This CD hasn’ left my side for a week, if I cant listen at home whenever I can, its in the car, and its turned up loud. Its been a long time between drinks, but Monkeymarc is back.
The main music maker and producer for legendary Melbourne conscious hip hop and dub outfit Combat Wombat, Monkeymarc, or Marc Peckham, has forged a style that is original and refreshing. The last Combat Wombat album was a huge hit in this house, loved by all, including my kids, who really seemed to connect with the rhythms, sonic expression, and the underlying message. To finally have a solo album from Marc is a joy, although the message being subdued by the lack of MC’, its still there, you just need to scratch beneath the surface.
The album kicks off in mellow Thievery Corporation style, part hip hop, dub and mellow beats, but the opener is an intro into something more meaty and exciting, and refreshing to hear such a combination of styles mashed together that work. â€œWhat Can I Do?â€ injects Marc’ love of blues with a brilliant use of Lightning Hopkins voice, sampled, â€œâ€¦I used to be a dealerâ€¦â€, catchy, infectious. â€œOne Race One Creed One Worldâ€ reshapes John Lydon into a prophet, while the ghost of Bessie Smith haunts â€œThe Evening Sunâ€ with bass hook and infectious eastern strings and percussion. Boom bap beats ride over steel drums on â€œMumbai Mayhemâ€, before the Indian theme sweeps it to another place, and a chant snippet bounces around your head with lashings of warm, comforting synths and feel good flutes. â€œDeadly Dubâ€ brings me back to what I enjoyed most about Combat Wombat, the knack of combining modern production with straight up, no fuss, dubbed out jams, simple piano lines float over a sea of dub, sharp snares, and snappy high hats, before the almost heavenly melodica takes you away, it’s a sound that ensures the hairs on the back of my neck become upright. â€œEmergencyâ€ plays with dubstep, but affirming the half-step with skipping high hats give the track momentum, yet retaining the infectious skank, and a sub-bass wobble that rivals anything in the genre from overseas. â€œWe’ve Really Fucked Up This Timeâ€ opens with ghostly dub and Mad Max dialogue samples, hailing to a bleak future, you’d think you were listening to a new Kode9 production, a futuristic displaced skank, a dub pushed to the limit of sedation, with only the skitter of high hats to give momentum. â€œSufi Dubâ€ brings things back to earth, the unknown Turkish singer reaffirming ones spirituality, its hard not to be affected by the mournful strings and the incredibly uplifting voice, and even not understanding the language, it feels spiritual. â€œNow Or Neverâ€ carries forward the plucked strings, adding warm and comforting synth to round off what is an incredibly enjoyable journey around the globe, and around the studio of a very creative mind.
Recorded entirely on solar power in Monkeymarc’ converted shipping container studio in Melbourne, mixed at Sumroom Studios in Paris, and mastered at Transition in London, Monkeymarc has created such an eclectic and diverse album like no other Australian artist to date, this album deserves success beyond our shores, and should be embraced here for its hidden delights. Released on Melbournes Omelette Records, with artwork by Matt Dunn, the packaging is even forward thinking, by Eco Innovators, using 80% post consumer waste recycled paper and vegetable inks.
An absolute joy to listen to from start to finish. Support Australian, support innovation, please buy this album. Find out more at www.monkeymarc.com.