Real Eyes Music
September 24, 2005
|Artist & tune|
|Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)|
Pocci and The Real Eyes family are by no means new to roots music -- they have been making this music since the early 80's coming out of the same pool of London singers and players that grew up religiously attending Shaka dances, and had their insights formed by that experience.
It is the same pool out of which emerged Alpha and Omega, Manasseh, Conscious Sounds, Disciples and Jah Warrior -- though the Real Eyes family have kept far more of a low profile and have long ago moved away from the urban chaos of inner London to more rural environments.
Their output has been stylistically mixed -- some has been in the vein of very early UK roots with an Alpha And Omega vibe and religiosity. Other tunes boast a belligerent junglist bass, backed by the kind of vocals Mad Professor cut and spliced for Massive Attack on "No Protection." Other tunes have a rich spiritual - traditional vibe which, vocally, has something in common with the ethereal styles of the 12th century mystic Hildegaard of Bingen.
What their diverse styles have all in common is that they all have a Gnostic centred consciousness that sets them apart from their contemporaries.
This discomix, "Can we Stop The War In Time" has a detached and calm vocal, reminiscent of Ras Natural’s style on the Shaka tune "Highest Region", but the vocal is heavily electronically treated and put through various effects, which bring to mind Keety Roots and Black Legacy's recent styles. (Think Keety Roots' "His Foundations" release -- this vocal has the same vocal treatment) The dub is a thunderous affair, harsh and strident -- but not relying on thoroughly tiresome steppers and banal one drop clichés so increasingly common in both JA and euro based reggae. This dub eclipses the vocal, with its dichotomy of subconscious aggressions and contrasting tranquillity made manifest. It is going to sound huge when released through big bass bins.
"Healing Time" from Sister Gloria aka Helen Y, is a Gnostic affair, with a pure and calm unique vocal style, owing more to Hildegaard of Bingen than contemporary vocalists -- and that is its beauty.
Some complain that their sleeve art, presentations and designs are rushed and poor, and don't match the intention of the music -- They may have a point, but at its best, the music speaks for itself. On their albums, sometimes the beats are too sparse and can sometimes tend to sound samey -- but at their best, their inspiration carries them well beyond these limitations.
This music comes from a very European Gnostic cultural vibe mixed up with Jamaican insights via the dancehalls of 1980's London. The fusion works well.