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I was a bit shocked when I came to write this to realise that I'd not updated this page for the best part of a year - for it is not true to say that nothing has been going on with this website during the intervening time! It reflects more the fact that 'maintenance' work has taken place in bigger but fewer chunks and has involved keeping it up to date within its existing structure rather than any great new development work taking place.
Once again, the Discography section has had the most refreshment work done on it - keeping up with the ever expanding Pressure Sounds catalogue being something that requires particular attention. Alas, my stated optimism of 12 months ago about the 'new' On-U Jeb Loy Nichols and Crispy Horns releases becoming available outside of Japan in 2013 remains undelivered-upon. It all feels sinkingly familiar ...2014 perhaps?
Rather than a release of the month this time, I thought I'd have a 'riddim of the month' instead - spurred-on by the recent work of Sherwood & Pinch (and the most recent one to be added to the Rhythm Directory in fact). Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, friends and lovers, I offer to you 'Weed Specialist' [Rhythm 259] in any of its versions, remixes, edits or extracts.
I've spent a bit more time of late dipped back into the 'real world' and for a while allowed due website updates to stand waiting (though my faithful correspondents have continued to feed me information, thank you!). Rest assured, the arrival of the British winter weather and a few spare days have now seen things brought back up-to-date; it's especially good to be able to report a sprinkling of new releases by Adrian Sherwood and Mark Stewart.
Consequently, the Discography section has had its fair share of updates. Mostly associated with Adrian and Mark's recent releases, Rhythms 242-250 and Rhythms 251-254 are new 'Rhythm Directory' additions (expanding the 'Directory into a seventh part in the process - now detailing 313 different riddims!).
Also, the Pressure Sounds discography has undergone some re-organisation and has been expanded from two to three parts to better display this label's increasingly prolific output.
As I mentioned back in February, On-U Sound continue to tempt us with product that doesn't ever quite seem to arrive until after you've given up hope or caved-in and bought an expensive Japanese import, good though it is. Trying to look on the bright side, it'd be nice in 2013 to see the long promised Jeb Loy Nichols On-U album released outside of Japan for the first time, and the Crispy Horns and 'Dub... No Frontiers' projects finally make it into the outside world. At least On-U seems to have got Cargo/Warp on-side doing its distribution, at least in the UK, so there is still hope!
My release of the month is astonishingly 20 years old next year; isn't it about time you listened again to Little Annie's 'Short And Sweet' album?
We're now a month into On-U Sound's 31st year and it's good to be able to report the imminent release of a new (and sadly the very final original) New Age Steppers album, 'Love Forever'. HQ have been tempting us with several other new releases over the last year that, as long-standing On-U fans I'm sure are used to by now, we must remain patient for! That promised boxed-set anyone...?
Of late, I've mostly been keeping on top of the necessary Discography section updates and now maintain a record of the 40 most recently added new entries to it for the benefit of regular followers. This website's news feed on Twitter is also now incorporated into the Home Page for easier reference.
As hinted below, I made it to the November 2011 On-U Anniversary event at Rough Trade East in London, UK and met quite a number of people in the process. It was especially good to have a chat with Mr Sherwood, Andy, Kat and the legendary Dr Pablo; though I completely failed to recognise Mr Stroud at first!
My release of the month (and On-U remix of the year for 2011) is Digital Mystikz's take on Lee Perry's "Like The Way You Should", as featured on the recent single DP56.
The 30th Anniversary year of On-U Sound is now in its final quarter, but with a number of new releases and events still to come. So far there have been a string of back catalogue re-issues, a new African Head Charge album, a "birthday bash" featuring Tackhead and Mark Stewart & The Maffia live, a fair number of articles in the music media acknowledging the occasion and promises of several more releases to come soon, including an entire On-U compilation from the makers of the well respected 'King Size Dub' series by the end of this month. On-U have also re-launched their website and once again have a publicity office address and phone number in London (hello Kat!).
In a timely manner, on the 27th of this month in conjunction with an On-U event at Rough Trade East in London, UK, On-U Sound's first single ("Fade Away" by the New Age Steppers) is being re-issued with a brand new NAS track on the B-side, limited to 300 copies. I'm planning on attending this event, so perhaps I'll see you there!
With this update comes a whole host of discography section updates mainly representing what's been going on "out there" in the last 6 months. Rhythms 237-241 are new to the Rhythm Directory this time, indicating that a number of older riddims have been revisited on recent releases - a nice link between On-U old and new if you like.
My spotlight album this month will, once released, provide as good an overview of On-U Sound past, present and future as can possibly be condensed into 16 tracks... the previously mentioned 'King Size Dub Special: On U Sound 30 Years Anniversary' compilation.
Happy 'On-U' Year to you all. This posting isn't to report an update to this website (though there have been the usual tweaks here and there of course), but instead is to mark the milestone start of On-U Sound's 30th year 'in the business'.
It's been a rollercoaster existence so far from obscurity to critical acclaim, from globe trotting live tours to financial difficulties, from TV's 'Top Of The Pops' to threats of disbanding. While many crew have come and gone, and some can claim to have been there for much of the journey too, it is Adrian Sherwood who has primarily kept On-U Sound independent, re-invented and relevant to discerning ears throughout. Probably Adrian's greatest supporter, Steve Barker, said it nicely in his sleeve notes to one of On-U's seminal compilations, 1988's 'Pay It All Back Volume 2':
"Since the late 70s there has been some rushed stuff and may be some pushed stuff, but when you put the hardcore tack together it's like some fucking great big clean steely daidenjin fist smacking your forehead, then doing it again and again... And when you put the gentler stuff together it's like sweet lips on the back of your neck, up and down ... Hey Amigos! ... QUE PASA?"
Indicating just how far On-U Sound has come since the days of its first single, mentioned here last November, and with Adrian's sense of always trying to look musically forward, this month's featured release is folk singer Ian King's 'Panic Grass & Fever Few' album, recorded recently in On-U's studios with a typical mixture of singers and players, old and new. It's obviously not Tackhead, African Head Charge or even Audio Active, but it's still got that On-U Sound.
Having put the job off for a while, knowing the amount of web work that would be required, I've finally done the decent thing and 'promoted' Jeb Loy Nichols to the rank of an On-U Sound act in his own right as far as the discography section of my website is concerned (he was previously 'personnel'). This was prompted by Jeb's recent 'Long Time Traveller' album (so far only out in Japan) - his first ever on the On-U Sound label, despite him having been 'around' since its very beginning.
Jeb's biography page has therefore been moved and supplemented by a hopefully complete (famous last words I know!) discography of his self-credited work that gathers up and supplements the various releases of his that used to be listed in a couple of the other discographies. In the process of creating this discography, new Rhythm Directory riddims 231-233 were allocated.
Unfortunately, I've decided to remove the 'Live Events' listings page from my Resources section. Keeping this page up to date and relevant was taking too much time and not always being done regularly enough to make it valuable to regular readers. I will, however, let you know about events I come across through this site's Twitter and Facebook pages, which are probably better suited to passing on this sort of news.
By sad coincidence to my July 'release of the month', news of Harry Beckett's death has since been reported. Inevitably for a label that has been on the go 30 years and has had so many crew along the way, there are going to be passings, and Harry joins the likes of Prince Far I, Bim Sherman, Vyris Edghill and Andy Fairley at the great gig in the sky.
Many people have also been very saddened recently by the death long before her time of Ari Up, the sometime New Age Stepper and member of the Slits. Therefore, my release of this month is dedicated to her and contains on its A-side the track she voiced for the New Age Steppers that started the whole On-U Sound ball rolling in January 1980: 'Fade Away'.
While I was pleased to see the release of Lee Perry's and Adrian Sherwood's 'The Mighty Upsetter' and 'Dub Setter' sets on On-U Sound here in the UK a few weeks ago, their arrival re-ignited a debate I've been having with myself on and off for a while now about how the label's more recent album releases in my On-U Sound Records discography should best be placed in the light of the increasingly spurious numbering system(s) that On-U is (are) using to catalogue its products. Essentially, some of my previous assumptions about what should go where were gradually getting more and more tenuous, and it was time that something was done!
Because there are only a few other up-to-date sources of information out there beyond the records themselves (I suspect some of the "considered wisdom" on the internet has come from this now long-established website, which even On-U HQ I believe have been known to refer to, meaning I must research carefully to make sure I'm not becoming my own authority!), I simply decided to re-cast parts of that discography as objectively as possible to best fit the new developments. The main result is that many of the On-U releases in the 'ON-U xx100y' series have changed sections and been re-ordered slightly. I've also updated my discussion of the history of On-U Sound catalogue numbers within the discography's introduction if you're interested; your comments on all of this are very welcome.
Release of the month: 'The Modern Sound Of Harry Beckett'. I must admit that I've not listened to this one much since it first came out a couple of years back; but it's had some good reviews, so while I'm writing this I'm giving it another spin.
*Cough*. Yes, I'm still here, despite the lacks of updates to this page. I've generally been keeping up with On-U related activities and quietly updating the website (mostly in the discography section), Twitter and Facebook pages without ceremony. Incidentally, I now maintain a list of my most recent discography section additions for those who like to keep an eye on what's new.
My On-U Sound back catalogue item of the month is the Singers and Players' often overlooked final studio album 'Vacuum Pumping'. Released in 1988, it remains one of the few On-U albums that has yet to appear on CD, and marked a turning point for the label in terms of both sound and core On-U 'crew' members.
The buzz of the last few months has finally spurred me back into some significant website development work in recent weeks. Having been 'sitting' on a whole load of old press cuttings for quite some time (many of which were scanned and sent to me), trying to work out the best way of organising and presenting them, I've finally decided to put them in some sort of order and add them to the Image Bank.
- There is now one page of Press Reviews - press reaction to individual releases and gigs of years gone by.
- There are now Articles Part 1 and Part 2 pages - press features and news snippets about On-U and it's acts more generally.
If you've got more of the same sort of material in dusty scrap books or folders hidden away in drawers or on shelves it'd be great to hear from you so I can supplement the collection here. Please get in touch via my Contact Page.
Spotlight release for this month is from the back catalogue of the former On-U Sound subsidiary label Pressure Sounds - Prince Far I's 'Health And Strength' album. Remarkably, the album was shelved soon after completion (and later presumed lost). It was uncovered again almost 20 years later, gaining its first formal release on this reggae reissue label in 1998.
The last few months have seen me move further forward with 'networking' and expanding the reach of this site wider across the internet. Most significantly for me, I managed to catch up with Adrian properly for the first time at Steve Barker's 'On The Wire' (OTW) 25th birthday show at BBC Radio Lancashire in Blackburn, UK in mid September. After more than seven years of work on this site, I was glad to hear from him directly that he approves of what's I'm trying to do here!
With the continued growing popularity of this site's Facebook page (greetings to its now more than 150 fans!), I've decided to maintain it indefinitely. It has proved an excellent way of interactively feeding out news and updates that can't be done so easily or effectively within the main website, including a short video I took of Adrian and Steve at OTW. For similar reasons, I've also just set up a Twitter feed to reach out to users of that communication tool of the moment.
Following on from my record rediscovery of July 2009, in honour of OTW's 25th birthday and for it now being the UK's longest continuously running 'alternative' music radio program, my release of the month is one of the show's own compilations - 'Bugs On The Wire' from 1987 - which features, amongst its legendary contributors, a special OTW version of 'Ravi Shankar' by Dub Syndicate that remains the show's long-standing theme tune. Thanks Steve, Fenny, Jim and everyone else past and present, keep up the good work.
As is the way with projects undertaken in your spare time, sometimes there are quieter spells, and the last few months have been one of those. I'm still keeping an eye on things and dropping the odd new discography entry in etc. as I find it, I've just not done much in the way of expansion work. This site's Facebook page has gradually been collecting fans since I launched it last winter and there are now over 100 of you. Welcome and thanks! So, yes, a lot of networking has been going on and contacts forged with artists and fans alike. I've started using the Facebook page as a way of providing news updates on On-U activities, as this seems to be a better way of communicating such time critical and transient information. I encourage all of you to sign up and contribute to it too if you haven't already!
This month's On-U rediscovery is Dub Syndicate's 'Tunes From The Missing Channel' album of 1985: it represented a big leap forward in the progressive roots sound that is now so synonymous with the label.
For a refreshing change, the latest series of updates to the site have been driven by the bursting back into life of On-U Sound as a record label, with Adrian's first full-on assault of the internet as a publicity and revenue earning tool. As you can see from the updates to my Links page, On-U Sound has re-launched its website, got its own Facebook and MySpace pages (as has Adrian himself), started a discussion board, and opened an online download store making (to date) over 45 current and back catalogue albums available. Amongst these, the most recent African Head Charge album ("Vision Of A Psychedelic Africa") is now officially available outside of Japan for the first time, a couple of formerly licensed-out Little Axe albums are now available from On-U itself, similarly so is Bim Sherman's acclaimed "Miracle" album, and there is a new downloadable compilation of 17 "rare and unreleased" tracks. You can even preview and buy individual tracks.
Amongst the vinyl junkies (like me) there are bound to be those who are worried about whether this means the death of wholesale physical products. However, with the music industry having changed so much in the last 10 years, like it or not, if the music is to keep playing, then the money still has to be made somehow to support it. If that means embracing new technology and ways to deliver the goods how a lot of people now want it, that's no bad thing. The "old" On-U Sound "business" model probably wouldn't stand a chance in the brave new music industry, but by adapting may now just do so. I hope there is still some "middle-way" to keep most fans happy though. Thinking about it, what's more important, the music or the product, anyhow? I'm just glad that On-U Sound is still with us, when just about every other independent peer label of the early 1980s has either sold out or crashed and burned.
Anyway, excusing my rant, this site has been updated to reflect the new developments over the last three months, and obviously the download format now appears extensively for the first time in the discography section. Downloads, of course, are virtual product that may prove tricky to catalogue in the conventional way in the long term, but for now let's see. Rhythms 229 and 230 have also been added to the Rhythm Directory. I've also decided to launch a branch of this website on Facebook as an experiment to see if I can make it known to a wider audience, and hopefully provide a way for its readers and me to communicate a bit better with each other (btw, greetings to those of you who have already become fans!). If you've got an account on Facebook, go and look this site up.
My release of the month is the relatively obscure Creation Rebel 'Love I Can Feel' single from 1982. The title track is a John Holt Studio One classic that has been re-recorded many times, voiced on this occasion by Keith "Lizard" Logan.
The cold and dark of January in the UK has once again focused my mind on the website, just at a time when On-U Sound release activity is threatening to take off again. Ardent supporter of this site, Henry Guglielmo, has sent me another large batch of scans for the Image Bank, taking the collection total up to 3626.
Thanks to the new Lee Perry / On-U Sound releases, a new find from Martin Deck, together with a handful of entries that have needed adding formally for quite some time, Rhythms 217-228 are new to the Rhythm Directory since last time, making a total of 287 different riddims now logged, 156 of which I have added during my tenure of it.
My picks of the month this time then are the new Lee "Scratch" Perry & Adrian Sherwood 'The Mighty Upsetter' and companion 'Dub Setter' albums. This is solid new material that comes over 20 years after their first 'Time Boom...' collaboration, which some are saying is Perry's best work since. The Japanese versions of these albums both feature a bonus track on the forever metamorphosing 'Jungle' riddim [Rhythm 43] from way back then.
Not much to say this time around really. I've shuffled the Personnel profiles around so that they are now viewed as part of the main website, rather than being accessed via pop-up windows. This means they can be much more easily cross-referenced. I've also been logging the use of the new Search site... facility and it does actually seem to be being used a fair bit! Please let me know whether it has been of any use in practice.
The Image Bank continues to grow gradually, with content being dropped in silently all the time. On 13th of December there were 3516 images in the collection.
Though I do regular link tests of the site to make sure none are broken, I've finally got around to setting up better handling of 404 errors, e.g. from old external links pointing to re-organized bits of my site. In other news, though it has been done in stages, Rhythms 209-216 are new to the Rhythm Directory since the last report, many being spurred into existence thanks to recent On-U releases.
Talking of which, the Christmas holiday season is approaching and various relatives have been briefed with On-U gift ideas for yours truly, no doubt to their bemusement; but yes, I'm looking forward to the new year! Best wishes to you all and thanks for your continued support!
My release of the month is a little different, as it's the soundtrack to the 2006 film 'Johnny Was' starring Vinnie Jones, Lennox Lewis, Eric La Salle, Roger Daltrey and Samantha Mumba. Regardless of what you think of the film itself, its soundtrack (compiled by "music supervisor" Adrian Sherwood) is crammed full of On-U Sound material old and new, and dovetails really well with the setting of the film.
OK, we have a bit more progress. I finally got round to making a whole series of updates to the discography section to take account mainly of new (gasp) On-U related releases. This has included welcoming Harry Beckett to the fold with is own biography and discography pages.
The size of this website and the sheer volume of detailed material it now contains means that for a first time reader, who is not familiar with its layout and structure, it must surely be hard work trying to find any specific information within. To tackle this, from this month onwards, I've added a Search site... facility to the right hand end of the blue navigation bar at the top of all non pop-up pages. It uses iframes and should launch the search results in a frame that hovers over the page you searched from. The search facility is something I've set up for free, so inevitably there are going to be some adverts and search provider links - but they don't seem to be too distracting. To ensure the relative positions of the search box and "Go" button are consistently displayed by users' having different default browser text sizes, the button has been deliberately placed below the box. It's not ideal, but sometimes web design is about compromise.
The information indexed excludes all material that is viewed via a pop-up window, but all of the core website is included. I've also set up periodic site re-indexing so the indexed search results remain up to date with the site's actual content at any given time, but there will of course always be the chance of discrepancies. I'm going to continue to tweak how the results are filtered and displayed, but it would also be good if you could let me know how you've got on with the facility - good or bad. You can contact me in the usual way.
This month's spotlight release is Little Roy's 'Long Time' album of 1996: a solid set of tunes given a sprinkle of Sherwood co-production mastery.
Yes, I'm still alive, still doing lots of overtime at work and still working occasionally in the background on this website when I get the chance. Once more the On-U Sound machine is threatening to crank back into life - it'd be nice to get hold of some new product and finally hear some of the stuff that has only been released through Japan to date.
This month's golden great: The Enemy Within's 'Strike' single. Here is a very early Adrian Sherwood/Keith LeBlanc collaboration in support of the UK coal miners' strike of 1984-5. Go listen.
Blimey, three months have passed just like that. That strange old business of life in the outside world has taken much of my attention away it seems. I have done a few jobs here though, the main one being the promotion (as far as this website is concerned) of Lee "Scratch" Perry from On-U personnel to an act in his own right. This has meant some reorganization of how he is featured, and the creation of his own act profile and discography sections. This means that several releases that were previously in the Dub Syndicate discography have now been removed to the new Lee Perry one. Hopefully everything still links sensibly. In other news, some of the new releases talked about below have started to filter through into actuality, and now find themselves appearing in their appropriate discography section.
Spotlight release this time: Keith LeBlanc's recent 'Stop The Confusion (Global Interference)' compilation. For me, as a LeBlanc fan, though it has plenty of interest, it doesn't hang together very well as a set of tunes I can just listen to straight through. These things happen...
Work on this web site over recent months has mostly been low profile maintenance and keeping things up-to-date - the routine but necessary stuff that keeps it relevant and interesting (e.g. there are a further 154 images in the Image Bank compared to the last count). There are one or two other "big" things I want to do, but with limited time and the day-to-day up-keep taking priority, it'll have to wait a bit longer. Thanks as ever to the recent contributors, you know who you are.
It's been interesting to see over the last couple of years how On-U Sound and company have finally yielded to the internet, and are increasingly making use of the likes of MySpace to reach out to their peers and fans. On-U Sound listeners from the early days will surely recall just how hard it was to find out anything that what was going at the label and track down it's music. In this increasingly networked world, embracing the technology can only be a good thing. I sense from a video recently posted on Adrian Sherwood's MySpace page that the very survival of On-U Sound is going to come to depend on it.
After yet another long period of meditative contemplation by On-U, there is talk once again of new album releases by Lee Perry, Ian King, Harry Beckett, Doug Wimbish, Mark Stewart, a worldwide release for AHC's "Vision Of A Psychedelic Africa" and another "Chainstore Massacre"-type compilation, amongst other things. Past experience tells me not to expect too much too quickly though, so let's just wait and see.
That reminds me, back-catalogue rediscovery of the month: African Head Charge's 'In Pursuit Of Shashamane Land' LP. It isn't their finest moment, but it's my fondest - being my first ever AHC purchase - on a now hard-to-find On-U cassette no-less!
As hinted in August, I've done a bit of homework and compiled new personnel profiles for Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, "Crucial" Tony and Jah Woosh. When you can track down this sort of information and start linking it all together, this is rewarding work. If you have biographical material that could fill similar gaps, feel free to contact me and I'll see what I can do with it.
Thanks to another raft of contributions from Henry Guglielmo, the Image Bank has been supplemented by various new scans. My own ad-hoc week-by-week supplementing of the Image Bank has also continued. For the record, the 'Bank contained 3199 images on 16th October 2007.
A discography of the short-lived and little known Creation Rebel record label has now been added. This was the very first label initiated by Adrian Sherwood, even pre-dating Hitrun.
In a minor navigation enhancement to the site, I've added a "Back" button to every discography entry in its top right-hand corner - meaning if you follow a link pointing to a particular release deep within a discography page, there is now a clearly defined way of jumping back in your web browser's history to where you linked from. Similarly positioned and identical-looking buttons have been provided for each riddim of the Rhythm Directory for some time. Navigating large websites, such as this one, can be a disorienting experience - so hopefully this will be of help to visitors.
On my turntable this month: The Revolutionary Dub Warriors' 'State Of Evolution' LP. If you are bored, follow the link I've provided to its discography entry and then try using the "Back" button return here :-)
No great advances to report this time round either. Maintaining the existing content is an unglamorous but vital job, and in the last few months, that's mostly what I've been doing; filling the information gaps that both you and I have found (if you're one of the people who's been in touch with me recently, many thanks), and keeping an eye out for news and interesting data. I have added personnel profiles for Bruce Smith and Bonjo I though. There are a few more people I could easily gather information for that would be worthy of similar treatment; something else for me to be getting on with then.
My record of the moment? Ghetto Priest's 2003 'Vulture Culture' LP. Check out Ri-Ra's Irish rap on 'Show Them'.
An update here has been overdue for some time, my excuse is that my offline life has been busy (I've moved house again recently). I have found *some* time in the midst of it all to work on the website though, spurred on by significant image material contributions from particularly Dave Jones and Laurent Diouf. Many thanks guys!
- As introduced in my last entry here, there is now a section of the Image Bank showing many of the On-U Sound News & Facts Bulletins / Catalogues of old, which has since been slightly expanded.
- A section for other On-U related press releases (Part 1 and Part 2) has now also been created. Both of these new sections make fascinating historical reading, and I'm very keen for them to keep on growing. Please contact me if you are able to help source further material.
- I've also been compiling lots of old press cuttings about On-U releases, acts and gigs, but that's progress to report next time (hopefully).
My back catalogue rediscovery of the month is Dub Syndicate's 1990 'Strike The Balance' LP. Check out especially the Bim Sherman-voiced 'Mafia'.
I've had a bit of spare time recently, and spurred on my the current bout of On-U Sound audio activity have been working on various things:
- Henry Guglielmo has drip-fed me probably a three figure number of record scans for the Image Bank recently, just about all of which have been slotted seamlessly into their rightful place. Many thanks for his help with these!
- Digging deep into the On-U Sound archives, aided by material gathered from Culf, I have pulled out a whole series of News & Facts Bulletins from the 1980s, and a selection of release Catalogues from the 1980s and 1990s. All of the former are available in both scanned image and transcribed text format. I'm experimenting with hosting larger images, such as these, completely separately from my skysaw.org domain. We'll see how things go. Anyway, enjoy a journey back in time by starting from the new Bulletins page.
- AMS's new 'Becoming A Cliché' album has recently called Rhythms 201-208 into existence in the Rhythm Directory, causing the 'Directory to expand from five to six parts in the process.
- There's been a bit of shuffling in the Discography section recently, with the odd release switching discography. Sometimes, in the absence of full information, releases get unknowingly put in the wrong place, and then more info comes along that clarifies things, and suddenly it has to be moved. If you've noticed something suddenly not being where you last saw it, that'll be why. The joys of being an On-U Sound discographer...
Among the recent releases of On-U material (under AMS's deal with EMI) has been (hopefully) the first many back-catalogue re-issues, namely Mark Stewart And The Maffia's debut 'Learning To Cope With Cowardice' album, complete with 4 bonus tracks. That'll be this month's release-of-the month then :-) PLAY LOUD.
I've been working away in the background on this site a fair bit recently, with many new snippets of content being added here and there. Thanks to those of you who have fed me much data and numerous images for inclusion recently, it has all, more or less, been systematically incorporated as received. Sorry, there have been too many things to start a list here (even if I could remember them all!).
- The Image Bank now has a Miscellaneous section to house the 'oddities' that aren't really suited for display anywhere else.
- The AMS / On-U Remix Discography is now completely incorporated into the Image Bank. It was a big job, phew! Image Bank content has just passed the 2600 item mark.
- There is a new personnel profile for Keith Levene together with a small associated gallery.
Since the last update here, On-U Sound has burst (?) back into life with new releases by Adrian Sherwood and Little Axe, the wider-world re-issuing of previously Japan only albums, a Sherwood compiled, dominantly On-U sourced, movie soundtrack ('Johnny Was'), a new website (www.onusoundrecords.com) and the suggestion of much more to follow. As I've yet to get hold of most of the new material, my pick of this month dates from On-U's last spell of measurable activity 3-4 years ago, namely Sherwood's 2003 'solo' debut album 'Never Trust A Hippy?'.
The British summer is / was here, and I've not been spending quite so much time hunched over the keyboard recently. Despite the time off, all has not been lost in terms of progress:
- A section of the discography has been created specifically for bootleg material. Some other minor rearrangement of several other discographies has also taken place.
- Rhythms 199-200 have been added to the Rhythm Directory.
- Image Bank entries for the AMS / On-U Remix Discography are gradually being added; Parts 1-3 currently being so treated. Progress is slow because this discography has over 350 entries in it! Other bits of the Image Bank have been supplemented with material on an as-received basis.
Spotlight release: Creation Rebel's 'Psychotic Jonkanoo', top class dread from a quarter of a century ago. Doesn't time fly?
Busy, busy, busy - but this time round mostly involving the improving of existing content rather than the development of new material:
- Brand new sections in the Image Bank this month are (1) Clothing and (2) Stickers and Badges.
- Rhythms 195-198 are new to the Rhythm Directory.
- The AMS / On-U Remix Discography has been expanded into five parts to cope with its general expansion over the last year. At the same time I have also done some minor reorganization / consolidation of entries and expanded fully many of the releases' track listings, finding many 'missing' ones in the process.
Release of the month: 'Reggae Archive Volume 1', a long deleted On-U compilation CD from the early 1990s featuring many Hitrun era oldies.
Recently, I've been trying to get some of my On-U archive material out of storage and up onto the website. Acquired from readers, friends and my own collection, I have probably hundreds of images, documents and pieces of text that would make interesting viewing, once I've worked out how best to arrange and present them. This is all part of my continuing drive to develop the Image Bank section. So, "the main points of the news" are...
- A small number of act and personnel images have been added to the existing Image Bank galleries.
- Brand new sections in the Image Bank this month are (1) Tickets, (2) Flyers Part 1 and Part 2, (3) Posters Part 1 and Part 2, (4) Leaflets and Postcards and (5) Adverts Part 1 and Part 2. Contact me if you'd like to contribute to these sections. I sense there is probably plenty of other suitable material *out there*.
- There are new releases scheduled in the next couple of months (it feels like a long time since I've been able to say that about On-U!) from Tackhead, Dub Syndicate, Little Axe and Audio Active; details of which can now be found in the Discographies section.
- Mostly for maintenance purposes, there has been a slight rearrangement of riddims in the Rhythm Directory. Hopefully, this work will have no affect on the way you use it.
Talking of Dub Syndicate, my releases of the month are their 7", 10" and 12" set of 'Jungle' singles, recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1987 and released in conjunction with the making of the 'Time Boom X De Devil Dead' LP. If I were to pick out a favourite mix from the "million-billion versions of this one", I'd probably go for the Disco Plate mix on the 10".
Time flies on, and it's about time I updated this page, I think, before I forget what's been happening. The story is generally one of filling out and general maintenance of what's already here with the odd bit of brand new content as I've been able to research and compile it.
- A hand full of new act and personnel images have been added to the existing Image Bank galleries, together with a brand new Groupings section. This section compiles people pictures not strictly appropriate to the Act or Personnel sections of the Image Bank. What's there at present is hopefully just the start...
- New personnel profiles for Al Jourgensen, Bernard Fowler, Congo Ashanti Roy, Mikey Dread, Ri-Ra and Vivien Goldman.
- Rhythms 193 and 194 has been added to the Rhythm Directory.
- There have been a whole stack of Image Bank entries relating to Discography section releases. I expect this steady stream to continue for some time as suitable images come out of the ether.
- The addition of brand new listings to the Discography section have slowed-up a bit, perhaps because some closure is finally being gained on what's *out there* (I'd like to dream-so anyway!). There have been many minor improvements to what's already there though as little nuggets of extra detail are either tracked down or stumbled upon. Don't ask for specifics, there are too many of them and they are all in the detail :)
I'm still in retrospective mode with this month's pick-of the moment, but at the same time it's something to look ahead to. I'm referring to the forthcoming Tackhead Sound Crash mix CD, hopefully available worldwide later this year. It's a 45 minute Sherwood mash-up of just about everything you'd want to hear on a Tackhead / Fats Comet "best-of", with occasional side-orders of Keith LeBlanc, Andy Fairley, the Strange Parcels and Gary Clail for added flavour. I've heard it already because it was previewed throughout on Steve Barker's 'On The Wire' BBC radio show last November here in the UK.
The big news this month is the formal launching of the Image Bank, ultimately this site's repository of all material visual in nature. For now there is photo coverage of On-U Sound acts, associated personnel (combined 209 images) and, via the discography section, sleeve artwork of many records, CDs and videos etc; the latter having been available on its own progressively for 6 months or so now. This has also meant:
- Providing access to the appropriate Image Bank gallery from the navigation menu of each individual act discography and act biography.
- Interconnecting the profiles/bios of On-U Sound personnel and their galleries.
- Relating the galleries of acts and their associated personnel together.
Please contact me if you have comments, suggestions or you would like to contribute to the Image Bank. All contributions I use will be credited. Please note I can only accept submissions of copyright free material or material of which you are the copyright holder! In the midst of all this, the following things have also happened:
- New personnel profiles have been prepared for Talvin Singh and Steve Beresford.
- There is now a page in the Resources section for the listing of forthcoming live events. Not much there at the moment, but hopefully it will develop with time.
- Many minor discography section improvements - far too many to list, except...
- Content from the Videography is now featured in the Image Bank.
This month's release of the moment is another retrospective: 'Human Nature: The Very Best Of Gary Clail'. It's just a selection of the material he recorded while with BMG, but the solid, driving rhythms and undiminishingly relevant lyrics make it well worthwhile tracking down or digging out again for a listen.
The site continues to develop gradually within its existing brief, mainly because there has been plenty of that sort of gap-filling that has needed doing. Besides what content additions there have been over the summer, as hinted in July, I have renegotiated the web hosting for this site with a much increased bandwidth to cope with the growth in traffic it has been getting.
At present I'm compiling a gallery of photos of On-U Sound people, bands and groups to add to the site later in the year. As a result, I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who has images I could use. Please contact me if you can assist. Any help of course will be credited!
This month's release of the moment is a pick from the Tackhead back catalogue: The 'Power Inc. Volume 2' retrospective. These wicked beats may now be coming on 20 years old, but you just can't tell.
Work has continued mainly on graphics in the discographies with the labels Carib Gems and Pressure Sounds now having associated large images reposited in the Image Bank. A handful of new large images have been added to supplement those in other discographies already so treated. Since the last tally, all of this work has added a further 163 large images to the 'Bank.
The popularity of this site is now such that traffic is sometimes exceeding my allocated internet bandwidth and causing the site to go offline for periods. If you haven't been able to get to the site recently - that will be why. Measures have been taken to try to alleviate the problem and I'll be keeping an eye on whether things improve as a result.
This month's release of interest - the new Mark Stewart / Maffia / Pop Group retrospective compilation 'Kiss The Future'. For those not wise to Mark's music, here is an excellent place to start.
No update for ages - I know, but I've actually been very quietly busy on the site! The main work I've been doing has been based around getting the 'Image Bank' off the ground. Specifically, making available larger images of many of the discography items that were previously only available as thumbnails, and also many other new related images from my archive, for which there was previously no easy means of displaying them.
The task has been huge and there is plenty more to do. As of 19 June 2005 there are 1,061 larger images relating to 524 unique discography entries. The work has been undertaken on a discography-by-discography basis, the following discographies having been completed so far:
The available Image Bank graphics for these discographies are accessible simply by clicking on the appropriate discography thumbnail image and waiting for the new window to open. Once open, it is possible to navigate backwards and forwards through the graphics of items in the sequence each appears in each discography it is found. NOTE: If this window is already open in the background and a discography thumbnail image is clicked-on, the background window contents will be updated and NO new window will appear. A couple of other things:
- The work on the images above had a knock on effect on the discographies themselves, involving some additions being made, plus some swapping around or merging together of previously separate discog entries where it was felt necessary. So if something looks different or has suddenly moved, that's probably why.
- Rhythms 188-191 have been added to the Rhythm Directory.
CD in the spotlight right now: Adrian Sherwood's recent Japanese mix compilation of On-U oldies - 'On-U Sound Crash: Slash And Mix'. Murmurings of a raft of new and re-releases outside of Japan have been heard from AMS recently, following the apparent signing of wider-world distribution deal. I hope this is one of them...
All kinds of things have been going on since the last time I wrote in here, mainly nothing at all to do with this website. Basically I graduated from Uni., had a holiday in Scotland, gained a fiancée and got a job that requires me to move house again very soon! The latest 'homework' therefore comprises of just:
- Additions and corrections to the Discographies - lots of them, all over the place. Thanks to you all, but especially Richard Davies for providing lots and lots of image scans and fabulously useful background detail recently.
- Slight updates made to the Shops Page.
- Rhythms 176-187 have been added to the Rhythm Directory and it's size increased to five parts to incorporate the expansion.
My release of the moment is an oldie: Voice Of Authority's 'Very Big In America Right Now' album from 1984. "Roasted Peanuts" indeed...
Another busy year - I can't believe this is the last update for 2004! It's been a big year for consolidation - expanding the site within its brief. This hopefully means it covers what it says it does reasonably well, but without promising lots of what it can't yet provide. An overview then:
- Additions and corrections mostly to the AMS Remix, Related Product and Featured Product discographies.
- The Featured Product discography is now organised into three parts rather than two as it has grown quite a lot over recent months.
- A handful of additions have been made to the Links Page.
- Personnel profiles created for Lee "Scratch" Perry, David Harrow and Neneh Cherry.
- Act profile created for Mark Stewart / Maffia.
- Rhythm 175 has been added to the Rhythm Directory and some other minor modifications completed.
- Something that has been overdue for some time: I've been through entire site with a spell-checker and weeded-out several years worth of typos.
My release of the month is the Silent Poets' 'To Come - Remix Volume 1' compilation, and in particular Mark Stewart's contribution to it - a mix of "Prisons". It's high in the running for my track of the year. Thanks for your continued support in 2004!
The site continues to grow within its existing structure, and has been receiving regular doses of attention from me over the last few weeks in that spirit, either due to my own research or prompted by your contributions. If you are a recent, first time contributor you should have been added to my Credits Page. Here's the run-down of the main recent developments:
The release of the month is 1992's 'Time Traveller' by Keith LeBlanc - I dug it out recently having not listened to it for a very long time. Perhaps it's time for some back catalogue revision of your own?
Addendum: RIP to long-serving DJ John Peel, champion of British music for almost 40 years. On-U Sound has much to thank him for - he was a strong supporter, especially in its early years.
In the last week or two I've been doing some reorganising of the Artists section. The biography features are now split into two types of artist - the original artist bios (all for specific bands) are now in an 'Acts' section, and a new 'Personnel' section (primarily for profiling individuals who cannot be adequately covered by an 'Act' alone) has been created. When clicked on, an individual personnel's information is loaded into a pop-up window. This can then either be closed after being read or all personnel cycled-through alphabetically, either forwards or in reverse. The main changes to the site since last time are therefore:
My release of the month is 'Champagne & Grits' - the new album just out from Little Axe on Real World. More classy blues and dub from Mr Alexander that comes highly recommended.
Things are back to normal again after I worked-away over the summer. That means this site's contact email address has reverted back to the proper one and the backlog work on the site has been done. Stuff worked on since the last update then:
I'm picking out the 1989 Singers And Players' 'Golden Greats Volume 1' CD compilation as my release of the month. It's long been deleted - superseded by CD reissues of the album and discoplate tracks it gathers, but it's a fine selection of their output. Good if you can get it.
A final note of thanks this month goes out to Steve Barker and the 'On The Wire' crew at BBC Radio Lancashire in the UK: 20 years old on 16th September 2004. Keep on keeping it real...
There's not been much chance for me to work on developing the site recently as you've probably gathered. This weekend though I've made a series of small, mostly discography-related changed updates thanks to several emails from you guys. It's good to know people are scouring my pages looking for omissions! According to my web logs I'm getting about 140 visits per day - so it seems there's quite a good readership rate. On a purely trivial note, the most common search engine phrase that results in this site being visited at the moment is "dub syndicate" :-)
In the spotlight this time around: Pay It All Back Volume 2 - possibly the best PIAB of the bunch, but definitely the classic sound of On-U in 1988.
This months changes:
Interest in the site seems to keep growing, and not only from fans but also from On-U family members across the years. Thanks particularly to Gary Clail, Vivien Goldman, Richard Paterson, David Harrow and Steve Barker, amongst others, for getting in touch over the last few months!
From about one month's time for 10 weeks I'm going to be working away from base. This will mean the site isn't likely to get updated very much for the duration. I'll still pick up email, but I may not be able to do much about it if a website update is required. Warning ends.
This month's release of the moment: Going back to the beginning of On-U, the New Age Steppers' self-titled debut album. I've just picked up the Japanese CD reissue featuring four bonus tracks and happen to quite like 'em :-)
Only regular readers with an attention to detail will have noticed what I've been up to in the last two months on the site as it mostly been "house keeping". The biggest series of changes have probably been the adding of a series of new artist profiles, though there have probably been hundreds of mainly small additions or corrections to the discographies. There are also now artist profiles for:
For those readers who "arrive" at the site's home page feeling lost there is now an about page giving information about what this site is intended for. It even has my mug-shot on it, so you have been warned :-) In the course of recent discography maintenance I've added artist info / discography pages for Charlie "Eskimo Fox" and created another 8 riddims in the Rhythm Directory - numbers 161-168.
Tune of the month: I think I'll go for the new but final single on Sound Boy from Shara Nelson - "Nobody Else" (SB012). Sadly both the Sound Boy label and On-U's main distributor of many years, EFA, are both on the way out. We'll have to wait and see who replaces them...
Thanks to everyone who has been in touch recently with comments and additions. They form most of the changes to the site since the last update. I've been doing a bit of re-organisation again and the AMS remixography is now in four main parts, mostly because it was getting a bit "big" in three. Artist info is now also available for Junior Delgado and Little Roy.
Having put it off for a while, I've finally introduced a new discography that catalogues video and TV appearances of On-U acts and productions (the Videography). I suspect it's far from complete and encourage you to fill me in on anything else you know about.
My release of the month is Dub Syndicate's 'Echomania'. It was the first On-U release I ever bought and consequently I have a bit of a soft-spot for it. As Lee Scratch Perry uttered: "I'll eat your refrigerator ... I'll de-program you and your computer".
Things are bit busy for me with work at the moment so I've only been doing little bits of dabbling here and there with the site. Thanks to Jarmo for sending me an item off my Wants list recently! Thanks also to Richard Davies for doing some "homework" that lead to a host of new riddims (145-160) being added to the Rhythm Directory, taking the count of rhythms documented there to 239 to date. There's also been a host of minor discography updates too - mostly filling in information gaps with various people's help.
I've made a tentative start in adding some details to the Artists section. I'm happy to accept and credit anyone who would like to contribute to the artists section to speed the process up. You can reach me via my Contact page. Thanks to Steve 'On The Wire' Barker for letting me borrow some of his own words to help do the job. The artists currently detailed are:
My release of the month is inspired by recent discussions on the On-U Sound email discussion list: Ché's 'Be My... (Powerstation)' (produced by Fats Comet, AMS and Ché). Happy holiday season to you all...
Blimey, where did the summer go?! I've been doing quite a bit more housekeeping lately. It's not very noticeable to the user as it's been mainly re-arranging the discographies to keep each ones maximum file size down (the old ease-of-download issue keeps coming to mind as I keep adding new items to them). This is it then:
- The Bim Sherman Discography is now in two parts. Part 1 contains his early Jamaican sides and part 2 his more recent non-Jamaican releases.
- The Links Page has been slightly re-arranged so links are grouped under type headings.
- The On-U related product discography has been rearranged and is now in three parts.
- The On-U Sound discography has been rearranged and is now in four parts.
'Songs Of Praise' by African Head Charge is my album of the moment. I'd forgotten just how good it was until I pulled it off my shelf again today. By the sounds of things there's more Sherwood-produced 'Head Charge offerings on the way next year too...
Mostly administrative matters this time round:
- The Barmy Army and the Strange Parcels now have their own separate discographies.
- The Rhythm Directory has been slightly re-arranged so that it is now in four main parts rather than three. This should help downloadability and provide space for it to expand into in the future.
Talking of the Barmy Army, my release of the month is their debut single 'Sharp As A Needle'. Rarely has the "sound of the crowd" been so sweet.
You wouldn't have really noticed it here, but since my last entry in this log I've moved house, been separated from my PC for a week and done battle with my telecomms company to get a home internet connection working at my new location. My course has yet to start so I've yet to find out how much time I'll have to maintain this regularly from now on. All the latest updates have been discography-related thanks to several people having got in touch with detailed missing information. Thanks folks, keep it up!
My release of the month this month is 'Pay It All Back Volume 4'. Check out the track 'Don't Betray Me' by the Twinkle Bothers and the Trebunia Family Band. Dub in a Polish Stylee...
A pretty quiet this month all-in-all with me having little time or inclination to do anything more than routine updates or corrections. The Resources Menu now has an additional option in the form of a place where any On-U Sound related items I have for sale can be viewed.
As hinted back in March I am shortly going to be putting my entire life in the back of a van and returning to student-dom for a year and so there will be a break of access for a while and probably less time for development work here for a bit longer. A lot depends on whether I have (i.e. can afford) internet access at my new flat and at the moment I'm not sure whether I shall or not. This site isn't going to vanish (it'd better not do as I've just paid for next years hosting fees!) it just may not get such regular attention.
Additional: The discography featuring compilation releases that contain On-U Sound product has now been split into two main parts as the file size was starting to get quite large. All the links into it have been amended so that they still work but let me know if you find any that don't. I plan to maintain internet access when I move shortly (last week of August) but there is likely to be a 1-2 week gap while relocation and setting up takes place. Obviously if you try and contact me during that time emails won't be answered immediately.
My release of the month this month is Audio Active's 'Startrec EP' and especially the track called 'Penalty Taker' which has some utterly essential sub-bass to tease your speaker's woofers with. "Hi-Fi Gets A Pounding" indeed...
Lots of twiddling and fiddling has been going on since the last update here - much of which as a consequence of the recent coming of the Rhythm Directory together with numerous fiddly additions, gap-fills and corrections as well as a couple of new but relative small developments.
This is what I've done recently:
- Added a hand full of new Rhythms to the Rhythm Directory and expanded and corrected a few existing ones.
- Modified the internal navigation of some of the bigger discographies so they are bit more logical.
- Added a selection of new releases and recent-finds to various discographies.
- Expanded the number of features available in the Resources Menu (see below)
- Created a list of record shops and websites that I know of that often have On-U related releases for sale. At the moment the list is quite short and based only on my own limited and localised experience - so it'd be good if you could send me details of anywhere else you've visited and successfully found 'the goods' :)
- I've also put together a list of On-U related product that I'm looking for (my 'Wants' List). Perhaps you can help me fill the gaps in my record collection. Go-see if you can help!
My release of the month this time round? Little Axe's 'Hard Grind' LP. It's been out a while now, but I've only just got my paws on it...
It's been quiet here for a couple of months, not though lack of effort - but because of lots of work behind the scenes that you've not been able to see until now. Given the nature of the job its not been possible to bring most of the main changes in in anything other than one go. The primary addition is that of the Rhythm Directory - which is a listing of (to date) 195 common rhythms that occur across the On-U Sound catalogue and / or in releases by Bim Sherman.
Rhythms are cross-linked in each direction between the Rhythm Directory and the appropriate discography using links highlighted in green. This 'Directory is an expanded and updated version of Culf and Richard Davies' original and thanks are due to them for letting me loose on it and providing me with such an excellent document to start from. Though much effort has gone into making the Rhythm Directory accurate and complete within itself, you may have additions, corrections or suggestions for 'missing' rhythms. If so, please get in touch via my Contact Page.
A summary then of the main goings-on in the last two months:
- The Rhythm Directory is now live - allowing tracks of similar basis to be associated to each other independently of artist or track name. Due to it's size the main listings of the directory are split into three parts to ease download times for viewers on slow internet connections.
- With the coming of the Rhythm Directory the Resources Menu has been re-designed to accommodate it. This is the form it shall expand from in future.
- As a result the Links Page has moved to its own dedicated file - which will now be its permanent home.
- I've been attempting to standardise the way discography release items are referred-to in links from other places. Due to the discography section having been constructed over a long period, consistency was lacking and hopefully it is a bit more strict now.
- My consistency drive has also seen a number of discography releases 'jump' sections to where they are more appropriately featured. Hopefully all the links to the moved releases have also been changed so they still work!
- The Bim Sherman Discography has undergone some re-organising so that Bim's early Jamaican-only releases are listed separately to the rest of his output. As much information as is known about the early releases has been given but at present is still pretty incomplete.
- The Circuit and the Missing Brazilians now have separate act discographies - thanks to non-other than Steve 'On The Wire' Barker for suggesting that one :)
- The discography file for Sound Boy releases has been created and the releases that I have significant details of added. This will grow gradually as the rest of the initial releases listed on On-U's own website make themselves known to me.
- Some additional 'internal' links have been added to parts of the On-U Sound Records discography to improve navigation around it.
- As usual there have been a wide scattering of discography section release additions and corrections and some more missing sleeve scans added. Thanks for your continued support and assistance!
As far as development work goes next, I've not decided what I'm doing to tackle - possibly expanding the Resources Menu further. In the meantime this months worth-a-listen is: Bim Sherman's 'Lovers Leap Showcase' LP.
Its been another month of website up-keep rather than new development in the main. I decided to do a few jobs that really needed seeing-to which would eventually catch up with me if left untouched. So, this time round I've...
- Split the AMS/On-U remix discography down into three main bits from its previous two so individual parts load more quickly and so there is room for expansion in the future. Vast numbers of links were checked and amended in the process. Let me know if you find one that doesn't work.
- Amended the website style sheet slightly because of a font size display issue with IE.
- Created a new act discography for Ghetto Priest.
- Added some new and newly uncovered releases to the discographies and inserted a hand full of missing sleeve and label scans.
I keep going on about the Rhythm Directory I'm putting together - alas that's still at an early stage and I've not had much chance to make progress with it of late. It'll be good when its done - eventually :)
Later in the year I'm on the move again location- and vocation-wise so there could well be a gap in normal 'service' during the upheaval resulting in fewer updates and less development work for a while. I'm not sure how its going to pan out yet - but I'll mention it again nearer the time if it'll lead to problems.
My album of the month this month has been Dry & Heavy's 'New Creation' on Green Tea Records (GTCD 005) - every tracks a killa! Adjust the treble and bass kids...
A belated Happy New Year to you all! There have been no new sections added to the website since Christmas but there has been a lot of up-keep and in-filling going on. Thanks go to several people (now included in the credits section) for their considerable help in providing numerous missing sleeve and label scans for inclusion in the discography section. Included in the contributions have been a number of other images, letters and articles which I hope to eventually reproduce on the site once it's developed a bit more.
Despite the fact that I've still not done any active website promotion, thanks to the search engine Google ranking the site increasingly well of its own accord, word seems to be spreading that this is here! Nice one.
Are there any budding On-U historians out there? I'd like to start putting information in the Artist / History sections but don't feel I'm quite up on my On-U knowledge to necessarily do the best possible job myself in many cases. If you know a thing or two about On-U related artists / groups / labels etc I'll happily include your contributions and name-credit you alongside them.
Developments at On-U HQ with the label's re-launch seem to be in full swing with both On-U's and Pressure Sound's websites currently being developed and with a string of new releases in the shops or on the way. I'll try and keep things as up to date as possible here - my information sources permitting. Over and out...
The last few days before Christmas brings me to the end of the primary job of building the discography section after about nine months work. Phew :) The last sections to go live are:
The second discography was a last minute inclusion when I found a good source of information to use as its basis. As usual, any comments to me on these. There's been a few other little changes and additions as usual since last time - partly due to me doing a bit more browser testing on this newly de-framed site. The other change throughout the discography section has been altering some of the symbols used to annotate tracks so that they are now all completely different and can now be meaningfully followed if printed out in black and white.
Thanks to a burst of enthusiasm, the latest update sees the end of the old framed website. The appearance of the old site is more or less retained on the new pages but noticeably now the frame borders have gone. I had investigated keeping their visual effect on the new pages but ran into problems with Netscape (again!) sometimes not showing them.
Along with the de-framing, all pages now carry a [No Frames] button at the left hand end of the navigation bar. This button allows the page to be reloaded out of any frame-set it is being viewed within. If the page is not being viewed within a frame then this button, if pressed, simply reloads the page.
The only other thing that I've added this time is a list of web-links to the Resources section. This list will grow as I think of new relevant pages to add and eventually will be moved elsewhere within this section when I start developing it further. The Pressure Sounds discography is still awaiting my attention, though I do have all the images prepared.
Christmas is almost here and Santa has got my CD wish-list. I wonder if he has got hold of a copy of 'Chainstore Massacre' for me yet? :)
Late November 2002
The re-match: The 'Home Game' returns...
After an online absence of several years the 'Home Game' (otherwise known as the On-U Sound Records Discography) is back!
While not actually called the 'Home Game' in this half, in spirit it is still very much Culf's so-named predecessor but brought up to date content-wise and with a somewhat different look. For the sake of minimising download times it has been split into four parts:
- Introduction: Overview of the discography / brief history of On-U catalogue numbering schemes / artist list
- Part 1: LP1 to LP60 in the LP numbering scheme
- Part 2: LP61 onwards in the LP numbering scheme
- Part 3: CD1 onwards in the CD numbering scheme
- Part 4: Singles and miscellaneous
Since the last update there has been some reorganisation meaning that Junior Delgado has been given his own discography section as opposed to appearing within the AMS/On-U remix discography. Also, following a recent visit to Culf's Scottish echo chamber, I've made a number of discography corrections and filled in some more gaps using information gleaned from his record collection.
The subject of this website using frames also came up recently. While I've never been 100% happy with using them, they more or less do the job I've always wanted them to do and not caused me too many problems. That said I've been thinking for some time about getting rid of them while still keeping the overall visual appearance they provide. Before the site gets any bigger I might just do a change-over, so long as I can find a relatively straightforward way of doing so which has reasonable cross-browser compatibility. Anyway, that's news for a future update here, perhaps :)
This month I'm starting to bring the label-oriented discographies on-stream. Now available are discographies for:
While there is little in way of new material in most of them (much of their content being found the various act discographies) they are organised quite differently - particularly in the way they link to items in other discogs. In the same way as the act discographies refer to other act discographies preferentially, so the label discographies also refer to themselves if possible.
Falling between theses two classes of listing are the discographies which fit neither classification (e.g. the compilation discogs) and in this case I have decided on the convention of making references preferentially to act discographies. The reason I have decided on these conventions is due to high level of duplication of release listing there is especially between the artist-based and label-based discographies (i.e. releases which rightly appear in both) and the need for some rationale as to where a user following a link may expect to be taken.
In addition to this, the necessary duplication will also affect the Rhythm Directory (when it eventually gets introduced). In this case all occurrences of a [Rhythm xxx] notation for a particular release will link into the Rhythm Directory but in the event of a release occurring in both artist and non-act discographies, the Rhythm Directory will link back out to only one of its occurrences and preferentially to its listing in an act discography.
It sounds a bit complex I know, but once you've got your head around the ground rules I hope I've been quite consistent so that you won't get quite so easily lost. Work on the remaining label-based discographies is now underway.
Late October 2002
There have been no vast changes since the last update but many smaller modifications all over the place that are far too numerous to mention individually. Despite having deliberately not attempted to promote this site (due to its degree of incompleteness at the moment) an increasing number of you are tracking me down and getting in touch - which is great :)
Many thanks for all your positive comments, offers of help, suggestions, corrections and often considerable chunks of information I've been looking for! This update then features for the first time the contributions of many of you who have been in touch. With this in mind I have created a credits file which will be updated continually as new people assist me for the first time. The general rule will be - if your assistance is such that it leads to me making an update to the website in some way then I'll add your name to the list. I think that's a fair policy. It also gives a grateful shout to those involved before me and were responsible for the original information on which this website is based.
The only completely new item to appear this month is 'The Vaults' - a listing of On-U product and related material thought to exist but which has not been released in any readily obtainable hardcopy form. Where possible I've tried to refer to other product that does exist as a reference.
In the background I am still researching the Rhythm Directory - which will hopefully tie together all the tracks of similar basis noted by the [Rhythm xxx] notation throughout many of the discographies. To give you an idea, the number of rhythms currently identified is over 150 and the number of different track versions associated with those rhythms is over 600! Once the discographies are more or less finished then I will then work on getting the Rhythm Directory online.
C'mon lets take a trip: Sho' the people where it's at...
Welcome to this website's new and hopefully permanent home - ! I finally got myself sorted out with a new web host (with more web space) and my own domain name and so this is the place where all future development and expansion work will take place. My other www.rapbeat.btinternet.co.uk domain shall remain for the time being as seen as it generates a fair bit of traffic from search engines but will no longer be updated. Viewers of that domain are now pointed to this domain via a subtle message built into the background image seen on all pages. Along with the new domain name my email address has now changed to and the 'Contact Page' of both domains has been updated accordingly.
Thanks to those who have given me positive feedback about the content of the site, it's always good to know there's someone out there getting something from it to. Many thanks also to several people who have offered to volunteer information to fill in some of the inevitable gaps in the discographies. I look forward to hearing back from you and you shall be credited accordingly.
My other exploits this month can be summarised as:
- The related product discography has now been added with the fullness of the information I can glean and due to its size it is (like the Sherwood remix discography) presented in two parts. The collecting of the information for it was a considerable exercise in time and detective work and there is probably still much more product out there worthy of inclusion. Once again any additions and corrections from readers would be very welcome.
- Odd additions to existing discographies have been made - of which there are too many to mention individually.
- Some individual releases have been moved between discographies after I decided they were more appropriate if they appeared somewhere else.
The quote above? It's from a Fat's Comet sample used in Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy The Silence' (Quad Final mix: Part 4) - as mixed by Adrian Sherwood.
Its been a busy few weeks! Apart from the usual few minor tweaks and corrections here and there I've been working almost exclusively on the Sherwood remix discography - and its been a massive task! While the version of Culf / Richard Davies discography I had been working from was very comprehensive, it was also very old (1994!) and this meant a lot of research and catching up had to be done.
So much new 'product' has been found that I have had to split the discography into two parts to keep the file sizes down. This is now in its 'finished' form so your additions and corrections would be very welcome. I suspect there is more product still out there...
In summary then:
- Adrian Sherwood / On-U Sound remix discography now 'completed'. Additions / corrections?
- On-U Sound featured product discography considerably added-to and navigation improved. Any more I've missed?
- The Vaults file added. This shall be a list of unreleased On-U material known to exist.
- Thanks for your emails and positive comments about the site, keep the feedback coming!
- This website may be moving to a new domain name in the next few months - I'll keep you posted.
There's been a fair few updates this month but many of them have been behind the scenes changes.
- Numerous stylesheet tweaks and some minor page structure changes to sort out the serious page display errors that were occurring in some browsers - particularly older Netscape versions.
- On-U Sound featured product discography added. i.e. Items featuring but not entirely comprising On-U material.
- Adrian Sherwood discography added. i.e. His self-credited work as a 'solo' artist.
- I'm currently working on creating the Sherwood remix discography. It's a big job and a partially completed version is available for now.
Now I'm settled in my new home, new house and new job I can finally getting back to working on this website. In the last couple of months it seems that the search engine Google (at least) has indexed the site and I've had a few email enquiries from people, presumably as a result. Thanks for your interest! It's worth noting that the records listed in the discographies here are NOT lists of items for sale - just lists of product that have been released.
Given the enormity of the task its no surprise that I'm still working almost exclusively on expanding the discography section. The latest updates therefore are:
- Numerous corrections, additions and format changes to existing act discogs.
- The addition of more many more thumbnail images of record sleeves.
- Slight menu changes for the 'Label / Other' discogs section.
- The 'Pay It All Back' discography is now done.
- The 'Other On-U Compilations' discography is finished.
- Until the site is in a more static state contents-wise the dated text only pages have been unlinked from the home page. Sorry!
The lack of speed in getting this section up and 'finished' is mostly due to the background work that is going on in connection with the future planned Rhythm Directory and researching its detailed contents. It's a painstaking job - when you see it finished you'll know why! Next in line for work is the Featured Product discography and probably after that the Sherwood remixography. We'll see.
Its good to hear that Sherwood is reviving On-U as a label again and that there's a whole series of new releases planned. To quote a sample from Dub Syndicate's 'The Show Is Coming', "something nice is gonna happen to your ears".
For most of the time since the last update I've been between jobs and somewhat distracted with the task of finding something new and moving house. Therefore development of the site has been somewhat limited. The work that has happened is still limited mainly to the discography section:
- Small additions and corrections to existing act discographies.
- Reorganisation of the section with separate indices for artist and non-artist oriented discographies and insertion of appropriate links between them.
- The creation and incorporation of discography files under each of the headings mentioned in January 2002. These are all currently blank, awaiting my time to input the information.
- The Contact details section has now been added.
Immediate plans still focus on expanding and populating the discographies section with background work taking place to gather information for the planned Rhythm Directory resource. This will allow tracks of similar basis to be related to each other - On-U Sound artists being notorious for remixing and re-recording each others tunes under different names and in different ways.
The 'On-U Sound In The Area' project was started in late summer 2001 with most of the early work centred around finalising the sites appearance, navigation, structure and testing browser compatibility. It was late October 2001 before work started on adding content. Given the amount of work required the site is still at a relatively a early stage of development. So far is has been the discography section that has seen the most expansion with 31 artist-based discographies completed in mid January 2002. Future expansion will continue to be centred around this section, in particular the addition of:
- On-U Sound compilation discography (excluding Pay It All Back series).
- Pay It All Back compilation discography.
- Features discography - releases containing appearances of On-U Sound product or related artist.
- Adrian Sherwood mixography - his remix and production work for non On-U artists.
Eventually the discography section may also contain listings sorted by record label with separate listings for:
- On-U Sound Records
- Hitrun Records (On-U predecessor)
- Green Tea Records (On-U subsidiary)
- Pressure Sounds (On-U subsidiary)
- World Records (Fats Comet etc)
- Blanc Records (Keith LeBlanc and associates)
- Century Records (Bim Sherman's label)
Other immediate plans include adding information to the Contact details section and starting to research information for the Artists information section.