From de W.O.M.B.
Abba Yahudah's Music Press Release January 2009 With a roots reggae background from his childhood days in Jamaica, Abba Yahudah developed his musical taste and abilities through a diversity of musical influences. U-Roy, Count Ossie, Burning Spear, Culture, Dennis Brown, and Bob Marley were staples while growing up in Jamaica, where radio stations were buzzing with R&B and disco. Reggae was mostly played on huge sound systems and could be heard pulsating throughout the landscape. His migration to the United States in 1981 exposed him to the incubatory stages of hip-hop as it was being developed in the urban communities on the East Coast. Africa Bambatta, Melly Mel, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run D.M.C., L.L. Cool J and Eric B. and Rakim were some who helped to stimulate his attraction to the hip-hop scene. " It wasn't just hip-hop, it was everything. From the mid to late 80's all the way up to the early 90's I was listening to everything from Beethoven to Bad Brains." Abba Yahudah has also experimented with various genres of sounds but says his roots lie within the heartbeat of the Niyabinghi drums and the heavyweight baselines of roots reggae. Abba Yahudah started producing and recording his music in the late 80's in Brooklyn, N.Y. in a sixteen-track MIDI studio. The first song he produced was Revolution, with Operation Mindcrime and Tribal Ritual to follow. During this time he formed a crossover reggae/ hip-hop band named after the song Tribal Ritual and performed at local gigs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Lower East Side, Manhattan. CBGB's, SOB's, The Freezer, Continental Divide and the Lion's Den were some of the venues Tribal Ritual vibrated. The concept of Tribal Ritual was to perform live music without samples, using Niyabinghi, Rastafarian drumming and percussions, to fill the gaps. " Back then I felt like hip-hop used too much sampling and dancehall because the Casio-electronic sound of the 80's lacked the live aspect, which was prevalent in roots reggae. Tribal Ritual was to be the exception and was far ahead of it's time." From de W.O.M.B., Woman Of My Birth, the follow up thirteen-track album, to the 2006 EP M.I.L.K., Mothers Illuminating Love and Kindness, is a collection of songs, some written twenty years ago and was originally recorded on analog equipment, but never released. Abba Yahudah has written over one hundred songs and has recorded over half of them at different times with various artists and producers, such as Bill Laswell, Geoffrey Chung, Phillip Smart, Yvad, Ocura Onura, and Dr. Israel to name a few. In 2004, Abba Yahudah recorded seven drum and percussion tracks with legendary roots reggae drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace. His intention was to re-record some of his old songs with a new sound and a fresh vibe. Instead, he ended up putting all of those tracks on the back burner, using only one track on From de W.O.M.B. He then wrote new songs and went back in the studio to record this album with a fresh perspective, refining the Tribal Ritual sound that he was working with back in New York. He calls this sound "Roots Hop," a fusion of roots reggae baselines with hip-hop drums and a Niyabinghi heartbeat constant in the background. He chants in Jamaican Patois (pronounced: pa-twa) riding the baseline wielding a word-sword of culture and consciousness with the precision of a wordsmith. The rhythm section stays heavy with overlays of percussions, funky guitar licks and horns reminiscent of the classic 70's era. Greats like Fela Kuti along with Cymande, the Caribbean soul roots funk British-based band, comes to mind when you hear some these new tracks. From de W.O.M.B. is a group of songs, which reflect Abba Yahudah's reggae roots and his exposure to an eclectic genre of musical influences. It takes you on a multi-layered journey into deep Jamaican roots enriched by his global experience. Unlike M.I.L.K., which was totally recorded and mixed locally in California, From de W.O.M.B. was pre-recorded in Berkeley, but Abba Yahudah went home to Jamaica for the post-production, working with veteran musicians and recording engineers, Gibron "Gibby" Morrison and Cegrica "Soljie" Hamilton, who also mixed the album. "I make music out of a necessity. It is a cathartic journey for me. The music is a by-product of life experience, which has always been something I chronicle in one creative format or another. It's painting with sound''. The atmosphere of freedom and freshness this album evokes by putting together inventive compositions makes it a must for discriminating music lovers. Through From de W.O.M.B., Abba Yahudah provides us with his own brand of music. The tracks glide from sultry hip-hop reggae fusion on tracks like Unknown Souljah to upbeat disco-funk tunes like We Are. This is truly a unique album with an interesting mix of distinctive songs, touching upon the philosophical, the political and the possibility of a roots rebirth.