“District Vibes ft. SleepWalker (Thunderball Remix)”
by Shamans of Sound
Out Now Worldwide: https://fanlink.to/DistrictVibes
On their new single Shamans of Sound bring you the “District Vibes” with some strong, uplifting vocals by SleepWalker. The Shamans started working on this new tune before the quarantine period and have finished it remotely during lockdown. But now more than ever, we need your positivity and good vibrations, so its time for some District Vibes!
For their first single with vocalist SleepWalker, the Shamans have laid down the Wild Step Riddim, complete with skanking guitar, reggae drum breaks and some heavy bass-lines. Dub effects and percussion are sprinkled throughout to great effect, this is a high energy and upbeat conscious reggae party. The non-stop Wild Step Riddim is augmented by the vocals of the legally blind vocalist SleepWalker. No stranger to the thriving DMV music scene, SleepWalker has performed with Incwell & The Freeword, The Fif and See-I over the years, to name a few. An expert at working a crowd and building up the energy, SleepWalker delivers his call to action on District Vibes.
Keeping it all hometown, Shamans of Sound sent District Vibes to DC’s legendary drum’n’bass producers Thunderball, of ESL Music and Fort Knox Recordings fame, for a remix. The result is a fiery drum’n’bass stepper with an infectious groove, so crank the volume and let the beats drop. We dare you to try sitting still while listening to this one, its made for the dancefloor and its a guaranteed party starter for real.
“Very good Thunderball Remix!” – Quincy Jointz
“Thunderball Remix is pure fire!” – Fort Knox Five
“Thunderball brining that funky DnB just like I dig it!.” – Farbsie Funk
“Vibes Galore! Reminds me of being in the District…. Looking forward to playing these tracks. Nice false ending on Thunderball Remix!” – Los Chicos Altos
“Big Tune! Great melodic horn lines, lots of excitement coming from the hihat pattern, nice production with the dub elements.” – Second Sky
“Nice eerie sound, reminds of the Ghost Town track!” – DJ Chlorophil SF
“Love the Thunderball Remix, really nice blend of ska, dub and dnb – this one will get rinsed the F out!” – Little John The DJ
Out Now Worldwide: https://fanlink.to/DistrictVibes
by Mustafa Akbar
FKX129 – Fort Knox Recordings
Out Now Worldwide:
Following the release of Mustafa Akbar’s posthumous Attracted EP, Fort Knox Recordings assembled a hit squad of producers who’d worked closely with Mustafa over his storied career to remix his final tracks. All of the producers reported back that the process took on a special vibration, as Mustafa’s incomparable vocals filled their studios once again. These six remixes are not only each artist’s reinterpretation of Mustafa’s tracks, but also represent a final opportunity to collaborate with their fallen brother.
Fort Knox Five’s remix of “Resist” is all about that retro, g-funk, mid-tempo, Disco vibe, complete with horns, funky guitars and slinky synths that drip with that Mothership swagger. Crisp and poppin’ from the first beat, Mustafa’s social justice lyrics run the track with a call to action reminiscent of the Fort Knox Five classic “Funk 4 Peace.” All Good Funk Alliance infuse their remix of “Whatcha Gwan Do” with choppy synths and crisp stabs on top of their signature Latin percussion, rinsed out with a futuristic, electro-funk ending. AGFA has engineered this one for the dance floor with multiple builds, Mustafa’s falsetto chorus, and a serious analog organ breakdown that culminates with Ralph Real’s rhymes pushing the track over the top. Big beats and heavy bass dominate Qdup’s remix of “The Likes” which offers a distinctly West Coast, g-funk vibe throughout. Qdup and Mustafa made quite a few club bangers over the years, and this one feels like a proper floor-burner with a big payoff halfway through.
The title track gets a Moombahton treatment courtesy of Empresarios, featuring Javier Miranda’s congas and vocal stabs throughout. Set to a pulsing House beat with trippy washes and dub effects, we are sure Mustafa would’ve loved the upbeat dance energy on this one! As the first Fort Knox Artist to record Mustafa, Thunderball were immedi- ately drawn to rework “Runnin’ Away” into a drum’n’bass soul stepper. Mustafa’s vocal delivery is perfect atop the rolling, liquid bassline and piano stabs, creating a head-nodding D&B love song. An accomplished musician in his own right, sound engineer and producer Holmes Ives both toured with Mustafa and mixed many of his tunes over the years. On his “Resist” remix, Ives has stripped down the track adding layers of shimmering synths that let the vocals sparkle and sail over a slow and heavy Moombahton beat.
Released a year after his sudden passing, this EP is both a tribute to Mustafa’s legacy and a musical send-off to a collaborator, band member and friend. On Attracted Remixed Mustafa’s voice is given one last chance to grace the genres of Funk, House, Breaks and Drum’n’Bass. Gone, but never forgotten, Mustafa Akbar has left a permanent impres- sion on our hearts, and his lyrics will continue to inspire many around the world. As Mu would say, give thanks to the Most High!
“Nice stuff guys, long live his memory.” – Stickybuds
“HOTTTT” – Ursula 1000
“D I G !” – Pathaan
King Mustafa!! Pump Your First Like This!” – The Gaff
“FK5 always delivering Goodness at its best!” – Jayl Funk
“Oh Yes, the FK5 Remix is an absolute banger!” – Shantisan
“Awesome Remixes. All Winners” – Quincy Jointz
“A solid remix package for such a well loved and influential person.” – Pecoe
“Massive release! Sweet bunch of remixes.” – Busta
“Fantastic Remixes!” – Stereo77
Out Now Worldwide:
First Published on DC Reggae:
Mustafa Akbar (1958 – 2019)
Most DMV Reggae Music lovers know Mustafa Akbar as the lead singer of Nappy Riddem. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, he leaves behind an amazing catalog and legacy. Mustafa Akbar Music wrote, recorded and released several solo albums over the years, as well as with groups like Fort Knox Five, Thunderball, All Good Funk Alliance, Basement Freaks and others. He toured extensively across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore to name a few. Veterans of DC’s underground music scene probably met Mustafa as the bouncer at the door of Club Red. And for nearly 20 years Mustafa worked at the Eighteenth Street Lounge and was their head of security. During those years he launched his own Mustock gathering in rural Virginia, which was part music festival, part campout and part family reunion. One of his personal Mustock highlights was having Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad as the 2010 headliner. Whether as bandleader in Nappy Riddem, a touring musician or guest vocalist, Mustafa always brought his heart and soul to the stage and made a joyful noise unto Jah.
Mustafa survived a near-fatal car accident in Fall 2016, and through his own determination and community support he recovered and performed again. He continued his prolific career, recording dozens of new songs since the car crash. Sadly in Fall 2018 he was diagnosed with HLH, a rare blood disorder which is treated through chemotherapy. After the first round of treatment, his body was too weak to survive the second round. While we are sad to lose his positive energy and rebellious spirit in our daily lives, we know that Mustafa was at peace with his creator, “The Most High” in his own words. Mustafa leaves behind a massive catalog of over 100 tracks and dozens more remixes and collaborations. He collaborated with artists and producers from around the globe and toured widely across four continents. While Mustafa left this plane to join the ancestors, we still listen to him through his lyrics and music. His uncompromising honesty and big smile continue to inspire many and will do so for years to come. We want to say Thank You to Mustafa Akbar and his family, thank you for sharing your gift with us for so many years and making our world a better place to live.
Words: Andy Cerutti
Bulletproof: B-Sides and Rarities
FKX113 – Fort Knox Recordings
Out Now Worldwide
With B-Sides as strong as any A-Side and Rarities that could have been Hits, Thunderball digs deep into the past to prove that even the hidden corners of their catalog are bulletproof. These rare gems by Steve Raskin, Sid Barcelona and Rob Myers have never seen a wide release, having coming out previously only on vinyl and/or compilations and are just now seeing the light of day!
Leading the lineup is an early, unreleased treasure “If Knowledge Is Power” featuring Akil Dasan on vocals. Known as the front man for acid jazz pioneers US3, and for his appearances on Thunderball’s “Stereo Tonic” and Fort Knox Five’s “Blowing Up the Spot,” Akil brings his deft delivery and consciousness to this hip-hop, jazz, drum’n’bass monster. The other unreleased track of the collection happens to be a recent recording. Tracked after the release of 12 Mile High, their last studio album, “Bubbles and Bossa” is a drum’n’bossa toe-tapper that puts your feet in the sand and your ear to the wind as Miss Johnna M’s vocals transport you to the bubbly side of life.
10 inch Vinyl was always the go-to format for a Thunderball single back in the day: cool, collectable, and oh so hard-to-find. Here are some of the B-sides and rarities that appear as digital files for the first time ever: “The Cobra Connection,” a rudeboy-influenced stomper with vocals by Hutchy, who toasts his way over tough beats, afro-percussion, and a stabbing horn line. “The Getaway,” a ‘70s spy film chase scene infused with hypnotic synths, soulful Hammonds and a groovin’ bass line. “Stereo Tonic (Thunderball Stereo Beats Mix)” a percussion-driven, trip-hop workout of Thunderball’s sitar-laced anthem “Stereo Tonic” that flexes on the dancefloor… And speaking of Sitars, another welcome entry highlighting the playing of Rob Myers (Thievery Corporation “Lebanese Blonde”) is “Welcome Back Cooper,” (a collaboration with psychedelic labelmates Liftoff) that fuses ‘60s psychedelia to big beats, frenetic tablas and mod horns and its B-Side the “Liftoff Mini Mix,” a retro, Summer of Love throwback, full of acid-drenched melodies and verbed-out tambourines.
One of the earliest hits for Thunderball was “Heart of the Hustler” featuring Mustafa Akbar, the “Thunderball Poor Hand Dub” is a classic, dub-inspired version of the original. “Don’t Stop,” the earliest B-side on the compilation, is taken from the very first Thunderball 12 inch vinyl, it’s a classic 1997 drum’n’bass roller filled with familiar samples, timestretched vocals, big builds and chopped up beats. “Selector featuring Hutchy” later appeared on Ambassadors of Style, but was first self-released by Thunderball alongside this rare “Drive By” version which flips the original drum’n’bass track into a quintessential ESL Music trip-hop tune with a dub bassline, Nightmares On Wax style beats and Hutchy’s patois stylings.
Closing out this impenetrable collection is “Untouchable” featuring See-I. This track was the beginning of a relationship between See-I and the members of Thunderball that lives to this day. Original Thievery Corporation front men, Rootz and Zee, set the mood with sharp shooting lyrics and teflon reggae vocals atop a relentless dub bassline that creates a lost classic.
Featuring 16 tracks which range from downtempo and trip-hop to drum’n’bass and breakbeat, this compilation brings these lost Thunderball classics together for the first time. Like kevlar, these tracks are bulletproof, untouchable!
12th Annual (Fall) Joshua Tree Music Festival!
When: Oct. 5th-8th, 2017
Where: Joshua Tree Lake, RV and Campground in Joshua Tree, CA
Full Info & Tix: http://www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com/
A family-friendly global music experience in the magical Mojave, with continuous live music, yoga from sunrise to sunset, an action-packed Kidsville, magical visual arts, inspiring playshops, world market, Astronomy Theatre + more. Plus there’s just ONE live stage at a time, so you don’t miss a beat!
Early bird fest passes AND RV sites (w/ hookups) are on sale now!
All things JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL:
#teachpeace #loveeverybody #jtmf2017