AMJ Collective

Catrin, Seckou and AMJ rock WOMAD 2014

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

wom1The Astar family were out in full force this week as WOMAD sold all 40,000 tickets for the first time at Charlton Park.

Catrin & Seckou played a blinder in the early hours of Saturday morning. Don’t take our word for it… here is what the papers said.

“Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, a collaboration as delightful as it is unlikely. Finch, a Welsh harpist, was lined up a few years ago to play a tour with Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté, and warmed up by rehearsing with his Senegalese counterpart Keita. Diabaté eventually showed up mere hours before the first of those concerts, and though he was there for the tour, Finch felt a closer connection with Keita. They carried on working together and last year released an album of duets, Clychau Dibon, that proved a surprise hit.

Here, the blend of Manding and Welsh material finally stilled the buzz of chatter around the edge of the tent. They listened intently to each other, nodding and smiling as the songs took shape. They duelled playfully on “Future Strings”, Finch plucking ascending chords and running 47-string-long glissandi in a way that is hard for a kora to emulate, though Keita tried; when she knocked rhythms on the frame of her harp, his echo on the gourd of the kora was resonant and strong. The centrepiece of the set, as of the album, was “Robert Ap Huw Meets Nialing Sonko”: in the second half, when Finch took up the dancing Casamance pattern with her right hand, plucking the occasional bass string with her left, the whole tent held its breath.”      Financial Times

“Following Thompson after midnight was the mellifluous award-winning sound of the kora and harp of Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch, as gorgeous as it is on record”   Independent

Copyright: York Tillyer

Copyright: York Tillyer

AMJ were also a huge success on the main stage with the Malmesbury schools’ project. Their biggest gig yet and the Collective has expanded tenfold!

 

AMJ preparing for WOMAD

Friday, July 11th, 2014

2014AMJ are working hard with the WOMAD educational program to bring the Thurday night schools’ project to the Charlton Park main stage…

Hope to see you there.

http://womad.co.uk/lineup/timetable/artist/4642/amj-collective-and-the-malmesbury-school-project/

AMJ VINYL RELEASE FOR RECORD STORE DAY

Friday, April 18th, 2014

get-attachment.aspx

New AMJ-RSD release The Brave is now out on 12 inch vinyl

 

AMJ one-off live show

Friday, April 11th, 2014

todAMJ will be making a rare live appearance at the Tribe Of Doris spring party on 12th April.

http://www.tribeofdoris.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Tribe-Of-Doris-Spring-Party-Final.jpg for more details.

French review of The Brave from Culture Dub

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

AMJ meets RSD ft. Mariama Kouyate – The Brave – 12″ Astar Music

Voici une sortie pour le moins atypique que nous a envoyé en avant première le label anglais Astar… Une rencontre improbable entre le Sénégal et le dub anglais, disponible prochainement en vinyle.

AMJ-Brave

AMJ meets RSD ft. Mariama Kouyate – 12″ The Brave


Créé par un musicien aventurier du nom de John Hollis, le label Astar Artes, que l’on qualifierait de world music, s’apprête à sortir un second vinyle de la rencontre entre AMJ et RSD. Si vous connaissez sûrement RSD (Rob Smith, membre du duo trip-hop Smith & Mighty), le nom de AMJ ne vous dit peut-être rien… AMJ est un collectif de musiciens formé autour d’Andy Clarke à la batterie, Mark Spence à la basse et du producteur John Hollis (ex membre du groupe de reggae anglais Restriction).

Mariama Kouyate

 Pour ce second vinyle en commun, ils ont décidé de faire appel à une jeune chanteuse de Dakar, Mariama Kouyate. Ses mots, chantés en mandingue et en wolof, parlent des différentes luttes de la vie, précisant qu’avec la pensée positive, nous pouvons relever les défis et les surmonter.


La mélodie a été écrite dans les années 1980 par Basil Anderson du  groupe Restriction pour la chanson « I Want to be Alone ». Pour cette nouvelle version, AMJ a invité, outre Mariama Kouyaté, le guitariste sénégalais Moustapha Gaye sur le titre « Kana Bori », le cubain Jose Zalba sur la version à la flûte traversière, ainsi que ses compatriotes Vicente Arrencibia aux congas et Michel Salazar aux claviers.

Le résultat est étonnant, une sorte de reggae dub très mélodieux, avec la touche de stepper de RSD qu’il faut pour faire vivre le morceau décliné en 4 versions.

AMJ meets RSD ft. Mariama Kouyate – The Brave (Astar Music)

  1. The Brave (Mounia-La)
  2. The Brave – Dub
  3. Kana Bori
  4. The Brave – Flute Cut

Le vinyle sera disponible le 3 Mars 2014. Plus d’infos sur www.amjcollective.com

Loob

Original post at Culture Dub

AMJ Reggaemani Review

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Reggaemani
04 November 2013 · 22:01
An inspired and ambient debut from AMJ Collective

Former Restriction members Mark Spence, Andy Clarke and John Hollis have re-united after three decades as AMJ Collective. Last year they dropped the 12” Sound History Volume 1 and now it’s time for a debut full-length effort.

On Sign they have worked with a diverse set of musicians from various parts of the world in order to create an ambient, atmospheric and warm reggae album with African and Latin tocuhes. This album is something truly special and it, for example, features Cuban trumpeter Michel Padron and Colombian guitarist Camilo Menjura on an inspired version of Don Corleon’s Drop Leaf riddim.

It was recorded in Bristol, Paris, Havana and London and offers deep and relaxed grooves, but also glances at dubstep and dub. Traditional reggae is merged with lush strings and singer Kaia McTernan graces Sign of the Times with her ethereal voice.

Sign is deeply rooted in reggae, but it also pushes boundaries and takes reggae to new and exciting places. It’s a dreamy, contemporary and global groove.

http://reggaemani.wordpress.com/tag/amj-collective/

AMJ New Website

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

web2AMJ Collective have a new website with all the different projects and members shown for the first time. Go to http://www.amjcollective.com/

AMJ go live!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
webpicThe AMJ Collective play their first live shows starting this week at Shambala ….
 
Sat Aug 24th Koo Kou's, Shambala
Sat Aug 31st Westbourne Club, Emsworth
Weds Sept 4th The Bell, Bath

SIGN FROM AMJ released

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
SIGN FROM AMJ
The debut album from the AMJ Collective is now released. Sign features mixes from all four AMJ departments – Almighty Groove, Dub, RSD and Space.

Dub Maestro Rob Smith is no stranger to innovative sonic adventures, a Bristol man who emerged from the reggae scene of the 80s as a guitarist and engineer, later developing his craft as a producer, DJ and re-mixer. Known for his work in Smith & Mighty and More Rockers, now piloting his own unique RSD sound, Rob tours constantly, performing in many countries across the globe.

Space mixes
Jonathan Lane worked with the BBC for ten years, plying his craft as an engineer with Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4 and network TV. Afterwards he set up his own recording business in Bristol specialising in acoustic and classical music working with many artists from Andy Sheppard to the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

logo2 sm

AMJ release Sign Of The Space

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Following on from the success of their Depth Drop and Sign Of The Dub 7" release and as a taster to the full blown album due in the Summer,  AMJ have now released Sign Of The Space. A fabulous ambient 4 track EP remixed by Jonathan Lane.

Jonathan Lane joined the BBC in 1979, plying his craft as an engineer for ten years with Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4 and network TV, working with many major artists and producers as well as presenters from John Peel and Paul Gambaccini to Kenny Everett and Terry Wogan.

In 1989 he left the BBC and set up his freelance studio and location recording business in Bristol. Working on countless classical and jazz sessions with figures including Andy Sheppard, Pewee Ellis, Sir David Willcocks, John Lill, Mark Padmore and ensembles such as the Solomon Trio, the Sun Life Band and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he has developed a very fine understanding of acoustic instruments. In 1998 he began engineering sessions for producer John Hollis who brought a steady stream of international artists into the studio from Totó la Momposina and Cimarron to Billy Cobham and Asere, then finally the AMJ Collective.

AMJ is Andy Clark, Mark Spence and John Hollis. Brought together by reggae and motivated by a shared dub sensibility, they have been working with a collective of musicians from harpist Catrin Finch to kora player Seckou Keita (both of whom feature on these sessions) building a unique sound which they take into very different sonic and musical spheres.

Jonathan was given the challenge of ‘space mixes’, the concept being akin to dub but using subtle acoustic arrangement rather than relying solely on effects.  He responded by drawing on a lifetime of musical experience, from which he weaves a rich and innovative sound world. Enjoy the journey.