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  • Jennifer Janz


In the wake of the generous support received for their latest album, Australian music artists Ras Banamungu and The Det-n-ators International have released another Afro roots rock reggae and blues song, Hallelu Jah.

The track is yet another stirring combination of styles, albeit a song with less immediacy than some of the band’s previous singles yet nonetheless filled with the band’s typically nuanced characteristics.

Led by Ras Banamungu, the acclaimed musician and professional laughter therapist, Hallelu Jah is perhaps more experimental, particularly concerning the melodic structure, and to some degree, the rhythmic elements also. The intro, in particular, is quite a loose conglomerate, with snare hits underpinning Ras’s vocal calls, invoking a sense of randomness that can be striking.

Still, the track subsides and soon morphs into a central groove, a reggae-fused shuffle whose drum part slips quickly into a more ordered arrangement with the bass acting in tandem as the groove’s anchor. Ras and the band take us into their world via this measured feel, going on to reveal a fixed interplay of textures and sounds.

The track switches from chorus to verse effectively and with all the typical persuasive charm of the band’s previous songs. What is most apparent here—and on many of the band’s releases—is a sense of playfulness, and it is this feature that is most pronounced on Hallelu Jah.

‘‘Ras’s performance is as relaxed and endearing as ever, adding to the general calm of Hallelu Jah.

Effective use of dynamics also sets this particular track apart, with drums a key ingredient in throwing off notions of predictability and monotony.

Ras’s performance is as relaxed and endearing as ever, adding to the general calm of Hallelu Jah. After a series of comparable singles, including My Sunshine and Smiling Face of Australia, it’s a propitious act to release something that might not appear to have hit single written all over it but rather provide a satisfying sample of the more involute side of Ras and the band’s genre.



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