There’s Something Wrong With Human Nature

A record purchase made on a whim and a coincidental sequence of posts on social media have sent me down a rabbit warren of On U Sound recently. The record purchase was On U Sound’s Pay It All back Volume 7, a budget price double album of recent releases from Adrian Sherwood’s dub stable. Not long after someone posted Human Nature, the 1991 single by Gary Clail, produced by Sherwood, a massive club and chart hit in 91 and inescapable for a while.  Weirdly I do not own Human Nature in any format- vinyl, cassette, CD or mp3. I have plenty of On U Sound, several mp3s of Gary Clail tracks and Beef on 7″ but no Human Nature. Here’s the video.

 

Clail’s impassioned vocal over the dub/ indie- dance rhythm track and that keyboard riff, the piano part and Lana Pellay’s ‘let the carnival begin…’ chorus are all obvious highlights, much of the music being David Harrow’s musical handiwork (the keyboard riff, as I’m sure you all know, was used on the titles Snub TV, the much loved BBC 2 music programme). This being 1991 there were remixes and the Steve Osbourne Perfecto mix is a banger.

Originally the song included a Reverend Billy Graham vocal sample which couldn’t be cleared for release and Clail recorded the part it himself. Some promo copies of the single made it into record shops though. You can hear it here courtesy of blogging legend stx.

In 1989 Gary Clail released an album called End Of The Century Party produced by Sherwood and  featuring an all star cast- members of Tackhead, David Harrow, Bim Sherman, Jah Wobble and Keith Levene. This one is a dubby affair with Bim on vox alongside Clail and is infectious like flu.

Two Thieves And A Liar

 

Here Come The Warm Dreads

Coming out hot on the heels of his latest album Rainford, recorded with dub supremo Adrian Sherwood, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has now put out a dub version of that album, with some new Scratch- Sherwood tracks, titled Heavy Rain. If all that weren’t enough the new album has a collaboration with Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Dreads, a dubbed out Eno version of the track Makumba Rock. And that is your Friday soundtrack and earworm ordered and booked.

Rainford

May must be a prime time for throwing your art out into the world, this is the fourth new music post in less than a week here. Today’s new music alert is from Lee Scratch Perry who has an album out at the end of the month, recorded with Adrian Sherwood at the controls. Rainford is a personal, autobiographical record recorded in bursts over two years in London, Jamaica and Brazil. Sherwood describes it as the strongest set of Scratch songs for years and set out with the intention of doing for the Upsetter what Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. The lead single Let It Rain goes some way to fulfilling those aims, catchy as you like and sounding like a song for the summer. The album can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp.

Scratch is on Twitter. On Sunday he Tweeted ‘ALTHOUGH WE’RE IN THE END TIMES, WE ARE NOT AT THE END OF THE TIME. BE CAREFUL WHO YOU LISTEN TO.
SATAN IS RAGING NOW BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE TIME IS SHORT DON’T LISTEN TO GLOOM AND DOOM. IT IS TRICKERY DESIGNED TO DRAG YOU DOWN. WE SHOULD BE REJOICING AT WHAT GOD IS BRINGING FOTH! And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Strike The Balance

Some On U Sound heaviness for Friday, from 1989’s Dub Syndicate album Strike The Balance, a masterpiece of late 80s Sherwood dub production. This song is proper rootsy dub, all bass and echo and delay with Bim Sherman singing and a freaked out metallic Dalek vocal running through it. Towards the end some woodwind floats over the top. The rest of the album rocks too, the chanting of Hey Ho, a cover of Je T’Aime with Shara Nelson and closer I’m The Man For You Baby. Like most of Adrian Sherwood’s back catalogue, it is worth shelling out for.

Mafia

Sherwood

Tuesday brings a pair of Adrian Sherwood mixes for your listening pleasure. The first is his dub mix of Monkey Mafia’s after hours classic from 1998, their cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song As Long As I Can See The Light. Echo, delay, melodica, the full Sherwood dubbed out business. A lovely way to start the day.

As Long As I Can See The Light (Adrian Sherwood Dub Lighting)

My own personal Woodentops revival continues- the band haven’t been far away from my stereo for most of 2018. Sherwood remixed several of Rolo and co’s songs. This is my favourite, vocals up front, crunchy guitars dropped in and out and frenetic pace maintained.

Love Affair With Everyday Living (Adrian Sherwood Mix)

Duffed Up

I was listening to Primal Scream’s Echo Dek album on Monday as the sun started to heat the day up and blue skies appeared for the third day running. In 1997 Bobby and co. gave Adrian Sherwood the tapes to their Vanishing Point album and let him do what he wanted to them. Echo Dek is largely stunning, full of thundering bass, heavy rhythms, static and hiss, echo and delay and door bells ringing. The second track on the album is a reworking of Get Duffy, a Martin Duffy keyboard led groover from the source album. Duffed Up heads into a dub/skronky jazz soundtrack area with a horn section and harpsichord. Massive Attack and Mad Professor’s No Protection pulled off the same trick in 1995, experimental mid 90s dub funded by major labels (and the Oasis millions).

Duffed Up

Money Dealers

Let’s end the week with some dub, a previously unreleased track from On-U Sound about to be part of a Dub Syndicate vinyl re-issue set (first four albums) and a cd anthology box (Ambience Dub 1982-1985). This is a heavy duty, wandering slice of Sherwood dub with Bim Sherman’s vocals floating above the rhythms. Echo, reverb, hisses, wobbles, sounds dropping in and out. FRiday has come and it’s not a second too soon.