International Rudeboy

A 13 track roots reggae album (46m 14s) — released July 11th 2011 on First Word Records

The International Rudeboy is back!

Since leaving home at the age of 15 to become a sound engineer, Wayne 'Lotek' Bennett has been on a quest to hone his interpretation of the sounds that he grew up with – a journey that has taken him to all corners of the globe. From festivals in Czech Republic to clubs in Japan and all points in between Lotek has forged his own path as a ska revivalist, culminating in his debut album on First Word, International Rudeboy.

Whilst some may know Lotek from his early hip hop with Roots Manuva, (both as a producer and as musical director of his now legendary live show), his Lotek Hifi project on Big Dada or even his recent work as the creative force behind the acoustic soul of Speech Debelle's Mercury Prize winning album, it is reggae music that has always been the foundation of his sound.

Right from the outset Lotek has pushed the boundaries and accepted norms of the music he has worked on. Adding a live string section and multiple backing singers to Roots Manuva's Run Come Save Me tour set the blueprint for modern live hip hop shows. What is now the norm was genuinely revolutionary a decade ago.

Fast-forward ten years and Lotek is still innovating his sound. Musically, the album explores the evolution of Hip Hop by way of reggae soundsystem culture. Eschewing samples for a largely live production palate he's added layers of instrumentation topped off with razor sharp horn lines and Lotek's inimitable gravelly vocals. With reference points ranging from classic Studio One productions to Specials style Ska and the future dub of Mungo's Hifi this is an album that is dripping with quality – and one that is set to be on continuous rotation at festivals and barbecues alike this summer!

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