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Follow The 'Portal' To The Sound Of Lions Gate

The musical movement and spiritual revolution titled Lions Gate consists of three NYC-based veteran multi-instrumentalist artists that answered a universal call in 2021 to manifest the powerful project 'Portal.'

Patrick Dougher, Yako 440, and Erik Rabasca brought the full force of their combined talents to take listeners on a trip from London to Lagos and from Kingston to Motown with 11-tracks that fit into their scope of reggae, trip-hop, hi-life/afrobeat, funk and jazz genres.

The album starts with the title track and introductory single, "Portal," the project's gateway into groove-filled records aimed to make your move. The soothing sounds of this track take you into a blend of soul-infused jazz and drum fills that will make you think you're across the world. The hypnotic atmosphere makes you fall into the ease of Lions Gate as they welcome you on this journey, incorporating worldly sounds to allow the expansive essence of this instrumental record to sink deep,

Second, on the track list, we're treated to the eclectic sound of the lulling and psychedelic song "Lions Gate." Named after the trio, this sonic representation embodies the three as individuals and a group. Dipping into smooth reggae accompanied by crisp horns, the galactic undertones give an otherworldly dimension to this record as you take it in. We are transitioning between the energy cast out and the dynamism sticks in the realm of triumphantly exquisite. The coaxing vocals continuously repeating, "Mankind, don't hesitate, step through the Lion's Gate," has put any doubts to rest as we step deeper into this album.

Acoustic guitar strums, a rhythmic bassline, and elusive percussion set the tone for "Ubuntu." We effortlessly drift through this track as the musical ambiance acts as a wave bringing us closer to the heart of Lions Gate. With underlying beatboxing and potent chants that jive to the beat of the music, we embrace the culture represented throughout "Ubuntu."

"Portal" is fueled by infectious energy and gives you a live off floor, open jam liveliness. "Light Walk" has an elusive greeting that commences with harmonized croons and mesmerizing snaps before you're rallied into the opulent horns, breathtaking wind instruments, and marvelous synths. It's impossible not to get lost in the rhythm as you bop your head and tap your toes to the intoxicating beat.

Plummeting into various realms of the positive messaging Lions Gate instills in their music, the harmonious elements are all raw and push the envelope of any genre. "Iniquity" will have you focusing on the production components that round out this record and usher you into the finer details Lions Gate stores in their music through perfectly placed reverbs, delays, and intentional, empowering vocals.

A song like "Lo Fi Hi-Life" reels this all in. Then it incorporates an entrancing chant stating the song's name before upping the musical complexity while remaining on the sophisticated spectrum they venture. It's brilliant how the beachy strums and timely percussion can cast out this sunny and effervescent vibe while also making you feel like you're jamming with your friends.

Then we get taken into the seventh song on 'Portal,' and the mysterious nature of "Bismillah" has us feeling nuances of determination mixed with the underground club scene. It's wild how Lions Gate can transition into such fierce energies that contrast one another yet work together on a seemingly intelligent scale. A perfect representation of the yin and yang they bestow upon their music.

Fitting into the captivating soundscapes, they've put in place, "Transition" tours us through dark hues that unconventionally reflect their free-flowing creation style. We admire the versatility as the textured layers continue to build upon one another, creating more dimension yet never cluttering the song.

"Altars of Greed" sends out the vibrant message that capitalism is a bully as we navigate this life as we know it and make it out the best way we can. With bold vocals fueling this record, the entrancing energy that we're looped into all stands for a message that connects us. Although a robust representation of the greed in our world, the instrumentation that Lions Gate provides has us fully immersed in their skillset as they structure another earnest song backed by power.

Coming in at number ten on the track list, "Elation" follows the factual and raw essence of "Altars of Greed" with lively and feel-good music. Boosting the energy we feel within, we immediately feel our moods elevate as "Elation" fits into the title it's given. The live instruments with electronic overdubs expertly mixed by Alan Siegler bring us a protruding buoyancy that feels perfect in our eyes and hearts.

Concluding 'Portal' with the funk-fueled party anthem that elevates you just as quickly as it brings you back down to earth, "Beware" is the perfect song to conclude the realistic values and concepts that Lions Gate brings together in 'Portal.' The melt-your-face-off, electrifying guitar solo sums that up in the mere time it's performed and represents the beauty we find in the chaos.

This purely analog studio recorded album holds a perspective lens into life as we know it. We are encouraging you to take a break and listen to the music before you there's something for everyone. Whether heavy dub reggae or lava hot hi-life/afrobeat, listen to the messages professed and the musical best of Lions Gate with 'Portal' on all major streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Lions Gate! Congratulations on the release of your album 'Portal.' An abundance of themes was visited throughout this project. Could you please share the concept behind the entirety of 'Portal?'

The Lions Gate concept and name were spearheaded by the acclaimed visual artist /drummer/vocalist Patrick Dougher. He enlisted multi-instrumentalist collaborators Erik Rabasca and Yako 440 for the initial sessions in August 2022 during the astrological phenomenon from which the group took its name.

Please share a glimpse into the creative process of this album. What was it like working with Alan Siegler to bring this project to life?

'Portal' was recorded and mixed over four immersive weekends. The process was deeply collaborative, with no written songs or charts going into the sessions. Each member contributed instrumental and vocal ideas, and a “flow state” was unlocked. The foundations of the rhythm section were all improvised on that first weekend. The following sessions were for overdubs and editing. Alan Siegler came in the final session for mixing and keyboard overdubs and joined the band officially as our 4th “Ghostface” band member.

Are there any favorite standout songs of the band? Which songs and why?

“Altars of Greed” because it speaks to the power structures that cause pain and suffering in the world. “Ubuntu,” which translates as “I am because we are,” because we have the strength to withstand that greed onslaught and experience joy.

What is the mission statement of Lions Gate? Has this remained consistent in your time together?

Lions Gate is a collaborative that seeks to create socially and spiritually conscious music, art, and multimedia. This is achieved through improvisation and brotherly love, support, and encouragement.

What's next for you?

The next Portal.


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