Dread, Beat, and Brooklyn

Trumystic Sound System Reinvent Reggae In Williamsburg

It's a slow process, to build lasting collectives of people that don't kill each other, pull in different directions, or chomp at the bit to compete with flash-in-the-pan hitmakers. "You can build a structure with a wide base, using heavy blocks," says the lager-and-parable-toting Israel of Trumystic's strong foundation. "Then there's the guy stacking one block upon another in a hurry. You will reach the top at the same time. But your structure will remain, while the other will crumble. He has to start over again, if he isn't killed in the fall. He's the guy who goes from a platinum record to working back at KFC."

Up on the roof: Soothsayer atop Bass Mind Studios
photo: Michael Kenneth Lopez
Up on the roof: Soothsayer atop Bass Mind Studios

Soothsayer picks up the thought, then adds to it, a tag-team process that he and Israel have nearly perfected after half a decade. "The only place we run into problems is if we spread too thin working on other projects. Otherwise, everyone's really focused. People may see selling 3 million records as being successful, but we've been successful the last five years in just being able to do what we like to do. That's success to me. I don't have to punch a clock, but I can pay my rent. Not to say a gold or platinum album won't elevate that success." He pauses. "We're preparing for our stuff to be released and out in a more massive way. We're ready. But then we have to ask ourselves, 'Are they?' "

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