Monday, 12 October 2015

Science Fiction Dancehall Classics - Various (On-U Sound)

Hold tight! On-U Sound in the area - ah yes - Adrian Sherwood at the controls, of course, droppin' science from starship Jamaica via Bristol with all those fat, speaker-busting beats echoing down the years for those of us that were there first time 'round. 

The soundtrack to a riot of council block-rockin', new age-steppin' (not New Age), the post-Punk Hip-Hop funky reggae party, what larks we had - remember the Poll Tax Riot? No? It was a larf, seeing the owners of fur coat shops standing guard over their goods...all the smashed windows down Regent Street...naughty. 

From The Pop Group to Rip Rig & Panic and On-U Sound, there's a great lineage connecting renegade soundwaves remixed from a UK perspective. The eclectic ingredients put through the console by Sherwood and channelled into different singers and players are on display here; it's a fine selection by Trevor Jackson. A funky stepper, Ace Of Wands by Missing Brazilians, the mighty Off The Beaten Track by African Head Charge and Fats Comet's Dee Jay’s Program, with that big break favoured by Sherwood whacking you in the ear hole - great stuff! Mark Stewart + The Maffia's Burroughs-sampling epic The Wrong Name And The Wrong Number is included, as is Dub Syndicate's brilliant Drilling Equipment, that rhythm, a fine example of pushing at the limits of genre. That's what On-U Sound did well, nudging things Outwards. It felt so right at a time when we were kicking against Tory rule; we had a soundtrack that suited, something that carried the torch for all the reggae we loved in the Punk era, captured some Sugar Hill beats, spread spirit of resistance, then mashed it all up. God knows we could do with some of that now. An essential compilation.

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