Apple Gabriel, former lead singer of the legendary reggaegroup Israel Vibration launches his first full-blooded record, ten years after his solo-debutalbum. ‘Teach Them Right’ is being released in both Europe and the United States on the great Heartbeat label. Lovers of rootsreggae worldwide, will be amazed and delighted by the quality of this authentic and often autobiographical record.á ‘Teach Them Right’ is a throwback to the glory days of Roots Reggae, where deep spiritual and conscious roots reggae blends up with bluesy guitar riffs and gospel influenced melodies.
(Amsterdam, 1 November 2010) – “To all those homeless people, I know your cry.” This is the opening line of Mr.Conman, the first song of the record. Apple Gabriel knows what he’s talking about. During certain periods in the past decade, he himself survived until very recently, in the cold streets of Atlanta, USA. The experiences, the pain and frustrations that accompany such life in a urban, concrete jungle, are transposed into penetrating musical pieces. This musical transformation delivers thrilling and wrinkled songs, sometimes with a dark edge like iná Mr.Conman, No Equality and In the Jungle. But always militancy and perseverance conquer. “What goes around comes around, I won’t be your circus clown.”
Who plays ‘Teach Them Right’ for the first time without seeing the cover, would swear that Israel Vibration released a new album in the original line-up. Except of course for the fact that Apple accounts for all the lead and almost all backing vocals in a radiant way. His singing, voice and lyrics sound intense, as if he was living on a volcano for years and all vibes come out on this record.
This album is also a tasty fruit from the pact that recordlabel ‘JahSolidRock Music’ and Amsterdam based production-crew ‘Not Easy At All Productions’ made in 2009. These two partners will work together in the coming years to build up a solid catalogue ofá ‘original roots reggae’, with both talent from Europe as from the cradle Jamaica.
JahSolidRock Music and Not Easy At All Productions are ambitious in their goals: to help re-invent the authentic reggae-sound, that long time ago started to inspire them so much. Starting point is the diversity of styles that exist within ‘roots reggae’, a genre that nowadays is hardly being made. It’s all about that unique mix of rebellious just as spiritual music, with lyrics that go far beyond fame, money and sex, sung by vocalists who carry a positive message.á
This new album rounds the circle for Apple Gabriel. More than three decades ago Apple literally survived in the Jamaican jungle around the Mona Polio Rehabilitation Center, together with his musical brothers Cecil Spence (Skelly), en Lacelle Bulgin (Wiss). Together they started the legendary group Israel Vibration and produced a lot of beautiful and classic rootsreggae records.
Apple went his own way by the end of the nineties and released a first solo album in 1999. The past decade, when he survived in an American concrete jungle, it became rather silent around this reggae legend. To come back now gloriously, with an album that safely may be dubbed a classic reggae statement from the 21st century: quality rootsreggae, lovingly produced with a balanced, well-cared for and modern sound – light like feather, but heavy as lead -á as well as strong and critical lyrics. Almost all of the ten songs on this album are released by the traditional and classical ’12 inch-principle’: a song is followed by a full extension dubversion, a tribute to grandmasters like King Tubby and Price Jammy.
The first songs on this album describe the struggle of a life at the bottom of society. Apple sings about the experiences from within a concrete urban jungle, which gives certain songs a raw, bluesy touch. But to be followed just later by the musical and spiritual balm in songs like ‘Gifted ones’, ‘Praise Jahoviah’á and ‘We are the world’. Here it gets clear by which powers and inspiration the man and artist Apple survived mentally and spiritually. Thus slowly, the ‘redemption songs’ on this album conquer, with a message of hope, spirituality and militancy.
At the same time, Apple doesn’t mince matters. He does not shy away from ‘sensitive’ issues. In the song ‘Give Them Love’ he corrects some fellow rasta singers who sometimes can express themselves in a rather intolerant way: “Don’t you fight the gays and the lesbians; Don’t you fight the church and the Christians. Give love to go to zion. Mr.Man what are you worshipping. Is it your closed doctrine? Your clothes or what you’re smoking?”
It took a decade for the release of another new album by Apple Gabriel, but Teach Them Right was worth waiting for and sets a new standard for roots reggae in a highly digitalised era. ‘Teach Them Right’ was recorded in USA and the Netherlands and will be released in both Europe and USA in November 2010. The first 2000 copies are packed and designed in a luxurious digipack for the true fans.
Also this month will be blessed by the release of the compilation CD ‘Cultural Vibes. Vol 1’ , composed and produced by Not Easy at All Productions and Jah Solid Rock, with vocal contributions of established artists and new talent, like Lloyd de Meza, Chezidek, Zamunda, Wild Life, Benaissa, Junior Murvin, Joggo and Mikey General. Furthermore the brand new record of the great reggae legend Earl Sixteen is being finalised and will see the light early 2011.
Wake up the town, cause there’s a new sound around!