While most attention about Bristol’s music heritage focuses on Massive Attack, Portishead and Roni Size, it’s hard to imagine any of them existing in their current form without Rob Smith and Ray Mighty. Together as Smith & Mighty, their electronic evolution of lovers rock and reggae in the late 80s lay the foundations for trip-hop, dubstep and jungle, ushering in a pivotal musical era for the South West and UK as a whole.
Two labels and DJs also deeply intertwined with this legacy have teamed up to release an anthology of unreleased cuts. Marking 30 years since the inaugural Smith & Mighty release together, Ashley Road Sessions is also the first time Peverelist’s Punch Drunk and Pinch’s Tectonic come together on a release, piecing together the full spectrum of the Smith & Mighty sound: breakbeat, hardcore, balearica and acid house alongside the more familiar dub, reggae, hip-hop and soul.
Second on the album, ‘Stalgnate’ harmonises delicate dubbed out textures with crisp vibrations, fusing a deep shimmering bassline, reggae infused synth waves and rolling percussion. “Smith & Mighty are true pioneers in music whom I’ve found deeply inspirational on many levels”, Pinch explains. “To be putting out these unreleased gems is such an exciting project for both me and Tom.”
Ashley Road Sessions is out 9th November – buy from Bandcamp.