Calling the album “sound therapy” is at least ambitious, if not pretentious. By doing so, you impose on yourself the pressure of the listeners who will expect “something more” from such a release than a regular album; they will expect the right therapy. Of course, all this is true if you are not Julien Souletie, a French multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer, and audio engineer better known as Manjul. He holds in his little finger technical skills and makes therapeutic healing sound.
I got to know the sound of Manjul through his series of great dub albums, “Dub To Mali.” Which is a phenomenal way to combine the sounds of traditional Africa with a well-produced author’s dub and reggae. Suppose I had to single out anything in terms of those releases. In that case, his talent for arrangements is incredibly diverse, creative, and highly dynamic, thus successfully avoiding the trap of monotony that young dub producers can easily fall into. It also helps that Manjul can boast of producing albums and collaborations with prominent roots artists such as Tiken Jah Fakoly, Sugar Minott, African Brothers, Danakil, Natty Jean, Takana Zion, and many others.
With the knowledge gathered and developed, Manjul is now bringing the peak of his career. Indeed, “Sound Therapy” comes as a balm to the wound during the difficult Babylonian everyday life for all of us. I don’t remember the last time I listened to an album that runs so smoothly from start to finish, with a therapeutically enjoyable production and arrangements that include a lot of jazz and soul in addition to reggae, but also the inevitable African instrumental influences. At times, it all reminds me even of the old Groundation. Still, it only reminds me because Manjul’s stamp is unique and insurmountable.
In making this therapeutic work, he was helped by the healing roots voice of Jamaican music legend Cornell Campbell in the song “From My Soul” (which stands out just a bit compared to other compositions). Then Clinton Fearon in “Long Time No See” and Cedric Myton in ” Set Me Free.” Being a big fan of dub poetry, “Lion Hunter” is my favorite; it is one of the few songs we can hear Manjul singing.
There is no doubt that this is one of the roots albums that will mark the year 2021. Because apart from being a kind of homage to the old and original roots, this is a kind of step forward in production and arrangements that brings a new and different dimension to this phenomenal genre and style development.
If we are talking about Radio Reggaeneracija, then this is the proper album for everyday regeneration.
Written by: reggaeneracija
todayDecember 3, 2023 21 1