Summer release for Wonder's scrolls
FOR his latest album, singer Mark Wonder stuck to the formula that has earned him a loyal fan base in Europe and the United States west coast for nearly 20 years.
The set, Scrolls of The Levites, is earmarked for a summer release by No Time Records, an independent company from San Francisco.
Wonder's previous album, 2012's Working Wonders, was distributed by Oneness Records out of Munich, Germany.
While he is not averse to working with Jamaican musicians and producers, Wonder believes foreigners, especially Europeans, have a greater appreciation for roots-reggae.
"What has happened is we have an industry that's deteriorating in Jamaica an' the Europeans have embraced our culture," he said. "Wi move away from the roots...A man jus' do a ting pon a computer an' call it One Drop."
Working Wonders includes collaborations with Sizzla (Guiding Light) and Natural Black (As The World Turns), but its cast of musicians are Europeans.
For Scrolls of The Levites, Wonder again does the lion's share of writing. Most the musicians are from California, which has been home to top reggae session players for over 30 years.
"It's a good album, wi jus' stick to the roots cause dat's what wi know," he said.
Wonder has been recording since 1985, his first release being Don't Pressure Me for producer Black Scorpio.
Though two of his five albums (Jeremiah and Break the Ice) were produced by Milton Moore for Kingston's Sound Proof Records, most of Wonder's music has been done for companies in The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Scrolls of The Levites is among the first projects for No Time Records whose management has an affinity for traditional music. That suits Mark Wonder just fine.
"Everybody here (Jamaica) into dancehall, so mi haffi work wid the people who love my vibration," he said.
-- Howard Campbell