Horace Andy

Midnight Rocker

On-U Sound • 2022

»Lord, this must be hell/Cause there’s no peace down here on earth«. Unfortunately, lines like these are never far from the news. It’s just that they are more noticeable than ever now in our part of the world. When reggae vocalist Horace Andy sings them, both his softly high yet piercingly husky voice gives them even more weight. Horace Andy has been a staple of roots reggae since his ’60s hits like »Skylarking,« and he has worked with dub producers like King Tubby in the ’70s, and also guest-sung with Massive Attack in the ’90s. All this comes together quite naturally on his album »Midnight Rocker«. It revisits some Horace Andy classics, delivers the roots earthiness of plenty of riddims, but features a lot more dub thanks to his current producer, Adrian Sherwood. And then there’s Massive Attack, whose early hit »Safe From Harm« he performs in such a humbly faithful and only discreetly reggaefied interpretation that respect for the original gives his version such power, it makes it equal to the original. It’s like hearing the song for the second time. A distilled, coherent and altogether convincing coming-of-age of an old master, who shows no late-work serenity, but simply does everything the way it should be done.