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RAS BANAMUNGU

Kalgoorlie-Boulder based reggae artist Ras Banamungu
Kalgoorlie-Boulder based reggae artist Ras Banamungu

RAS BANAMUNGU & The Det-n-ators International
SINGLE REVIEW

Hallelu Jah

The new single for West Australian based Ras Banamungu and The Det-n-ators International is another track from their recently released album Revelation of Oneness. The track is once again a stirring combination of roots music, blues and Afrobeat, albeit a song with less immediacy than some of the band’s previous singles yet nonetheless filled with the band’s typically varied characteristics.

Guided by Ras Banamungu, the acclaimed musician and professional laughter therapist, Hallelu Jah is perhaps more experimental in tone, particularly concerning the melodic structure, and to some degree, the rhythmic elements also. The intro, in particular, is a disarming affair, with snare hits underpinning Ras’s vocal calls. Still, the track soon dissolves into the central groove, a reggae-fused shuffle whose drum part slips quickly into a more ordered arrangement with the bass acting in tandem as the groove’s anchor. Ras and the band take us into their world via this measured feel, going on to showcase a fixed interplay of textures and sounds.

The track switches from chorus to verse smoothly and with all the typical persuasive charm of the band’s previous songs. What is most apparent here—and on many of the band’s releases—is a sense of playfulness, and it is this feature that is most pronounced on Hallelu Jah. Effective use of dynamics also sets this particular track apart, with drums a key ingredient in throwing off notions of predictability and monotony. Ras’s performance is as relaxed and endearing as ever, adding to the general calm of Hallelu Jah.

After a series of comparable singles, including My Sunshine and Smiling Face of Australia, it’s a propitious act to release something that might not appear to have hit single written all over it but rather provide a satisfying sample of the more involute side of Ras and the band’s style of writing.

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Alexis Naylor Alexis Naylor

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