Insurrection : A Hauntingly Beautiful Reality Check
Insurrection is a beautiful blend of dub reggae poetry and steady electronic beats that are used to remember and discuss the Brixton riots of 1981, that not only affected Brixton’s black community but Britain as a nation. It is the first single off of Hiatus’ forthcoming LP Ghost Notes and features respected dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson.
The track is a poetic collaboration of Linton’s lyrics tinted with his distinctive Jamaican tones and Hiatus’, aka Cyrus Shahrad, smooth vocals and steady electro beats. Both artists have different roles in the track, Linton speaks from the perspective of being in the Riots, he starts the track by saying “it was in April 1981” and reminiscing about the riots.
The vocals of Hiatus and the Jamaican accent of Linton is one of those collaborations that compliment one another and create something extraordinary. The subject matter is so important and socially relevant to today’s government. Hiatus says that the release of Insurrection is in part due to the 30th anniversary of the Brixton riots but also because history very may well repeat itself with Britain now facing a cold conservative government.
Putting aside the seriousness of the message for one moment, the beat is really relaxed and the song for some reason is perfect for chilling in the sunshine and warm evenings because it sounds so amazing. It is one of those songs that makes you stop, breathe and take stock of your life. One of those outer body moments that help clarify life and put it into perspective.
Although the song provokes vivid mental imagery of the Brixton riots there is no need to imagine the disastrous events that changed so many lives as Hiatus has compiled a video to accompany Insurrection using archived footage of the 1981 riots which can be checked out on his website.
On the single there is a remix of insurrection that is just as phenomenal, slightly similar bass to Yolanda be Cool’s — we No speak Americano. The remix loses most of its reggae vibe and ups the club beat but sounds just as good, with its upbeat bass and revamped chilled sound it would be great for an evening beach party or rave.
Insurrection is an honestly surprising song that’s void of the auto tuned vocals and repetitive sampling that is so constant in many of today’s mainstream songs, a hauntingly beautiful reality check with a chilled beat and deep lyrics. I Strongly advise you to sit in a quiet place and really listen to the lyrics to fully appreciate how beautiful the song is, then dance to the remix.
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