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RRRLP007 - Joseph Malik - Diverse Pt 3 : Variant Issue

by Joseph Malik

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Ramrock Red Records are very excited to present the final chapter in Joseph Malik’s ‘Diverse’ trilogy – ‘Diverse Part 3 Variant Issue’. Chosen by some of Joseph’s closest musical friends, he invited a host of stellar musicians and gave them carte blanche to choose their favourite track from the album and re-vision it. The line-up is a Who’s Who from the world of jazz, trip hop and hip hop – Baby Bam, Shuya Okino, Kameelah Waheed, Digital Liquid, Capital A, George T, Sound Signals, ROOTS SOUL, David Donnelly, Out of the Ordinary and Movers International to name but a few. But I’ll let Joseph continue the story:

“Everything always ends up at the beginning - from my teenage years always wanting to be Jean Michael Basquiat or Baby Bam from the Jungle Brothers. That dream kinda came true when I got to meet and record my hero, Baby Bam on the track ‘Battle Cry Liberation Suite’. San Francisco artist/producer, Capital A remixes and delivers the Afro Futurism black opera that I’ve dreamt about hearing my whole life; how all our voices combine, with Baby Bam’s narration with myself, Capital A and New Jersey based rapper, Kameelah Waheed.

So, now we truly are at the end or the beginning. As part of MF Outa ‘National (later to become Blacka-nized in the same year) with my brother in beats snice 1988, Calvin Nuttal, my first ever release was ‘Miles Out Of Time (Astrocentric Mix 'n' Beats) on the 1994 Mo Wax compilation, ‘Headz – a soundtrack of experimental Hip Hop beats’. On the same album was an equally young Saleem Andrew McGroarty a.k.a Awunsounds, with his groundbreaking track, ‘Symmetrical Jazz (Flapper Till 5am Mix)’. Saleem truly educated me as to how an instrumental can convey depth without vocals. Years down the line, I wrote ‘Tavistock’ and now Saleem, under his ‘Sound Signals’ moniker, has done an astonishing remix on the track and dedicated it to our mentor, DJ Kulu, with Jazz legends, Paul Harrison on keys, Colin Steele on trumpet, Andrew Barnet on saxophone, Chris Greive on trombone and David Donnelly on double bass.

The interludes you hear on this ‘Variant Issue’ excursion features an international ‘dream team’ with Joseph Malik, Daniel Walls aka Digital Liquid on the beats with words from internationalists, Shuya Okino, Capital A, Uncle Fawaz and Marga.

Within the city of Edinburgh, I’ve gathered together a hive mind of outstanding Scottish musicians to present their versions of my tracks. My long term producer/super engineer, David ‘Demus’ Donnelly presents his exclusive dub mix of ‘Days of Future Past’. After David’s dub bizniss comes George T (aka Plastic Avenger), DJ at legendary House night ‘Tribal Function’, goes deep and delivers a ‘parallel universe’ version of ‘Just to be Free’.

Gathering my musical family around me, Shuya Okino + ROOTS SOUL deliver their beautifully crafted variant of ‘Just to be Free’ which allows mine and Niki King’s vocals to ride over the funk heavy bed creating an entirely new vibe. Then, the leaders of the Edinburgh ‘New School’, Gavin Fort, James Rutherford and their ‘heart beat’, DJ Lee Marvin aka Movers International, return in fine style with their imagining of ‘Claro’ featuring Niki King on vocals, Chris Greive on trombone, Malcom Ross of Orange Juice on guitar, Colin Steele on trumpet and keyboard player for the Proclaimers, Steven Christie.

This whole album was programmed by my label boss, Jo Wallace as it was too hard for me to choose the running order. I trusted her ears but I had one proviso - that we ended with the two ‘alternative versions’ of ‘Strange New Places’ featuring Lynzie Dray (Out of the Ordinary Mix) and finally, the original ‘demo’ take of ‘Cry when I’m on my own’ - everything up on the desk, just bare and honest.

Thank you to all of you for backing the decades long ‘Diverse’ music projects - from the very beginning to the final end.

‘Joseph Malik – one of the most important artists in the UK – I’m so glad you’re back’.
Gilles Peterson – international broadcaster/DJ

Joseph Malik - 2022


released October 21, 2022

Photography by Wullie Marr
Artwork by Richard Epps


all rights reserved



Ramrock Ramsgate, UK

Founded in 2014 by Jo Wallace
Ramrock = reggae Ramrock Blue = soul Ramrock Red = Balearic/Hip Hop/Jazz/Electronica.
Jo is part of the North Street Studio One Remix crew with DJ/producer Ashley Beedle + musical supremo Darren Morris. Artists include Greg Blackman, Ghetto Priest, DB Cohen, Joseph Malik, Pauline Taylor, Steven Christie + Kameelah Waheed. 2021 is full of musical goodness.
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