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

09 October 2013


Anyone that’s hung around here long enough know I’m a big fan of On-U Sound’s take on dub. In the late 70s & early 80s John Hassell was also making some great dub reggae recordings out of his house at 21 Nassau Road, London, S.W. 13. Hassell, aided by his wife Felicity, cut reggae dub-plates with such finesse & understanding that the studio’s output supplied Reggae Sound Systems throughout the UK.

One of the artists he worked with was the band Matumbi & the great reggae guitarist Dennis Bovell.

Dennis Bovell (sometimes known simply as Blackbeard) was born on May 22, 1953 at Saint Peter, Barbados, West Indies. He is a reggae guitarist, bass player, & record producer. He was a member of the British reggae band Matumbi. He also released dub-reggae records under his own name as well as the pseudonym ‘Blackbeard’. He is most widely known for his decades-spanning collaborations with Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Bovell moved with his family to South London at the age of twelve. He became immersed in Jamaican culture, particularly dub music. He set up his own Jah Sufferer sound system. Running the sound system brought trouble from the police. Bovell was imprisoned for six months on remand, but was later released on appeal. Bovell was friends at school with future rock musicians including keyboardist Nick Straker & record producer Tony Mansfield, both of whom later worked with Bovell.

Bovell also worked as an engineer at Dip Records, the precursor to the Lovers Rock label. He was a key figure in the early days of the lovers rock genre. He is also known for attempting to fuse disco rhythms with reggae, most notably with the hit song “Silly Games” a minor hit written by Bovell & released by Janet Kay.

He has produced albums by a wide variety of artists including I-Roy, The Thompson Twins, Sharon Shannon, Alpha Blondy, Bananarama, The Pop Group, Fela Kuti, The Slits, Orange Juice, & Madness.

As Blackbeard, Bovell released Strictly Dub Wize in 1978. I Wah Dub came out in 1980, carrying on Bovell's eclectic sensibilities.

On I Wah Dub, the musicians are: Dennis Bovell – guitar, bass, piano, organ, percussion, & drums; John Kpiaye – guitar & piano; Tony Robinson – piano & organ; Nick Bailey – synthesizer; Julio Finn – harmonica; Patrick Tenyue – vocals & melodica; & Angus Gaye & Jah Bunny – drums.

 Blackbeard - I Wah Dub, More Cut Records RDC 2002, 1980. 
decryption code in comments

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  1. CQqp9mJ-SeA2S34J2srCqhJnqQ8AJPFkaejqroOz_gQ

  2. Didn't know that Hassell was involved with the dub scene. Love his work.

    1. You probably mean American trumpet player Jon Hassell... do you?

      This is John Hassell from London, another "h".

  3. According to Reggae Britannia:
    ...Graeme “Mr Goody” Goodall who, despite being a white Australian, was one of the early legends of Jamaican recording engineering. He also remembered using John to master records, “My Doctor Bird imprint used John Hassell Recording in Barnes, a suburb of London. I think that many of my competitors used Derek Strickland at Pye. It was difficult to get the UK mastering engineers to understand why we wanted a certain eq in the process. If you get the chance to compare a JA pressing , a UK pressing and an US pressing of the same 'tune' on 45′s, you will notice the difference. I figured that the only way that I could cope with this was to escort John Hassell (who was, to all intents & purposes, blind, due to an incredible incident that he survived during W.W. ll) to NYC & Jamaica. His incredible Golden Ears quickly picked up on the differences.”