Reef Relief Vol.1 – V/A (Curated by Mamacita Bonnita)


The twenty-three track compilation Reef Relief Vol.1 is a 100% profit-free initiative, with all money going to the Australian Marine Conservation Society. The AMCS have twin troubles on their hands between the threat of the proposed Great Barrier Reef dredging on the east coast, and from the proposed shark cull on the west.

A lot of us feel helpless as to how we can help fight this seemingly invincible onslaught on our country’s marine environment, but some people take a little time to put some positive action into things.

Around thirty Australian electronic, reggae and hip-hop artists were asked by local beats enthusiast and DJ Mamacita Bonnita to volunteer their efforts to this compilation. This is one of those fine moments where musicians unify and show their charitable nature; they all agreed to donate their efforts for twenty-three tracks. So there’s not really any overheads to be covered, and all bucks go to the AMCS deal, right?

So what about the actual compilation? What sort of tunes are on it? Allow me to run you through it without too much detail as objectively as possible.

The predominant components of this compilation are pretty much reggae styles, with a heavy conscious hip-hop component and other interesting eclectic ingredients added too.

Many of Australia/New Zealand’s finest reggae producers are up in this piece, including Naram, Apprentice, Mista Savona, L-que, Brother Culture, Mr Fish, and recent Red Bull Academy graduate Dizz1 (w/ Airi Leke).

Operatives Amin Payne, JPS and Fugitive (with vocalist Syreniscreamy) provide warm urban flair in ‘Satellite’ to add to the organic nature of the reggae elements. There’s hip-hop protagonists like emcees Jessie Jahmal, Frakska, Cairns local Seeka, and singer Stacey Gardener; and boom-bap producers Inkswel and Able8 also come along for the ride. 

Unexpected twists come from Japan’s braindancing wonky purveyor MFP, Sydney’s Skwee-tweaking Ribongia, and folk-singing Jess Harlen, Metals delivers vocally-driven and hip-hop hybrid in track ‘That Ain’t Real Love’, tech-oriented beats are torn up by Digital Primate, and there’s a real stand-out texture-laden track with Chiara Kickdrum. This came as a surprise to me, as I thought CKD was primarly a techno artist.

I’m taking exception in review for this particular compilation and am not going to be giving it a score, because how can you as an ethical musical journalist and human being score something musically that’s done from a gesture of charity and environmental defense? Score is out of the equation on this one; this detracts from the positive ideal here and we can’t show bias either.

Get on this one for charity. In return, you get an excellent eclectic album. Reef Relief Vol.1 is more than a worthy purchase that continues to show that Australia is once again showing a unified front with all manners of eclectic aural delights. Maybe a Vol.2 some time soon?

We wish this project all the best of luck, and hope to see our marine environment protected in Australia for our future generations to enjoy.

Reef Relief Vol.1 is available at curator Mamacita Bonnita’s Bandcamp in a variety of formats for a donation of $10 (or more).

Written by Kristian Hatton.

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