Reggae artist Marcus Gad, who hails from New Caledonia, recently released his new album, Brave New World, via Easy Star Records. The album is a collaboration with French producer Tamal.
Tamal and Marcus first met in 2009, when Tamal worked at Davout Studios in Paris. In 2011, Tamal recorded Marcus’ first songs, along with his debut album, Chanting, followed by joining Marcus Gad & Tribe on tour as sound engineer. The pair debuted as Marcus Gad Meets Tamal with the release of their EP, Enter A Space.
Tamal explains, “After ‘Enter A Space’ was released in 2019, ‘Brave New World’ was an obvious name for the second opus. ‘Brave New World’ refers to this new space we’ve now entered, the world we continuously try to create in our music. Also, this project was born during the pandemic and the lockdown, when the entire world was facing this new crisis.”
Marcus adds, “There was this dystopian atmosphere overshadowing the whole situation that made a lot of us wonder if we wanted to be a part of this brand-new world out there.”
Written at Tamal’s home studio in Paris, the album was recorded at Stereobox Studios in Paris. Desiring a certain sound, they used digital beat production along with a minimalistic slant. The sound of the album merges reggae, soul, and hip-hop, giving the songs dual coloration – retro and new.
Encompassing 12-tracks, entry points include the title track, which opens on a delicious, syncopated reggae rhythm topped by rich, lush vocals and gleaming colors. The mid-tempo trap beat of “Sunshine” gives the tune an enticing cadence as bright, plinking piano hues glide overhead, along with gentle, yet potent vocals.
“Tempo” conveys a variety of exotic timbres laced with roots reggae flavors. The song was inspired by Marcus’ last trip to Morocco, where he acquired a loutar. While “Look Around,” rolls out on dark soul tones tinted by slow-rolling layers of reggae, at once swanky and rippling.
There’s a mystical aura surrounding “From The Ashes,” extending into the chant-like flow of the vocals.
On Brave New World, Tamal and Marcus Gad offer luscious heady washes of reggae laced with numinous energy.