This is Why Protoje’s In Search of Zion is the Best Reggae Album of 2023

In Search of Lost Time by Protoje.

Protoje has reworked his 2020 album In Search of Lost Time into a roots reggae masterpiece. Discover why we think it might be last year’s most underrated release.

Protoje back to his roots

Reggae artist Protoje asked producer collective Zion I Kings to reimagine his 2020 release In Search of Lost Time, and they absolutely delivered. Released in November of 2023, the final result will have you seriously impressed.  Protoje’s modern production style has been replaced with guitars on the off-beat, live bass, and organs, and will leave you swaying and jamming out to the beats.

Protoje and Zion I Kings’ new release

In Search of Zion serves as a true-to-form, classic reggae throwback, evoking the likes of The Wailers in its instrumentation, while preserving Protoje’s original vocals. Gone is the original reverb-heavy, super-produced 2020’s sound.

Every track on this release is a reworked version of a song off In Search of Lost Time, with a slightly reworked name. For example, ‘Switch It Up’ becomes ‘Switch Up’, and ‘Deliverance’ is now ‘Jah Deliver Me’.

Not only do we get a more classic sound this time, but every song also comes with a dub remix in the second half of the album. These add heavy delay and strip down the vocals, for a more hazy mix (a better fit for a smoke sesh, perhaps).

The In Search of Zion story

In Search of Zion album artwork by Protoje and LostTime.

The new album was worked on during the pandemic lockdown, as a collaboration between Protoje and Zion I Kings. Core members of the Kings include Andrew “Moon” Bain, David “Jah David” Goldfine, and Laurent “Tippy” Alfred. Team member Andrew “Drew Keys” Stoch passed not long into production, but he can be heard on this record playing the horns in various tracks.

In Search Of Lost Time was a labor of love with Protoje recounting the good times and the bad times. On this one he’s collaborated with names such as Koffee, Lila Iké, and Wiz Khalifa, to name a few. The reworked album preserves his introspective lyrics and serves as a love letter to his reggae roots, and we are totally here for it.

Protoje’s future

Protoje has been quoted saying that this was a final gift to his fans, “before we move on to new music,” and we think it’s the perfect send-off for his trilogy of time-themed albums. These include A Matter of Time in 2018, followed by this album’s basis, In Search of Lost Time (2020) and Third Time’s the Charm (2022).

We’re sure you’ll want to bear witness to this perfect meeting between Protoje’s modern poetry, and classic reggae roots instrumentation.

Protoje has performed at huge festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, and Coachella. We‘re buzzing to see what’s next – in the meantime, listen to his music here, and catch In Search of Zion here.

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Written by Timothy Catania

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