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

24 May 2014

This One's On-U

A friend of mine who had been MIA for a couple years recently contacted me. It was great to hear from him again. He, like myself, is a big fan of all things On-U Sound.

In the past I have posted a good amount of Singers & Players, but like my friend, Vacuum Pumping has been missing in action here. Jonder asked if I would rectify that short-coming & I am only too glad to oblige.

Singers & Players – Vacuum Pumping, On-U Sound On-U LP39, 1988.
all decryption codes in comments

Side A –
Run Them Away
Lighthouse / Dreamworld
Holy Scripture
To Be Fee

Side B –
I Don’t Want AIDS
Boof Um Baff Um
These Eyes

While I’m at this thing, here are a few other On-U treats for you to enjoy.

In 1982 Adrian & Co. issued the Discoplate series of 10" singles, DP1 – DP6. There are actually only five 10" releases. I don’t know why, but DP5 is a 12" EP of three tunes from Mark Stewart & Maffia. Here we go…

Side A –
Prince Far I / Singers & Players – Virgin
Side AA –
Singers & Players – Danger

Side A –
Side AA –
Too Much Work Load

Side A –
Independent Man
Side AA –
Creation Rebel

Side A –
Strange Things / Conspiracy
Side AA –
Why Do Fat Men Have Such Skinny Thoughts?

Side A –
High Ideals & Crazy Dreams
Side B –
Welcome to Liberty City

Side A –
Side AA –
Stand Firm

Next I thought I’d offer my friends, visitors, lurkers, & leechers Andy Fairley’s only credited 'solo' album, System Vertigo from 1992. 


The late Andy Fairley had probably the most distinctive vocal style of any artist to record for Adrian Sherwood. In the early 1980s, art school dropouts Howard Purse & Doug White landed in Bristol, UK. There they masterminded the creation of the band Fish Food. Joined by local drummer Dan Swan, ex-Cortinas, & poet Andy Fairley, the group began cooking up their fractured slices of surreal beat. Always on the fringe of the Bristol scene, the four rehearsed in their squat, a haunt for the likes of The Pop Group, Pig Bag, & Scream & Dance.

Andy Fairley was a modern-day poet; a shrewd observer of the injustices & insanities of the modern world. His lyrics tackled issues such as the state of politics, privatization, & the plight of the under-classes. His raw vocal delivery perfectly & powerfully complimented the issues he addressed.
During the 1989-1993 period his voice was a familiar feature of Sherwood productions: Gary Clail; Dub Syndicate; & Keith LeBlanc among others. When not reciting his own verse in full, he was often sampled for use in-the-mix, often regaling the sonic qualities of the recording or giving a MC-like shout to the artist, On-U Sound, or Sherwood personally.

Here are a few that anyone familiar with the On-U catalogue have probably heard:
"This sound system comes to you with fuel injection!"
"Your head will become a crazy bulbous punch bag of sound!"
"Targeting your brain with sonic thrust!"
"This is the precinct of system. This is the precinct of sound!"

System Vertigo is a collection of his writings set to solid rhythms built by Adrian Sherwood & the Little Axe alums Skip McDonald & Doug Wimbish with a cast of others.

Fairley left On-U in the mid 1990s & vanished back into the Bristolian aether from which he had emerged. Sadly little else was heard from or about him until news of his death in 1999.

Andy Fairley – System Vertigo, On-U Sound ON-U LP61, 1992.

Side 1 –
I Stopped the Clock
System Vertigo
The Election Pt. 1

Side 2 –

You Look at Life
Audio Visual Attack
The Election Pt. 2
A Nation Responds
Fun & Games
The Song of the Phoenix
False Start

Finally, a compilation of various On-U Sound celebrities on On-U Sound Celebration.

Various – On-U Sound Celebration, Trance Records TCCD 9 00662 O, 1988.

Tracklist –

The Deal (intro)
Stopping & Starting – Voice of Authority
Quante Jubila – Prince Far I & Creation Rebel
Dreams are Better – London Underground
Silent Mover – Playgroup
Last Sane Dream – Creation Rebel / New Age Steppers
Make a Joyful Noise – Singers & Players
AllaLa Dreadlocks Soldier – Singers & Players
Love I Can Feel – Creation Rebel
Creative Involvements – Creation Rebel
Deep & Mintyful - Playgroup
The Dice – Judy Nylon
Woodpecker Sound – Jah Woosh
Final Frontier – Creation Rebel / New Age Steppers
Independent Man pts. 1 & 2 – Creation Rebel
Epic Sound Battles – Playgroup
Feeling Wild – Voice of Authority
Knock the House Down – Voice of Authority

Thanks, Jonder, for the nudge,


  1. Vacuum Pumping
    System Vertigo

  2. You are too kind! According to skysaw.org (which is an invaluable resource for all things On-U), the label went back to the 10" format for DP23 through DP27. The cover images on those first few Disco Plates are so beautiful. Thanks for System Vertigo and the information on Andy Fairley.

    You might enjoy listening to this mix I made which features Keith Levene's contributions to On-U Sounds, as well as some of his post-PiL music.


    1. I'll be grabbing that Keith Levene as soon as I finish here. Thanks so much.

    2. In your 21st Century Dub you included Alien Levi's dub selection version of Long Way to Go by Little Axe. Check out this link to make your own version...

    3. COOL! I have seen sites like that, but had no idea there was one for Little Axe.

  3. This year, the Bristol Archives label put out a compilation of Andy's bands called "Fish Food vs. The Birth of Sharon"

  4. Hi! What is the "decription key" for the download?
    Many thanks

    1. They are each listed in the first comment. The one for Vacuum Pumping is just below that heading. It is PUPGnRYvqRpucnRcFPC-Xxt79VNAwQ2iTRK3Lh7l5sw, which I just cut & pasted here from the first comment.They should always have 43 characters (letters, numerals, or symbols). That's what you need do when prompted by MEGA. Each release has its own key:Vacuum Pumping, six Dub Plate specials - DP1-DP6, System Vertigo, & Celebration. If you have more questions, let me know & also if this works for you.
      Thanks & enjoy.

  5. Wonderful post, thank you!

  6. Oh, these are fantastic. I've only recently come to these, though I was more familiar with Mark Stewart / Mafia stuff. Thank you!

  7. Awesome post! Thanks man.

    1. To all who took the time to say thanks, here's a GREAT BIG KISS!!! Dub life.

    2. Massive thanks!!

  8. nice touch to get the malcolm X track with the Vacuum Pumping, one of my fav ON-U LPs, till now playable only as a youtube MP3 download

    excellent work thanks

  9. Many thanks for all these splendid tunes.


  10. Always wondered about that incredible, sinister in ways, voice of Andy Fairley on Dub Syndicate's tracks.

  11. Big Thanks!