Step up, concrete jungle people, Bristol’s legend is back! Two years after their big international success with "Big World Small World" SMITH & MIGHTY return with their new masterpiece "Life Is…". More tunes, more soul, more grooves and most of all more bass is what gears "Life is" up to the next level in the great SMITH & MIGHTY sound. The unique musical mix of reggae, dub, hip hop, breakbeats, drum n’bass and soul shines on "Life is…" brighter than ever. Check it out.
One of the reasons for the brightness is the intensified focus on songs. For their new album, Rob Smith, Ray Mighty and Peter D. Rose, the heads behind SMITH & MIGHTY worked with old mates such as Rudy Lee, Nijii Forty, L.D. and MC Kelz, that were already heard on "Big World Small World". Additionally, a handful of new vocalists have joined. The MCs and singers all come from Bristol, are friends or friends from friends or were heard performing live and invited to a session into the studio. Shantal, Hazel Jane, MC Bunx and Caroline are the names of the new voices and they contributed quiet significantly to the new orientation of SMITH & MIGHTY towards song and more melodic tunes. Peter D. Rose: "For the new album it was important to us to install counterpoints in contrast to the hard beats and the bass sounds. We worked more with voices and melodies to keep the balance right. And those singers naturally come up with their own ideas and their own lyrics, and this is what you could also hear more clearly on "Life Is..". Plus we used more Live-Instruments." For example a surf guitar on the opener "Life Has A Way" or a saxophone on "Flash Of Joy". All musicians and singers hail from Bristol – it’s a family thing, you might understand, when knowing how tight people knit together in middle sized cities.
On the middle sized coast town of Bristol and it’s sound not much has to be said again. Only: SMITH & MIGHTY had a big influence on it. In 1987 SMITH & MIGHTY released a few Burt Bacharach cover versions, "Anyone (Who Had A Heart)" and later "Walk On By". With these tracks, marked by low frequency basslines, soulful vocals and deep arrangements, SMITH & MIGHTY layed down the blue print for following releases from the british coast town, such as the debut single "Any Love" of a formation named Massive Attack. After an rather unlucky deal with London Records SMITH & MIGHTY released in 1995 their first official album, "Bass Is Maternal" on their own label More Rockers.
During the euphoria for drum n’bass in 1998, SMITH & MIGHTY finally have their international breakthrough. A fantastic set at Radio 1’s "Essential Mix" cthe Bristol outfit gets catapulted into the front row. The following
release of their "DJ Kicks" for Studio K7! which in large parts is made of their own productions, raises the buzz to global proportions. Their following DJ gigs in which SMITH & MIGHTY showcase their musical spectrum
receives enthusiastic responoses in Germany, England, France, Japan and the USA. It’s the timelessness of SMITH & MIGHTY’s tracks, music, that occasionally was produced more than ten years ago, that fascinated audiences and the press alike.
The musical timelessness of the SMITH & MIGHTY sound also shaped their first album for Studio K7!, "Big World, Small World", which was released early 2000. In opposition to the dark and apocalyptic sketches by Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead, SMITH & MIGHTY remained on the original spirit of Bristol. With their mix of hip hop, reggae and soul, and their deep love for dub, SMITH & MIGHTY produced an album of classical proportions. Due to the huge success of "Big World, Small World", Studio K7! rereleased "Bass Is Maternal" in summer 2000 and through this, the first masterpiece recieived its appropriate attention and spreading.
And now it’s time for "Life Is…", SMITH & MIGHTY’s third album. Naturally it is also shaped by this soulful, timeless bass sound that only SMITH & MIGHTY create. The omnispresence of voices keeps the album and it’s musical variety together. The laidback and relaxed atmosphere of "Big World, Small World" is still there, but this time, the vibe is spiced by a more uptempo feeling, with grooves that swing in between drum n’bass’s rhythmic energies and variations of two step, steppers and reggae riddims. Enjoy. And feel the bass.