MP3 Bamjimba - ROUTES
Reggae/DUB/Roots & Culture
14 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Reggae, GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel
Exclusive UK Reggae Guide Interview with BamJimba
** You can also read a review of "ROUTES" by the same Author & see pics of The Bamjimba Crew @ https://www.tradebit.com ......???
Welcome to our latest feature folks. As you know UK Reggae Guide strives to discover and promote exciting new artists whenever possible. That''s why it gives me great pleasure to introduce a mighty new UK force in reggae music, BamJimba.
Jim Bamber (aka Bamjimba, aka Fatman) is essentially a one man operation supported by collaborations from some fantastic world musicians. His projects have found him working alongside the Mad Professor in Ariwa Studios, where his second studio album was mixed and mastered.
I would like to extend my deep thanks and respect to Jim, for taking time out to give such a comprehensive interview. Enjoy.
Exclusive Interview with BamJimba by ''JumpUp''
For those readers who may not have heard your works, can you give us a little background on how Bamjimba Production came to be? How you got into recording first of all?
BJ: Bamjimba was born in 2000 (at the Millennium!!!). At first it was going to be a vehicle for a 12" recording of my favorite Dennis Brown (Joe Gibbs/Errol Thompson) track ‘Your Loves'' Gotta Hold On Me’. Permission was kindly given by Yvonne Brown (in aid of Sickle Cell Anaemia). Then I met a young producer, Alan Kenyon, who introduced me to Leftfield, the Chemical Bros, Afro Celtic Sound System, St Germain etc and we started to have a lot of FUN. It soon turned into 7 Track CD, ‘1 LOVE’ based on the Sly & Robbie ‘Heavenless Riddim’
‘1 Love’ has been a great success, what was the inspiration behind your first release? Was this release a result of your good friend Papa Wade McKinney’s fight and sadly death from Sickle Cell Anaemia?
BJ: The ‘1 LOVE’ CD, a great success, was always gonna be in aid of The UK Sickle Cell Society Charity after the death of Papa Wade from S.C.D. complications in 1999. Since then Papa Wade''s brother Marvin McKinney has also died from pneumonia, but due to suspected S.C.D complications. Marvin AKA ‘Jah Ducks’ voices the toast in ‘Reggae Gone Clear’ the track on the new Bamjimba CD ‘ROUTES’ together with his ‘foot-soldier’ General Sensi.
Yes the ‘1 LOVE’ CD has been a great success and for a great & good cause! Though I have been awarded a reception at No 10 Downing St by the Chairman of The Sickle Cell Society, Dr Asa''ah Nkwokwo.
You use many different, talented musicians for your works, can you tell me a little about this process? Where do you find all this talent?
BJ: I have been a session drummer/percussionist for nearly 35yrs!!! So it''s no surprise that I''ve come across some fantastic musicians in that time and I must use this space to thank ALL of ‘em, too numerous to name here, for giving their time & energy for that project. Most of them, i.e. ‘the usual suspects’, are also playing on the new ‘ROUTES’ CD.
Since the early 70s, oh and also first hearing ‘My Boy Lollipop’ by Millie in the 60s, I have loved ‘reggae music’ in ALL its forms. As a drummer at first I couldn''t get my head around the ‘3 drop’, you know, ‘chicky, chicky, BOOM, chicky etc’ I was living in Lewisham SE London at the time and a Jamaican friend pointed me towards The Joe Gibbs record shop there and really that''s it, I discovered Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare they were on almost ALL the albums in the shop!!!! And I have been ‘learning’ ever since including 2 yrs in Jamaica (Montego Bay), sometime in Antigua & St Kitts, the Bahamas and Cuba etc. In fact anywhere where there is ‘warm’ weather & HOT music. Although I''ve played sessions on many albums of a very diverse musical nature for a living I''ve always wanted to play ‘reggae music’ and now I can try.
Your forthcoming release ‘Routes’ takes a fascinating musical journey, with many different influences apparent throughout, can you tell our readers a little about your inspiration and thoughts behind this release?
BJ: The first CD was an instrumental because I couldn''t find anyone to sing this music up here in t''north! Then I got an email from El Fata, a singer/lyricist from Nigeria via The Ivory Coast, he asked me if he could send me a ‘demo’. At the time I was just selling the first CD from home and in a few stores in the UK and told him so, but he sent the demo anyway and when I got it I immediately gave thanks to The Great Spirit, who had sent me this STAR vocalist, anyone who hears the new CD ‘ROUTES’ always agrees that this young man has a MASSIVE future! He is a fantastic talent.
As for the CD ‘ROUTES’ (14 Tracks), this is really a journey through ALL my ROOTS in Reggae Music, early influence calypso, mento, Nyahbinghi and Ska ‘You are my Sunshine’ feat a 70 years young Rico Rodriguez!!! Gospel ‘Down to the River’ feat Urban Voice Choir, Dancehall ‘The Bounce’, Roots and Spiritually Cultured Music ‘Praise Jah’& ‘The Guide’, DUB, ‘Whited Sepulchres’, Hard-Edge Toaster & MCing ‘Reggae Gone Clear’, African Music ‘Train to 7 Sisters’, Oh & my Irish/Celtic & Romany Gypsy Heritage ‘The Deluge’.
There are some outstanding tracks on the new release ‘You are my Sunshine’ is an all-time classic, what made you want to cover this and several other well known tracks?
BJ: ‘You are my Sunshine’ is not only my youngest grandchild''s FAV but is also dedicated to my very very favorite lady, so a bit personal!! Enough said.......’Sail Away’ was written by an old friend of mine Harry Bogdanovs and having lived in those Hot Places I adore Steel-Pan playing. Cecil Dorsett runs The First Bahamian Steel Orchestra., a great exponent of the art. You can hear those beautiful turquoise waves crashin’!
Bob Dylan has always been a lyrical favorite of mine, not to mention that he used Sly & Robbie on the original of ‘License to Kill’. ’The Deluge’, again I''ve always admired Jackson Brownes'' lyrics and this is obviously so relevant now, as then, due to the tragedy in New Orleans. ‘Train to 7 Sisters’, the only instrumental on the new CD, is dedicated to Dennis Bovell, who rocks it with his wicked bass-playing. He was also the first person I saw ‘dubbing’ live in a studio. Oh and not to forget that he taught me the "HOW" of reggae drumming in a LONG session of “basics", from which I’m still drawing from today, in that endless journey us drummers are on to nail it!! This track is also for Zion Train, a conglomerate of musicians from the UK & beyond, who have had an enormous influence on me & my music.
This new release was mixed & mastered at the famous Ariwa Studios, any plans to further collaborate with the mighty Mad Professor?
BJ: The new Bamjimba release ‘ROUTES’ was actually mixed & mastered at Ariwa Studios in SE London by The Mad Professors'' eldest son Joe Ariwa, a brilliant producer and dubbing genius in his own right, a chip off the ole!
At this stage I want to acknowledge my engineer/producer/musician etc. Inspiration & motivation guru, Mick ‘The Immortal’ Armistead, who at Shireshead Studios (Lowfold Audio), just up the road, has aided and abetted me in this project, right from the get-go! (Oh & he''s a good friend too) Also, it has to be said that ever since I met The Mad Professor, he has given me so much of his enthusiasm, his endless upsy & encouragement & his guidance & expertise, also his family Holly, Joseph & Kamal have always been very welcoming & friendly, creating a wonderful atmosphere to work in and will I work with ALL of ‘em again......?????? JUST AS SOON AS.......!!!!! (I’ve robbed a coupla banks......again!!)
When will the new album be available to buy?
BJ: Soon come really. I was hoping for April 1st but some complications, red-tape mainly, business-wise, oh & the ‘Artwork’ has been held up due to computer/printer (not mine this time) failure, so......????
People used to say that reggae coming out of the UK did not compare with that from Jamaica. What are your views on the current UK reggae scene?
BJ: I''ve been in touch recently with Kwaku, the editor of B.B.M. (British Black Music), he launched a debate about "Wither British Black Music" I joined in by sending him a copy of the New CD ‘ROUTES’ and stating that in my humble opinion, El Fata is and can be the future of British Black Music, however I don''t expect the mainstream music press to investigate, not a big enough genre. I''m told “a minority music", I''m told, Heh,Yeah, only minority music because the Music Biz keep it that way? Whoops, wrong meeting as Bill Hicks would say, but seriously if The Mad Professor, a UK Superstar of Reggae in anyone''s book, is finding business difficult in the UK then what chance us mere mortals? There are some fantastically banging and deep rooted sound-systems in the UK. Gigs and promotions are few & far between, but in my experience always well attended & appreciative of the genre (true, true)
And finally, when can we expect to see the mighty Bamjimba on the road?
BJ: Live Work? Well Bamjimba/El Fata plus The HigherPower Band have done one gig, however to get the level of sound & musicianship perfection is not CHEAP! Maybe we need to see how the new CD is received and sells before committing to anything! Oh & El Fata needs a work-permit & visa, so come on Home Office! It has to be said though that all those involved in the Live Show want and need to do it AGAIN........!!!!!
1 Love - 2003 Bamjimba/basement Music/ivonne Brown
Routes - Coming Soon 2006
Wakey, Wakey Wake Up - 2005 bamjimba productions