Jeep MacNichol, original Samples drummer 1987 – 1997, recently traveled to Kingston, Jamaica armed with an acoustic guitar and drum machine. His goal was to record the ultimate chill-vibe party album with his heroes of reggae music.
Teaming up with music legends Sly and Robbie, Bounty Killer, Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose and Dave Wakeling from the English Beat, MacNichol created a unique blend of reggae, trip-hop and dub titled, Mr. Anonymous. “I decided to call the project Mr. Anonymous, because it seemed like the best way to represent the collaborative effort of all the musicians involved,” says Jeep.
MacNichol tracked the album during a ten-week period that involved three separate trips to Jamaica. On one such trip, Jeep recorded with well-known rapper, Cutty Ranks. “I was fortunate enough to stay at his place,” says Jeep. “Every morning I would wake up to the sound of Cutty cranking tunes on his boom box and singing lyrics at top volume. We would hang out under the palm trees in his backyard, smoke fat joints, and write lyrics all afternoon. It was an incredible experience.”
“This album,” says Jeep, “is about enjoying the moment and taking in the experience. “There are songs about love, family, sex and life.” Highlights include “Good Vibe,” featuring a signature Dave Wakeling vocal sound wrapped around the melodic, rhythmic vocals of Michael Rose. “Shylean” features Dr. Dre-style keyboard stabs against a hip-hop groove. Bounty Killer throws out the same aggressive, throaty vocal sound on “Shylean” as he did on No Doubt’s hit single, “Hey Baby”.
“Working with these guys was the experience of a lifetime. I spent every second of my high school years listening to most of them, studying their different styles, and teaching myself how to play drums to their tunes,” says MacNichol. “To go from that, to working and writing in the studio with these guys still blows me away.”