Get High – Mykal Rose, Subatomic Sound System & Hollie Cook

It is that day in the year again, 420. Maligned by many, Celebrate by more! One of the good tings about 420? The release of many new (reggae) songs. Just like this one; Mykal Rose alongside Subatomic Sound System and Hollie Cook. Out now on all streaming platforms.

Reggae superstar Mykal Rose, the original voice of the Grammy Award-winning Jamaican group Black Uhuru, ascends into the future with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s former band, NYC dub specialists Subatomic Sound System and London lover’s rock queen Hollie Cook on the brand new single “Get High,” which serves as the debut offering from the trio’s upcoming collaborative full-length album, slated for release this summer via joint venture between Dubshot Records and Controlled Substance Sound Labs. “Get High” is out today on all digital platforms.

While the production is heavy on bass, drums, and effects for the new millennium sound system culture, Subatomic preserves the roots and foundation of classic Jamaican reggae with percussion from conga legend Larry McDonald, &meless horn lines from Troy Simms, and dubwise melodica from Emch. Cook’s ethereal background vocals float atop Mykal Rose’ rugged tenor as they deliver an appropriate directive to precede the 420 holiday.

The single release is accompanied by an official Lyric Visualizer that premiered on Subatomic Sound System’s YouTube channel today. The smokey animation, created by ellen animates, brings the track’s cover art to life in the new visual.

“I always want to do my ting different,” says the prolific Rose. “With Black Uhuru and with Sly & Robbie we try to reach beyond reggae, draw everything in to create a universal music. The first song me ever record was with Scratch (Lee Perry) at Black Ark when I was just a teenager. Scratch different for sure! And I see the work Scratch do with Subatomic different too, same way for this generation, reaching

Born of time-tested relationships that date back decades, “Get High.” The forthcoming, still untitled, full-length project, are the results of a slowly evolving history where three distinct artists, each with their own unique background, converge in a meaningful intersection of generations, styles, and cultures: artists from Kingston, NYC, and London, each with a story that has led them to create an album and also perform together as a band. Summer tour plans are in the works, with dates to be announced soon.

Of the first single, Subatomic’s Emch says, “Musically, this is a journey through the past and the future at the same time, with ancient melodies and drums floating on electronic bass waves and a subatomic heartbeat.” He added, “Industrialized cannabis has lost its spiritual connection. This song is a return to a tradition of elevation and natural cultivation as well as celebration.”

Hollie Cook was first introduced to Emch in 2010 through mutual friend Ari Up from the pioneering 70s all female punk band The Slits, with whom Cook had joined in their final incarnation before Ari Up’s death in 2010. Subatomic and The Slits had been collaborating on several tunes with Lee “Scratch” Perry and dub mixing for The Slits at the time. Emch and Cook kept the connection through the years until the multi-talented producer eventually recruited the singer to add her lilting vocals as a counterweight to Mykal’s
powerful delivery — which has earned him the nickname “Ruff” Rose — on the current project.

“I feel honored to be in any collaboration with Mykal Rose,” gushed Cook. “I really appreciate Emch’s vision of how I fit into this new project. Doing background and harmony is my favorite! I’m so thankful to be doing it in this context with these people. I always vibed on vocal harmonies,” of which, she cites Motown, especially The Temptations, The Supremes, but also The Beach Boys, The Shirelles, Shangrilas, and The Marvellettes as the most influential. “I was into punk, but I never saw myself as a singer in that style. If it wasn’t for me joining The Slits to sing harmony and the connection they made between punk and reggae back in the 70s, I may not have ended up singing reggae at all.”