British sound engineer and renowned record producer Prince Fatty has released an impressive amount of singles this year, concluding the series this week with his own take on Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. Dubbing it “Black Rabbit” (with a heavy dose of dub), the single features guest vocals by Shniece McMenamin and is available everywhere as of tomorrow although the main grab is to get it on limited edition 7″ vinyl.
All of Prince Fatty’s singles are released in 7″ format — an easy add to any DJ collection!
And, this isn’t the first collaboration with Shniece for Prince Fatty, for the two have worked together on remakes of “Funkin For Jamaica” (originally by Tom Browne) and “The Model” (originally by Kraftwerk), not to mention Shniece’s own debut EP entitled Disco Deception. Now pairing again, Prince Fatty comments on the production of “Black Rabbit”, as well as what is to come next.
What propelled you to release your recent singles in 7″ format ?
- We are all vinyl heads and normally release our music on 7”. The pandemic broke out just before [Shniece’s] Disco Deception EP release, so vinyl production was halted. Fortunately, the pressing plants are back in action now, so we managed to get “Black Rabbit” pressed just in time. And, the Disco Deception EP will be available at the end of the year as a limited (500) release.
Let’s chat about “Black Rabbit”. Did you choose to cover Jefferson Airplane’s counterculture anthem out of sheer fandom or does your dub single stand as sociopolitical commentary on the world’s current state of affairs, like the original was in the late 1960s?
- I like vocals with emotion and drama. There is no denying Grace Slick’s vocal is very special; the technique she has is classical, yet haunting. Once the concept of 60s San Francisco was in my mind, it was the obvious choice.
- When I produce reggae versions like this, it’s with a DJ selector strategy and I look for surprises. My guitarist Kash (from The Rassites) delivered and interpreted the original guitar part in a clever way. When it comes to dub conversion, my musicians rule supreme… we do not use computers. Horseman is our metronome — he never crashes or needs any updates!
How is working alongside Shniece McMenamin?
- Shniece is a studio veteran and has been performing since her teens. [She’s] very experienced and super passionate about recording. She has a versatile voice. It’s impressive to me that we recorded tracks across four decades and Shniece found a way of making them her own. We have been working together for a while now, so, like with Horseman, we have a psychic and natural way of communicating!
As a producer, how have your collaboration efforts been impacted since the onset of COVID?
- I was in Thailand mixing at Jah Dub Stido in Si Racha at the onset of COVID. “Black Rabbit” was mixed under curfew! Shniece and myself were due to go to São Paulo, Brazil to start recording her solo album in April. When we toured there in 2018 with Monkey Jhayam, it was inspiring and was the right place for us. The musicians are on another level and the vibe is real good. The beaches of Uba Tuba will blow anyone’s mind!
- I am hoping we can take a calculated risk and go back as soon as possible. We have to be patient, so, for now, we are working online with our brothers out there!
Now that your 7″ series have come to a close for 2020, what’s next on the horizon?
- It’s been a busy year! Alongside my releases, I have been writing with Shniece, mixing records for Manu Chao and getting the releases in order for my new percussion and drum led label called Manga Rosa, featuring Tony Allen amongst others. Now that I am back in the UK, the work has started again for the paused projects. As long as there is 220 volt power and Horseman, we keep recording!
Pre-save & pre-order “Black Rabbit” single:
PRE-ORDER ► 7″ Vinyl