Ree-Vo are Bristol-based musician and music producer Andy Spaceland (AKA Andy Jenks) and rapper T. Relly who recently released their incredible album All Welcome On Planet Ree-Vo. I reviewed it for Joyzine at the end of July and said “it’s a stone-cold instant classic. I’ve often equated going the Joyzine submissions inbox as panning for gold (subjective gold, obviously) and this album shone out like a beacon. Within two songs I had two involuntary reactions: I turned the volume way up and starting head nodding like that manic Churchill dog.”
At Joyzine we like to get artists to shine a light on their influences and highlight the tracks that blew them away, inspired them and helped shape them into the outstanding musicians they are today. Andy and T. Relly agreed to give us their musical selection for our feature ‘My Life In 10 Songs’ and they tell Joyzine about the music playing when they were growing up, it’s strong emotional effect and how it can wake you up to the possibilities of, not only what what music can do, but ultimately how it can turn you into a musician yourself.
In true collaborative style the duo have split their choice of 10 tracks between them, kicking off with some classic reggae and rap from T and moving on to Andy’s selection of punk, reggae and a 1968 protest song.
1 – Bob Marley – Natural Mystic
No real story, just listened to it once and was in a trance. oddly it was new for me when I heard it which was strange as I heard loads of Bob Marley growing up and loved it.
2 – NWA – Fuck Tha Police
Walking down Bristol’s frontline, late 1980’s – 5/6 years old I heard this booming from a car with a crew of men around it. the lyrics just hit me, knowing what’s going on in my community, my dad being in and out of prison and poor race relations in the area and the UK.
3 – Ghostface Killah (feat Mary j Blige) – All That I Got Is You
My first experience of feeling extreme emotional effects of music. sat in a barber’s chair as a child I started welling up, thinking ‘shit, am I gonna cry?’
4 – DMX – Dogs for Life
Not much to say apart from I was blown away by the uniqueness of his voice and the power of his storytelling
5 – NAS – NAS is Like
This premiere beat made me want to write and flow. one of my favourite beats to rap on. I had it on cassette and used to tape to tape the first few bars of the beat together until I had enough to rap over
1 – The Clash – Armagideon Time
I got into reggae, as a not very cool post punk kid, when bands like the clash, the pop group, the ruts started incorporating it into their sound. I used to listen to and/or tape the john peel show every weeknight when I was a kid – the best music education you could get! – he used to play great reggae which is what really got me into it. when this track came out, I didn’t know it was a cover – I played it to death and still do.
2 – Mantronix – Hardcore Hip Hop
I used to DJ at TJ’s in Newport every Wednesday in mid-late 80’s – bits of electro, indie and reggae. no-one really ever came but I loved hearing my records being played loud! this album had just come out and this was the killer track for me.
3 – Michael Palmer – Juggling
Years ago I saw Jah Shaka at the Malcolm X centre in Bristol – he played this and it was immense. the next day I went to this little dusty old electronics shop on Picton street. it was run by this amazing old guy called colin Pugh, he looked like an archetypal shopkeeper from an Ealing Comedy – he also happened to be one of the first people in the UK to import Jamaican music. he had a great selection, from the heaviest ragga and dancehall to the sweetest lovers. I asked him about a track with the word juggling in it. he smiled and said, ‘did you see Shaka last night?’, bent down and handed me a copy of the 12”
4 – Smith & Mighty – Different Chapter
Just before I moved to Bristol in 1989, I got ‘walk on’ by Smith & Mighty in a charity shop. I didn’t know anything about it but loved this track on the B-side. it wasn’t until a year later when I’d started meeting people and making music here that I realised how significant Smith & Mighty were in the evolution of Bristol bass music, and now have been blessed to have worked with them.
5 – Marta Kubišová – Tak Dej Se K Nám A Projdem Svět
One of the first breaks I sampled – probably started a lifetime hunt and dig for obscure samples – I only sample from vinyl and try not to pay more than £1 for a record – all from thrift stores/ markets etc – always searching for gold at the edge of the universe.
And as a bonus here’s a taste of Ree-Vo’s ‘We Go’, and I would strongly urge you to check out the album that I said “has enough bounce to shame a trampoline and make a Space Hopper hang up its horns.”
I have also created this playlist which captures 9 of the 10 as, sadly, Michael Palmer’s ‘Juggling’ wasn’t on Spotify (sorry Andy).
Cover photo taken by Andrew Busby
Article introduction by Paul F Cook