On-U Sound / Adrian Sherwood – 30 Years at The Controls

“Rock and roll, what an empty generation.”

One of the initial notices of existence regarding the On-U Sound crew was the Major Malfunction album credited to drummer Keith LeBlanc, with Doug Wimbish on bass, Skip McDonald, keys and guitar and Adrian Sherwood mixing.  The cut up samples, robotic yet human nature of this work, it’s subtle and direct political nature, crossing racial lines, embracing the good, the bad and the damn ugly, percussion concussions, grabbed me by both ears and slammed me headfirst into many a speaker stack.

“Technology works, technology delivers.”

The search began, reading album sleeves, seeing the same names pop up, remixes by Adrian Sherwood here and there, Tackhead, Sugarhill musical crew of Wimbish, LeBlanc and McDonald. Listening to African Head Charge on my Walkman, sounds panning from the left side of my head to the right and seemingly moving to the front lobe then back, pausing midway to drop some rootical knowledge and dub science.  A psychedelic Africa indeed, never heard anything like that before.

“Adjust the treble and bass.”

So enamored with this sound when in London, I knocked on the door of the address that was  on the sleeves of these’On-U Sound’ productions.  A Japanese woman opened the door of the house, “Uh, is this On U Sound, I’m looking for Adrian Sherwood?”  The woman who introduced herself as Kishi invited me in.  In my head, juvenile enthusiasm was on, I was saying “Damn, that’s Kishi, Kishi!” Kishi Yamamoto was Adrian’s wife back then and she was responsible for the majority of the label artwork and also played keyboards. They didn’t know me from Jack, I arrived unannounced but yet here a fresh pimply yout’ living in Toronto who had a program on CKLN Radio was now standing in the living room / mixing studio of musical royalty, being offered tea, and more records to fuel my program and passion.  A massive mixing desk was on the wall, yes, on the wall, not on a table as normal,  it took up less space this way.

Pay It All Back

I used to have a cassette that had the first Public Enemy album on one side and on the other was “As The Veneer of Democracy Starts To Fade”, by Mark Stewart and The Maffia.  That shit was coarse, nothing like it existed before, apart from Public Enemy in a way, that’s why that cassette was so important to me.  Those two albums showed the possibilities that existed and they still do to this day.  When revolution has become a marketing tool and rebellion stale, put on those albums now, as the charge is still there, ready to inspire and set fire.  The world of control domination politics, statistics that blow minds, sounds that carry the hurt and aspirations. Reflect the time of the past, then and now. Techniques are being constantly refined to maintain the status quo that has been in place for hundreads of years  – yes that’s how I spell hundred.

You gotta check The Quietus interview with Adrian, it delves deep, really sets the record straight as to the conditions of the time that went into creating such an influential sounds.  Adrian and crew have touched thousands, from Massive Attack – vocalist Shara Nelson worked with Adrian that’s how come they knew her, Depeche Mode, Adrian did several remixes for them, Peter Gabriel,  Living Colour, Primal Scream – Echo Dek, what a great piece of work.

Me and my man Angus and a quite a few others would travel across London or up and down the country to catch On U Sound nights, legendary, two queues, one to get in, one to get out, ha!

You get the drift, enough blabbing from me, check that article and seek should you feel what’s been written.

Drumcunt again

Over at The Quietus site, there’s an interview with the man behind CrumDunt….no, let’s start that again, DrumCunt.  Real name, Rhys, he also is drummer for Hey Colossus!, which my man Manjeev released on his 3″ CD label in 2009. You know it ain’t gonna be like Abba, yeah, like putting your moist tongue on frayed electric cables, clears you out, gives a fresh perspective on things that need it.  A-fucking-brasive to ras’.  Anybody that produces music such as his with such a title has to be checked.  Anybody that releases a cd under the title ‘I Shot Westwood’ needs to be checked, and praised.  There is a time for everything, and for Drumcunt, the time is now.

Interview with the Pops DC and more of his tuneage over here,

Update, since I originally wrote this a couple weeks ago, there’s a fresh remix of a How To Dress Well product, available for your mits here.

Update2: Manjeev got in touch and has provided some betta links, Thank you sire.

Kevin Martin talks The Bug, King Midas Sound, Adrian Sherwood

 

Somebody who is influenced by Crass, Discharge, 23 Skidoo, Killing Joke, Public Image Limited, Joy Division, The Birthday Party, On-U Sound, SunnO))), The Bomb Squad, Kode9, Steely and Clevie and Dave Kelly can’t be that bad can they?

Up now at The Quietus, a freshly brewed interview with the K-Mart.

On ideas for the next Bug album,”….. it’ll be like The Buena Vista Social Club on crack.”

Something to look forward to.

In the meanwhile we’ll have a King Midas remix project and The Bug’s London Zoo in Dub featuring Adrian Sherwood to contend with….life’s shit innit?