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Pama International & Michie One - Highrise

It’s chapping cold outside, but warmth and positive vibes abound on the new single by London’s reggae soulsters Pama International. Enlisting the unmistakable vocal talents of top ten hit-maker Michie One, A side Highrise is a call for peace in the city that’s both uplifting in sound and serious in its message.

Based around a nice recut of Eric Donaldson’s Cherry Oh Baby (getting some twinkly Christmassy Scratch Perry dub treatment from Specials Ghost Town producer John Collins) Highrise marks a new level of maturity for the Pama crew. Highlights include Sean Flowerdew’s precisely considered keyboard work, Michie breaking into a busy dancehall delivery that fits the easygoing rhythm far better than you might think, and Collins splicing the kick drums with crisp, gunshot-like FX. On the flipside, Wherever You Lead is more familiar fare - bouncy uptown reggae in the style of Paul Davidson’s Midnight Rider, while instru-version Orgon Will Follow allows Flowerdew to take centre stage.

After the success of their Pama Intl- Trojan Sessions album (they were the first new act to be signed by Trojan in decades) Pama have released this single on their own label Rockers Revolt, with an album to follow. A band who make it look just as easy on stage as on disc; catch them on their promotional mini tour while you can.

Reviewed by Angus Taylor. Copyright 2007.

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