Piper Street Sound returns with a strident march forward with their announcement of the newest EP, Hulusi. It was conceived during the early stages of a pandemic, with the Atlanta-based multi-hyphenate Matthew Mansfield’s signature blend of production styles. The new EP is layers of acoustic, analog, and digital performances lock in and unfold in time to an insistent Steppers riddim with a pace and message that gets the blood moving!
In collaboration with NYC based Dub gorgon Subatomic Sound System, and featuring contributions from luminaries that span a wide network of timeless titans and studio assassins, the end result plays like a flag-planting campaign of the past INTO the future.
The EP title Hulusi refers to the instrument used to capture the piece’s main theme, an ancient Chinese 3-chambered flute that reads somewhere between melodica and bagpipes with a brash but plaintive melody. Fleshed out and supported by dread performances by Mansfield’s urgent bass, Christo Case synths and keys, Brian Daggett pounding drums, and horns by Jonathan Lloyd, the production eventually manifested into the righteous machine presented here.
The digital release will feature Piper Street Sound’s A-side cut, a trio of edits from Subatomic Sound System’s extended mix of the tune, and an instrumental version with expanded guitar work by a frequent collaborator to some of Jamaica’s Pantheon of musical greats, Andy Bassford. Those whose ears perk up at the words ‘extended mix’, be joyous. There’s also a 10? vinyl offering in the works, featuring full-length dubs by both Piper Street and Subatomic with pre-order beginning Oct 14.
Across the new EP J-Lloyd’s horn section stabs in regal staccato before unfurling banners reminiscent of the Golden Days, over an increasingly digital riddim that surges and pulses with militant energy. Guitars by Bassford sting and slash across the piece’s swirl of dub delay and reverbs, accenting the polyrhythmic march of the beat. And they shine fully on a track of their own. A stark vocal testimony from none other than Dancehall legend General Pecos recruits listener-soldiers to the Gideon War, a literal “mental, spiritual, physical war” necessitated by the times. If The End is indeed upon us, Piper Street Sound and his cohort intend to meet it head-on and eyes-forward. Keep an eye out for the new release dropping on Oct. 14.
By The Pier