Sardinian ensamble Forelock & Arawak present the single Roots & Culture as the first taste of their second album To The Foundation, produced by Paolo Baldini and released via La Tempesta Dub in May 2018.
Combining a tribute to the musical genius of Dennis Brown and unreleased material, the musicians and the producer re-interpreted in their own way a number of hits of the Jamaican legend and coupled them with new compositions on the same instrumental riddims, in the wake of the Jamaican tradition of vocal cut and dub version. Such is the case of Roots & Culture, which is a paradoxical love declaration to their own cultural roots, embroidered on the harmonies of the song Should I.
The paradox consists in the concept of cultural boundaries no more coinciding with political and national borders, to the point that a young man, born and grown far from Jamaica, could draw inspiration to re-discover his own roots from to the spiritual lesson coming from reggae music. Hence the fitting contrast of singing in Jamaican patois the joy of belonging to the Sardinian heritage and culture.
“At this point in time, when the concept of Nation and border is continuously disputed and debated, should we – eternal lovers of an overseas culture – be among those who believe and support such nonsense? “To The Foundation”, in its literal meaning, may sound like an invitation to mental narrow-mindedness, but in fact these foundations will reveal the common denominator among all cultures. To better face the present and future, we must nurture the knowledge of what our ancient and deep past was. Endeavouring to find justice and truth in the mixed-race future of our civilisation might be our only way out. Down with geopolitical borders, long live the cultural meltin’ pot!”, Forelock said.
Roots & Culture, like the whole album To The Foundation, also pays a tribute to the heritage of Jamaican producers of the 70s and 80s: it was indeed recorded in two takes of direct recording, the first one with the musicians and the second with the vocals and dub mix. All certified by the video-format of Paolo Baldini’s own project DubFiles.
The song is available on all digital platforms and comes with a videoclip, published on the band’s YouTube channel, in which images, landscapes and events of Sardinia’s local tradition alternate with the footage of the studio performance.