Mungo'S Hi-Fi: Songs of Zion

There's an impressive unifying quality to the Mongo's sound, combining all forms of reggae together. But it's the swaying depth to the bass when heard in full effect that leaves the lasting impression

Feature by Joel Shaw | 16 Apr 2006
As UK reggae soundsystems go, Glasgow's Mungo's Hi-Fi is among the very best. They've the original content, some of the finest MCs from around the globe on their tracks and perhaps most importantly of all - a formidable PA system to bring it to the masses. What distinguishes Mungo's Hi-Fi from most is the relaxed manner in which they have worked for over 6 years establishing themselves as Scotland's number one soundsystem.

Still driven by a genuine love for the music they play and in complete control of their output on their independent Scotch Bonnet label, it's clear they're in no rush; creatively, time is on their side. Yet as they continue on with their ever popular Glasgow events - the ingenious Dub & Grub at Stereo, weekly, all day Thursdays, and the packed Woodside Social dance on monthly Fridays - 2006 looks to have even more to offer. Triptych Gigs supporting the legendary U-Roy in Glasgow and a rare not-to–be-missed appearance in Edinburgh - also for the Triptych Festival - are confirmed, but most excitingly this month also sees the release of their second Scotch Bonnet 7", Songs of Zion.

I'm assured this is the first of many releases for the year ahead (all of which can be purchased on their website and heard exclusively on their myspace/mungoshifi page). As the crowds are getting bigger and the music is getting better, 2006 looks set to be Mungo's most important year since their creation way back in 2000. It would appear that Mungo's Hi Fi's self proclaimed "ongoing campaing for reggae in Scotland" is ready to become even louder. Songs of Zion is an infectious stomping riddim. Joined by Marga, Ras Charmer, Brother Culture, and Murrayman all adding their unique vocal styles and conscious lyrics on to some of the heaviest and most uplifting dancehall vibes, Songs of Zion triumphs as their best work to date. Similar to their last release (Rasta Meditation / Belly Ska) there's an impressive unifying quality to their sound combining all forms of reggae together. But it's the swaying depth to the bass when heard in full effect that leaves the lasting impression; Songs of Zion was clearly created with dancehalls in mind. Get a copy, turn it up loud and enjoy some of the freshest reggae sounds around.
Songs of Zion 7"" released in April on Scotch Bonnet - see for details.
Mungo's Hi-Fi support U-Roy & Top Cat at The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, April 26, £14, & at GSA on April 28, same price.
Mungo's Weekly: Dub & Grub,