On-U-Sound will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2011 with a series of reissues, new releases and live activity.
Founded in 1980 by Adrian Sherwood, who also acted as in-house producer, On-U remains best known as a dub label with post-punk magpie attitude: roots-conscious but also open to ideas from the worlds of hip-hop, avant-jazz, funk, punk and beyond. It was a stable where reggae legends Prince Far I and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry felt just as home as Mark Stewart (The Pop Group) and Gary Clail. You can detect On-U’s influence in the work of artists as diverse as Massive Attack, The Bug, Primal Scream, Digital Mystikz, Kode9 and Forest Swords.
March 2011 will see the release of a brand new album by African Head Charge, along with reissues of three classic albums from the catalogue: New Age Steppers‘ self-titled debut, Creation Rebel‘s Starship Africa and African Head Charge’s rare Off The Beaten Track.
Later in the year there’ll be a collection of contemporary remixes of Lee Perry’s On-U Sound output, a new On-U produced Little Axe album and the first New Age Steppers LP since 1983, featuring vocal contributions from the late Ari Up and Mark Stewart amongst others. Reissues of albums by Lee Perry, Dub Syndicate, Bim Sherman, Tackhead, Little Annie and Singers & Player are in the pipeline.
Though details have yet to be announced, Sherwood is currently working on a deluxe On-U-Sound box set with extensive liner notes, rare and unreleased tracks, well-known classics and remixes. There are also as yet unconfirmed plans for special 30th anniversary On-U-Sound live shows. More info when we have it.