Switzerland’s High Smile HiFi return with another round of purely digital selections for their second series of 7″ releases. Enlisted vocalists Tenna Star, Ras Negus I, and Little Harry all turn in passionate efforts, covering a range of singing styles while also being conscious critics.
On “Be Smart,” Tenna Star almost croons atop the laid-back riddim, promoting positive efforts and personal motivation. The reverse features a remix rather than the expected instrumental, with the bass cranked up a notch to create more space for the vocal to come through clearly.
Ras Negus I takes the same original riddim for a solid ride on “Seeking A Way Out;” he’s rougher and tougher on the mic as the lyrics address optimism despite hardship. Perhaps better suited for the dance, especially with the version as the b-side.
“Hard Life” though, is the standout, featuring Little Harry’s sweetly-toned tenor atop a slightly 8-bit-infused backing track. The low-end is thick (even more so on the version), the drums are tight, and the veteran Jamaican singer has the confidence and vocal prowess to address harsh socio-economic realities while still creating a catchy tune.
The vinyl itself is distributed via Reggae Fever. Or tune into the previews right now: