A well-seasoned name upon the British dancehall scene, Mungo’s Hi Fi’s music conjures images of blistering beaches wild Caribbean carnival parties on the white sands of Jamaica. However, the Glasgow-based collective have been making mad sounds around the UK and in Bristol since the turn of the millennium, gathering momentum and a diehard fan base.

Mungo’s Hi Fi will be returning to Bristol for a DJ set at Thekla’s Fiesta Bombarda party on 21 April for an evening of carnival-inspired carnage and dancehall drama to celebrate the release of some new summer sounds from the group.

Influenced by the roots of traditional reggae and dub, the boys wanted to keep in theme with tradition and crafted their very first soundsystem from a vintage Atari and speakers found in a skip. Although they won’t be bringing their famous soundsystem along with them this time, they’ll have no trouble setting the dance floor alight. With a laid-back and time-crafted sound, taking major influences from traditional island sounds, Mungo’s place their own spin on Caribbean dancehall and dub with fiery dubplates and catchy mix-ups.

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The group already has five albums currently under their belts and there will be no stopping the dynamic collective getting people moving this summer, with a string of new releases imminent. Although when asked exactly what to expect from the group in the near future, Mungo’s Craig Macleod laughs and taps his nose, ‘You’ll have to come down to our show! We have a load of exciting new mixes dropping, including a brand new collaborative single coming out in April. Expect to be hearing a lot from our label Scotch Bonnet too. We’ve got a lot of sounds lined up and ready to drop. Watch this space – it’s going to be loud!’

We have a load of exciting new mixes dropping, including a brand new collaborative single coming out in April

With a discography including massive collaborations and remixes including Major Lazer, General Levy, Congo Natty and Ranking Joe, to name only a few, Mungo’s operate as a core five-piece collaborative unit with a constant flow of new vocalists and MCs to take the spot on the microphone.

Firmly cemented into the reggae/roots scene, Mungo’s have a fiercely loyal fanbase that are sure to be found two-stepping and lapping up the organic sounds of the collective on the dance floor at their shows. Combining a sharp sense of history, a wicked creativity and some crazily catchy riddims, Mungo’s are keen to keep making fire on the decks this summer with a killer lineup of shows, gigs and festivals in both national and international waters. Expect to see them hitting Outlook and Dimensions in Croatia, Uprising festival in Slovakia and Reggae Sun Ska festival in France, alongside dates in and around the UK.

Their Glasgow-based label Scotch Bonnet, toting the slogan ‘skanking since 2005’, also continues to generate heat, pumping out piles of dubplates, hot new reggae riddims and collaborations since the mid-noughties. Founded by Mungo’s Hi Fi, the Scottish label also features sub-label Scrub a Dub that heavily features bass music over the mainline reggae focus. With a growing fan base and a backlogged queue of featured collaborators, Scotch Bonnet is keen to expand, reaching further into global waters and continuing to create a buzz of excitement amongst the UK dub crowd.

We love playing in Bristol, our sound really connects with the city and the people

Back to their Bristol show, Craig says: ‘We’re really excited to play Thekla again. It’s going to be a big party! Expect exclusive new tunes, dubplates, remixes and some hot party vibes. We love playing in Bristol, our sound really connects with the city and the people. We’ve played at several of the venues over the years and really feel that the Mungo’s sound and vibe fits perfectly into the city of Bristol. We are all about pushing forward with new sounds, but also never forgetting where you come from, much like the roots and reggae influences in the Bristol sound.’

It’s appropriate then that the evening’s carnival vibes will be supported by Bristol’s own Gardna, whose huge tune Sunday (produced by Kreed) was one of the anthems of last summer. Working again with Kreed, their new joint EP has just dropped, so expect to hear tunes from that, plus more bangers from his dubwise-heavy back catalogue.

One of our favourite reggae and dub producers Prince Fatty has also been added to the lineup, plus all the fun of a typical Fiesta Bombarda event, with immersive carnival-themed décor, performers and face painting.

MUNGO’S HI FI LIVE: 21 April – Fiesta Bombarda Bristol Carnival, Thekla

mungoshifi.net // soundcloud.com/scotchbonnetrecords // words by Molly Chinner

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