Uplifting music lovers in recent years with memorable live performances and great recordings, Soothsayers unify vital and disparate sonic elements into an organic and deeply grooving sound. Hornsmen and singers Robin Hopcraft (trumpet) and Idris Rahman’s (saxophone) dynamic presence and great musicianship lead their audience on a sonar organic journey with big vocal choruses and compelling horns. Bringing in her vital and beautiful harmony and lead vocals, Julia Biel and Togolese bassist and singer Kush are as well an integral part of this, seven piece, band’s multi dimensional force. Infused with the musical culture of the band’s base in Brixton, London and fostering a deep respect and love for pan African sounds that have profoundly influenced and been a basis and inspiration for so many contemporary musical genres.
Debut album Lost City drew on jazz tradition while the acclaimed follow-up disc ,Tangled Roots , channeled funk and hip-hop alongside afro-beat and reggae, and the two most recent albums One More Reason (2009) and Red Earth Dub (2011) showcased their love of dub, harnessing deep grooves and mesmerizing sonic manipulation to perfectly compliment their pulsating Afro-beat rhythms and mighty horn arrangements. Drawing on a range of influences from Fela Kuti , The Wailers, Miles Davis, King Tubby and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to The Specials, Hugh Masekela, Roots Manuva and Massive Attack,. Over recent years the band have also performed and recorded with an impressive array of guest vocalists such as Jamaican reggae great Johnny Clarke, Maxi Jazz (Faithless) and Nigerian afro soul star Keziah Jones. An international touring schedule recently took them to the first ever Dhaka World Music Festival (Bangladesh Feb 2011). As well as this Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft have both been key players in the on stage band in FELA! at London’s National Theatre (Jan 2011) with several other band members also appearing in the show.
Reviews for “One More Reason”: Uncut Magazine **** ” One of the finest slices of a Anglo Carribean fusion since The Specials in their prime……artfully mixing in funk and Afrobeat to their deep dub” Clash Magazine 8/10 ” a truly intoxicating dub experience… featuring a galaxy of reggae and dub stars….like the best jambalaya its hot and spicy and will leave you grinning from ear to ear” Metro “Afro-dub at its most infectious, an energetic burst of musical virtuosity that is both conscious and peppily propulsive” United Reggae.com “nothing short of a triumph, which links the UK dub reggae landscape of the 1970s with the world via the global sound exchange of today. You don’t need another reason. Buy this now” Jazz Breakfast.com “A deep reggae rhythm section is always a pleasure; so to is an Afro-jazz horn section – put the two together and add some seriously cool singers and some speaker squeezing sonic manipulation and you have a party hit on your hands” Fly Global.com ” One More Reason is a little bit rebel and also very global; lift your spirits and buy this now” Extensive radio play on David Rodigan Kiss FM . As well as BBC radio 3 and stations around the world.
Noted for their blistering shows, South London collective Soothsayers have been kicking up a live storm with their organic mix of reggae, afro-beat, funk and urban jazz for over 10 years. But where their debut Lost City drew on jazz and African music and acclaimed follow-up Tangled Roots channeled funk and hip-hop alongside afro-beat and reggae, One More Reason brings their love of dub to the fore – harnessing some deep dub grooves to perfectly compliment their pulsating Afro-beat rhythms and mighty horn arrangements. The album features legendary reggae vocalists Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet and Linval Thompson alongside contributions from the UK dub legend Mad Professor and Nick Manasseh a mainstay of the UK dub scene for over 20 years.
Drawing on a range of influences from Jah Wobble, Fela kuti, The Wailers, King Tubby and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to The Specials, Hugh Masakela, Roots Manuva and Massive Attack, One More Reason is infused with the musical culture of the band’s base in Brixton, one one of London’s most culturaly diverse neighbourhoods and was recorded in their SW2 based studios. They work-shoped the tunes at their legendary bi-monthly Red Earth Collective sessions at the Effra – a favourite hangout for musicians and music lovers in Brixton – before band-leaders and producers Idris Rahman and Robin Hopcraft created the heady brew that is One More Reason from a melting-pot of 24 carat dub, afro-beat, and deep-funk grooves.
Led by trumpeter Hopcraft and saxophonist Rahman, Soothsayers also features Idris’ sister Zoe Rahman ..s (with whom Idris recently released the critically acclaimed Where Rivers Meet), guitarists Phil Dawson and Derek Johnson, bassist Kodjovi Kush, drummer Patrick Illingworth, percussionists Spry and Satin Singh , vocalist Julia Biel and a host of guest musicians including South African veteran Lucky Ranku .