Harken back to a glorious period in reggae, when lush, big room sounds and smooth, soulful vocals ruled from Jamaica to New York, across the pond in London and everywhere dances were held. Known as Lover’s Rock, the style filled early ’80s dancehalls and radio airwaves alike, a grown up sound that cherished love, explored heartbreak, and most importantly, updated and paid respect to the indomitable rhythms of Jamaican music that had previously laid the foundation decades prior. That transcendent period is at the heart of The Far East’s latest recording, a true school ode to the sounds and vibes of reggae music in New York, what once was, and will always be.
Under the guidance of producer Channel Tubes in the studio since their inception, The Far East has built a formidable reputation around this still thriving New York scene. They’ve embraced many of the essential studio methodologies of the past, not so much as facsimile, but as an enhancement to their unique take on the genre. It’s evident outside of the studio as well, as the group has entrenched themselves in the diverse stages of New York’s music scene, adored by an audience both young and old, from Bushwick to The Bronx.
The band’s undeniable talent for performing comes alive on the recording, touched graciously and expertly at the hand of Channel Tubes, and the result is stunning. Lead singer Maddie Ruthless explodes off the record with both sugar and spice. She effortlessly glides across the precisely played backing tracks, whether they’re reimagining the iconic reggae rendition of “I’m In Love” or one of their soon-to-be-classic original numbers. Truly at the heart of the record is an honest ambience, a hint of nostalgia for a bygone New York era, but quite remarkably at the same time, an absolute statement of now, a proof positive document that the timeless possibility of reggae music can manifest itself once again in 2020 and beyond. As the record title suggests, New York Is For Lovers.
released December 18, 2020
Maddie Ruthless - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Matt Burdi - Drums & Percussion
Christian Philippone - Bass
Michael Sarason - Keys, Backup Vocals
Matt Kursmark - Guitar
Richard Terrana - Backup Vocals
Johnny Go Figure - Backup Vocals
Tracked at Hive Mind Recording
Engineered by Billy Aukstik & Brett Tubin
Produced & Mixed by Channel Tubes
Mastered by Frank at The Carvery, London
All songs written by The Far East
"I'm In Love" written by Kashif Saleem
Cover & Insert Photography by Miki Marcinkiewicz
Designed by The Far East & Little Dynasty
Edited & Supervised by Andrew Mason
supported by 42 fans who also own “New York Is For Lovers”
Like so many others, this came like a bolt out of the blue and, even though it's well before payday, I had to have this astonishing album on vinyl to prove it exists. The feel of the tunes makes me feel like the Impressions do, Curtis Mayfield, the big spaces and instinctive horns and stuff drifting in and out. Great grooves and I can see lots of ghosts nodding along to this with big smiles on their faces. At last! Anthony Cottrell