Bass-heavy London vibes
“The Hempolics are the best band in the UK,” shouts Maxi Jazz from Faithless, “but nobody knows it yet.” Don’t worry, Maxi. Their time is coming, people are cottoning on. The brainchild of veteran record producer and sound engineer Grippa Laybourne, this is a gang who proudly wear the sounds of their hometown on their collective sleeves. “Mash-up music outta London” they call it, a heady but easy-squeeze concoction of soul, roots reggae, lovers rock, dub, rocksteady, funk and much more besides. However you want to label it, at its core, at its very essence, is some deep, bowel-rumbling bass around which the magic happens. This is music that’s rooted in sound-system culture but which also delivers those big, melodic hooks. Indeed, Clashmagazine described them as “Funkadelic playing reggae in a Brixton basement”. Impeccable on record and stonking live, these Hempolics are turning heads everywhere they go.