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Act Missing Brazilians

Warzone LP
"Warzone" LP

Steve Barker on possibly Adrian Sherwood's most abstract album project to date:

In the lost dimension which is the world of On-U Sound, Warzone (ON-U LP34), a spooky one-off effort by the Missing Brazilians, was released at the beginning of February 1984. According to the catalogue numbers this came after the classic reggae outing of Leaps and Bounds by the Singers And Players (ON-U LP33) and prior to Very Big in America Right Now (ON-U LP35), the only album from the mysterious Voice of Authority. Both of these sets were licensed to Cherry Red Records, but Warzone was not.

Looking back it easy to see why, for Adrian Sherwood's production on Warzone was about as abstract as he has ever got in the studio, the A&R people down at Cherry Red were used to dealing with some pretty weird stuff but this was the on the other side of bizarre. Whether this was a result of the mix of musicians, the challenge of what was then new and strange studio technology or more likely the judicious sampling of more ethereal substances can only be conjecture, for these days even Sherwood himself can find no rational explanation for the appearance of this music except to profess he has...

"...always had a fondness for built-in distortion".

The density of the sound almost pushed disc-cutting limiters out of function! Even the name of the collaboration - "The Missing Brazilians" - only came forth on the spur of the moment [***Ed.: the suggestion of Steve Barker himself...***] in the small hours after a long session finalising the album mixdown.

Shara Nelson in the mid 1990s
Shara Nelson in the mid 1990s

Of course none of the participants were actually Brazilian, but in a sense I suppose most of them were "missing". Sherwood appeared as The Prisoner, the divas were doubled as Annie Anxiety (aka Little Annie) and Shara Nelson each took a vocal track, in from the undergrowth came members of African Head Charge and Maffia / Creation Rebel, and all were joined on keyboards by the classically trained Kishi Yamamoto and that man about North London - Nick "Hummus Mouse" Plytas. Pressed up first time on CD and mastered from the original mixdown in 1998 Warzone can at last be heard as it was conceived and played in the north and east of London.

So my advice is: "Panic! But do not be frightened. Your ears are naturally made to take in a much bigger wattage. They do not need to be fused. Just check: Does all that round-edged, soft-focused, smooth and clean sounding music you hear on flat plastic and vinyl provide any dynamics at all to stimulate your ears, mind and body?" At last and now better than ever, disorientate yourself with Warzone!

2 Badcard
Adrian Sherwood
African Head Charge
Andy Fairley
Annie Anxiety / Little Annie
Audio Active
Barmy Army
Bim Sherman
Charlie "Eskimo Fox"
Creation Rebel
Deadly Headley
Doug Wimbish
Dub Syndicate
Gary Clail
Ghetto Priest
Harry Beckett
Jeb Loy Nichols
Jesse Rae
Judy Nylon
Junior Delgado / Jux
Keith LeBlanc
Lee "Scratch" Perry
Little Axe / Skip McDonald
Little Roy
London Underground
Mark Stewart / Maffia
Missing Brazilians
    . Biography
New Age Steppers
Noah House Of Dread
Revolutionary Dub Warriors
Samia Farah
Singers And Players
Strange Parcels
Tackhead / Fats Comet
The Circuit
Tribal Drift
Voice Of Authority

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