Reggae trio Zion I Kings release their brand-new album, Future Oceans Echo, taking listeners into an aquatic dub-filled wonderland.
In his recent interview with Rootfire, when asked if artists felt a responsibility to the world’s oceans, Andrew “Moon” shared, “I don’t know if artists have a responsibility but we all have to live here. We are all connected to one source of life, one planet, and atmosphere…all of us depend on it. Whether we feel a part of it or not. It is all connected. A lot of people can’t understand what they can’t see. Can’t feel for what they cannot touch. Whether it is my responsibility or not, I do feel a duty to uncover some overstanding of the unknown through art, music, and the glorification of Jah.”
Made up of multi-instrumentalists and producers Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred of I Grade Records, Andrew “Moon” Bain of Lustre Kings, and David “Jah D” Goldfine” of Zion High Productions, Zion I Kings’ modern roots sound is infectious, warm, and melodic.
Collectively they have produced for many great artists of our day, including Akae Beka (Midnite), Sizzla, Lutan Fyah, Jah 9, Blakkamoore, Chronixx, Protoje, Loydd Brown, Ziggi Recado, and Pressure, along with many others.
With the new release, Zion I Kings have pledged a percentage of their streaming profits from Future Oceans Echo to support clean oceans and beaches initiatives in St. Croix, VI, with the Good Hope Country Day School’s climate action club. Laurent “Tippy” Alfred’s daughter Tsehai attends the school and is very active with the club. It’s a student-founded and student-run organization whose mission aims for a more sustainable environment for the island community.
Encompassing 10-tracks, highlights on the album include “Night Surfer Dub,” opening on gleaming guitars and smooth braying horns, giving the tune a delicious rolling texture. “Red Gold & Green Dubmarine” features a flowing rhythm of crisp percussion and bubbling filaments of color.
Talking about the track, Andrew “Moon” Bain says, “A triumphant and courageous aquatic exploration of uncharted territories, in the dub abyss that is Future Oceans Echo. Press play, add or next, and buckle up for the magical horn swells, crashing spring reverbs, analog synth lines, and pulsing organ shuffle on this dubaquatic excursion.”
“Whale Song Skank,” a personal favorite, features the talented Ngoni player Losso Keita. Shimmering hues ride a fat bassline, juxtaposing sparkling coloration with deep tones as delicate vocals imbue the song with pensive tendrils.
Another favorite is “Manta Ray Canyons,” which rides a measured rhythm topped by drifting, floating textures. A luscious, gentle guitar imbues the tune with glittering suffusions. The final track, “Wata Dawta,” ripples with creamy colors as aquatic flavors give the tune soft sonic emanations.
With Future Oceans Echo, Zion I Kings create an immersive soundscape, rife with palpitating tiers of serene washes and flickering accents.