Aswad (12")

Aswad (12") cover
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Aswad (12")

[ Island Records / 12in ]

Release Date: Friday 6 October 2023

Aswad has proven to be one of Britain's most influential and enduring reggae acts. Though later releases would find the group exploring more commercially oriented, r&b-flavoured reggae (and garnering crossover chart success as a result), their self-titled debut for mango is a satisfying set of straightforward roots music. For the most part, the album traffics in floating, downtempo grooves, as on the instrumental 'Red Up' and the surging 'Natural Progression'. In addition to their bright, guitar / keys interplay and air-tight rhythms, four of Aswad's five members sing, and the album is filled with strong solo and group vocal performances - the gospel-touched 'Can't Stand the Pressure', for example, and 'Back to Africa', Aswad's first single. The band also takes a cue from classic dub, as on the echoing soundscapes of 'Ethiopianrhapsody', in which harmonica and flamenco guitar wind through a heady rhythm vamp.


1. I A Rebel Soul
2. Can't Stand The Pressure
3. Ethiopian Rhapsody
4. Natural Progression
5. Three Babylon (Bonus Track)

1. Back To Africa
2. Red Up
3. Ire Woman
4. Concrete Slaveship
5. Three Babylon (Dub Mix) (Bonus Track)