Spare Dog Records
Michael Mountain Press Kit English

Michael Mountain Press Kit English

Click on the images for full size. Download and use as you please.

Photo: Mattias Stålnacke
Photo: Mattias Stålnacke
Photo: Jeandre Peterse
Photo: Jeandre Peterse
Cover Design: Mattias Stålnacke.
Photos: Jeandre peterse & Mattias Stålnacke

International debut for Malawian reggae artist

Nowhere Else To Go – By Michael Mountain

Release: Monday 26th January

This week, UK label Spare Dog Records is releasing ‘Nowhere Else To Go’, the debut album of Michael Mountain. It tells unique stories from the hills and villages of northern Malawi. This reggae affirms it’s musical roots in Jamaica as well as being deeply ingrained with the African soil from which it grew.

Michael Mountain, the composer and singer, is a multifaceted man. He is a small-scale tobacco and maize farmer, a community organiser, a reflective thinker, a prolific songwriter and a charismatic artist. On one hand he is deeply rooted in the spirituality of the Rastafari movement, on the other, immersed in the local politics of being chief of a small village.

Raised and educated in Zambia, Michael now lives the humble lifestyle common to most people in rural Malawi with his wife and two young children. The front porch of their small house is his favourite place. From there he can clearly see life from a different point of view and put these reflections into song.

‘Nowhere Else To Go’ was mainly recorded in a studio on the shores of Lake Malawi, where Michael’s soulful voice was backed up by a crew of fantastic musicians from the Nkhata-Bay area. A few overdubs, some finishing touches and the mixing was done in Sweden and the result of this collaboration is something quite special. It’s an old school, low-key kind of reggae, where Michael’s singing takes centre stage in front of a band that produces an organic and sometimes almost fragile vibe.

Although the lyrics often depict African real-life with its tales of hardships and of love, Michael also writes passionately about social issues and about the mystical.

This album is the second release from Bristol based Spare Dog Records, a new label dedicated to recording, promoting and bringing previously unheard of Malawian artists to the rest of the world. Spare Dog Records is founded and run by Swedish musician and producer Mattias Stålnacke.


Note to Editor:

For more information and interviews please contact:

Kate Swatridge
+44 (0)7773 364454

Telephone interviews with Michael Mountain can be arranged.

Info and material about the album ‘Nowhere Else To Go’:

The album ‘Nowhere Else To Go’ by Michael Mountain will be released on Monday 26th January on all major digital platforms (such as iTunes, Spotify, etc.), along with a music video for the song ‘Nowhere Else To Go’.

Interview with Michael Mountain (4min)       

Official Music Video – ‘Nowhere Else To Go’

Selected songs:

Nowhere Else To Go

A song about how the poor man is always turned away

Moonlight Feeling

A mystical song about how Michael came to be a Rastafarian

Working with my tools

A beautiful song about providing food for the family

Full album, click:

(or use spotify)

More info about the album can be found at: and

More info about Michael Mountain can be found at:

Background on Spare Dog Records & Moto Wambili Studios:

Mattias Stålnacke, (36) the Swedish man behind the label was travelling through Africa in 2011 and was struck by some of the music he encountered in Malawi. Less than a year later, he returned with an old pick-up truck carrying his recording equipment, instruments and amplifiers. He rented a house overlooking the Lake Malawi and set up ‘Moto Wambili Studios’ there, a music recording and video production studio. Spare Dog Records is releasing music recorded mainly in this most unlikely studio, and will make sure to put a spotlight on a country that has an abundance of musical talent but very little infrastructure for recording or distribution.

While Moto Wambili Studios and Spare Dog Records is trying to coach and guide artists through aspects of the creative and marketing processes, it will always be on the musicians’ terms and discretion. The studio can help to refine, but they will never demand changes. Spare Dog Records / Moto Wambili Studios are very proud of the fact that they are entrusted to work with this beautiful music and they know that they, both as a studio and as a record label, must keep being responsive to the artists’ wishes in order to stay true to its expression and intent.

More info about the studio and the label can be found here:

Background on names:

The ‘Mountain’ part of Michael’s name is the English translation of his Chichewa surname ‘Phiri’. Michael was born, lives and gets his unique perspective on the world from his mountain.

The label ‘Spare Dog Records’ was named after a stray dog that frequently visited Mattias and Kates’ house & recording studio in Malawi. They already had their own dog and so they nicknamed her the Spare Dog and she became a part of the family.

Musicians in Nkhata Bay call the studio ‘Moto Wambili Studios’, which is both Mattias’ local nickname and what he’d like to think they are creating there – in the vernacular it means ‘More Fire’.