Marcus Gad – Rhythm Of Serenity
- Rebel Form of Soul
- Take Some Time
- Become a Nation
- Rhythm of Serenity
- Ini Royal feat. Blakkamoore
- Oh Mama
- Cane & Cotton
- Honoring the Soil
- Live Life
- Leggo Your Ego
- Nature Like Scripture
Zion I Kings
Since they joined forces in 2006, devoted fans of roots reggae music have learned that albums and compilations produced by the flaming Zion I Kings, a collective of producers and musicians from three respected production houses/labels being Zion High Production, I Grade Records and Lustre Kings Productions, almost always contain some great music. Their ever-impressing catalog includes big albums by Midnite, Akae Beka, Pressure Busspipe, Glen Washington, Cornell Campbell, Lloyd Brown and a beautiful group of others. Lustre Kings Productions, who are the ‘Kings’ of Zion I Kings, now push another large project of an unquestionable quality for a wonderful singer by the name of Marcus Gad.
After having encountered immediate success in New Caledonia with two free streaming online EP’s, “Soul Talk” (2015) and the acclaimed “Purify” (2016), Marcus Gad travelled from the small isolated special collectivity of France (located in the South Pacific Ocean) to Europe where he seduced an increasingly large audience with his meditative and committed roots type of reggae music. Already in 2017 his debut album entitled “Chanting”, recorded with the band Tribe, was released in France by Natural Productions, which was a perfect introduction to the vast artistic universe of Marcus Gad. Two years after his first full length studio album, he unleashed the 6-track EP “Enter A Space”, the fruit of a successful collaboration with Parisian beatmaker TAMAL who’s working with him since the beginning. And now, almost a year later the fine singer comes up with his sophomore album, “Rhythm Of Serenity”. How that album came about can be read HERE.
While listening to tracks on “Rhythm Of Serenity” it’s obvious that young New Caledonian singer Marcus Gad has been strongly influenced by the late great and sorely missed Vaugn Benjamin of Midnite and later Akae Beka, the bands from the Virgin Islands who agitated the reggae music world during the past two decades. With this in mind, a full length studio album produced by Lustre Kings’ Andrew “Moon” Bain from the Zion I Kings collective and with the involvement of musicians such as David “Jah David” Goldfine, Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred, Andrew “Drew Keys”, Stoch, Tuff Lion, Lloyd “Junior” Richards and Andrew “Moon” Bain, who all worked closely with Vaughn Benjamin on various albums, is simply something that, sooner or later, had to happen.
As anyone familiar with Marcus Gad’s works could imagine, the riddims that were provided to him not only perfectly suited the singer’s enchanting, hypnotic vocal style, but also his lyrical prowess, spirituality and deep consciousness. Before the “Rhythm Of Serenity” set was released, three singles in anticipation of that album (title track “Rhythm Of Serenity”, “Pouvoir”, and “Leggo Your Ego”) were put out which all in all gave a good impression of what to expect from the full length album. An indeed, just like the singles the album features songs with thought-provoking lyrics, atmospheric, calm and relaxed sounding reggae, which creates a smooth and serene type of vibes, as well as some vibrant music. More than enough to get anyone’s attention, and in particular from those who are longing for offerings in the same vein as Midnite and Akae Beka. To accomplish that is a huge compliment for the singer and his producer. Another major compliment goes to the players of instruments who helped making the sonics of this album sound fantastic from beginning to end.
The album gets started with the compelling “Rebel Form of Soul”, which is so convincing because of its huge vibes. The song, with Andrew “Drew Keys” Stoch’s scintillating trombone, literally stands up and glows on an album that truly shines brightly. Just starting and there’s already the first highlight! Next comes the delightful “Take Some Time”, underpinned by a relaxed backdrop that incorporates real nice sparkling piano parts. Rounding out the first quarter of the album is another worthwhile song, the intriguing “Become A Nation”. It’s a slow-paced effort which requires a bit of time to grow before it really hits you.
Marcus Gad’s first track in French, “Pouvoir”, is dedicated to Kanak people. This solid song is a distress call for indigenous people regardless of where they are to conserve their traditions and stay who they are keeping faith. The powerful “Overcome”, with its ‘good over evil’theme, is another definitive highlight. The massive title track, glued by embedded bass, smooth octave guitar licks and a steady confident pulse, dazzles and is not to be missed! Jahdan Blakkamoore joins Marcus Gad on the very impressive, meditative Nyahbinghi piece called “I&I Royal”. It is followed by the lovely “Oh Mama”, a musical bit of candy. Amongst the last five tracks of the album, with each having its own merit, are two standout tracks; “Honoring The Soil” and “Leggo Your Ego”. While the former is simply gorgeous and one that goes on repeat, the latter is a tune of sheer beauty that has become a personal favourite. The sterling “Nature Like Scripture”, which has a really special quality about it rounds off a modern roots album that surpasses expectations!!