SOUND OF RUM
There’s an ineffable electricity in the tang of a rum cocktail. A kind of hot, cloying constitution that limbers the soul and, more than any other spirit, tastes like a good time. You’ll be hard pushed to find a drink that is so redolent of colour and sound as rum. It’s the carnival drink; the tipple you sip on to the soundtrack of seabirds and rhythmic waves as the island darkens and comes to life.
Rum is the choice poison of pirates, party-starters and those with a penchant for something a little bit sweeter. And so, being world renowned party-starters themselves, Bacardi have concocted a heady melange of music and cocktail creation for their ‘Sound of Rum’ campaign. Taking cues from the Caribbean lineage of the drink, Bacardi have collaborated with elite bartenders from across the globe, along with hip hop producer Swizz Beatz to create a music video that incorporates the actual, physical sound of rum.
The track samples the cacophony of noises you might hear in a heaving calypso bar, alongside quick-cut imagery – a knife splitting the fibres of a pineapple, ice being crushed and slushed on the bar top, the extended reverb of a soft drink fizzing in the glass, a fan adding an ambient swoosh overhead, the tinkling of metal as the ingredients are stirred in the mixer. These sonic components are so very familiar to us and therein lies the genius of the track.
To compile the samples needed, Bacardi enlisted UK bartender Lawrence Gregory (among others) to create a cocktail that would encapsulate the spirit of island drinking. Lawrence is a certified rum boss. Having been in the game for 11 years, he discovered his love of rum whilst working in The Rum Kitchen in Shoreditch. He expanded his knowledge of the drink by moving to Trailer Happiness where he was tutored by the great Sly Augustin. Lawrence now runs his own beverage consultancy firm – aptly named RumBoss – and he caters to all the rum cocktail and rum punch demands of the Caribbean council reception at the House of Lords.
Having been raised on a diet of jazz, dancehall, grime and neo-soul, Lawrence’s musical influences accent his Flamingo Domingo cocktail with all the calypso vibrancy you might expect. When he’s not starring in music videos, Lawrence can be seen – and heard – doing his thing at in the Green Room at the Curtain Hotel in Hackney.
The track Lawrence helped produce is an ASMR marvel. You’ve heard the sounds a thousand times before and yet, organised in this hypnotic pattern, they are bestowed with a hip-jiving power quite unlike anything you’ve heard before. The rhythm is infectious and if it makes you move, you can be sure that it’s the sound of rum.