18 December 2010

MUNGO'S HI-FI Interview

Tonight sees the LAST EVER Mungo's Hi-FI at the Glasgow School of Art, before Scotland's number 1 reggae and dubstep sound system move on to pastures green(er). I caught up with Mungo's selectah Doug to ask about the move, and the future plans:

So why is Mungo's Hi Fi leaving the Art School?

Firstly, and most importantly, it's closing down in the summer for a 2 year refurbishment, so we needed to find a new venue in any case. The impetus to go was made stronger when 2 of the last 5 dates we had for 2011 were given away to other nights.

And where to after that?

So on to Stereo on Renfield Lane. We like the folks that run it, we like the other nights that are on there and we are allowed to use our sound system. It's a bit small, but that means the bass will be nuts and it will be rammed, making for what we love best - vibes.

What was the best night you had at the Arty?

That's a really hard question - I've written them all up in our blog so maybe we could have a vote on it? I guess if you waterboarded me for an answer I would say February with Kenny Knots. Check the recording and there's a wee video as well.

How did it compare to the venue before that, the Woodside Social Club?

The Woodside was beautifully intimate - it felt more like a house party. But we really wanted to bring some other acts to Glasgow, and we needed a bigger venue like the Artschool to make it viable. What we discovered though, was that people weren't too fussed about the guests, and just wanted to come out for a dance, so it didn't matter too much who we brought, we'd still get the same sort of numbers turning up. Which is why we are now re-focussing on bringing the acts we want to see, and not caring if they have a profile that will bring a crowd.

What have you got forthcoming on Scotch Bonnet?

Our next release on Scotch Bonnet is a 12" coming out at the beginning of January and is called Everyman Different. It's a reworking of Errol Dunkley's original, and Tom has made has made a rough riddim track for it. The vinyls are in the studio and ready to rock. Soon after that will come the massive Play Music Selector release featuring Little John and Jah Thomas, with mixes from Mungo's and RSD, and extra vocals from Lady Ann and Ranking Levy...Then a Japan exclusive Sound System Champions 2 to coincide with our tour there in February, followed by a Mexican exclusive, and a general release. We're working on an album with Soom T, and there is a shed load of other crackers waiting to bust out.

And how is Scrub A Dub going?

Scrub a Dub is going well, with a huge response to our last release called Vampayaa. The vocal is by PupaJim (coming to Glasgow in May) with Tayo and Acid Rockers on the riddim track, with massive remixes by Marcus Visionary, RSD and Starkey. Next up is our Refix of Eek a Mouse's Hire and Removal, then we hope Yellowman's Ram Dance Master.

Why did you decide to start another label exactly?

We started Scrub a Dub to be able to go a bit further with the electronic side to our music which our core Scotch Bonnet fans might not be able to stomach. But the two labels seem to be converging which I take to mean that we are managing to tread the middle path.

What has been your most popular record so far (of any genre)?

I think the most popular record we have released has been Belly Ska. It was on our first 10" on Scotch Bonnet but then we revisited it on two more 10"s and since then we get remixes and mashups coming in pretty much every month. General Levy and several other vocalists have included versions on their albums and it has been played live by many touring bands. Just this week I found a video with Luciano and Mikey General finishing off their set with it, and I got a new remix from Dubatak in Sao Paolo. See below to download

What new producers (from Jamaica or further afield) are you diggin right now?

Disrupt the Jahtari label boss has to come top of the list. Brand new album coming out with Soom T in January with the launch night at our first night in Stereo.
RSD - Rob Smith of Smith and Mighty fame has a lot of synergies with us, and he seems to have the knack of making truly excellent music time after time.
I could go on, but I'll stop there.

Has there been an anthem of 2010 for you?

I guess 'International Roots' featuring Earl 16 on the Bad From riddim has the ring of an anthem, and has also be doing the remix rounds with LD's release on Dub Police.

How was your summer - any gigs anywhere exciting?

Last summer was unforgettable cos we took the sound system all over Europe, through Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and finishing up in Croatia for the Outlook Festival, which was just the icing on the cake. We ran a stage all week in a squatted Austro-Hungarian Sea Fort on the Adriatic with an insane lineup. We are already signed up for 2011.

What's so special about Reggae anyway?

Reggae is one of the richest relatively untapped seams of musical heritage. And it has a future as well as a past, which many people fail to be able to visualise. It is a worldwide heritage fuelled by ganga and good vibes. But I'm not going to convince you by chatting about it - the only way is to experience it on a real sound system. Why not come down to the Artschool tonight to hear what all the fuss is about?

Doug mentioned above a remix of the Mungo's classic "Belly Ska" by Brazil's Dubatak - well he's been kind enough to let us give it away for free, bless 'im:

MUNGO'S HIFI Belly Ska (Dubatak Remix) by littlerockrecords

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