On-U Sound Records: 40 Years of Experimental Dub Label

With the On-U Sound record label, co-founded with Kishi Yamamoto in 1980, Adrian Sherwood ended up parlaying his love of reggae and dub into what he calls his “life journey.”

On-U Sound turns 40 this year, having built up a catalog of hundreds of records. Sherwood, who initially ran the label out of his house, says that in the beginning his only objective was “survival,” and every high profile remix he’d end up doing for an artist like Depeche Mode or Simply Red would end up funding his next batch of releases. And essentially everything his label has released has been an experiment in some way or another. In fact, almost all of the bands that regularly released records through the label didn’t even exist until they began recording their On-U Sound debuts. The potential for expression was limitless.

“Everyone had the opportunity to be creative,” Sherwood says from his UK home. “I gave a lot of freedom to a lot of people. Like most musicians, there’s a lot of experimentation and I was encouraging people to go out on a limb. None of them were proper bands, they were second interests, and then they evolved into bands after they got into the studio. To be quite honest, I was winging it.”

Founded in 1980, On-U Sound has undergone a significant evolution—from its earliest permutations of dub, to industrial, jazz, blues and post-rock, down to its reggae roots—all but just a handful of them produced or co-produced by Sherwood himself.

Read More at BandCamp

Read the rest at BandCamp