Prince Fatty – In The Viper’s Shadow

by Oct 13, 2019Artist, Reviews

Prince Fatty - In The Viper's Shadow
Prince Fatty

Release Info

Prince Fatty – In The Viper’s Shadow

Label:  Evergreen Recordings | Format: CD-DR-LP | Street date: October 4, 2019 | Website Artist | Bandcamp

  1. Two Timer ft. Cornel Campbell and Tippa Irie
  2. Get Ready ft. Big Youth and George Dekker
  3. Deep Sleep ft. Shniece McMenamin
  4. Cassandra ft. Earl 16
  5. Everything Crash ft. Big Youth and George Dekker
  6. The Break ft. Winston Francis
  7. Steppin’ Out of Babylon ft. Big Youth and Marcia Griffiths
  8. Queen of the Minstrel ft. Cornell Campbell
  9. Tonight ft. Big Youth and Earl 16
  10. Trouble ft. Shniece McMenamin and Horseman
Prince fatty

Prince Fatty (meant as a tongue-in-cheek reference to King Tubby) aka Mike Pelanconi from the UK is a producer who has worked with reggae stalwarts like Gregory Isaacs, Ranking Joe, Dub Syndicate, Michael Rose. On the other hand he has teamed up with jazz/pop/dance artist like Brand New Heavies, Beverley Knight, Lilly Allen, James Taylor Quartet and many more. As far as reggae is concerned Prince Fatty’s sound is designed to dub your feet with rocksteady & reggae beats and stimulate brain waves in a jazz-like way… delivered in an up-beat, positive and organic funk music. Mixed in an analog haze of vintage spring reverbs, tape echoes and custom hi-grade mixing console, Prince Fatty won’t disappoint the fans of the 1970s sound.

In The Viper’s Shadow

His latest album In The Viper’s Shadow sees him in fresh style reworking top classic reggae/pop/soul hits with several reggae veterans as well as up and coming reggae/soul vocalist Shniece McMenamin. The songs were recorded at the Ironworks, in his Brighton hometown and mixed by him at Jah Dub Stido, Siracha, Thailand. Musicians include Horseman on drums, bassies Leroy ‘Mafia’ Heywood, Dub Judah and Black Steel, The Matic Brothers and Patrick and Leroy Horns on horns and guitarist Kashta Tafari.

gorgeous relick

Album opener Two Timer sets the tone for the rest of the album. Veteran Cornell Campbell steps up for a rub-a-dub remake of his own 1970s hit, but this time in combination with UK rapper Tippa Irie. The catchy backdrop with subtle echo fx makes you jump up and dance. Next comes a gorgeous relick of The Temptations 1966 hit Get Ready. The falsetto of George Dekker flows seamlessly and without hesitation across the rockers-esque riddim. Big Youth performs as he did in the Golden Days of reggae, the interaction between Big Youth’s toasting and George Dekker’s vocal delivery is completely satisfying.

contemporary remake

Shniece McMenamin performs an glorious updated reggae version of the sinister early 1960s cult song by Chance Halladay, Deep Sleep, in which the singer tells his lover he will hypnotize and put her/him in a state of slumber. Dennis Brown would have been proud on Earl 16’s fast paced version of Cassandra. Marvelous take! The duo George Dekker and Big Youth return for a dubbed up lyrically contemporary remake of The Ethiopians’ Everything Crash.

nice retro vibrations

Side B opens with reggae veteran Winston Francis. In 1969 he had a hit with a lovers tune The Break, a 7inch released on Duke Records. No dub fx here, just Winston relicking his own hit inna sweet reggae/rocksteady fashion. Then Marcia Griffiths steps up with Big Youth for Steppin’ Out Of Babylon. It was and still is such a great tune, here presented in a slightly different arrangement. It’s more a deejay version with Marcia’s vocals supporting Big Youth’s deejay chatting. The nice retro vibrations continue with Cornell Campbell who presents a flawless do-over of his hit Queen Of The Minstrel, staying close to the original cut!

Lyrically to the point

The duo Keith and Tex had one of their best moments with the tune Tonight, an 1967 classic produced by Derrick Harriott. Singer Earl 16 and Big Youth meet here for a splendid new version of the much versioned riddim. Just like Steppin’ Out Of Babylon it’s Big Youth who is taking lead vocals and Earl 16 vocal parts fading in and out. Top tune! Noteworthy album closer is the collaboration between jazzy sounding Shniece McMenamin and Horseman. Lyrically to the point, his chatting and her singing puts everything in the right place – flawless to the max.

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