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ON-U SOUND

Horace Andy

Midnight Scorchers

    A companion album to the critically acclaimed Midnight Rocker, this is Adrian Sherwood’s ‘sound system’ take on the original sessions. Featuring new tracks; radical dancehall re-works with MC interjections from Daddy Freddy and Lone Ranger; and stripped back instrumental version excursions in classic dub reggae style.

    Continuing the series that Sherwood began with Heavy Rain, his re-working of Lee “Scratch” Perry's Rainford album, Midnight Scorchers is both an essential sequel to Midnight Rocker as well as being a powerful album in its own right.

    TRACK LISTING

    A
    Come After Midnight
    Midnight Scorcher
    Away With The Gun And Knife
    Dirty Money Business
    Sleepy’s Night Cap

    B
    Feverish
    Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
    Dub Guidance
    More Bassy
    Hell And Back

    Horace Andy

    Midnight Rocker

      10 brand new recordings from the legendary Jamaican singer and longtime Massive Attack collaborator, Horace Andy, produced by Adrian Sherwood.

      Midnight Rocker has been approached in a similar fashion to the late-career quality that Sherwood coaxed out of Lee 'Scratch' Perry with the Rainford and Heavy Rain albums, assembling a crack team of players and spending many months perfecting performance, arrangements and mixing. The result is a remarkable suite of tracks that sparkle with superb musicianship, carefully crafted production and Horace's beautiful vocals.

      The material includes revisiting and updating a few classic Horace Andy songs such as "Mr Bassie" and "Materialist". The pair have also versioned "Safe From Harm", a much-loved early single by the group that Andy is most associated with - Massive Attack.

      "On-U Sound are very proud to present a truly wonderful album with one of the all-time great singer-songwriters in the rich history of Jamaican music, Horace Andy. This is a true gold star performance, and I'm very proud of it" - Adrian Sherwood.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: You're always going to be in safe hands with Horace Andy and Adrian Sherwood, and Midnight Rocker goes to show exactly how killer their output still is. There are a few classic here re-recorded but in all, it's a selection of wonderfully new and modern productions with that classic Sherwood sound PLUS a brilliant version of Safe From Harm.

      TRACK LISTING

      1 This Must Be Hell
      2 Easy Money
      3 Safe From Harm
      4 Watch Over Them
      5 Materialist
      6 Today Is Right Here
      7 Try Love
      8 Rock To Sleep
      9 Careful
      10 Mr Bassie

      New Age Steppers

      Love Forever

        Love Forever was issued posthumously in 2012, following the untimely passing of Ari Up two years before.Like the preceding New Age Steppers album from 1983, it was started in Jamaica and completed in London, producer Adrian Sherwood wishing to complete the work they had started and to pay appropriate tribute to his longtime friend.

        The original Steppers records were heavily influenced by the Jamaican music coming into the UK on import 12”s at the time, and Love Forever updates that approach, with nods to dancehall and bashment. Other tracks such as single “My Nerves” recall Ari Up’s work with The Slits, as well as more modern firebrands such as Atari Teenage Riot or Le Tigre. Dub Syndicate provide the backing on the irreverent “The Schiesse Song”, there are left turns into electro and harmony-laden fusion-pop, and final track “The Death Of The Trees” is a fitting instrumental elegy by Sherwood to his departed collaborator. 


        TRACK LISTING

        A1 Conquer
        A2 My Nerves
        A3 Love Me Nights
        A4 The Scheisse Song
        A5 Musical Terrorist
        A6 The Fury Of Ari
        B1 Wounded Animal
        B2 The Worst Of Me
        B3 Revelation
        B4 The Last Times
        B5 Death Of Trees

        New Age Steppers

        Action Battlefield

          The quickfire follow-up to the New Age Stepper’s self-titled debut, this set was also issued in 1981. A perhaps more melodic and accessible record than its predecessor, the bulk of the album is versions of tunes sourced from reggae imports of the period, featuring radical interpretations of songs by Bim Sherman, Horace Andy and B.B. Seaton.

          Ari Up of the Slits takes more of a frontwoman role here, singing lead on most tracks, and bringing a lot of her own indomitable personality to bear on the material, even breaking briefly into German for her take on “Problems”! It also features the vocal debut of a very young Neneh Cherry on “My Love”. The rhythms are rock solid, laid down by the crack team of Eskimo Fox, Crucial Tony and George Oban, having honed their skills on sides by Creation Rebel and Aswad, with everything expertly dubbed through the mixing desk of Adrian Sherwood.

          First time available on vinyl for 40 years, includes download card and printed inner featuring new sleevenotes and interviews by Oli Warwick. 


          TRACK LISTING

          A1. My Whole World
          A2. Observe Life
          A3. Got To Get Away
          A4. My Love

          B1. Problems
          B2. Nuclear Zulu
          B3. Guiding Star

          New Age Steppers

          Foundation Steppers

            The third New Age Steppers arrived in 1983 and marked a sea change in approach, a warmer sounding record than the two thrilling-but-abrasive LPs that had preceded it.

            Part of this was down to frontwoman Ari Up moving to Jamaica and instigating proceedings with a session at the legendary Channel One with Style Scott and a JA horn section, before bringing the tapes back to London for Adrian Sherwood to work on. The other big factor was bringing in Bim Sherman to step up to the mic on several tracks, after interpreting some of his material on the previous albums. His distinctive croon works as the perfect foil to Ari’s own vocal takes, and the resulting album is perhaps the closest the collective got to laying down an album that is identifiably roots reggae, albeit still breaking tradition with colourful synth tones and a post-punk production sensibility.

            First time available on vinyl since original release, includes download card and printed inner featuring new sleevenotes and interviews by Oli Warwick.



            TRACK LISTING

            A1 Some Love
            A2 Memories
            A3 5 Dog Race
            A4 Misplaced Love

            B1 Dreamers
            B2 Stabilizer
            B3 Stormy Weather
            B4 Vice Of My Enemies
            B5 Mandarin

            New Age Steppers

            New Age Steppers

              The landmark first album on the On-U Sound label, this self-titled debut announced a gathering of the tribes: producer Adrian Sherwood bringing together members of the Slits, the Pop Group, the Flying Lizards and the Raincoats and getting them to collaborate with the likes of the Roots Radics’ Style Scott, Creation Rebel’s Crucial Tony, and Aswad’s George Oban to form a potent post-punk/dub fusion.

              The albums two highest peaks are brilliantly realised interpretations of Jamaican classics - Junior Byles’ “Fade Away” and Bim Sherman’s “Love Forever”, Ari Up’s vocal transporting the dread warning and lovers rock vibes to the icy hallways of early-80s London squatland. Elsewhere Mark Stewart marshalls an early version of his “Crazy Dreams and High Ideals” (later re-versioned with the Maffia), music journalist Vivien Goldman voices caustic album closer “Private Armies” (originally a b-side to her Launderette single), and all sorts of strange noises and rhythmic murk bridge the gaps, the instrumentals falling somewhere between a late night studio session at Channel One and the kinds of experimental soundscapes being explored at the time by Industrial Records.

              A certified classic of the era back on wax for the first time in 40 years and an essential addition to any post-punk record collection. Includes download card and printed inner with new sleevenotes and interviews by Oli Warwick.



              TRACK LISTING

              A1. Fade Away
              A2. Radial Drill
              A3. State Assembly
              A4. Crazy Dreams And High Ideals


              B1. Abderhamane’s Demise
              B2. Animal Space
              B3. Love Forever
              B4. Private Armies

              New Age Steppers

              Avant Gardening

                Rare dubs, version excursions and unreleased tracks from the vault 1980 - 1983.

                In the tradition of archival On-U Sound compilations of recent years such as the Return Of The Crocodile and Churchical Chant Of The Iyabinghi sets for African Head Charge; and the Displaced Masters LP of early Dub Synidcate rarities, we’ve gone through the tape vaults to put together this special record of unreleased versions and rarities from the white hot early days of the New Age Steppers, the group that launched the On-U Sound label by appearing on both the first single and album.

                Highlights include a restored track from their infamous and long-lost 1983 John Peel session (an ebullient cover of Atlantic Starr’s “Send For Me” featuring a beautifully spirited vocal performance from the much-missed Ari Up), the Jah Woosh deejay cut of “Love Forever”, some rare dubs previously only available on Japanese import CDs, all bookended by two very different takes on Chaka Khan’s “Some Love”. An essential set for collectors of post-punk, dub and other outernational sounds. 


                TRACK LISTING

                A1 Aggro Dub Version
                A2 Send For Me
                A3 Izalize
                A4 Unclear

                B1 Singing Love
                B2 I Scream (Rimshot)
                B3 Avante Gardening
                B4 Wide World Version
                B5 Some Dub

                African Head Charge

                Songs Of Praise

                  Originally issued in 1990 and considered by most fans to be AHC’s masterpiece. Religious chants set to an African dub backdrop of layered hand percussion, with a mighty sonic and great musicianship places the record in a unique place. An outernational classic. For this reissue the album has been expanded to a double LP with all the tracks from the original vinyl release plus bonus tracks previously only available on CD. Includes a download card for the full audio plus double-sided poster insert with excerpts from a new interview with band leader Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: Yes there's plenty of get stuck into with AHC, but if you insist on only one - then make this one it! The quintessential set from the pioneering transcendental dub wizards! Every home deserves one...

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side One
                  1. Free Chant (Churchical Chant Of The Iyabinghi)
                  2. Orderliness, Godliness, Discipline And Dignity
                  3. Hymn
                  4. Dervish Chant

                  Side Two
                  5. Hold Some More
                  6. Healing Father
                  7. Healing Ceremony
                  8. Cattle Herders Chant

                  Side Three
                  9. Ethiopian Praises
                  10. My God
                  11. Gospel Train
                  12. Chant For The Spirits
                  13. God Is Great

                  Side Four
                  14. Deer Spirit Song
                  15. Full Charge
                  16. Fullness
                  17. Special Mix 

                  African Head Charge

                  Voodoo Of The Godsent

                    A fresh slew of African Head Charge lands for 2020! This 2011 LP from the massive was never available on vinyl when it was first released. Master percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah joins forces once again with dubmaster Adrian Sherwood at the controls and a whole host of guest musicians, including contributions from dancehall pioneer Jazzwad and electronics from Adamski. All the elements of a classic African Head Charge album are present: spaced out dub, tribal chants, ecstatic trance, but updated with a rugged sound system undercarriage. Arguably some of the hardest hitting AHC rhythms laid down in the studio to date. Cut as a double LP for maximum dynamics by King Kevin Metcalfe. Includes download card for full contents and double-sided poster insert containing new interview with Bonjo on the making of the record.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: A new set of later recorded African Head Charge albums has just landed. Be sure to check 'em out if you're into all corners of the bass spectrum as Adrian Sherwood is one of the leaders of the pack.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Side One
                    1. In "I" Head
                    2. The Best Way
                    3. Take Heed... And Smoke Up Your Collyweed

                    Side Two
                    1. Stoned Age Man
                    2. African Bredda
                    3. Mysterious Happenings

                    Side Three
                    1. This And That And The Other
                    2. Undulating
                    3. Timpanya

                    Side Four
                    1. Badman Plan
                    2. Dobbyn Joins The Head Charge
                    3. God Willing
                    4. Fear Of A Man God (Bonus Track)

                    African Head Charge

                    Churchical Chant Of The Lyabinghi

                      A unique album of outtakes from the classic Songs Of Praise and In Pursuit Of Shashamane Land albums, compiled by On-U archivist Patrick Dokter from the original tapes and expertly sequenced to work as an immersive listening experience. A companion piece to the acclaimed Return Of The Crocodile set from 2016 that took the listener on a version excursion through the early years of the group. These are the dubbier and more out-there experiments mixed down whilst Adrian Sherwood was shaping the sound of the albums. Bubbling percussion lines skitter across the stereo spectrum, ghostly voices echo inside the machine and mangled guitar riffs beam down from Mars, whilst staying rooted in the tough tribal rhythms that form the bedrock of the AHC sound, this is music for the head and feet, take heed!  Mastered by King Kevin Metcalfe, comes with download card for full contents plus double-sided poster insert containing an extensive new interview with African Head Charge mainman Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah telling the story of his early life. 


                      TRACK LISTING

                      Side One
                      SHASHAMANE VERSIONS
                      1. Peace And Happiness
                      2. Jungle Law
                      3. Learned
                      4. One Love, One Heart (Version)
                      5. Pitched Fever

                      Side Two
                      DUBS OF PRAISE
                      6. Dervish Dub
                      7. Dub Some More
                      8. Disciplined And Dignified
                      9. Healing Father's Dub
                      10. Dub For The Spirits 

                      The mighty Upsetter returns with 9 brand new tracks recorded with longtime friend and collaborator Adrian Sherwood at the controls. 'It's the most intimate album Lee has ever made, but at the same time the musical ideas are very fresh. I'm extremely proud of what we've come up as a piece of work'. - Sherwood

                      This new set is the culmination of over two years work and recording sessions that span Jamaica, Brazil and the UK. Determined to craft a work of lasting power, Sherwood likens to the album to the work that Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash on the American Recordings series, a deeply personal work (the album title refers to Lee’s birth name) and arguably the strongest batch of original material that Perry has released for many years.

                      From the atmospheric field recording and wah-wah guitar of album opener “Cricket On The Moon”, to the gothic cello embellishment on “Let It Rain”, the chopped-and-compressed horn section of “Makumba Rock”, to the layered, carefully arranged backing vocals like a heavenly chorus throughout the record, this is an album with true love, care and attention poured into it’s every groove. It culminates in the truly extraordinary “Autobiography Of The Upsetter”, in which Scratch narrates the story of his life from growing up on a plantation in 1930s colonial Jamaica to becoming a worldwide musical superstar.

                      The story of Lee Perry and Adrian Sherwood collaborating stretches back to the mid-1980s, and a fortuitous meeting brokered by underground broadcasting legend Steve Barker between the dub innovator and UK upstart. This led to the creation of On-U classics such as "Time Boom X De Devil Dead" and "The Mighty Upsetter", as well as Lee gracing Dub Syndicate records with some vital vocal injections.


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Matt says: A nice, autobiographical styled set by these two reggae legends. Telling a story of Scratch's life whilst demonstrating the varying facets of Sherwoods ingenius production.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Cricket On The Moon
                      2. Run Evil Spirit
                      3. Let It Rain
                      4. House Of Angels
                      5. Makumba Rock
                      6. African Starship
                      7. Kill Them Dreams Money Worshippers
                      8. Children Of The Light
                      9. Autobiography Of The Upsetter

                      Sherwood & Pinch

                      Late Night Endless

                        'Late Night Endless' is the first album by (Adrian) Sherwood (On-U Sound label boss) and Pinch (Tectonic head honcho) and the culmination of two years in the studio developing, re-dubbing and deconstructing tracks. It finds the highest common factor between the two's techniques, making it impossible to see where one musical personality ends and the other starts. It touches on the urban swing of UK garage on ‘Music Killer (Dub)' and 'Gimme Some More (Tight Like That)', on interstellar 90s ambient dub on 'Wild Birds Sing', on the mystical minimalism of Pinch's first releases on 'Africa 138' - but none of these stylistic diversions are out of place; they all seem completely of a piece with the heavyweight, ancient-futurist dub pulse that runs under everything.

                        It's an intergenerational meeting of minds, a fusing of two stories, a collision of the (pun intended) tectonic plates of international soundsystem culture. The currents that link post-punk, jungle, dubstep, almighty reggae, techno, Jamaica, Ramsgate and Bristol all come together in a single small DJ booth in London then explode outwards again through truck-sized speakers, through long weeks of studio experimentation, through days and nights without sleep in Tokyo, and are finally condensed on a record that reverberates with the apocalyptic echoes of all that came before and the rumbling threat of a dark future.

                        The connection was already there. Adrian Sherwood built up a vast catalogue of music through the 1980s as producer to the vast and sprawling dub-industrial-electro collective that was On-U Sound, taking in Dub Syndicate, Tackhead, New Age Steppers and many many more. As a young boy, Rob ‘Pinch’ Ellis grew up on it. “My older brother had loads of On-U albums,” he says, “and taped them all for me. Listening to all that was definitely my introduction to dub – we didn't have a lot of reggae around where I grew up in Newport [South Wales] – and it meant that when I heard jungle, drum'n'bass, trip hop and stuff later on, it made complete sense to me.”

                        This is an exciting record because it's full of hints of how much more there is to come from this meeting of minds. It's exciting because of the history that pounds and pulses through it. More than that, though, it's exciting because of what it does to you as a listener right here and now in the present; as the sample of Andy Fairley's vocal from the early days of On-U says in 'Precinct of Sound' says: “your head will become a crazy bulbous punch bag of sound”... and what more could you ask?


                        Adrian Sherwood

                        Survival & Resistance

                          For more than three decades, Adrian Sherwood has been one of the World’s finest and most consistently groundbreaking producers, artists and remixers. He has wrought his magic upon such artists as Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Blur, Primal Scream and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as well as coining new sounds with legendary acts such as Tackhead and Mark Stewart. As label boss and producer for the legendary On-U Sound label, he has brought music to the world from New Age Steppers, African Head Charge, Gary Clail and Dub Syndicate.

                          Now comes Adrian’s third solo album, ‘Survival & Resistance’. Dark atmospherics, creeping electronics and an almost orchestral approach to arrangement are married to brilliant melodic sense.

                          Drawing on the upheaval of the all-too-recent London riots and staring down the current international economic crisis, the album is an earnest critique of current injustices, and like all great dub music is also potently enjoyable. Echoes of the UK’s hyperactive electronic underground can be heard through the album, and Sherwood’s recent time spent with such young luminaries as Kode 9, Pinch, Digital Mystikz and The Bug have no doubt played an energizing role. However, even stronger is the post-punk lineage of the On-U aesthetic and the mythical mixing approach he has evolved over the years. A swirling maelstrom of skull-shaking, heavy electronic tones and masterful deployment of breathing space and alien echo, ‘Survival & Resistance’ is the sound of avantgarde dub music in 2012.


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