet Kay, but its spare arrangement and dubbed out ambiance ensure that it retains elements of the slightly rougher New York centric aesthetic that the group has been refining over the past several years with the help of Channel Tubes’ producer and label owner Brett Tubin.
This of course brings us to the flip side, ‘Far East Ride’ a fierce, hard stepping roots cut that serves as a triumphant statement of purpose for the group. The song feels like an organic progression from their previous Tubin recorded single “Can We Make It Up”, which found them enlisting the aid of veteran reggae guitarist Andy Bassford and studiously copping moves from the works of legendary Jamaican studio outfits like the Soul Syndicate and the Roots Radics, groups well-known for restraining their considerable instrumental virtuosity in favor of spotlighting a tight arrangement, a rugged rhythm.
But for all The Far East’s musical discipline and their abundantly apparent love for the artistic and cultural achievements of the great musicians of Jamaica’s past, what has impressed me most about them is not their ability to evoke the sounds of this or that bygone Reggae era, but instead their earnest commitment to contributing to the New York reggae community as it exists in the here and now. The chops that The Far East display on these new recordings were not cultivated in isolation, but through years of study and collaboration with fellow artists; a mutually supportive network of producers, selectors, and party goers, singers and players of instruments, veterans and newcomers alike. So while this 7” may serve most directly as a showcase for the talents of The Far East as musicians and songwriters, their next release on Channel Tubes is going to be a love letter to the community that has helped them reach this point, a showcase style LP slated to include contributions from vocalists who’ve been vital contributors to New York’s reggae community over the past decades. Keep your ears open…
released June 5, 2018
Produced by Brett Tubin
Recorded at The Relic Room NYC & Channel Tubes
Engineered by Josh Hahn and Brett Tubin
Mixed at Channel Tubes
Mixed By Brett Tubin
Mastered by JJ Golden (Golden Mastering)
The Far East is:
Maddie Ruthless - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Matt Burdi - Drums, Percussion
Christian Philippone - Bass, Backing Vocals
Mike Sarason - Backing Vocals, Keys
Matt Kursmark - Pluck Guitar