RECLAIM AUSTRALIA… an intro from RYAN GRIFFEN (Conceiver of Cleverman)

Ryan Griffen (Creator of Cleverman) listened to A.B. Original’s ‘Reclaim Australia’… here are his thoughts: 

Have you ever sat at home and wondered what it would be like if the two old guys from the Muppets were black, forty years younger and could rap? Well wonder no more. A. B. Original drop their debut album Reclaim Australia next month and one thing is for sure many people aren’t ready for this, but so many people out there need to stand up and take notice.

You could say this album is 200 years in the making with the last fifteen finding the two people to finish it. Longtime friends, Briggs (Album of the Year recipient at the National Indigenous Music Awards 2015) and Trials (ARIA winning producer for Drapht, Seth Sentry, Illy and Hilltop Hoods), have previously collaborated on other projects but are now joining up like a black voltron to drop an album full of ‘angers’. The album shows a clear influence from the sounds coming out of the West Coast of the U.S throughout the 80’s and 90’s, and is a much needed voice for this country and Aboriginal people.

Coming from the Yorta Yorta and Ngarrindjeri nations, Briggs and Trials are socially conscious artists and with an album titled Reclaim Australia you shouldn’t expect punches to be pulled, because you’re not going to get any. From opening track 2 Black 2 Strong you know what this album means to A. B. Original and the anger, passion and pride bleeds all through this unique collection of songs.

A. B. Original. have so much to say on this album that they had to bring in some friends to help them out. Caiti Baker, Dan Sultan and Gurrumul all join them on the album but with the way this country has been of late the track I.C.U with Thelma Plum is one that hits home for me. The messages behind everyone’s voice on this album are so powerful you can’t help but stand up and take notice.

I met Briggs and Trials back in 2012 while I was doing a documentary on Briggs for Message Stick (ABC). I’d never met them before that but after that documentary I realised they had the same aim as myself. They want to do something they love but make sure our people have a voice. This voice was first conceived when they were invited to appear at triple j’s ‘Beat The Drum’ 40 year anniversary show and from that point the voice became louder.

Reclaim Australia starts with a little intro from Uncle Archie Roach saying “reminds me so much of the old days, it brings back that time we did pump our fists in the air”. And when I first saw A.B. Original play live it was in an Arena size venue where they had the crowd of different ethnicities holding their hands up embracing the message of these two proud Black men – it was a truly inspirational moment.

When asked to write a press release for this album I was more than happy to help two brothers get their work out there – but after listening to the album it’s a damn honour.

Our people have been waiting for an album like this, this industry has needed an album like this and hell this country needs an album like this. This is an album that I honestly believe will be talked about for years to come. It will be the album that inspires others, it will be an album that opens others eyes, it will be that album that can be heard blaring out of someone’s car on the main street. But most of all it is an album that gave these two proud Aboriginal men a platform to say what they wanted to say and to say it with the backing of some amazing beats.

A.B.Original will Reclaim Australia with this one.

– Ryan Griffen, Creator of Cleverman (ABC TV / Sundance TV)