Back in October when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Myself a lover of both literature and Dylan was also scratching my head, but perhaps for different reasons than other people were. I thought they should have given him the Peace Prize. I mean the guy spent the better part of his career writing extremely well crafted folk and rock songs that covertly skewered so much of the corruption and all out warfare both at home and abroad that was plaguing our nation at the time. He didn’t have to do that. He could have written about any other number of things. But the fact is that he didn’t, and he wanted to see people chill and just be cool and happy.
Another such person who uses his musical efforts to speak about peace, love, and understanding is the multi-instrumentalist Erik Rabasca, who records under the Moniker Light Warriors and whose debut record, which I had the pleasure to review last year, Survival of Joy was a breath of fresh air both for its wonderful musical compositions that blended funk, rock, and reggae to name just a few of the styles, and set the songs alight with lyrics that came from a mind that wasn’t spewing anger at the atrocities going on in the world, but rather bringing them pleasantly into the light, showing them for what they are and asking others to see what he saw.
On his latest record as Light Warriors, Raise the Frequency, Rabasca once again uses his musical pulpit to preach about peace and the awareness that it is still possible despite all the negativity that one encounters on a daily basis.
Raise the Frequency opens with upbeat island reggae sounds of “No More Division.” Backed by steely drums, a wicked electric guitar and cooing backing vocals and a reggae-rap breakdown it’s the perfect mix of power and message and the perfect opener as it gives the listener an idea of what they’re in for, a ride that will be both positive and funky at the same time. We find this blend on the lighter and melodic side for “Third Eye Sees” which then gives way to the heavier reggae-funk “New Breed” a powerful piece of music.
One of the best components of Raise the Frequency is that along with sending out a positive message, it’s also an incredibly focused musical effort. There’s the heavy hitter of jam band funkiness “Rise Above,” which then gives way to the more mellow and dance inducing “Raise the Frequency” which is well worth the six minutes of your time. And Light Warriors does not disappoint, closing out Raise the Frequency with the stunning musical bildungsroman “The Sounding of the Trumpets” which is one of Rabasca’s most ambitious compositions to date.
There are artists who make art for money and there are those who make art as a hobby and then there are those who make art because they have something to say, something that needs a platform like music to be delivered. Light Warriors continues to draw on the powers of more ancient and world styles of music to deliver their messages, styles that date back for sometimes hundreds of years if not more, styles of music made by people who lived and worked together and wanted only peace, love and happiness in their lives. It is great to see this tradition continued by such an enormous cast of talented singers and musicians.
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