Soothsayers’s first album ‘Lost City’ (released in 2000) represents the band’s early period. The band spent this formative period performing in venues around South London and developing a compositional style influenced chiefly by the music of South African township musicians such as Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela, and instrumental reggae artists such as Tommy McCook and the Skatalites. The album also includes the song ‘Follow Your Path’, which features Nigerian singer/musician Adesose Wallace and shows the band developing their own version of afrobeat which was to become an important feature of their subsequent work. ‘Lost City’ also features the great South African guitarist Lucky Ranku, as well as a whole host of top London-based musicians who became part of the loose and diverse Soothsayers collective.
The second album ‘Tangled Roots’ was released in 2005 and was a more afrobeat-inspired set featuring collaborations with Keziah Jones, Adesose Wallace, Maxi Jazz and Netsayi Chigwendere. With Rahman and Hopcraft writing, producing and mixing, this album is a more studio-based, produced album than ‘Lost City’, and represents a big step forward in the pair’s desire to bring together elements of afrobeat groove and melody with dub production and sonics. Soothsayers released the track ‘Blinded Souls’ from this album as a ten-inch vinyl single, featuring remixes by Quantic and Mad professor.
The third studio album ‘One More Reason’ (2009) (credited as Soothsayers and the Red Earth Collective) featured a collection of veteran reggae artists including Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet and Linval Thompson. This album was the first to feature mixes by London-based reggae producer and dj Manasseh, and also was the first album to feature the harmony vocal style which has since become a major feature of the band’s sound.
‘Red Earth Dub’ (2010) was Soothsayers’ subsequent release which is largely a collection of dubs and remixes by Manasseh and which also features two fresh compositions which are collaborations with Manasseh.
On their most recent album ‘Human Nature’ (release date October 2012), Soothsayers have fully developed their own three-part harmony vocal style (using the voices of Rahman, Hopcraft and more recent band member Julia Biel) which has become an integral part of the sound. Still fundamentally inspired by dub, reggae and afrobeat, the sound now has a unique compositional and production style, resulting from years of development and experimentation bringing together the various strands of bass-heavy, groove-inspired music that has characterised their output over the last decade. ‘Human Nature’ has been played by DJs on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, BBC 6 music and numerous radios stations worldwide. It was recentlt featured on Gilles Peterson’s ‘Best of 2012’ show.
Information source Wikipedia
The Soothsayers will be performing as part of the World Jazz Jamboree at Lighthouse Poole on 17th June 2017. Tickets are available for the Box Office or Online