photo by Miki Marcinkiewicz

photo by Miki Marcinkiewicz

Brooklyn's THE FAR EAST appeared in 2013 with their single "Youthman" immediately gaining recognition and airplay from BBC Radio's David Rodigan.

The Far East pull inspiration from foundation rhythm and a youth spent in Punk Rock; bringing new, heavy magic to an old sound. Disillusioned with modern life and digital noise, The Far East immerse themselves completely in the often forgotten beauty of Rocksteady, Roots, and classic Dancehall. 

In the fall of 2016, The Far East set out on a month long, national tour supporting veteran 2Tone legends The Specials and played to sold out crowds across the US (including Riot Fest Chicago). In honor of their 2016 tour the group released a second single entitled Can We Make It Up featuring veteran reggae guitarist Andy Bassford and produced by the talented New York production house Channel Tubes.

They again set out on tour with the Specials in the summer of 2017, coming home to record a new EP with Channel Tubes set to be released this summer. The first 45 single has been released as of May 2018 and includes a video for the lovers anthem “Rain On My Party”.  David Rogidan has named this release Scorcher of the week on BBC 1Xtra. 

In past performances they have supported other iconic groups such as The Wailers, the Slackers, The Dap Kings, The Suffers, The Frightnrs, and The Skints.   

From James Steiner AKA Mighty Redeemer: 

Rain On My Party Single Release Announcement

I’m truly pleased to be able to announce the release of The Far East’s latest 7” single, a tough little disc that serves up two equally formidable selections for your musical enjoyment. ‘Rain On My Party’ is a sweetly melancholic Lovers Rock number that opens with a dark, blossoming organ line before settling into a gentle groove enlivened by swooning backing harmonies and some well-placed Syndrum accents. The song is a reverent homage to the UK Lovers Rock and wouldn’t sound out of place played alongside ‘80s era classics by singers like Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks, and Janet Kay, but its spare arrangement and dubbed out ambiance ensure that it retains elements of the slightly rougher New York centric aesthetic that the group has been refining over the past several years with the help of Channel Tubes’ producer and label owner Brett Tubin.

This of course brings us to the flip side, ‘Far East Ride’ a fierce, hard stepping roots cut that serves as a triumphant statement of purpose for the group. The song feels like an organic progression from their previous Tubin recorded single “Can We Make It Up”, which found them enlisting the aid of veteran reggae guitarist Andy Bassford and studiously copping moves from the works of legendary Jamaican studio outfits like the Soul Syndicate and the Roots Radics, groups well-known for restraining their considerable instrumental virtuosity in favor of spotlighting a tight arrangement, a rugged rhythm.

But for all The Far East’s musical discipline and their abundantly apparent love for the artistic and cultural achievements of the great musicians of Jamaica’s past, what has impressed me most about them is not their ability to evoke the sounds of this or that bygone Reggae era, but instead their earnest commitment to contributing to the New York reggae community as it exists in the here and now. The chops that The Far East display on these new recordings were not cultivated in isolation, but through years of study and collaboration with fellow artists; a mutually supportive network of producers, selectors, and party goers, singers and players of instruments, veterans and newcomers alike. So while this 7” may serve most directly as a showcase for the talents of The Far East as musicians and songwriters, their next release on Channel Tubes is going to be a love letter to the community that has helped them reach this point, a showcase style LP slated to include contributions from vocalists who’ve been vital contributors to New York’s reggae community over the past decades. Keep your ears open…