No Longer A Minor Reggae Label
- Words: Tomas Palermo
Patiently, expertly, reggaematically, a Brother from another has been building a superb label.
The Minor7Flat5 imprint was founded 1999 by Andreas “Brotherman“ Christophersen, and although the label has its roots in Hamburg, Germany–where Christophersen cut his teeth playing in reggae bands in the early '90s–the M5F7 is now based on an island, Gran Canaria Island (Spain), to be exact. In the span of five years, Christophersen’s indie imprint, which began with album releases from Luciano and Turbulence, has grown into a formidable player on the new roots reggae scene.
M5F7's recordings resonate with sincerity and musicality. In an era of cookie-cutter riddims and squelchy, thin-sounding, computer-based production, Christophersen’s output is striking for its earthy and acoustic sonic construction. He combs Jamaica in search of the best live musicians (he’s worked with greats Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, Dean Frazer, Gibby Morrison, and Bongo Herman, among others), records at legendary studios like Tuff Gong, and finds raw, up-and-coming talent to create fresh, exuberant reggae recordings.
In addition to strong recent albums from Tony Tuff and Turbulence, Christophersen’s latest masterwork is Ras Myrhdak’s Prince of Fyah album, out May 5 in the States. Myrhdak is stylistically cut from the same kente cloth as Capleton, Natural Black, or Norris Man, and a righteous rasta with a positive, joyful, and edifying message.
Based on Myrhdak and previous albums, it's clear M5F7 is building a catalog of music not unlike reggae giants Nighthawk or Shanachie Recordings–labels who have made timeless roots reggae albums packed with songs that became radio staples. Such a fate seems fine with Christophersen, who says, “we are an international label with friends all over the world who contribute their work to deliver the best to our fans. The world is our home!”
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