Bristol Archive Records
CD / Digital Release
September 16, 2015
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 3/4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Three years after the band was formed, and after having released two albums on cassette tape in 1987 and 1988 respectively, Bath based UK reggae outfit Rhythmites managed to get its first vinyl LP entitled "Integration" released on Bluurg Records. The album, recorded and mixed July 1989 at Southern Studios, was well received, but then vanished into obscurity and it even wasn't available on the used market.
Together in various incarnations since 1986, the band has played sets to audiences all over the UK and Europe. They built up a loyal fan base and a strong reputation as the West Country's leading proponents of live roots reggae. Rhythmites split up in the year 2000 but in 2007, they picked up where they'd left off and once more began spreading the roots reggae message at live shows as well as recording new material, which eventually led to the release of the follow-up album to "Integration", the 2009 released cd "Stand Strong".
Now Bristol Archive Records have reissued Rhythmites' "Integration", although not in its original form as the 8 tracks of the original album have been remixed by engineer Ben Findley, because the band had never been entirely happy with the original mix and wanted to remix the album with the benefit of twenty first century facilities. Luckily they've remained totally faithful to the original with no badly judged attempts to update the sound; it has improved the original whilst maintaining the spirit of the vinyl pressing. Furthermore brand new exclusive dub versions for "Heed No Dream" and "A True" have been added as a bonus.
"Integration" is a decent UK roots album, treating the listener to authentic sounding songs full of consciousness. "Nation Integration", a song that calls for unity, is a strong album opener with Angus' distinctive vocals accompanied by a riddim track with great horn parts. The real nice "No Stopping We" comes next, which however is outmatched by "Pain And Suffering", a big tune that shines a light on some of the ills of the world with lyrics that are still relevant today as they were in 1989. Stuart's didgeridoo makes an appearance right from the start in "No Guns", a solid track that suggests it doesn't take weapons and violence to be a freedom fighter. "Heed No Dream" makes a good impression with again a delightful playing horns section. "Give And Take" is truly worthwhile hearing, while "A True" and "Hold On", which both carry a somewhat different feel and vibe, are nice efforts with "Hold On" being the slightly better one.
Thanks to the esteemed Bristol Archive Records, Rhythmites' first vinyl album gets a long overdue reissue. Well done!