Rhythm & Song
Cousins Records-Black Arrow
May 23, 2006
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4/5|
Born in South London December 12th, 1960 Peter Hunnigale was to develop into
one of Britain's best known and most liked reggae artists. It was clear at a tender
age Peter's main interest was in music and being born of Jamaican parentage he was
exposed and influenced by music of West Indian culture. It was at secondary school in
South London where Peter met Fitzroy Blake who was to become the recording engineer
for Peter's earlier hits. Their interests in music took Peter and Fitzroy through the
basic rudiments of recording and making records and learning the skills needed to
develop their talents as professionally as possible. At the end of their academic
years Fitzroy took on work as tape operator at De Wolfe Studio in Wardour St. London,
whilst Peter continued to learn his craft as a guitarist and both saw further
encouragement in the wake of the lovers rock phenomenon.|
Peter's first recordings were at De Wolfe Studio where Fitzroy was given free studiotime on weekends and being in such a privileged circumstance they both were exposed to a professional level of playing and recording music. The first record to be released from that period was a song written by Peter called "Slipping Away" (in the early 1980s on LGR records) and was to be the beginning of a long line of hits to follow in British reggae music. "Dancin Time" was the next release Peter was to appear on teaming up with Raymond Simpson, a much-respected vocalist by many, including Peter. The song was recorded at Vibes Corner Studio, the brainchild of Fitzroy and Raymond. Consisting mainly of British local talent, the studio was like a workshop and was an ideal environment for Peter to improve on his skills as a musician and to practice his vocal techniques which was seen as an important factor to any of the in-house productions. "Dancin Time" was the only record released from Vibes Corner and unfortunately enough the studio came to a close not long after.
This gave birth to the idea of creating a new label as both Peter and Fitzroy were still a team producing material and still eager to continue their chosen profession so it was not long before Street Vibes Records was formed. "Got To Get To Know You" coupled with "Money Money" was Street Vibes Records' first issue but did very little to bring any further awareness to the talents of the outfit. It would be some time before Street Vibes released a second recording. During the period outside of the studio productions Peter and Fitzroy took on the role of session and live work with reggae legends such as The Chosen Few, The Pioneers, B. B. Seaton and many others while earning the respect of their peers as a competent bassist and qualified engineer. The live commitments were a new direction in Peter's career and taught him live performance protocol, which only served to enhance his knowledge of music and the industry.
Production was still the main feature of the duo's forte so armed with a 4 track quarter-inch machine, desk, keyboards and guitars Peter and Fitzroy continued to produce material and it was not long before "Giving Myself Away" was recorded and released on the Street Vibes Label becoming the first entry for Peter in the then Black Echoes charts. The song got to number 24 and received positive response from sales and media sources and gave the partners the platform they needed. 1986 was the year Peter Hunnigale firmly established his name as the industry's most promising newcomer charting with a song called "Be My Lady" and achieving the respectful position of number 4 in the Echoes charts (again) on the Street Vibes label. The path was set for a flurry of songs written and performed by Peter proving his talents as a recording artist and displaying the production qualities of Street Vibes. "Fool For You", "Let's Get It Together", "It's Like Happiness", "Mr. Vibes" earning Peter his nickname and "Heart Of Steel" were some of the titles released by the outfit and prompted Peter's first album entitled "In This Time" that reached the number 1 position in the album charts seeing Peter collect his first accolade at the Celebrity Awards ceremony held in London, for best newcomer. Within the same year Peter was presented with a second award at the British Reggae Industry ceremony, for best British reggae album.
A DJ/Singer partnership was born from the notable success of "Raggamuffin Girl" with Tippa Irie. It took the number one position in the charts and won Peter and Tippa Black Echoes Magazine's record of the year and also received an award at the British Reggae industry ceremony. Two albums were recorded making official the new partnership between Peter and Tippa. "New Decade" (Mango) and "Done Cook And Curry" (Tribal Bass Records) were once again a new direction in Peter's career and his partner Tippa Irie was quite a formidable artist in his own right which led the team to different areas within the Reggae industry. 1990 Peter recorded his first single in Jamaica entitled "A Love Like This" courtesy of Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke. Eventually it culminated into Peter's second solo album entitled "Mr.Vibes", all recorded for the Street Vibes label but released by Arawak Records in 1992. album. Although by this time the British Reggae industry had moved on from the lovers rock era and Jamaican dancehall became the theme, Peter still maintained his brand and level of music much to his own benefit as this now placed him as a unique alternative in the market. A third album was released upon signing to Down To Jam Records entitled "Nah Give Up" containing more singles recorded by Peter and featuring songs for other producers.
Two tracks which appeared on the "Nah Give Up" album made British reggae history: "Perfect Lady", recorded and released by Fashion and "Baby Please", recorded and released by Saxon both achieved the number one slot consecutively in the Echoes charts 1994, each changing positions with themselves from 1-2 and vice versa. Peter also recorded and produced the Arsenal Football Club 1994 Coca Cola Cup anthem "Shouting For The Gunners" along DJ partner Tippa Irie which was released by London Records 1994, reaching the top Forty in the national charts. "Nah Give Up" was yet to bear more fruits as it won the first MOBO Awards Best Reggae Album category 1996 and also the Black Music Awards within the same year. Peter won more awards during the same period for Best Male Vocalist and Best Single "Share Your love" with fellow artists Nerious Joseph / Mafia & Fluxy and Glamour Kid (as Passion) at the 1996 People's Awards ceremony and again in 1997 for Best Male Vocalist. More albums were to follow; "The Pacifists" (Sony Records), "Mr.Government" (Ariwa), "Reggae Max" (Jet Star Records), "Silly Habits" (Jamming), "Genuine" (Saxon records) and "Back To The Old School" (Disco Tex Records). In the 10 years since his releases have steadily attracted the massive's attention and critical acclaim, especially his tunes for Peckings lately and his actual (vinyl only) album "Free Soul" for that label.
This 2 years old (but not to be neglected) "Rhythm & Song" album for Donville Davis' Cou$ins Records is almost completely backed and produced by 'Mr. Honey Vibes' Peter Hunnigale himself, opening with a smashing take on the Mighty Diamonds' 1982 "Hearts Desire" followed by the truly nostalgic "My Yesterdays" and the wonderful lovesongs "House Of Love" and "Don't Wanna Let You Go" - containing a sample of the late American singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" showing Peter's broad musical taste -. "Raindrops To Butterflies" is another prime example of what a great smooth voice Peter Hunnigale has and how brilliantly he provides (himself) angelic backing vocals highlighting his production and songwriting skills for heartfelt lovers tunes, before Lukie D joins him for the magnificent love-gone-wrong combination "Keep It Real" over Stingray's 'More Strength'-riddim and on "Unstuck" you can hear that Peter's songwriting is not just about composing great melodies but he also writes spot-on lyrics everytime.
"Hot & Cold" is yet another great loverstune before with "Your Lucky Day" only the second not self produced tune of this album, recorded for Stingray and backed by Ruff Cut, is featured. That Peter is able to deliver a great conscious or reality tune becomes very clear with the excellent and extremely catchy "Life Is ... ". For "Pull Up A Chair" he samples American R&B group Jagged Edge's 2003 song "Girls Gone Wild" to full effect backing another reality tune, and through his superb smooth delivery you'd almost 'forget' the message he's delivering so well over this riddim on which he also produced Tippa Irie's "Pick Up My People". This album closes with a great tribute to "My Reggae Music" - in which Peter incorporates a sample of The Jacksons' "Blues Away" (the first song published that was written by Michael Jackson) - leaving you wanting for more of this superb vocalist. I can only hope that the Peckings release "Coxsone Records Presents ~ Free Soul" will be out on CD very soon, but until that happens, this is the Peter Hunnigale album you need to hunt down first to listen to in the meanwhile.