Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Reggae is for any time of the year in my book but summertime in particular seems to bring about a change, when any live reggae played outdoors in the sunshine, with a few beers and barbecue on the go, it seems to draw everyone in like some sort of magnet or like the poor victims susceptible to the powerful fragrance of Lynx in their adverts.
It isn't hard to understand why 'Life is for Living' by Hassle has hit number 1 in the Amazon Reggae chart. It's laid back, classic reggae with a message about making the most of what you've got, so what you going to do?
It sets off with a signature reggae effect of piling on a ton of delay and then brings us the melody played on an organ. It’s a simple but effective melody and when Hassle's voice comes in it a perfect fit for the genre. From then on the solid groove continues, unabated by any distractions, repetitive, transfixing, I find myself hypnotised in a reggae zone, lost; only realising I was somewhere else for the last four minutes when the track ends.
If the original version of the tune wasn't hypnotising enough, the 'Self Isolation Dub Mix' on the EP, piles on even more delay and reverb, oh well, I think I might just close my eyes and ride this one out, where am I? Oh yeah, on the beach in the Caribbean under a palm tree with a ridiculously bass heavy sound system behind me blaring out Hassle tunes!
Sadly, when the music ends, I am brought back to the realisation that I am, in actual fact, sat in a house in partial lock-down, on the outskirts of a city, missing Summer Festivals, filled with brilliant Reggae acts, due to a virus that will go on for god knows how long. Well, at least Hassle is here with super powers of hypnotism to teleport me somewhere else for the 11ish minutes that this EP lasts.
One thing is certain though; once we can all get back together again, I am going to seek out a summer festival where Hassle is playing as I will be drawn in much like that victim of the Lynx fragrance I mentioned earlier, and I’ll sway along with a beer in hand for as long as the music continues.
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