Mark Rae Back in ’08 with YesKing Album
- Words: Tomas Palermo
A veteran of the ’90s trip-hop scene, Manchester-based Mark Rae’s previous work in the duo Rae & Christian meshed rich soul vocals with polished hip-hop and downtempo beats. The duo’s ’98 album, Northern Sulphuric Soul (Grand Central), was well received and mentioned alongside acts like Massive Attack, Portishead, and Mr. Scruff. We hadn’t heard much from Rae since 2001’s Another Late Nite DJ mix compilation. Until, that is, Rae popped up earlier this year under a new alias, YesKing, remixing no less than Bob Marley on Quango Music’s Roots, Rock, Remixed.
YesKing was no one-off project, and Rae, with new production partner Rhys Adams, will unleash YesKing’s debut album, Rock This World, on March 5, 2008. The duo’s name originates from a common greeting given to the duo by Jamaican artists they worked with over the course of making the album. The term was used so often it captured the essence of the project.
Furthering the JA connection, rocksteady/reggae legend Dawn Penn (of “You Don’t Love Me–No, No, No” fame) recorded the album’s title track. Although conceived in Jamaica, the music of YesKing has a strong London feel. There is a rich history of Jamaican music in Ladbroke Grove; the bulk of the album was recorded close by. Guest vocals are contributed by U.K. MC Mystro, East London female rapper Tor, plus reggae vocalists Kenny Knots, Prezident Brown, and ragga toaster Sweetie Irie. The album spans a range of urban club flavors, from Afro-disco-bashment to rootical soul, hip-hop, and ska, all with a Jamaican dancehall touch.
YesKing will be on tour throughout spring and summer 2008.
1. Champion Sound
2. Style Come Different
4. One Of Those Days
7. Rock This World
8. 40 Long Days
9. Love Revolution
10. Tomorrow Is Another Day
11. Claude’s Theme
13. Love Revolution (Neon Heights Mix)
14. Crunch (Richie Phoe Mix)
15. Style Come Different (Monde Green Mix)
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