My Heart Is A Stoner is Mahout‘s first full-length album, released by La Tempesta Dub and distributed by Believe Italia.
Mahout was born in Pinerolo, a small town in the Piedmont province (Italy) historically steeped in the reggae subculture, which gave birth to the longest-running reggae band in Italy, Africa Unite, and to one of the shortest and most intense experiences of 90s Italian punk, I Fichissimi. Growing up in such a context, Mahout formed with the specific intention of merging Jamaican-style reggae with various other influences ranging from Californian punk, to garage rock, to funk. The result is a very personal sound which is difficult to pin down to a specific genre, as it is constantly swaying between black softness and white roughness. This very personal fusion of influences determines the sound that has been condensed into this first record.
The theme that binds the 10 tracks’ lyrics that compose it is the second chance, the rebirth, the intuitive ability and wisdom of the human being that allows to rise and start again after moments of mourning and crisis and to adopt new forms allowing to evolve, at times even spiritually, a little beyond their previous limits and boundaries.
The album is produced by Marco Benz Gentile (formerly Africa Unite, Dave Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7, Meg, Architorti) and features two artists who are well known in the international music scene such as legendary percussionist Larry McDonald (Gil Scott-Heron, Lee Scratch Perry, The Skatalites, Toots & The Maytals) and keyboardist Peter Truffa (New York SkaJazz Ensemble, Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeaters).
The band explains: “Talking about oneself and what one has tried to put across in an artistic piece of work is a total short-circuiting exercise. Having said that, what we meant to do was to try keeping alive, as much as possible, the emotional and stylistic core from which the composition had started. The album’s tracks were written over a five-year span, so bringing them closer together and making them cohere was the bulk of the work to be done. Each one carries within it a foundational part of Mahout’s sound and poetics. This is the first chapter, then we will see”.