Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

17 February 2013

This Dub's On-U

On-U Sound with Adrian Sherwood at the helm produced, in my opinion, the best dub outside of Jamaica. When Sherwood met Keith LeBlanc in New York in 1984, things would never be the same at On-U or in the world of dub musick.

LeBlanc met up with Skip McDonald & Doug Wimbish in 1979. McDonald & Wimbish had been part of the New York 70s disco scene in the band Wood Brass & Steel They released a self-titled album in 1976 on Turbo records that gave them a pair of minor hits, "Always There" (a Ronnie Laws cover) & "Funkanova" (an underground jazz/disco classic still enjoyed by club-goers decades later). After meeting LeBlanc, the three hooked up with the newly-formed Sugarhill Records. They soon became the label's house band, providing backing for the Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, & Melle Mel. They were instrumental (literally) in launching 80s rap.

 As Sugarhill self-destructed (accompanied by drawn-out legal hassles over musick rights), the three musicians continued to work together on various projects. Described as one of the day’s ‘most extraordinary rhythm sections’, they moved on from Sugarhill to Tom Silverman's Tommy Boy label. There Keith LeBlanc released some solo work ("Maneuvers" & "Uh!" on the 1985 Masters Of The Beat compilation). He created the now legendary unique DMX drumbeats style by mixing it with his own special drum sound. LeBlanc’s release "Malcolm X No Sell Out" featured the cut-up words of civil rights activist Malcolm X juxtaposed against the infamous DMX drumbeat, now acknowledged as the first ever sampling record. Sugarhill had purchased some of Malcolm X’s speeches & LeBlanc got some samples from Marshall Chess. He then recorded “Malcolm X No Sell Out” at Tommy Boy, as Sugarhill was not willing to pay Malcolm’s widow royalties. In fact, Sugarhill released a version of the song, credited to the phony group Sugarhill All-Stars.

"Malcolm X No Sell Out" caught the attention of London's dub-meister extraordinare & On-U Sound label owner Adrian Sherwood. Sherwood was working on a remix of Akabu’s "Watch Yourself" for Tommy Boy. He met LeBlanc, along with Keith’s cohorts McDonald & Wimbish. This meeting spawned the radical collaboration between the British producer & the three American musicians that continues to this day. Later the four teamed up in London to begin work on a new project which they christened Tackhead/Fats Comet. Wimbish came up with the name Tackhead, which is New Jersey slang for homeboy. Fats Comet was the alter ego of Tackhead.

Tackhead is the zenith of years of experimental collaboration: LeBlanc’s beats; Sherwood’s Dub Methodology; McDonald’s distorted guitar; & Wimbish’s funky bass.
To quote Steve Barker's liner notes for the Tackhead/Fats Comet compilations Power Inc., volumes 1 & 2:
      "In short, the master plan, although never commited to either memory or paper, was for                 Tackhead to take dub/funk on a journey through leftfield and into the unknown to God knows where, and then for Fats Comet to pilot the mothership smoothly back from this alternative dimension to a safe earthly landing with sounds that you would recognise instantly without ever having heard before."

Here, collected in one place, are all the singles of FatsComet
 decryption code in comments

(12" on World Records & Magic Records/World Records - 1985/1988)
  • Bop Bop
  • Zoop Zoop
Credited: Fats Comet and The Big Sound

(12" on World Records - 1985/1988)
  • Dee Jay's Dream
  • Dee Jay's Program
  • Eat the Beat
(12" on Rough Trade Records - 1985/1987)
  • Don't Forget that Beat
  • Freak Out
Credited: Doug Wimbish featuring Fats Comet

(12" on World Records - 1986, never officially released)
  • King of the Beat
  • (It's Time)
  • Body to Burn (So Different)
  • Eat the Beat (Put a Smile on Your Face)
  • (Now Here Comes that Beat)
Credited: Fats Comet with DJ Cheese

(12" on World Records - 1987)
  • Rockchester
  • O.K. Bye!
(12" on Rough Trade Records/Logarhythm Records/Rough Trade Records - 1985/1986/1987)
  • Stormy Weather
  • Dub Storm



  1. NQtlBFC41hcNd94vbIdCkQ_JajE5q5LpSgNAQW-0QM0

  2. Killer post! King of the Beat and Mantronix
    /Art of Noise were my faves as 12 year old in 1986-7! Still jams today.

    1. Dude, now you got my mind spinning. I was/am a huge Art of Noise fan & haven't posted anything by them. Need to remedy that. & I still have Mantronix What It Is? on vinyl that I should rip & post. Thanks for the comment & the eye opener.

  3. Cool stuff! I'm here because I have the DeeJay's Dream 12", and I've had Eat The Beat in my head for weeks now. Thanks a lot!

    They sound amazingly clean, my own copy is probably in need of a much deeper cleaning than I've been able to give it.

  4. "now acknowledged as the first ever sampling record".

    Uhhhh - Holger Czukay - in 1968 - might lay a slightly better claim on that one.

    1. There is no doubt that Czukay was one of the earliest pioneers in sampling. He was doing it early on, physically cutting & pasting magnetic tape. But William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin were doing just that in the early to mid 60s. Czukay incorporated his sampling into his compositions, but never released a "...sampling record" & never in 1968 (his earliest solo or Can work was 1969). All that said, I'm not the one who "acknowledged". I was just passing on the hopefully knowledgeable thoughts of others. You are welcome to your opinion & I welcome the chance for informed dialogue. Thanks for the comment, anonymous.