DW Radio live broadcast: 3rd October 2013
Roots Locker presents: ON.U Sound ambassador Dr Dub
Patrick Dokter from The Netherlands joined forces with ON.U Sound director Adrian Sherwood in order to create a comprehensive digital archive from a massive collection of over 100 molded and degenerated 1/4" mastertapes. Hundreds of working hours were spent into regenerating these tapes to enable a transfer into digital format, uncovering an incredible collection of unreleased jewels from the early days of the label.
At Roots Locker, some of these long hidden gems will be unveiled for the very first time. You will be listening to the likes of Singers & Players, Creation Rebel, Dub Syndicate, Lee Perry, Mark Stewart and New Age Steppers...
Be in for a unique broadcast on the history of the mighty On-U Sound Records on October 3 (6 to 7:30PM BST / 19:00 - 20:30 CET).
Kicking off with a meandering dub of 'Blinkers' off 'Time Boom X De Devil Dead', with Scratch scatting around "somewhere there's a place for us" plus accompanying electric drill.
Next up a different mix of Jah Woosh's 'Woodpecker Sound'. Keith Levene's guitar a bit more muted than the released cut and some nice effects on the vocal.
Third track billed as Creation Rebel but actually saw release on a Dub Syndicate 12" circa 1982 as 'Got To Come Back' by Lizard (Keith "Lizard" Logan)/Undivided Roots. It sounded like the same mix as the 12", though about 20 seconds longer.
Now then, for me, the first killer - Singers & Players, I'm gonna call it 'Pushing On' - a lovely vocal on the Dub Syndicate 'Return To Stage One'/'Gather At The River' / Creation Rebel 'A Reasoning' rhythm. Some discussion as to the vocalist - maybe Lizard, maybe Eskimo Fox, possibly Donald Campbell - but I'm only guessing. Really nice tune, though I did keep expecting those Napoleon Solo horns to pop up.
Onto a slightly mellower mix of 'My Guiding Star' with a sweet Deadly Headley sax line weaving around the mix.
Up until now I would've gone for the above Singers & Players tune as my pick of the bunch, but then Patrick hits us with this one. Singers & Players again, featuring an unreleased Prince Far I chant on the mighty 'Kunte Kinte' rhythm, with most of Martin Frederix's penny whistle still intact. Heavenly.
Patrick then gave us a little Dub Syndicate mash-up of his own creation featuring 'Satan Side', 'Wadada (Means Love)' and 'Without Reservation'.
Another Singers & Players excursion, featuring Congo Ashanti Roy on the sublime 'Make A Joyful Noise', a straighter mix than the released cut and without the multitracked acapella section.
Back to 'Lows & Highs' era Creation Rebel, with a different vocal mix of 'No Peace'. Patrick mentioned it being just the backing vocals, but I couldn't really hear that. A treat though.
Another couple of 'Time Boom' tracks - more scatty Scratch vocals ("bullfrog lovers"/"alligator lovers") on 'Music & Science Lovers' with Deadly Headley's great sax and a mix of 'Jungle' with prominent Akabu vocals.
Finally finishing with Bim Sherman on 'Sit And Wonder' - a nice dubby long mix reminiscent of the one featured on the 'Reggae Archive Volume 2' CD and featuring again Jah Woosh. Great tune to finish with.
So big up to Patrick for letting us hear these treasures, and we won't dwell on the fact that Mr Sherwood had already dumped a load of reel to reels before he gave Patrick this bunch! - Ras Berry October 2013