Blaze Mob strikes A Balance

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, February 19, 2017

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Based in southern California, sibling trio Blaze Mob have worked the West Coast reggae scene tirelessly as artistes and backing band.


That extensive roadwork has helped them gauge what diverse audiences appreciate. They appeal to different generations with Big Road and No Bad Dealings, songs released in late 2016.


Bass player/singer Shaka Rock told Jamaica Observer that they keep in tune with the hip hop and dancehall scene. But being the sons of Wailing Souls founder, Garth Dennis, they have a passion for roots reggae.


" Big Road is more urban, contemporary, American. Wi haffi have a little sugar to capture our generation," said Shaka.


The jamming Big Road is produced by Blaze Mob. No Big Deal, with its loping bass line, is straight out of the 1970s.


Produced by Franklyn Irving, the beat was recorded in 1976 at Channel One with the vaunted Revolutionaries rhythm section of Sly Dunbar on drums and bassist Ranchie McLean.


The latter salutes the militant sound that made reggae an international force in the 1970s.


According to Shaka, "It would be a shame to leave the foundation that built us."


Shaka, his younger brothers Guasi Gong (drums) and Saeed (keyboards) grew up in Kingston and attended St George’s College.


The sounds of their contemporaries as well as the music their father made was never far away.


"Growing up in Jamaica, wi had to balance things. Stone Love string up across di road a play an’ wi father is a Rastaman. We come from the stable that represent the roots," said Shaka.


Big Road, he added, has been their most successful release in Jamaica, based on radio reception.


Blaze Mob have always struck a balance. More Consciousness, their 2008 album, reflects the music of Kingston and Los Angeles, where they have lived for almost 20 years.


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