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SMOKE
Routes
Edel

"We are all potential criminals. It's not that you are born a criminal, you become one because system forces you to kill one sometimes". Is what emerges from the listening to Smoke's second record, which, from the very beginning of Intro, aims at making people reflect upon what's happening around the world. Samples of speeches about the President Bush operation in Iraq and about the Tibet Question mingle to the sound of helicopters and to what appears like the recognition call of the Vietcong in the jungle, as to demonstrate that today as yesterday the human been needs a salvation. Routes is an album of hope that travels on the upbeat to cast a glance at the story of an intellectual killed by the Nigerian military regime (Ken Saro Wiwa), at the phenomenon of child soldiers (Save All The Kids, inspired by the memoirs of Ishmael Beah), at the Apartheid drama in South Africa (To Them). The roots moderate the words of protest and, as in the best reggae tradition, sees to lighten the afflicted souls. Beyond the perfectly measured contents, Routes is a complete work, musically flawless, that promotes Smoke as absolute Italian representative of Jamaican reggae.
Tirza Bonifazi Tognazzi 5/5
- Italy


Smoke
Routes

You write it "Routes" and pronounce it "Roots". It's far way too easy to catch in this assonance the double meaning of Smoke's second record, the universal breath of protest songs like "To Them", "Save All The Kids", "Ken Saro Wiwa" and the spontaneous adherence to the classical reggae standards that pervade every track.
The pure and simple meeting of these two elements would be enough to make it an excellent record, but there's much more, like the melodic and expressive maturity - do we need to remind you that the past of the band is called Reggae National Ticket and Radical Stuff? - and the flawless concreteness of a sound that is equal to the best Jamaican productions.
An excellent proof from one of the diamond points of Italian reggae.
Elio Bussolino 8/10
- Italy


Smoke's line is that of transporting the listeners in different worlds using the lyrics themes to point at absurd episodes of violence and oppression that are too often forgotten - says the band's drummer, Ale Soresini - the roots reggae music of our record is being revisited from time to time to create angular songs with aggressive rhythmic and more softer songs where is easy to be rocked by the sweet swinging of the rhythm.

"Routes" is a complete and committed work, a concentrated of pure roots, a circle that closes showing the artistic and spiritual maturity of a band that with this record chooses to tell difficult stories, often forgotten, of injustice and social discomforts.
- MTV


November 2008

It's the reggae album that you wouldn't expect: complex and at the same time as ambitious as successful. Their 'progressive reggae' is a continue dialog with soul's emotional property. Smoke write a fundamental page in the Italian reggae's history.
- Luca Valtorta


November 2008

An impressive qualitative leap for the band in the passage from the first to the second album. A menu of 17 titles that reminds of the best European sound coming from the Jamaican school. In a world that sees the great roots reggae exile away from the island, Italy has now an other weapon.
- Paolo Ferrari


Discography

Ciao Amore - single 2005 feat. ZOE
Smoke - album 2006
Routes - album come out the 31st of Oct. 2008 (Edel Music), the 12th of Dec. 2008 (Soundquake), 30th of Jan 2009 (Echo Beach)

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Bio

Smoke renew their style. The band is currently made of line-up Alessandro Soresini on drums, vocals and production, Gianluca Pelosi on bass and production, Marco Zaghi on sax, flute and production and soul singer Séan Daniel Martin, who became Smoke's official singer in summer 2006.

In winter 2007 Smoke enter the studio to work on their second record “ROUTES”, which will have different features compared to the first one. The need to express certain concepts, the accurate stylistic research and the inevitable series of accidents take Smoke to spend almost two years in the studio, a period that have strengthen the band's identity.
“Routes” is a reggae album that keeps a distance from the passing trend. The style reminds of an epoch in which the digital instrumentation didn't lord it as today, the singing is strictly melodic and the lyrics are a result of long-standing ideas.

Songs like “To Them” (a condemnation of the Apartheid system in South Africa, Séan's mother country), “Ken Saro Wiwa” (the story of a man killed by the Nigerian military regime for having fought against the environmental devastation caused by Shell's oil company), “Ironman Wang” (a reflection upon the Maoist regime consequences through the journey of a young Chinese worker) and “Save all the kids” (a hymn to the protection of children's rights inspired by Ishmael Beah's book ‘A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier') have the precise purpose to focus listeners attention on issues that afflict the planet and that too often the media tend to ignore. Other songs like “Let there be light” (inspired by the book of Genesis), “The great wanderer”, “Every thing you are”, “Island”, “If” emphasize on those values that join any life form and on the common desire of a universal harmony. Every track lives on it's own light but at the same time works as a fundamental key for the record's completeness.
“Routes” is a complete work, a circle that closes disclosing the artistic and spiritual maturity of the band.
Smoke are now working on setting a live that is going to raise all the record's issues.